Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Flamingo Restaurant (West End)

A few weeks back I decided to finally try out the west end Flamingo restaurant which I have driven by numerous times. I know they have a south side location in Heritage by my house and had heard it was a decent place so why not check it out.

The interior of the place is really old school, like it hasn't been renovated since the 70's. Old carpet, old wooden walls, old tables...old people. Yes, it was clear that Flamingo was a senior hot spot, not that there is anything wrong with this. We checked out the menu which served a lot of pub style/comfort food.Traditional western fair I guess you'd call it. Meatloaf, chicken wings, steak, burgers, fries, mash potato' get the gist.

We settled on the appetizer platter which came with potato skins, onion rings, buffalo wings, deep friend zucchini sticks, pork ribs, and chicken fingers. AHHHH so greasy! But what did I expect right?

I'll be honest, I did not enjoy it. It was overly greasy and everything was pre made and deep fried or tossed into the oven. While the platter had a nice assortment of everything, I just couldn't get over the grease. Yes, yes I know everything we ordered was fried, but there is a difference between fried and soaking with oil. Main point: I would not go back, but that's just me and I'm sure they have some real winners on the menu but unfortunately I'll have to pass.

Flamingo (Westend) on Urbanspoon


Cuisine: West Coast
Location: Whyte Ave

I had a lovely dinner at Murrieta's on Whyte Ave the other night and took advantage of the Telus Tuesday promotion that is going on for the month of may (I previously posted about this). Today, with the purchase of an entree, you receive a complimentary appetizer and dessert, per person. Obviously, who wouldn't take advantage of that great deal. Surprisingly the place was very quiet, but then again we were there at 7:30 on a random Tuesday night so then again I did not really expect it to be that busy.

I've been meaning to try out this place for quite a while but never quite made it until tonight. The interior was beautiful; high ceilings, dark wooden floors and cabinetry, soft lighting, handsome shuttered windows. The restaurant featured a dinning area, bar, outdoor patio, and a more casual dining area surrounding a fire place and boasted a tall floor to ceiling dark wood wine cabinet. Unfortunately I did not take a picture of the interior, but their website provides a glimpse of what it looks like inside. During dinner time it is a white table cloth sort of place.

For appetizers we ordered the P.E.I mussels with chorizo sausage (15$) and calamari with sambal aioli (10$). I read some great reviews about the mussels so I was excited to try them. We received a large pot of steaming mussels in a tomato onion broth to which we quickly inhaled. The muscles were cooked perfectly and the broth was very rich and flavorful. My only complaint about the mussels is that I found the broth to be over salted. However, because it was so liquid and we were not slurping down the broth, it was tolerable.

The calamari was less to brag about. I really did not enjoy it and think that a walk down the road to OPA would have certainly been a better choice for calamari. They were little battered calamari segments that were almost soggy. The sambal aioli had no taste, whatever the taste was, it disappeared in about a millisecond after putting it in your mouth. Would not order again and do not recommend it, you can find better calamari at other places.

For dinner I had the Chicken Supreme (21$) which was a jalapeno stuffed pan seared chicken breast with mashed sweet potato and corn, asparagus, grilled vegetables, and topped with a sun dried tomato reduction. The chicken breast was perfectly cooked, however I found it to be lacking in flavor. the crispy pan seared skin was nice and did give some flavor, but the meat itself was nothing special. I have to say, I think I enjoyed the sweet potato and corn mash and the asparagus more than the chicken itself. The jalapeno slice inside the chicken did not do much to enhance the flavor of the chicken and lost most of its flavor during cooking. I was rather disappointed in the lack of flavor of the chicken and would without a doubt recommend The Copper Pot's chicken supreme over this one. However, I recognize Murietta for giving this dish a go, unfortunately however, I think it was lacking a bit in both flavor and interest.

My dining companion, the birthday boy, ordered the Brome Lake Pan Seared Duck (28$) ordered rare and came with some sort of reduction, a medley of steamed vegetables, and lemon potatoes if I remember correctly. I had a bite of the duck and did not really know what to make of it, I'm not a fan of rare meat and I got a fatty piece of skin/meat, so I don't think it would be fair for me to comment of the quality of the dish. However, he quite enjoyed it and took a liking to duck having been his first time eating it.

For dessert I ordered the vanilla bean creme brule (9$) which was accompanied by half a cookie and a cinnamon whip. Having had creme brule many times, I was surprised that this creme brule was served at room temperature and had the texture of butter, and not the whipped kind. I broke through the hard caramelized sugar top which exposed a creamy custard dotted with vanilla bean seeds. I guess the texture could be described as being similar to the inside of a Lindt white chocolate ball. I can't say I liked it very much. Flavor wise it was good, but the buttery texture made me feel like I was eating pure lard or something.

