The Medieval Times, Toronto

What a great experience. You enter the castle (buy your tickets online ahead of time to get in quicker) and are ushered towards the main hall where you are given a coloured crown that represents you knight! Our knight this fine eve, was the red knight.

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After that you get a picture with the king, queen or princess (depending on which castle you are attending) and are forthwith motioned into the main court. This is where you can purchase a wide variety of souvenirs, trinkets, costumes and alcoholic beverages (non alcoholic slushes and juices as well). You can also look at the horses and other interesting medieval items and decorations (including a “not for the faint of heart” torture devices of that era.

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The show had a falconer with his falcon and the rest is filled with great horsemanship! The premise is this… knights representing the lands under the Kings rule have arrived for a display of prowess and chivalry, a tournament! Six knights to be exact, green, red/yellow, blue, yellow, black, and red. They all, both on and off of horseback, put on a magnificent show!

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Then a rider from the north came forth with a message and a “gift” from his king to our king (the king of the east and west)! We’re not sure if he’s bad or good but by the sound of the theme music he might be trouble!

In the end… well, I’m not going to spoil it for you! You need to come and enjoy a royal feast yourself!

The food served was a tomato soup, royal bread, half a baby dragon (roasted chicken) with a half of baked potato, half a cob of corn and a square butter tart to end. No cutlery and only one napkin! Quite medieval to say the least! ūüėČ I will warn you, do not expect any culinary art or impressiveness. It is the dark ages you know.

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The Winnipeg trip 

Bonfire Bistro – pizza and the like

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A large wood fire oven is one of the first things you see here!! It’s a warm 630-ish degrees in that oven but it sure does a good job of making yummy pizza! It’s  smaller place, was pretty full when we came in, there were three of us this evening and so we moseyed up to the bar.

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We had the Serrano and Pear Pizza (Serrano ham, fresh pear, Stilton blue and mozzarella cheese with Cilantro on spicy La Bomba sauce)! We also had an Italian Sausage pizza (Italian Sausage, caramelized onions, marinated artichokes roasted red peppers, fresh basil and Carlo’s tomato sauce, topped with Mozzarella). And finally I had the “today’s pizza” which was a wild one! It had Mustard and tarragon marinated Rabbit, smoked bacon, roasted artichoke, currants, mozzarella all on a roasted garlic & carrot sauce finished with spiced walnuts! Hows that for a bunch of strange toppings to have on a pizza! It was surprisingly fantastic! The flavors mingled really well, I was concerned about hte currants and artichoke mostly, but it was a delicious pizza none the less.

To finish up the evening one of the fellas had bananas fontaine while I had a scoop of Black sesame ice cream! Not at all seedy (no sesame seeds anywhere) and it didn’t taste at all like toasted sesame. I expected it to taste a little like the seeds from a burger bun. I was pleasantly surprised that it tasted more sweet than anything else. I will look for this ice cream again somewhere else!

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LOVEY’S BBQ – smokehouse

Great grub! Smells fantastic! Roger the owner was in the store as we ate. He tells me the name Loveys comes from his high school sweetheart! They’ve been married for 41 years now.  He clearly loves this job as he took a moment to talk about his staff (including his daughter) and what he puts into the place himself.

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We got the beef brisket terminator burger (a mammoth of a burger) and a two meat BBQ dinner. I had the farmer sausage and beef brisket. We also “pigged out” with some electric honey wings and burnt ends.  Don’t be fooled, the burnt ends aren’t burnt, they’re just cubed brisket.

2015-07-16 19.54.46The restaurant walls are covered in signed photos of Roger with various BBQ masters from famous Dave to Myron of BBQ masters! There are also a various news articles about then place posted.

The pig tail fries are great! They’re like a thin deep fried corkscrew of potato. Kind of reminds me of potato chips but fries flavour.

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This place has got some great sauces and a great small town feel. They don’t spend a dime on advertising but hope that we’d spread the word about its great taste!  So here it is!! Stop in and enjoy some BBQ goodness from Loveys!

FLIP Regina Sask

Well, where to eat in Regina… Let’s look on Yelp and see… Huh… This place flip has lots of good reviews, I should go.

Taking a look at this menu is wild! There’s a dozen exotic things like catfish and red shrimp with chips, buttermilk fried chicken gizzards on a bed of dirty rice, and something called Yakitori Foldies.

I ordered the chicken gizzards because I’m pretty sure I’ve never had gizzards ¬†before. The head chef informs me they are the upper part of a chicken stomach, slightly uncomfortable with that idea but in some parts of the world people eat insects as a protein daily so I’ll be fine. They arrive and look surprisingly good, after the first couple bites I realize they are good! Similar I texture to calamari but more dense and with some extra chewiness. The dirty rice has some spice to it and is served with some white BBQ sauce. Mighty fine rice!

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Buttermilk fried Chicken Gizzards and Yakitori Foldies (only half shown, other half got eaten fast!)

The Yakitori Foldies are skewered hanger steak with Miso mayo and a Ponzu glaze. Served on the skewer with mini steam buns. Mighty tasty!

