Monday, March 28, 2011

Beard Papa in NYC, LA... Edmonton?

I had heard about the Japanese cream puff chain Beard Papa, so when I first spotted it in New York in 2009 I knew I had to stop in even laden with shopping bags. I'm certainly glad I did. The pastry is made fresh and filled to order with a choice of vanilla, chocolate, or matcha custard.

I next came across it in LA in June of last year and of course dragged my mum with me to create another addict. This time I got the vanilla topped with chocolate. One would think that chocolate could only enhance the goodness, but these are actually better without - light and airy and not too sweet. I didn't bother stopping in Tokyo as there were too many other things to try, but now I wish I had so the title of this post would be more exciting.

You can imagine my delight when I heard that an Edmonton outpost (located near the Ice Palace in West Edmonton Mall) was opening last fall. Somehow it took me until last weekend to finally stop by, and it was delicious as usual. Standard size was $2.69 each, and they also offered mini versions for $0.99. One important note - they really do not travel well as the custard filling causes the pastry to get soggy quite quickly.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011


As the last person on earth without a Facebook account, the only thing I didn't like about Niche was it's lack of a website. Other than that, the food was delicious and reasonably priced, service was good, and the interior both modern and cosy. And had I had access to Facebook I would have also known that they give free parking passes to customers (instead I drove around in circles and was late for the reservation).

Above, quinoa salad with roasted vegetables and mixed greens with a lemon tahini vinaigrette. Below, braised pork and lentil soup.

Above, Spring Creek braised beef cheeks in a wild mushroom cream with broad egg noodles. Below, roasted pork tenderloin with blackberry gastrique on mashed potatoes.

Below, brownie with salted caramel and lemon whipped cream.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nomiya - New Japanese!

Courtney is so mean to me! :( That's why she didn't get to come when I visited Nomiya (3803 Calgary Tr) earlier today. I was super excited to hear about new non-sushi Japanese in Edmonton. They still have sushi on the menu, but the main draw is the ramen. They also had a good selection of standard Japanese fare that is typically not found at other local restaurants.

Sunday lunch hours end at 2:30 (they reopen for dinner at 4:30) and we arrived just past 2pm with about 4 groups of people ahead of us. We luckily sneaked in just in time as we were the last allowed to be seated at the bar after a 30 minute wait. Who knew it would be so popular?

We started with the chicken karaage which was extremely tender and made with fatty chicken resulting in juicy bites of meat cooked to perfection. For mains we had the shio (salt) ramen and miso ramen. Both were delicious and had a rich tasty broth with a generous portion of pork. I'll definitely be back - likely on my Ikea runs as I don't often get that far south. Next time I look forward to trying the Curry Katsu.
I've added photos of the menu even though I couldn't get good shots, and none at all of the ramen menu unfortunately (there were six: shio, shoyu, miso, spicy miso, tan-tan... and one more I can't recall).


Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Paddy's Risotto

Doin' it! Posting for real! Take that Brooke, I am the queen and you are the loser (okay, Brooke isn't actually my little sister and I'm not 7, so maybe I should take that back). Okay, it's been forever, so I know this is a bit sucky, but it is a start. I have done posts previously on how to do a basic risotto. This is the same generally, I just did it with peas and goat cheese thinking my little one would eat it since she eats rice, peas and strongish cheeses. How silly am I to think then that she would eat a combo of the three? Pretty silly apparently. I even pureed some of the peas so the risotto would look a bit green and St. Paddy's-ish. She ate a bit and then gave me a look that clearly conveyed that she would rather be eating a big pile of Cheerios. I like it though :-) Sorry the idea comes too late for most of you to use it to green up your dinner tonight.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eat Alberta Conference

Okay, we are terrible bloggers who never post but always think we are about to start posting regularly again (maybe next week? haha). Anyway, I am a day late on this, but I want to support it because it is being organized by a number of my internet friends. Stop laughing, I am not a nerd for having internet friends - in fact, if you are reading this you might actually be one of my internet friends. Take that nerd. Seriously though, this event sounds amazing, and I will definitely be going provided I can get a sitter.

This is a DIY conference! Some of the hands on sessions include:

· Sausage making

· Cheese making demonstration

· Apple pie and pastry making

· Bread making

· Pasta making

Tasting sessions include:

· Fruit wine tasting

· Honey tasting

· Coffee tasting

· Canadian wine and cheese pairing

· Goat Cheese Tasting

There will also be opening and closing keynote sessions on urban gardening and urban homesteading, respectively.

What the day looks like:

· 8:30 to 5 p.m.

· Continental Breakfast followed by the morning keynote

· Two morning break out sessions (choose from 8 different sessions)

· A charcuterie and cheese tasting lunch with artisan breads

· Two afternoon break out sessions (choose from 8 different sessions)

· Closing session followed by a “wine” down

Is it redundant to say that you had me at "wine" down?