Review: The Dirty Gringo

Having moved now to Ottawa, our family now has the challenge of looking for new food establishments to frequent as well as new supermarkets to purchase our foodstuffs.

Continue Reading


Review: Bolero’s

There is a type of barbecue cuisine that exceeds all others in terms of sheer quantity and breadth of meats that tantalize your taste buds and make you death-full: Brazilian BBQ.

There are two main Brazilian BBQ in Calgary, namely, Gaucho’s and Bolero’s, both are located minutes from each other on Macleod Trail South.

My wife and I have frequented Bolero’s twice now, the first time, I had forgotten to write-up a review and take photos, but this past Tuesday, I remembered to bring along my camera as we dove into the delightful meaty offerings at Bolero’s.

Continue Reading

Review: Reef ‘N Beef

The Northeast of Calgary truly is a place that has a treasure trove of hidden foodie gems. The Reef ‘N Beef is another place like this. Located at 13-3735 Rundlehorn Dr NE and tucked in the corner of a strip mall, this place has had good reviews on Urbanspoon and several other foodie forums in Calgary. To celebrate my coming graduation from Seminary, my wife suggested we go out to eat and so we settled on this place to try.

The outside of the restaurant is very unassuming, it doesn’t even have windows! But once you step inside, the décor is older and reminiscent of a British style beef restaurant, very pub-like and yet regal… in some other ways. The décor would best resemble that of Smuggler’s Inn.

Continue Reading

Reviews: Alberta King of Subs

Tucked in a corner of the Northeast of Calgary, Alberta King of Subs boasts a menu of submarines and Montreal smoked meat sandwiches which are fabulous!

If you’ve had smoked meat sandwiches in Montreal before, you know that it is absolutely amazing meat and it’s tough to find good smoked meat outside of Montreal. Alberta King of Subs (AKS) gets their smoked meat from Montreal rather than making their own smoked meat. The results are still the same as eating in a Montreal eatery though: YUM!

Continue Reading

The Secret Behind Beef Stir-Fry

I confess that I have not been able to contribute to this blog as much as I could given the fact that I have been cramming like crazy to keep up my GPA and finish my masters degree in the next few weeks and God willing, graduate with the rest of my friends in April. It’s a lousy excuse, but I want to keep my doors open for a Ph.D. at some point in life, if my wife allows it… =)

All joking aside, I’ve been meaning to write more regarding recipes and cooking and I thought why not write about what I cooked for this evening’s dinner?

Stir-Fry is one of those “Anything Goes” type of cuisines in Asian culinary arts that really can be done with anything that you have on hand[1], granted you need the following as a base: vegetable oil, garlic, onions, ginger, rice wine, and some light soy sauce. This base for your stir-fry will be able to get you started on any type of combination of stir-fry that you can think of. The beauty of stir-fry is that it is contextual – it really is “anything goes”! I often like to look in my fridge or freezer to see what I have as a protein and a vegetable and go from there. You can layer on as much or as little veggies as you want, and typically you will have at least either chicken, pork, or beef as your main protein in your stir-fry.

At this point, you may ask:

Where’s the photo of this beef stir-fry?

And my answer:

It’s 11:30 PM… I am too lazy to go take a photo of the darn thing!

I’m not really going to elaborate much on stir-fry cooking per se in this blog, I’ll leave that for another day.
What I will pontificate is the secret behind how you getting a succulent slice of beef with your stir-fry when typically stir-fry is a quick and very hot cooking method.

Continue Reading

Recipes: Roasted Potatoes and Blade Roast

I like steaks and roasts; we do not have either of these in Vietnamese culture. The closest thing to steaks is a nice succulent and crispy pork chop grilled over a bed of smoldering charcoal in a clay hibachi that you can find on any given street in Vietnam. Buffalo and cattle are incredibly treasured commodities in Vietnam because they are seen more as farm tools rather than food on the table. And so, growing up, having steak and roasts never occurred in my household; it wasn’t until I purchased my first prime rib roast when I was in University that my family really got a chance to experience what one would consider a typical roast meal.

What makes a good roast? I think a roast that has a nice healthy dosage of marbling of fat is a great contender for a roast. I’ve had cross rib roasts, prime rib roasts and blade roasts and have to say that the prime rib and the blade roasts are my favourite due to the succulent and moist nature of the meat after cooking. I like cross rib roasts only because they have a great mixture of fat and tendons and that makes for a chewier cut of meat.

Tonight for dinner, I am cooking a blade roast using quite a simple recipe I gleaned from Chef Michael Smith from the FoodNetwork which I have adapted for any type of roast, I am accompanying it with some blanched carrots and my roast potatoes recipe.

Continue Reading