My partner had the banana foster with a vanilla peanut butter ice cream cake (9$) and it was very very good. The carmel sauce was very buttery and had a strong banana flavor which worked well with the cold peanut butter flavored ice cream. The sauteed bananas however were undercooked and could have stood to be cooked for longer until they were softer and caramelized, but it was alright. Overall a good dessert that I found better than the brule.

My overall experience at Murrieta's was good, great atmosphere, good food, very good service. I do think however that the food could be improved to enhance its standing as a fine restaurant.

Murrieta's on Urbanspoon


Cuisine: Italian
Location: 113 ave 174st West End industrial district

This summer I am working as a summer student at a Service Canada outpost in the middle of the west end industrial district and thought I'd make a post on probably one of the only restaurants in the area that is not a fast food chain. The other day I took a walk during lunch as came across this little Italian restaurant in the middle of the industrial area. Clearly a restaurant that catered to the employees working in the vicinity, Broccolini is a small family run business that serves up simply offerings of pasta, salad, and the odd pannini or meat dish.

The restaurant itself is nicely decorated with nice tables, paintings and some large screen t.v's,  giving you a bit of a break from the mundane industrial atmosphere. At the entrance of the restaurant there is sort of a cafeteria style ordering stations where you can see the pasta and sauces in chaffing dishes. The menu is small and simple, offering a choice of pasta with tomato, meat or tomato cream sauce, a baked pasta, caesar salad, breaded veal, panini special of the day, and...that is about it. To be honest, I found the prices to be rather high for the quality and simplicity of food they served, but seeing as it seems to be the only alternative to Wendys and Tim Hortons for workers in this area, I guess they can afford to inflate their prices.

I ordered the pasta with alfredo sauce today (half order 7$), something that I typically would not order knowing how bad it is for me, but a tomato based sauce wasn't really going to cut it for me today. The sauce was simple and I was certainly not blown away by it. It really needed more flavor (I resorted to sprinkling half the shaker of pepper and chili flakes on it to give it some flavor).

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Cactus Club

I had an early dinner at the one and only Cactus Club here in Edmonton the other day while shopping at the mall and specifically came to order the Jambalaya which I had really enjoyed on my last visit to a Cactus Club in Vancouver.

The restaurant's menu is very similar to the standards of Earls, Moxies and Milestones. The decor is modern and aesthetically pleasing with lots of wood and a little bit of an west coast flare. I sat in the dinning room but the restaurant has a very nice outdoor patio that would be perfect for summer.

The jambalaya (16$) I had been craving for quite some time came with the option of white or brown rice, which I opted for the latter, and is topped with a mixture of shrimp, sausage, chicken, green beans, corn, beans, vegetables, tomato's, and spice. It had the perfect amount of heat which gave it a kick but did not distract from the meal and served hot it makes the perfect comfort food. The jambalaya had a good consistency, not to runny/liquidy, and did not skimp out on the toppings.

I am craving it right now, I may just go after work today and get my fill! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Beauty

I loved this so much I wish I could eat the picture. Yesterday I took my friend to Duchess for the first time to see what it was about and ordered a maple bacon macron (1.50$) and the passionfruit raspberry tart (6$) which I had been meaning to try.

It was absolutely divine. The macaroon was chewy and sweet and you could really taste the bacon accent. It also had a small piece of bacon in the center! The tart was composed of a smooth passionfruit and vanilla mouse topped with fresh raspberries and a green, white chocolate strip and sat on top of a pool of fresh raspberry jam in flaky crust. The jam was not overly sweet and complimented the flavorr of the passionfruit mouse.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Starbucks Half-Price Frapps May 6-15th

From May 6-15th from 3-5pm get a Starbucks Frappuccino for half price.

If you want more info:!/event.php?eid=151243008274944

Telus Tuesdays in May

Each Tuesday this month (May), Telus is offering up a deal at Murrieta's, Jack's Grill, Park Allen Restaurant, and Sabor Divino where with the purchase of an entree you receive an appetizer and a dessert for free. In essence, you can turn a one course meal into a three course meal for nothing. Don't forget to make reservations, and I suggest mentioning the deal to the hostess upon making reservations.

Check it out:

Participating restaurants:


Jack's Grill:

Park Allen Restaurant:

Sabor Divino:

Punjab Sweets

I already have an earlier post on Punjab Sweets but I thought I'd make another one to provide an update.

My family, cousin, and I went to our favorite Indian/Punjab restaurant this evening and I couldn't be happier. This is my go to place for Indian/Punjab food. The restaurant's main attraction is the buffet along with their large selection of Indian sweets. They also have a food menu at the front of the restaurant from which you can order dishes off of.

I like this place because it serves all the Indian dishes I would typically eat. They have your standard butter chicken, curry goat, curry chicken, spinach and paneer, tandoori chicken and fish, naan, curry lentils etc. They also have typically western salads and for dessert, rice pudding and those sugar soaked dessert balls. Forgive me for not remembering all the names, I remember partial names but won't embarrass myself by spelling them wrong.

