Wonderful Broth at Muku Ramen

Tonkatsu, Spicy Ramen

Tonkatsu, Spicy Ramen

You can tell a lot about a restaurant from the broth they make and at Muku Japanese Ramen, the broth is delicious. If you want to get out of the rain and into a warm, cozy hangout on the 14 Street corridor then come in to Muku. It is very popular hangout for people who live in the area and there’s plenty of parking there too. They actually share the parking lot with Globefish, the sushi restaurant.

Muku does not serve sushi whatsoever. They even post a sign on the door that no sushi is served. Muku serves noodles and appetizers. Don’t expect to see teriyaki chicken or katsu don or sashimi because there’s nothing like that here.

The menu is simple to navigate. Basically they have a map of Japan on it to highlight three main broth styles. I chose the Tonkatsu ramen with a large scoop of hot sauce served in my broth. Once stirred, the broth is rich and flavourful. For those of you that cannot take the heat, take your spoon and scoop out some of the red stuff. The broth is made from cooking pork bones in high heat for a long time. The bone marrow is released into the broth and gives it the richness.

Garnished with my broth are green onions, baby corn and slices of lean pork. The other two broth styles are from northern Japan and central Japan. They are both equally tasty but I wanted something different this time around.

After the ramen, I was still a little hungry and needed something from their appetizer menu to round off my meal. I chose their deep fried baby octopus. For $6.50, you get about 6 battered baby octopus fried and served with a nice mayo mixture.

Muku Japanese Ramen on Urbanspoon

Best Muffler Service

Calgary Mufflers

Calgary Muffler

If you need an honest opinion about something underneath your car or truck, head over to Calgary Muffler at 58th Ave and Macleod Trail. Like a medical clinic, you don’t need an appointment. You simply show up with your vehicle and they will jack it up and assess your situation. 

These guys are honest and are AMA approved. Before dropping by, I called Canadian Tire and asked them about replacing my muffler. They couldn’t help me. They said they were not familiar with a Land Rover and if they could find the part, it would be well over $500. I sure didn’t feel assured.

I called Calgary Muffler next and asked the same questions. They said they would replace it for about $250 but they had to see the vehicle. With a loose muffler, I took care in driving down to Chinook where Calgary Muffler is. 

Once they had an empty slot, they motioned me and I drove into the bay. They hoisted my Land Rover up in the air and they went underneath it. They pointed out that my muffler was completely rusted and it was about to fall off. They said they would put a brand new tailpipe in for under $258.

I told them to go ahead. After an hour, my truck was ready to go. These guys rock!

Great Fishing Hole

Glenmore Reservoir

Glenmore Reservoir

I’ve been looking for a nice fishing hole for a long time and think I’ve found it. Unfortunately, it looks like the rest of Calgary have found it too.

According to the Outdoors Men Forum, people have been catching nice sized rainbow trout. I personally don’t care to eat trout only because I think there’s too many bones but it’s fun fishing and letting the fish go, unless you’re standing next to someone who is fishing for dinner.

If you want a great fishing hole, head to Glenmore Park by getting onto Crowchild Trail and drive south. When you see the rowing club on your left, turn in to the parking lot and get your gear together. Head down to the back of the rowing club where there is a floating pier. A lot of kayakers and canoe enthusiasts launch from this pier.

Fishing is good just south of the floating pier. On most days, you will find a number of people fishing off the shore. It’s a beautiful way to spend a Sunday, sitting there fishing and looking at Heritage Park across the way.

Timmy’s Chili Knockoff

Tim Horton's Chili (Knockoff)

Tim Horton’s Chili (Knockoff)

Now that the ‘Rollup the Rim to Win’ contest is over, it’s time to get my coffee elsewhere. I was getting tired of lining up at those ridiculous lines every morning for a chance to win a new Rav or one of those cool BBQ’s. But this year, nada. I managed to win the odd latte or free donut but that’s about it. I think this year, Tim produced more cups that read ‘Play Again’ because every time I rolled up the rim, I kept reading this phrase over and over again.

Just to get even with Mr. Tim Horton, I scoured the internet for a Tim Horton’s Chili Recipe knock-off and plan to make my own instead of shelling out more money to Tim. In my opinion, I think the Tim Horton corporation has enough of my money.

 

The trick to Tim Horton’s chili is not to use tomato sauce, but tomato soup. Instead of pouring a can of Heinz tomato sauce into the mixture, pour two cans of Campbell’s tomato soup but don’t add water to dilute it.

Here’s the recipe for his chili, compliments of Food.com.

Crab Envy

Ginger and Green Onion Crab

Ginger and Green Onion Crab

When in Vancouver, you have to eat Asian food and ordering crab is a must-do. But be forewarned – it is one messy meal and you can’t eat it on the sidelines neither, meaning that you have to get in with both hands.

You can ask for a finger bowl but good luck on someone understanding what you want. Instead, make yourself one by taking your rice bowl and pouring some hot tea in it. If you can get yourself a slice of lemon, squeeze some juice into the tea and you have yourself a ‘finger bowl’.

Now get your fingers dirty by grabbing a piece of crab and tasting the sauce by sucking the juices off it. Let me recommend the Ginger and Green Onion sauce because it’s the tastiest and most popular.

Where to go? In Burnaby, you have to go to Rose Garden Seafood Restaurant on Kingsway, just east of Joyce Street. Order the special meal for 4 or 6 or 8 people and you’ll get the crab dish for free.