For the main course I’ve opted to have the catfish and red shrimp with my fries done in shortening instead of canola oil! We’ll see if it’s as much of a change as I’m expecting.

The catfish and red shrimp are rich in seafood flavour! Almost too flavourful for me. I’ll admit, I’ve just learned that I’m not a huge catfish fan. It tastes similarly to the smell of the ocean to me. My table mate this evening has chosen the Charred Short Rib with spaetzle and it looks delicious!

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The fries in vegetable shortening are quite good. There is a slight difference in taste and texture. They have a homemade ketchup here that is really good as well. It seems to be made from actual, real tomatoes!

And with every good foodie review a dessert is needed! The feature dessert is frozen Black Forest cake. It’s fantastic!! The chocolate cake part is almost more of a decedent brownie and the cherries are the real deal! Not those generic marichino style cherries. There is even a couple of cheese cake style layers.

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Wrapping up, this place is part of the Salt food boutique and Atlantis coffee shop. They will have a brewery opening up soon and it’ll ¬†be called Malt!

They take great pride in a high level of cleanliness and speed. The kitchen is open to the bar where you can sit and watch them madly cook the dozens of dishes being ordered! Lots of natural light and a great big patio to hang out on. Will come again!

ThaiOrchidRoom

Here I am in Eagle-Tail-Feather-Headdress (aka Medicine Hat) Alberta and the Thai Orchid Room has been recommended several times. Let’s give it a try!!!

Fun fact, this place has been here in Medicine Hat for around 9 years, but it was first in Bow Island! The owner is working tonight and has a great sense of humour! When I asked him about being the owner, he said “well the bank is more of the owner than I am…” Hilarious!!

I usually just get a glass of water but there’s a Thai iced tea that sounded awesome! It tastes like traditional iced tea, but has a shot of cream and a maraschino cherry! Here’s what it looks like:

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This is a big group tonight (6 of us) so were staring with a combo appy platter. Super yummy but, not as much food as I was expecting. The owner has spoiled us this night and brought us a hot fish sauce with rice balls, for fun. Quite good, with a serious zip! I didn’t eat much but my lips are tingly! There are many fresh flavours but none are overwhelming. They all marry quite well! Don’t take my word for it though, here’s Mike!

We cut the video short; Mike would have died if he’d take that bite!! He’s still exhaling heavily with a big groaning sigh! A bit of¬†time has passed now and we both agree that, as hot as this sauce is, the tingle doesn’t linger that long.

The meals arrive! Traditional Pad Thai, a Mahi-Mahi fish entrée and Lemongrass chicken with veggies.

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The mahi-mahi was flakey and flavourful like you wouldn’t believe! The batter was almost more tempura style rice flour coating, than a thick batter and was done very well.

As for the lemongrass chicken, nice tender pieces that were breaded just right; the rice flour coating seemed to absorb the flavour of the sauce really well. It was deliciously balanced, with flavour and texture! Not too much and not too little. The sauce was very authentic. Other phrases used for the lemongrass at the table, ‚Äútotally awesome‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúvery delicious‚ÄĚ!!

And the chicken pad Thai, nice tender pieces of chicken that were breaded just right. Not too much and not too little. The sauce was very authentic!

Tonight we have two people who have never had Thai food before, after visiting this place, they are sold on this cultural deliciousness!

As always, time for dessert…

We’re trying to decide between the coconut cr√®me brulee and the deep fried bananas. Ok then, we’ll have both!

I’ve had my fair share of deep fried bananas and they’re often really mushy and soggy, these ones are not! As for the cr√®me brulee, it’s nice and cool with a very thin crust, I’d rather have a thicker crust but in any case, it was a very nice mix of flavour.

ThaiOrchidDesserts

To complete the meal, we had a wonderful green tea, infused with coconut, papya and mango… incredible flavour!! The stuff you get at the supermarket doesn’t hold a candle to this stuff!!! Additionally, it was served in a¬†very awesome and authentic looking cast metal tea pot and cast metal cups! It was Darshi’s idea to arrange the cups for this picture!

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Jelena was our server, she put up with our shenanigans well! High five to her! A special Thanks to Ken for his hospitality!

The next time in Eagle-Tail-Feather-Headdress, Alberta I’ll come again.


DonDiegoTerrace

Don Diego – my Terrace Mexican friend. We’re so far up north you’d think it would be hard to find some good authentic style Mexican so far from the border. ‘Tis not my friend! You may take my word for it!!

First impressions of this place is that it’s a cute little 40 seater spot in downtown Terrace, BC. It’s recommended that you make reservations, it’ll fill up fast! Prices are reasonable, a fantastic mom & pop style diner with quality grub. The menu changes nightly and is all freshly made to order from scratch.

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The Menu, this night.

The atmosphere¬†is welcoming and fairly warm (even though the walls are¬†grey), most of the artwork on the walls is for sale.¬†Everyone gets chips served with a fresh, cilantro rich pico de gallo. They offer a wide variety of hot sauces as well, my favorite here is the smoky hickory hot sauce, mmmm. Almost as good as that Chipotle Molasses BBQ sauce I had once… I should find that one again.

