Something Dark and Wicked

Funnel Cloud over Calgary

Funnel Cloud over Calgary

Something dark and wicked rolled our way on Wednesday. I was in line at the Richmond Registry in Westhills when an Alberta alert came over the television screen that warned us of a tornado. Minutes later, I heard the rumbling in the line as some lady was talking about a funnel cloud outside. Everybody in the registry was getting nervous.

When I stepped out to the parking lot, there were a bunch of kids with their smartphones pointed west. I walked up to my car and looked over to the west. There in plain sight was a large funnel cloud that was halfway to the ground. This was the closest I have ever been to a funnel cloud.

I took a snap of it and jumped into the car. It started hailing as people bolted out of the parking lot. The roads were getting busy as people were hurrying out of the area. The winds started to pick up and the hail became larger. I drove east to get out of the way of the tornado that was forming behind me.

For once in my life, I felt for my friend Todd, who lives in Oklahoma City (right in the dab of tornado alley) and works as a Senior Claims Adjuster, helping people pick up their lives after a tornado rips through their home.

Tooloulou’s

Combo dish at Tooloulou's

Combo dish at Tooloulou’s

There aren’t any restaurants in Calgary that serve Louisiana cuisine like crawfish boil, etoufee, dirty rice, hush puppies and seafood gumbo. If you want that kind of meal then head west to Banff where you can find everything including alligator bites. The place is called Tooloulou’s and it is goooood.

My recommendation is to drive out in the morning, walk around Banff then around 2:00pm, sit down for a late lunch. They have 3 menus, breakfast, lunch and dinner. The lunch menu is pretty much the same as the dinner menu except for a few dishes and is less money.

I had the combo dish that gave me a sampling of three dishes including gumbo, jambalaya and creole. I expected three separate dishes but they cram it all on one dish and add a piece of cornbread on the side. The gumbo was a bit on the dry side and the red jambalaya was tasty and it had a lot of shrimp but it needed more hot sauce which you can add to by visiting their ‘hot sauce shelf of pain’. There by the bar is a shelf full of hot sauce ranging from scotch bonnet to jalapeno sauce. Take your pick along with the jug of water to douse out any flame.

Next time I’m going to save room for the bread pudding dessert. Be sure to walk off the carb meal before driving back to Calgary.

 

 

 

Scout’s Honor

American Idol

American Idol

When it’s cold out, it’s nice to stay indoors and watch tv. And it looks like it’s time again for Keith Urban, Harry Connick Jr and J. Lo to hear America sing and to choose a winner on American Idol. I just saw the trailer yesterday and I can’t wait.But again, there’s the Voice that still echoes in my ear from last night. Ryan Sill really did a nice job on Duran Duran’s Ordinary World, didn’t he? I hope America voted for him. I would.

Do you think you can be a judge? Show up and listen to someone sing? You hear a few bars then you give them your opinion. Maybe it’s a little harder than you think with no music training or an ear for good sound. But if you find yourself making comments and critiquing after every song then I think you’re up to it.

I’m gathering a list of people who are interested in listening to music and giving an honest opinion on the song, artist and arrangement. If you’re up for the challenge, please drop me an email and I will forward you to a music scout that will pay you for a review. There’s no obligation whatsoever nor any cost. There’s no limit to how many songs you have to listen to or set a quota. It’s all good and fun. Scout’s honor.

Sushi BBQ – Cold Rice, Bad Service

Sushi BBQ

Sushi BBQ

I’m guilty of not trying new things out but after my experience last Monday, I see why. I had an eye appointment with Dr. F. Adatia in the SE and decided to give Sushi BBQ a try. What a mistake!

The All-U-Can-Eat lunch special is a decent $15 per person price. Nigiri sushi includes salmon, tuna, shrimp, masago and tamago (or egg). Kitchen dishes include chicken teriyaki, agedashi tofu, chicken karage, salmon teriyaki, etc. And they have pizza bites too. A slice of salmon on top of spicy shrimp on a fried rice ball. (It was not as good as it looked and it didn’t look so hot either)

Sad to say, the nigiri rice was cold. And the fried eel maki had a taste of moldy bread in it. When I complained to the waiter, he brought it in to the sushi chef for examination then he came back and told me it was fine. Did the chef try it himself? I doubt he did.

They also had a Korean cooktop and Korean meat for you to cook your own. If you decide to order that, make sure you give yourself plenty of time because you are allotted 1.5 hours to eat and get out.

The decor is run down and dirty. I was surprised not to see a cockroach here and there. The service was horrible and they wouldn’t serve you a free cup of hot water. Instead they gave us an excuse that they don’t have hot water on the premise. Interesting. They do serve hot tea, don’t they?

My advice: stay away.

Earn 5 Air Miles

Sobey's Coupon

Sobey’s Coupon

I know it takes some pride swallowing to use coupons but I have to collect enough air miles to keep my Gold status. Today was the last day to use my Sobey’s coupon to get 5 whole Air Miles. To have done this, I would have had to buy at least $20 worth of groceries at Sobey’s to earn this. Sometimes it’s hard to add up enough groceries at Sobey’s because the selection isn’t quite there in certain departments. For example in the fresh veggies section. I think it’s pretty lame there. And the seafood counter isn’t much better. And since we’re at it, I might as well say the international food section too.