There will be plenty of food because their servings are very generous. And everything is so delicious there.
Rose Garden Seafood Restaurant 嘉好海鮮美食之家 on Urbanspoon

Asian Heaven

Asian Supermarket

Asian Supermarket

Residents living in the SW would love it if Loblaw’s opened a T&T Asian Supermarket in WestHills or the Signal Hill area. Slowly, we’re beginning to see more and more asian products at Superstore including potstickers, taro and cassava desserts, tofu and rice crepe rolls. These products usually sell at T&T and now are available at Superstore Westhills.

New to the 17th Avenue and 37th Street corridor is E.mart. If you enjoy making your own Asian concoction then you’re going to love E.mart. The selection is fantastic if you like cooking Korean or Japanese dishes. They have specially prepared sushi fish in the freezers including salmon and tuna, ready-to-eat once thawed out. There’s also unagi or bbq eel, the yellow turnip, masago or smelt egg and surf clam. They have a dedicated aisle for all sorts of rice including jasmine rice, basmati, long grain and short grain. There’s a drink aisle with all the exotic fruit juices, milk and tea drinks, soya milk drink and powdered drinks. E.mart also have a meat counter in the back to provide short ribs for your Korean Bulgogi recipe. If you don’t want to mix your own sauce, you can get the Kalbi sauce in the sauce aisle.

On the right side of the store, you will find the electronics and beauty aisle. There you will find all the latest gadgets for cooking rice, beverage maker and skin care. There’s quite a selection for your Asian tastebuds at E.mart, next time you’re shopping for auto parts (ie. next door) or had a donair at Little Lebanon (across the street).

Still my Favorite: Harvey’s Burgers

Harvey's Original

Harvey’s Original

When it comes to a burger, I still like my Harvey’s burgers. Too bad for the Harvey’s at Home Depots and at select Swiss Chalet locations. And the one was replaced at YYC by a Burger King.

The best burger to have at Harvey’s is still the Original. And the best value is to have it as a combo to get a side salad or upgrade it for a poutine. But remind you, they don’t make it very well. Most of the time, the cheese curds are still lumpy because the fries aren’t hot enough to melt them.

Unlike at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, there aren’t so much toppings to choose from. Tomato, lettuce, pickles, raw onions and hot banana peppers along with ketchup, mustard, mayo, relish and hot sauce.  No grilled mushrooms, green peppers or grilled onions.

At the YYC location, be sure to ask for a freshly grilled burger. Otherwise, the staff will take a previously grilled patty and re-grill it. Who knows when they previously grilled it – earlier that day, yesterday, last week, last month, last year??! (I got this tip from someone who works at YYC and eats there daily.)

Click here and get some free coupons that are valid until June 3, 2013.

 

Best Bakery in Bowness

Apple Ring

Apple Ring

We are coming to an end of era, 22 years to be exact. The owners of Dell’s Cafe in Bowness are selling their cafe and retiring. Their friends say “Finally, it is well deserved.”, but their customers disagree because they have served the community with great food for so long. It will be hard to say good bye and so long. People who know them personally have been dropping by at Dell’s Cafe to have their last favourite meal before they close shop on May 11th. Some of their favourites include the dry ribs, the chicken chow mein or the burgers and fries. Everything is good!

Next to Dell’s is the Sweet Home Bakery that I enjoy very much. I think I have written a post before but here it goes again. The one and only bakery I know in YYC that bakes an apple ring is here. If you haven’t had one then I urge you to go down early and get one. It’s in very limited supply because they go as fast as they can make it.

The apple ring sells for $9.95 and is large enough to share. When we have it, we eat it for breakfast and dessert and it lasts over a week for the two of us. With ice cream, it’s decadent. But on its own, it’s delicious with coffee or tea. It is like an apple pie but without the pastry shell. It is like an apple streudel but without the sprinkled sugar on it. It’s almost a sweet roll with apple pieces.

Take Sarcee Trail north, pass the turn-off to Banff then at the three-way stop, turn left. Follow the road until you’re in Bowness. Take a left turn at the gas station and a quick right into the parking lot. The bakery is right next to Dell Cafe.

Sweet Home Bakery on Urbanspoon

Burger Week

Little Hamburger

Little Hamburger

If you’re craving for a burger then this is the week to have one because it’s ‘Burger Week’ in Calgary. From May 3 – 10, 16 restaurants have prepared their best burger for you to test out. After eating it, go to YYC Burger Week and submit your vote. Most of the participants are downtown with a few on the outskirts such as one on 37th Street at Murdoch’s Bar & Grill, in Bowness at NOtable – The Restaurant, in Inglewood at The Fine Diner and in Ogden at Naina’s Kitchen.

Unfortunately, none of the fast food joints like McDonald’s, A&W, Harvey’s or Five Guys are in the race for the best burger.

My first encounter with Five Guys when I was in Thousand Oaks, California. At its Grand Opening, they had a line-up that wrapped around the block. There was so much hype in the papers, on the radio, word of mouth – everywhere. When I finally tried it, I found it nice and juicy. The first thing that impressed me was the amount of free toppings that you can get with your burger. Aside from the typical condiments, you can get jalapeno peppers, green peppers, mushrooms, grilled onions, tomato and lettuce.

Compared to the one on Macleod Trail SW, they could be more generous with the fries. In the states when you order the ‘little fries’, you get a heaping mound of fries that they have to bag for you to walk away with. Here, you’re lucky to find 10 more sticks in the bag. The burgers are freshly grilled but not as juicy as I remembered them to be. And the prices? What can I say, more money here as always.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon