Butcher’s Block in Chestermere

Butchers Block

Butchers Block

I like meals that you can share with a friend or with your spouse. On my last golf outing to Chestermere, we settled in for some dinner at the clubhouse at Lakeside Golf Course. It was a pleasant day for golf with some friends but after being rained on and bitten by mosquitos, it was time to chow down.

On tap, there’s always a nice selection of beer but I wanted Sapporo, a nice bodied beer from Japan. To complement it, I ordered the Butcher’s Block for $55. On Friday’s, the price comes down to under $50 and it is worth every penny of it. The meal comes with an ultra tender 8 oz steak, cut up in slices, a rack of ribs smothered with a bbq sauce and half a rotisserie chicken. You also have a pick of 2 sides which include a salad, sweet potato fries, regular fries, mushrooms or cooked vegetables.

I’ve ordered this meal twice this summer and both times, it was delicious. If you are in for an all-meat dinner then I would highly recommend it. The ribs are fall off tender and the chicken is nicely seasoned and cooked to perfection. My favourite is still the steak and I would eat that by itself if my wife didn’t beat me to it.

Up the Creek

Apple Creek Golf Course

Apple Creek Golf Course

The day started out nice but when we were into our round at Apple Creek Golf Course, the weather started changing. Clouds moved in and before you know it, the sky opened up and it rained. Luckily, we didn’t get too wet. We didn’t even reach for our rain pants as we normally do. Somehow we knew, it was going to blow over.

If you haven’t played Apple Creek Golf Course before then you owe yourself a short drive out of Calgary for an experience you won’t forget. Take the Deerfoot towards Airdrie and take the last exit onto 567 or Veterans Blvd. You want to go west on 567 until Main Street then hang a right. Follow the road for about 5 km and turn left on Range Road 275. There’s a big Apple Creek sign on your left that advertises weekend golf for only $45 plus cart.

It was our first time here and definitely not our last. The course has four tee boxes: black, blue, white and red. There is some elevation to the course and a lot of environmental areas that are roped off. Before you cast this aside, I urge you to try it. The course is not terribly long except one hole which is over 643 yards from the blue tees.

I ended up losing a sleeve of balls because of the water hazards and environmental areas. After hitting a good drive on par 4’s, your second shot requires good iron play to a small green that is guarded by long fescue and creeks. If you’re lucky, your ball will land softly on the green but if you’re unlucky, your ball will either roll off the green or be up the creek.

 

Little Mouths to Feed

Doctor Fish

Doctor Fish

When I was in Singapore a few weeks ago, I stopped by a foot spa on my way to the Singapore Flyer which turned out to be like the London Eye but over Singapore instead. There were a lot of commotion at this foot spa because people were crowding around a fish tank full of fish and a few people had their feet in it. What kind of foot spa was this?

It turns out that the fish is known to be of the ‘doctor fish’ variety and they like eating dead skin. People paid 30 Singapore dollars to have their feet immersed in a fish tank for 30 minutes. Once your feet hits the water, doctor fishes swarm to them and start eating. It’s like a scene from Indiana Jones with piranha fishes going at fresh flesh.

Azim was a paid customer and had his feet photographed. I asked him how it felt and he said it tickles at first. There are literally hundreds of these fishes fighting to get the dead skin from your feet. You have hundreds of little mouths to feed and an endless supply of dead skin.

These foot spas are very popular in a lot of Asian cities but there are very controversial at home in Canada. FYI, they are illegal here to open and banned in Canada and the US.

Beware! Hawk stealing Sunglasses

Beware Sign

Beware Sign

If you’re golfing at Lakeside Greens in Chestermere, be sure to take your sunglasses off your hat and put it away because there is an aggressive hawk that lives in the trees near hole # 2 and 3. There has been a lot of sightings and the marshal tells me that a large red tail hawk has been seen swooping down at golfers to take their sunglasses off their heads.

It looks like the hawk likes the Ray Bans more than the other brands. Rob who plays at Lakeside regularly tells us that his brand new pair of Oakley’s were lucky because the hawk swooped down and knocked his sunglasses off his head. The hawk didn’t take them like he did with his friend’s Ray Ban.

Manny who also plays at Lakeside Greens tells us that the hawk will leave golfers who don’t have sunglasses.

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

Boat People in Alberta

Calling all boat owners and boat people who drives in Alberta: How would you like to attend the 2013 Vancouver International Boat Show in February? If so, read on.

The Vancouver International Boat Show is going to be held at two venues this year. One at B.C. Stadium underneath the big white inflatable roof and the second at Granville Island Maritime Market and Marina. The dates to keep track of is between February 7th to the 11th, right before Valentine’s Day. Perhaps, buy her  a boat this year and maybe, she will let you drive it.

If you’re an Albertan who have a valid driver’s licence and you would like to attend this show then go to this link and enter ‘Alberta11’ in the promo code field. The admission tickets worth $12 will be waived. You will need to show your Alberta licence at the door so lets not order it for the fun of it. Lets be honest about this.

If you’re going to take advantage of this great tip, please ‘like’ my post.

Fruits Galore

Fruits in Hawaii

Fruits in Hawaii

After spending two incredible weeks in Hawaii, I miss the island life. It’s not just the weather that I miss but it’s access to fresh and exotic fruits such as rambutan, yellow dragon fruit, white pineapple, lilikoi, papaya, apple banana, ice cream banana and cherimoya.

When we were on the Big Island, we frequently visited the farmer’s markets and eagerly picked up fruits. It was a bit like a treasure hunt, looking for our favourite, mine being the yellow dragon fruit and my wife’s papayas. In between, we were picking up rambutans, star fruits, passion fruits which they call lilikoi’s (3 for $1) and a new fruit that we recently tried, the cherimoya.

Last year, our visit to the Big Island introduced us to the sweet tasting yellow dragon fruit. Unlike the pink dragon fruit that is sold in Canada and is awfully bland, the yellow variety is full of sweetness. The meat is white with black seeds and has the same texture as the kiwi fruit. ($5 per pound and is worth every penny of it.)

This year, we tried the cherimoya which is the green fruit pictured in the right hand corner. Cherimoya’s range in size, from a small tomato to a small watermelon. They need to be soft and almost mushy before eaten. When sliced open, the cherimoya is white with black seeds which are to be discarded. The meat is like custard, smooth and silky and really,  really sweet. Almost like honey sweet. The meat is custard like and you can almost eat it with a spoon. Its origin is not from Hawaii but from Brazil. Same goes for rambutans where the origin is from Thailand. (4 for $1)

On our second week, we flew to Kauai and found all the farmer’s market locations. Lucky for us, there was one happening every day but in different parts of Kauai. There, rambutans were plentiful and fresh as can be. The freshly picked rambutans are soft and sweet, unlike the ones that are imported from Thailand and sold in Canada. Have anyone tried the white pineapples before? If not, try one next time you run into one. We did and was pleasantly surprised that a white pineapple is less acidic.

Apple bananas and ice cream bananas were also new to our palettes. Super sweet and firm. Now, do you know why we miss Hawaii so much?

Happy Hours at Pizzetta

Brushetta

Succulent Tomato Brushetta

One of my favorite pastimes is to check out happy hours at select locations on earth. Today, I found a place where you can order a slice of pizza for just $2. If you look at the curvature of the crust, you will find that the slice is actually a quarter of the whole pizza and whole pizzas go for nothing less than $15 each.

The place is called Pizzetta and it is located on Koloa Road in Old Town Koloa. Where the heck is that, you may ask? It’s on the island of Kauai and Koloa is just down the road from Poipu. If you’ve been to Kauai and stayed on the south shore then you’re familiar with Poipu beach and Poipu bay. They will tell you that it is the sunniest location on Kauai.

Renovations are going on at Pizzetta. The main part of the restaurant is being renovated along with the bar but there’s plenty of tables for happy hour patrons or dinner go-ers.

We ordered one of each, cheese and pepperoni pizza slices for $2. To top it off, we also order Caprese and Bruschetta. Between these two dishes and the pizza, we were full. The bill was outrageously cheap at $13 but we had iced water instead of Italian soda.

Service was only so-so with the waiter being miffed about something. The Caprese was not real buffala but ok, the Brushetta was not warm enough but the pizza was good.

 

 

Joe’s Crab Shack in Old Sacramento

Bucket of Seafood at Joe's Crab Shack

Bucket of Seafood at Joe’s Crab Shack

After waiting for our friends from Reno to arrive at the car rental facility south of the airport in Sacramento, we took both cars and navigated down down to Old Sacramento for some cajun / creole seafood. Located right on the river was Joe’s Crab Shack. The menus weren’t thick but there were a lot of choices. When our drinks arrived, we had made up our mind.

My wife and decided to order a bucket each. Our friends from Reno ordered a larger bucket to share. My wife ordered Joe’s Classic Steampot and it came with tasty dungeness crab, snow crab, boiled shrimp and smoked sausage. My taste buds were up for some crawfish so I ordered the Orleans which came with a pound of crawfish, 12 shrimps and an Andouille sausage.

The waitress came by to put a bib on each of us. It’s hilarious wearing this bib but I can tell you, it helps when you’re trying to get the meat out of the claws. Too bad they don’t give you gloves because I had to visit the little boy’s room to wash my hands. Eating crawfish is not for the squeamish. You need to grab the tail with one hand and the body with the other hand then you twist in opposite directions. The shell falls off the tail portion and that’s the part you eat.
Joe's Crab Shack on Urbanspoon

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