If you’re hunting for air miles like me, go and pick up a coffee at your local Shell station and earn yourself 5 air miles. It’s more cost effective than buying $20 worth of groceries.

Lava not Flowing

Lava Souffle

Lava Souffle

It’s no comparison between Joey’s at Barlow and Roy’s Restaurant when it comes to their lava souffle. The one at Joey’s, is like an upside down cupcake that tastes like a brownie. It is served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and raspberry coulis but it’s nowhere near the quality and taste of the Lava Cake at Roy’s.

When you poke your spoon into Roy’s Lava Cake, the chocolate (lava) oozes out. Not here at Joey’s.

A Burst of Flavour?

Steak and Sushi

Steak and Sushi

When you talk about steak houses in Calgary, you don’t normally think of Joey’s at Barlow. But we made a mistake of booking a dinner reservation there last week and hoping for something else.

I haven’t been to Joey’s for some time but I used to order their ‘Burst’, a nice refreshing concoction made up of 7-up or Sprite and a scoop of blended fruit. It used to contain more chunks of fruit in it but now, it’s thin out like a lemonade. They give a free refill but after that, you have to buy a new drink. Be careful with that one. It’s not written anywhere and they assume you know.

The menu had changed over the years and the jambalaya that we had grown to love is now gone. In place of some fantastic dishes is now sushi. I usually don’t order Japanese food in a non-Japanese cuisine restaurant but I made an exception. I ordered the Steak and Sushi entree for $25, hoping it would fill my empty stomach but I am sorry to say that I was still hungry after the meal. The sushi was ok but I was really disappointed when I saw the steak. It was small to begin with but they served it sliced up. Perhaps if they left it whole, it might have lasted longer. When it’s cut up for you, it’s easy to count the number of pieces with just one hand.

JOEY Barlow on Urbanspoon

Not a Milestone

Prime Rib

Prime Rib

Lobster Jambalaya

Lobster Jambalaya

After eating out three days in a roll, I am cooking dinner at home tonight. Last night, we ate at Milestone’s at Market Mall and was again, disappointed. As entrees, I had to try their new menu item, the ‘Lobster Jambalaya’ ($26) and the ‘Prime Rib’ dinner.

The jambalaya was dry and uninteresting. I found 2-3 shrimps in it and 1 piece of lobster, a small section of the claw. It was the size of two ice cream scoops with 4 slices of grilled pita bread. The rice was overcooked and dry. Definitely, not worth the money.

The prime rib was dry as well. The edges were very tasty from the seasoning but not on the inside. It was served on top of some veggies and came with a baked potato. There were fried onions alongside like you would see at Outback but nothing like their blooming onion.
Milestones Grill + Bar on Urbanspoon

 

 

Anyone for Tako Poke?

Tako Poke Kim Chee Style

Tako Poke Kim Chee Style

Anyone who has been in Hawaii is familiar with ‘Poke’ and btw, you pronounce it as ‘Pokey’. Most of the time you run into ‘Ahi Poke’ which is a nice marinated mixture of ahi tuna with shoyu sauce and some green onions. Costco in Hawaii varies it up by adding wasabi to it or baby asparagus. Both are delicious but don’t eat too much if you have high blood pressure or a high cholesterol count.

On my last trip to the Big Island, I found a mixture of poke that I haven’t tried before. It was ‘Tako Poke Kim Chee style’ and it was GOOD. I found it at the KTA Supermarket for $11.99 lb but was on sale for $7.99 lb. Once I had a mouthful, I had to stock up. After falling in love with it, I had this breakfast, lunch, late afternoon snack and dinner. I would have continued if my wife didn’t remind me of the high cholesterol in octopus.

When I got back from the islands, I had to learn how to make it. I went down to E-mart on 17th Ave SW and bought all the ingredients. I mixed it up and let it marinate overnight. I found that the flavour was quite similar to what I had in Hawaii.

If you’re interested in the recipe, drop me your email and I would gladly share it with you.

Free Stampede Breakfast

Pancake Breakfast

Pancake Breakfast

I hope everyone of you enjoy Stampede! And the best way to kick it off is to attend a free breakfast in town. Look for listings in the Calgary Sun newspaper or drive around and watch for signs.

I was up in the Coach Hill/ Patterson area this morning and went to the community’s Stampede Breakfast. It started at 8:30 and tapered off around 11:30am. They had it at the Coach Hill Plaza, just in front of the 7-11 and behind the Shell station. The parking lot was roped off and they had a live band playing in front of Schooner’s Bar.

It was a typical breakfast with flap jacks (or pancakes), sausage patties, Tim Horton’s coffee and Sun Rype juices. In all, it was a great turn out and it was a good opportunity for neighbours to meet neighbours. Parking wasn’t too bad because you could park anywhere on the streets unlike certain neighbours where event parkers would be ticketed without a resident pass.