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I have chosen to have the BBQ pork enchiladas while my cohort has chosen the crab stuffed chicken.

The meals arrive… the presentation is very good. I’ve tricked my partner tonight into sharing. We’ve traded a half crab stuffed chicken for a bbq pork enchilada, sucker.

DonDiegoMeals
Delicious phil-lo wrapped, crab stuffed chicken and BBQ pork enchilladas.

The beans are standard baked beans but far better than Stagg or whatever store/canned beans you may have had recently. The rice is done just right as well, not to dry and not to moist. The enchiladas are very good, not as barbiequey as I’d expect but still, very good. However… this crab stuffed chicken… it is ridiculously amazing!!! The whole thing is wrapped in filo¬†pastry and done to perfection! It was so good that I left it to eat last because that was the last thing I wanted to taste for dinner.¬†

Dessert – A peanut butter chocolate pie on a graham cracker crust and a Mexican chocolate cheesecake on a pecan crust, both crusts made in house. Both were delicious!

DonDiegoDesserts
Peanut Butter Pie with a graham cracker crust and a Mexican Chocolate Cheesecake with a pecan crust.

Kaitlyn, our server, did a great job of managing us, two unruly patrons (well, I guess I was the problem to several people in the  and my table mate was fine the whole time). I asked, no harassed, several fellow patrons about their meals and desserts. In any case kudos to her!

This meal was so good, we’re making reservations for tomorrow!!


DON DIEGO – DAY TWO

We had the chicken enchillada (WAY better than the pork version) and the crab stuffed chicken Filo again, because you can’t be that taste!

For dessert we had the White Chocolate-Raspberry Creme Brule and the San Francisco Foggie! The Creme Brule had a nice thin crust on top that was sweet but not over done. As for the San Fran Foggie, it was delicious with the warm fudge/chocolate poured overtop the hand whipped cream and vanilla ice cream topping! The shaved almonds were a nice touch as well! Once again, well done Don Diego’s, worth the visit.

White Chocolate-Raspberry Creme Brule and the San Francisco Foggie!
                                White Chocolate-Raspberry Creme Brule and the San Francisco Foggie!

Village Bistro, gotta try!!

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Great logo! Well done!

First of all, a special thanks to my table mates who invited me and showed me this astounding little local place!!

We started off the night with a few jerk chicken poutines, “Caribbean style chicken, Quebec Curds and Jerk cream sauce served over our yam frites”. Sounds delicious!!

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Jerk Chicken Poutine

Piping hot and gooey when you dig in! Just the way it should be. The spice is just right with enough zing to feel a slight burn but not enough to hurt. It’s amazing the weird looks you get when you lick off your plate right there in the restaurant.

My main course will be a medium rare Bistro Filet Mignon, “Hand Cut CAB AAA beef tenderloin, topped with black truffle butter served with potato of the day and vegetable garnish”. I’ve requested roasted mushroom ravioli instead of the potato.

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This ravioli is incredible! Loaded with teal pieces of mushrooms and topped with Parmesan cheese, all in a rich sauce… Truly to die for!¬†The truffle butter added an amazing flavor to the already flavorful and perfectly cooked¬†tenderloin. Truly delicious.

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A¬†couple of my table mates got the NY Steak au Poivre “baseball cut CAB strip loin served with Branford peppercorn cream with potato of the day and vegetable garnish”.

And, as they do on all great food reviews, gotta have a dessert! Tonight I’ll have the Dark Chocolate and salted caramel cr√®me br√Ľl√©e, caramel crunch Pecan Torte a la mode and a Red Velvet Torte! The table is filled with desserts!

VillageBistroDesserts
Left to right, cr√®me br√Ľl√©e, Red Velvet Torte and Pecan Torte

First, the cr√®me br√Ľl√©e. Dark chocolate, crispy layer on top, perfectly creamy and room cool inside. The orange chocolate chips on top with blackberries on top are the perfect finishing touch.

The Red Velvet Torte was moist enough (maybe a sliver to dry, but not worth complaining about) and has just the right amount of red.

The pecan Torte is nice and chewy with a wonderfully rich flavor. I think I’ll claim the cr√®me br√Ľl√©e as my favorite but each of the deserts is well worth a try.

Wrapping up, our server Ellie was on the ball the whole evening! Every question we had, she answered and was able to offer recommendations when requested. Very knowledgeable and professional. Thank you Ellie, and a formal congratulations to you from us! ūüôā

The chef truly has an incredible skill that everyone should experience! Not only that, but he seems to have a great sense of humor! He had come out of the kitchen and we all took the opportunity to offer him a huge, well deserved compliment for a meal well cooked. I said, “don’t let this go to your head but this was an amazing meal! You’re fantastic!” His response? “Don’t worry, I won’t. I’ve cooked for better people!! Ha ha , I’ll show myself out and will be weeping in the car if you need me.

All in all, just a fantastic meal and experience!! Would recommend, and will go again!

EDIT: This quaint little family restaurant will be closing down in April, it’s a ¬†sad, sad thing.¬†http://villagebistro.ca/