I'll be back soon.

Punjab Sweets and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Brewsters (Century Park)

While I typically do not write about chain restaurants, I wanted to just make an entry about a rather good meal I had the other night while catching up with a friend.

I live really close to Brewsters and have frequented them many times for their chicken wings but have never really eaten anything else off their menu. Therefore tonight I decided to give their menu a try. I was not looking for anything heavy so I settled on the Candied Pecan Salad (12.99$) while my friend had the calamari (10$).

Sorry about the poor lighting!

The salad took a while to arrive, mind you we were there pretty late at night, but when it did I was pleasantly surprised but the large size of the salad. Excuse my both my bad bad memory and laziness, but here is the description of the salad from their online menu: "California Artisan lettuce, arugula, baby green beans, amorosa tomatoes, baby red potatoes, hardboiled egg, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, slivered carrot and candied pecans. Tossed with tarragon & Dijon vinaigrette and served with grilled garlic rosemary loaf." This is definitely a salad I will order again. I typically do not order salads for a meal at restaurants but next time I come to Brewsters this will be a the top of my list. The grilled garlic rosemary loaf was nice and warm and had a strong rosemary flavor which was complimented by the garlic. I really enjoyed the goronzola cheese, which they did not skimp out on, as well as the candied pecans. I kind of wish the candied pecans were warm instead of cold, I think that would have been a better compliment. Other than that the salad was great, good flavor, large quantity, and most certainly filling.


The Copper Pot (Now closed)

I came here for a lovely dinner a couple weeks back and had a very enjoyable time and meal. Located on 109 st just before the High Level bridge, The Copper Pot offers a nice view of the Legislature building as well as the river valley. Unfortunately, depending on where you sit, it also offers you a view of the road leading onto the High Level bridge, which, depending on what time of day is it, is probably not a very nice view. But nevertheless, the restaurant  does offer a scenic view with all tables facing the windows.

We were seated in a small crescent shaped booth that faced onto the view outside and was perfect seating for a couple. If you plan on going with a date request one of these tables because you get to sit side my side and enjoy the view.

The menu, which you can view online on their website is limited, like most fine dining restaurants, but offered a nice selection of entrees and appetizers. We decided on the calamari (13$) as an appetizer and for my entree I had the Stuffed Chicken (34$) and my companion had the New York strip (35$).

The calamari was lightly battered and served with their house made tzatziki. The batter had some sort of spice to it which was different but nice, and the tzatziki had mint in it which was different but also a good change.

I absolutely loved the stuffed chicken. It was cooked perfectly and very juicy. Here's the description from the restaurants menu: "Provolone piccante, roasted red pepper and spinach stuffed chicken breast drizzled with truffle infused honey and basil pesto served alongside Greek roasted fingerling potatoes and market vegetables." It was wonderful. You could taste the honey in the sauce and the fingerling potatoes were crispy and had a lot of flavor infused in it, not just sitting on top of the skin.

I didn't take a bit of the New York Strip so I can not really comment on it but it was a large serving of steak. The official description was: "Hand cut and grilled to your liking with merlot demi glace served alongside horseradish whipped potatoes and market vegetables."

Because it was my birthday our lovely waitress gave us dessert on the house. We had a salted peanut butter chocolate terrine. I would go back just for that dessert if nothing else. The sea salt complimented the chocolate and peanut butter perfectly.

Overall I had a very satisfying meal at The Copper Pot and will certainly return in the near future. Perhaps maybe later in the evening this time so I can catch the sunset over the river valley.

Cafe Select

The other day my friend and I decided to go for a relaxing post-exam lunch downtown. We decided to try out Cafe Select, located just off Jasper Ave and 106th next to Marvel Collage.

From the outside Cafe Select does not look like much, it does have a cute little covered patio in the front that would be nice during the summer, but given that it was cold and rainy it did not have much of an appeal. Upon entering the restaurant however, we were surprised to see how nice it was inside. It was dark, had dark hard wood accents, small crystal chandeliers and was smaller than expected but yet filled with tables of downtown workers on their lunch break.

Their menu I found was rather small but it provided an assortment of salads, some sandwiches, pasta, and some steak entrees. I had the ham and cheddar with caramelized onions on a baguette (14$) and my friend had the chevre noir and balsamic fig salad (15$).

When my meal arrived I was pleasantly surprised to see that it came with a large amount of shoe string fries and a salad, which I did not expect. The baguette was chewy and soft, not the typical French verity, but it worked well with the ham and melted cheese.

My companion enjoyed her salad and commented on how good the balsamic figs were. She said there was not as much chevre noir as she had expected but that the strength of the cheese made up for the quantity.

Overall we enjoyed our meals. Perhaps a little over our budget for an everyday lunch, but it was a nice place with a lot of character that would be good for a date or a glass of wine. Cafe Select on Urbanspoon