The Common – Downtown Dining Week

Hi food friends!

This week (March 13-22, 2015) is the 12th annual Downtown Dining Week. Several downtown restaurants participate in this 10 day event and present multi course special menus at set prices.  Two-course lunches for $15, three-course dinners for $28 or an Executive dinner for $48. It’s a great way to try a restaurant that maybe you haven’t had a chance to before. 

I dove right in at the first possible chance and went for lunch on Friday with a friend from work. We decided to tried The Common, a gastro-lounge that boasts a scratch made kitchen taking pub and comfort foods and putting modern twists on them.  



The Downtown Dining  Week lunch menu offers a salad as the starter. It had roasted apples, mushrooms, blue cheese, pecans, brussel sprouts and a mix of greens. It was quite tasty and I liked the mix of warm apples and brussel sprouts with the crisp greens. 



They have 2 options for your main course, pork meatballs with gnocchi carbonara or a tandoori nada sandwich with rocket (arugula), avocado, sweet ginger and olives. We got 1 of each and shared. 

The gnocchi was wonderfully light and fluffy, the carbonara sauce was rich and flavourful with big bits of bacon. The meatballs were moist enough and topped with a little Parmesan cheese for some flavour. 



The sandwich was also quite good. The basa was cooked just perfect! Crunchy on the outside but perfectly moist on the inside! Since this was supposed to be a tandoori fish I did expected a little more flavour. Now I know that a tandoor is a type of oven or cooking method traditionally, however when the menu states tandoori I usually expect the tastes of masala, garlic, ginger and cumin. Nonetheless the sandwich was tasty. The olives added a nice salty flavour but wasn’t overpowering and the bun was really fresh. The sandwich also came with a side; options were salad, fries or soup. Since we had a salad as a start we decide on soup. Which was a tomato veggie soup and was also very good. 





Well I hope you will take this opportunity to go and try some new-to-you places and we couldn’t have asked for better weather for a chance to check out the city’s downtown core. 

Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!

Kyra 

🙂

The Common on Urbanspoon

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Duchess Bake Shop – Restaurant Review

Hi friends!

A few weeks back I met a friend for coffee and treats at Duchess Bake Shop on 124 street.

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It’s a bustling little shop which has vintage style chairs and small marble topped tables and a few vintage couches. It was my first visit here and I had heard it can get quite busy but we had no trouble grabbing a table as one had just opened up as we arrived. What good timing 🙂
They have shiny, well lit display cases filled with many delights! We walked back and forth a few times trying to make our choices.

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I decided on the tartiflette (potatoes, gruyère cheese, onions and fresh thyme layered on olive-oil-brushed foccacia $4.25), a key lime tart ($6) and a mocha. The tartiflette was very good, nice and cheesy and they warmed it just a bit. I honestly didn’t taste potatoes on it but that’s ok because the other flavours were very good. The key lime tart was delightful! Not too sweet, not to tart, the graham crust was just the right crunch and thickness. The mocha was also tasty and had a dark chocolate flavour.

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My friend ordered the mushroom and marscapone Danish (croissant dough with a mascarpone and crimini mushroom mixture $3.25) and the brioche pepin (vanilla bean pastry cream and milk chocolate folded between brioche dough $3.00) and a latte.
I had a taste of the brioche pepin and it was quite good, not too sweet and nice and light dough.

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The Duchess Bake Shop delivered some tasty treats on a chilly Sunday afternoon. The atmosphere was bustling yet calming. I look forward to my next visit 🙂

Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!
Kyra

Duchess Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

Boualouang – Restaurant Review

Hi again!

So as I’ve stated before I enjoy many different cuisines and Thai is one of my top favorites. This might seem odd since I don’t like really spicy food but I enjoy a good mild curry or some tasty pad thai that doesn’t set your mouth on fire.

I visited Boualoung a couple weeks ago with some friends. There are 2 locations in Edmonton, one in McCauley and one in Northeast Edmonton. We went to the Northeast location. It was my first visit there but my friends had been there multiple times and claimed they had the best yellow curry in the city. I had also heard good things about their pad thai so I was torn on my choice of what to order. Others at the table were getting the pad thai and offered for me to taste it so I decided on the curry.
I also ordered a small bowl of tom yum with chicken to start. I asked how spicy it was and was warned that it was pretty spicy. I decided to take my chances since I liked the sound of the other flavours in the soup which included lemongrass. When my soup arrived everyone wanted a taste so I passed my bowl around and let everyone take a spoonful. It was very flavourful but it was really spicy as well! I had about a quarter of the bowl before my mouth couldn’t handle any more. ($6)

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One of my friends ordered Gold Bags as his starter. These are little fried purses of crab and cream cheese in wonton wrappers and were served with a dipping sauce. ($10)

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Our other food arrived shortly after. The yellow curry (Gaeng-Ga-Lee) was very good, It had a good coconut creamy sauce and lots of chicken, potatoes, carrots, peppers and jalapeños. I thought the jalapeños were an interesting addition, at first they look like peppers but then suddenly theres a kick of heat in your mouth. Personally I could have done without them in there but they weren’t terrible. The potatoes in the dish had a flavour that they were roasted on their own before being added to the curry, it added a really nice touch. ($17) It doesn’t come with rice so you have to order that seperatly. I got the regular steamed rice ($2) but there is also the option of sticky rice and coconut rice.

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As promised my friends gave me some of their pad Thai to try and it was really good too. Not greasy like I’ve had at some other places. And the heat was just enough to tingle your tastebuds but not so much that you wouldn’t be able to enjoy a whole plate of it.

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Over all I quite enjoyed Boualouang and will gladly go back in the future!

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Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!
Kyra

Boualouang Laos & Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon