Chick-a-fill

If you have a taste for fried chicken and lots of it, go to the KFC on Bowness on Monday, April 24th, 2017 because for one day only, you can feast on all the fried chicken, fries and gravy you want. It is an All-You-Can-Eat event so get there hungry. According to previous foodies, the event runs from 4-8pm and costs $12.99 for adults and $6.99 for kids under 10 years old.

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.

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.

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.

 

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

Chinese Festival

Lion Dance

Lion Dance

After attending the Chinese Festival on Saturday in Chinatown, I have to admit that it was better organized than the first year. My day started at the James Short parking structure with a nice surprise – free parking. That was very nice of the City to provide that to alleviate parking woes in Chinatown.

We were greeted by the dragon or at least the kung fu master who was holding the dragon’s head. He said we had some time before they started the dragon dance so we decided to wonder and browse the kiosks selling knick knacks.

There were the usual stalls that were selling iPod cases for $5, $10 and $15 for the premium cases. One stall sold Angry Birds slippers, Angry Birds pillows and Angry Birds keychains. There was even t-shirts that read Save the Birds – not sure if that was a play on the Angry Birds franchise.

Our friends from Asia Snacks were setup, but not selling our favourite egg puffs. They were too busy with taking orders for their Vietnamese sandwiches, to fire up the waffle-like maker so they kept telling us to come back later. We ran out of patience and ended up at the Dessert House for the egg puffs which were excellent. The mini doughnuts van was out and so was the Noodle Truck, both were very popular. TD Canada Trust were giving out personalized zodiac pins, ZipCar was promoting their new hourly car rental service in downtown Calgary and GlobalFest was selling tickets at their booth. There was something for everyone that attended the festival. Too bad it was only for one day, August 11th but I’m glad they ran it from 10am to 8pm.

 

Samurai – Awesome Sashimi

Salmon Sashimi

Salmon Sashimi

After eating sashimi at Samurai on Fraser Street in Vancouver, I now know how a bear feels like on a salmon run. Samurai is an awesome place to eat sushi or sashimi. The fish is fresh and they give you plenty of it.

In a city where there’s more than 222 sushi bars, Vancouver is the place for sushi. Other than salmon and tuna, there is yellowtail, octopus, surf clam and other exotic fishes available year round.

Every time I’m in Vancouver, I have to make at least one stop at Samurai. My usual order consists of one salmon sashimi, one tako sashimi and a selection of rolls. Let me warn you that the rolls are really filling so take it easy on ordering too many if you are not going to share it with anyone. The beef teriyaki roll for instance, is tasty but it’s quite large for one.

For uni or sea urchin lovers, Samurai has a Uni sashimi dish. Uni is very high on cholesterol but very good for the advanced sushi go-ers. Given a plate of uni, I can devour it in a few minutes. Yum.

Other reviewers think this is more quantity than quality. I would have to disagree. I have never found a bone in my fish nor sent it back because it was not fresh. I recommend this place to all my Calgarian friends who visits Vancouver looking for fish to eat.

Samurai Sushi on Urbanspoon

Awesome Meat Pies

Village Pita Bakery

Village Pita Bakery

Since the first introduction to a pita pie, I’ve consumed thousands of these tasty morsels and introduced many people to this awesome bakery called the Village Pita Bakery in the NE. When  it opens in the morning, there’s already a trickle of people coming in and ordering the famed pita pie. I’ve been there as early as 10am and had to line up for a fresh meat pie.

The original meat pie is a flat pita bread with ground beef, tomato and herb mixture spread on it and baked. To eat it, drizzle lemon juice on it and eat away. Fiery eaters would want to try their homemade hot sauce which is great on the meat pies. When ordering, tell them you plan to eat in and they will serve you up a bowl of fresh olives with your meal.

Village Pita Bakery on Urbanspoon

Other tasty treats include the cheese pie which uses a variety of cheeses, baked on the flat pita bread dough. When fresh out of the oven, the dough is crispy. They will fold it in half and serve it to you. Watch out for the drippings because they come out juicy and hot. If you’re eating with your spouse or a coworker, order 6 and get a break on price. Better yet, order 12 to share it with your family and save some money too.

Complement your meal with a baklava and drink and you’re good for the day. Once you’ve tasted this, you’ll be back for more and hopefully, you’ll bring your family and your friends too.

EDO, Not so-awesome

Edo Japan at Crowfoot Village

Edo Japan at Crowfoot Village

I’ve been trying to write a good review for the Edo Japan Restaurant that I tried this weekend but the words just don’t flow. I’ve had meals at Edo Japan before, mostly from mall locations but this time, we decided to sit down at the Crowfoot Village location. Edo Japan is famous for its teriyaki sauce and so their Teriyaki Chicken was my choice. My wife chose the Teriyaki Beef. The bill came out to about $15 without drinks.

When our meal was ready, we chowed down in a hurry because we were pressed for time. We had to run off for a golf game in the NW and tee off time was coming up fast. Regarding my meal, it was just ok. I used to remember how filling this dish was. Now, it’s just an appetizer. The chicken was cut thin and were no larger than a postage stamp. The beef was similar, cut very thin and had very little nutritional value.

The taste was great but it wasn’t enough for lunch. If it wasn’t for time, we would have ordered some yakisoba to share and possibly some sushi. This was a disappointment for us. The servings from the original menu is enough for kids but not for hungry adults. I trust the bento boxes would had been better but we weren’t prepared to pay $12+ for lunch because we’re cheap.

Little Lebanon – Awesome Mediterranean Food

Serving Donairs

Serving Donairs

Free baklava to those who enter and order food. What a great way to greet customers! I just wished more establishments did that. Next time you’re looking for a taste of Lebanon food or a donair, you have to get down to 35th Street and 17th Avenue SW. Right on the SE corner and across the corner from the golden arches is Little Lebanon.

Little Lebanon on Urbanspoon

On a Sunday afternoon, they were baking up fresh fatayers which are triangular pastries filled with chicken, potato or donair meat. We’ve tried them before but only with spinach. This time we thought we would like to try the chicken and so we bought half a dozen for $5. Biting into a hot fatayer filled with delicious chicken was heaven. It was so good, I had to eat another then another. By the time I finished 3, I thought I better make it a dozen which is only $9.50. These are great for lunch and after school snacks.

When we walked in, they were loading up donairs for customers before us. They were piling on the meat as you can see in the photo. It was clear these guys were carnivores with very little to no veggies at all. You could if you wanted to, have tomatoes, lettuce, picked turnips and chili peppers in your donairs.

We ordered pita pies filled with beef. These are flat, thin pancakes the size of a large frisbee, baked crisp with ground beef smothered all over it. There’s some herbs and tomatoes in the mixture. Topped off with lemon juice and hot sauce, it makes a pretty good meal. Pita pies are $3.50 each and for a hungry guy, two to three should do the job. I would recommend a pita pie with a donair and maybe a fatayer to round things off. The dessert baklava is complimentary and is given to everyone who walks in and look lost.