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!

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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, “totally awesome” and “very delicious”!!

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 crème 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 crème 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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

Last night in northern Alberta…

I’ve been in Alberta for a little over a week now, experiencing some great Canadian white north. Tonight I’m at the Tom Goodchild’s Moose Factory which appears to be quite posh in most corners of this sawmill turned restaurant.

http://www.themoosefactory.ca/home

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There’s a hustle and bustle about the place as there are a dozen or more servers doing their best to wrangle wild Albertan customers and curious visitors like myself.

I’ve started with some short rib perogies, which smell fantastic!

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The perogies are nothing special but the yogurt dressing for dipping on the side and the corn with ham chowder like topping is delicious! For $12.95, they’re a little stingy on the short rib, even if it really is fantastically flavoured and braised in house.

For the main course I’m going to try a Rib Cut “experience”. It’s Certified Angus Beef from Alberta itself! The formal menu title is the CAB Prime Rib Chop.

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Initial thoughts? Looks delicious, smells delightful! Cutting into the meal, the carrots are a little too firm for my fancy palette but the broccoli is good enough. The red skin mashed potatoes are very buttery, creamy and smooth. Good stuff!

Now, for the steak!

I’ve ordered medium rare, which seems slightly more rare than medium. As I work my way through the meat (which is quite well spiced on top I may add) , the closer I get to the bone, the more rare it is. Interestingly enough, as I’m writing this sentence, a manger type looking fellow arrives to inquire about my cut of steak. I casually comment that it was very good but slightly more rare than I wanted. He was more than eager to take my steak back to the grill for a few more minutes. I trust the chef will not be offended and add “extra seasoning” if you catch my drift.

Time passes…

My steak returns and it is done to perfection! It really is a nicely marbled cut of beef. Is it rude to chew the meat off the bone?

There are desserts, of course and no formal meal review would be complete without a dessert. Therefore I will choose… an ice cream sandwich.

Not your average run of the sawmill style though (see what I did there?) but a “skillet baked chocolate chip cookie with vanilla bean gelato, caramel sauce and whipped cream. ”

It has arrived and does look the part!

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As stellar as it looks, the cookies are not directly from the oven, nor are they skillet baked. If anything they are skillet warmed, in fact they seem to be the hard store bought style. And the whip cream is missing. I will say though, the vanilla gelato is great!

The service I received was good, no great really! I left the cookies on the plate and my server brought me one more scoop of vanilla bean gelato to make up for the hardness of the cookies.

On a final note, to the waitresses and hostesses, please… wear skirts you’re comfortable in and don’t have to keep pulling down every eight steps.

All in all the meal was a pleasant experience. But with the cost, may not come again… unless I win the lottery and happen to be way up here again of course.

Now, better hit the exercise machines to cover todays caloric overload!

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