Review: Olive Chicken

OliveChicken

I love “mom and pop” shops, little eateries that often offer a specialized and differentiated offering for our palates. Particularly in Calgary, we are beginning to see more and more eateries open that specialize in one particular item, whether that be the traditional Pizza shop, Sub delis, Vietnamese Pho Restaurants, or Donair counters. I am still waiting for the day when Calgary gets its first dumpling shop, but until then, I will wait and explore and enjoy the current offerings that we have in our uncrowded and lacking foodie landscape.

All of that to say, yesterday my wife and I finally had the opportunity to swing by Olive Chicken to checkout their highly-praised fried chicken. We first heard about Olive Chicken from my sister-in-law who praised this little eatery, and since then, many of my friends and peers have also encouraged us to check out this little diner.

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Review: White Elephant

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Tucked away in a shoddy hotel in Northeast Calgary is a little gem called “White Elephant Cuisine”, a Thai restaurant that is absolutely worth your time to go to.

At the corner of 16th Avenue and 19th Street N.E. and located inside The Pointe Inn, is White Elephant, a “mom and pop” restaurant operated on the ground floor and situated down the hall of the inn. This restaurant is what one would call a “hole in the wall”, but please do not judge it by its looks.

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Making Bánh Xèo Video

As promised, here is the video detailing how to make Central Vietnam Style Bánh Xèo!

Also as a bonus, the recipe for making Nước Mắm (Vietnamese Dipping Sauce for vermicelli and rice dishes) is included because it is needed in order to make the dipping sauce for the crepes!

Hope you enjoy it!

 

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.

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Review: Paloma Mexican Restaurant

My wife and I love trying out different cuisines from different cultures and that led us one day to take a look through Urbanspoon and try to find an interesting restaurant to eat at.

One particular afternoon, we opted to try Mexican and chose to go to Paloma Mexican Restaurant located in the community of Whitehorn in the northeast of Calgary. That being said, some of you who are familiar with Calgary may be wary of traveling to the northeast of Calgary to venture to find edible delights due to its reputation for crime and the general ghettoization of the neighbourhoods in the northeast… but I have lived in the northeast of Calgary for the majority of my life and cannot imagine living anywhere else in Calgary.

My wife has always wanted to try “authentic” Mexican food and so we opted to try this restaurant due to its high ratings.
Paloma is located on the corner of 36th Street and Whitefield Drive N.E. and is in a small strip mall. It had recently taken over a small local pub/bar called “Coyotes” which was notorious in the neighbourhood.

We arrived at 5pm and found ourselves in a restaurant that was understaffed due to a Latin festival that was happening downtown and the restaurant had sent half of its staff to sell food at the vendors.

We were promptly seated and given a menu and it took us a while to figure out what to order simply because this is truly Mexican food! Sure there were tacos and enchiladas (which my wife ended up ordering) and tortillas, but there was also a whole host of other foods on the menu!

We started off with quesadillas for our appetizer and my wife ordered a pineapple soda (which she has desperately sought out for many years in Calgary since her travels to Central America) and the chicken enchiladas and I opted for the Menudo Colorado. Now a word of warning… I am a Vietnamese guy who loves food and when I see tripe, I rarely say no. Sometimes I liken myself to the Asian version of Anthony Zimmern (Bizarre Foods), only with hair.

These quesadillas were sooo good. We scarfed them down!

My wife’s enchiladas… she couldn’t finish them so I helped her devour them. =)

The menudo colorado… this is the stuff of legends and only legends can really stomach… did you catch the pun there? hehehe.

My wife loved her enchiladas and soda and I scarfed down my beef tripe soup.
The menudo colorado is an interesting soup, if I were to describe the flavour of the soup I would have to use the word… “tripey”. That is, you can taste what part of the animal you are particularly eating from this soup. It’s organy, it’s irony, it’s sorta got a neat hint of bowel, not enough to turn someone off of this dish but just enough to remind you what you are eating. What’s interesting with tripe is that typically, in East Asian cuisine, we marry the tripe flavour with ginger, green onions, and garlic as well as fish sauce and sometimes five star spice powder (depending on the treatment of the tripe) and so the tripe often is cooked and marinated in sauces and takes on a wonderful rich flavour of herbs and veggies… so when I actually had the first spoonful of the menudo colorado I was actually surprised that there was no preparation done to transform the flavour of the tripe and instead it is utilized as a characteristic of the soup itself!

We were both satisfied with our meal but I am not sure we would come back for Mexican food here because the pricing is a little bit on the higher end of things. If you’re looking for delicious and cheaper Mexican fare, I suggest checking out El Mariachis down on Macleod Trail South.

For more info, check out their website: http://www.palomamexicanrestaurant.ca

Been A Long Time… Late Review: Sushi Haru Calgary

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had an opportunity to post in my food blog due to having a new addition to my family. =)

I’ve been to a number of restaurants since the last post and I’d like to start with a nice sushi restaurant in the far south of Calgary in the community of McKenzie Towne.

I had the opportunity of going to Sushi Haru several months ago and was introduced to some of the freshest sushi we have in Calgary.  It’s a restaurant with beautiful décor and I am told that it fills up fairly quickly.

My friend Josh and I arrived at 5pm and were promptly seated and he proceeded to order several items from the menu. They offer the traditional sushi rolls as well as tempura, gyoza and so on. The highlight of our evening was our soft-shelled crab, one word: phenomenal. It was crispy but soft and succulent! There was no hint of fishiness in the soft-shelled crab, it was filled with freshness.

The pricing is not exuberant at Sushi Haru, but neither is it food fare that a typical student could afford. It’s a great place to go out for a date or if you just want good sushi.

There are two locations owned by the group of owners, the one in McKenzie and another in Springbank.

If you have a chance, check it out!

A refreshing sashimi salad!

A specialty roll with mango and tuna and salmon

SASHIMI!