Pourhouse Chef VS Chef Popup

Hi food friends!

So last Thursday I went to the Pourhouse Bier Bistro for a Popup event. It was a chef VS chef showdown! The Burly Chef (@theBurlyChef) of the Pourhouse VS Chef Levi (@LeviB57) of the Attila the HUNgry food truck. Seems these 2 chefs have a friendly rivalry going on and we are the benefactors!
The event started at 6pm sharp! I made sure to book a reservation just to be sure I would get a spot.
Since this was a popup event there was a special menu for the evening. Each chef had a starter and 2 mains and the Burly Chef was also offering a desert. Trying to win points for those with a sweet tooth 😉

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Far as I could tell the winner was to be determined by who had the most dishes ordered from their menu.
I ordered from Chef Levi’s menu which was Asian fusion inspired.
I had the Sumo Salad which was mixed greens with matchstick apple and thinly sliced radishes topped with a yuzu vinaigrette dressing and crunchy pork rinds. The dressing was nice and zippy while still being balanced and the apples added a good sweetness while the pork rinds were a good crunch.

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My main was the Big Dirty Bahn Mi. Which was a Vietnamese style sandwich with Chinese style shredded brisket, slices of bbq pork, pickled cucumbers and carrots, roasted bone marrow butter and a cilantro chili aioli. Wow! This sandwich was AMAZING! I am an avid sandwich lover and this hit the mark. The brisket was so moist it saturated the bun but not to the point of it being soggy, the carrots added a good crunch and flavour from the pickling and the aioli was outstanding!

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The friends that I went with are always very generous in sharing their food for the sake of research so I also got to sample 2 other dishes. The ‘Pahk the Cah in Hahvahd Yahd’ from the Burly Chef’s menu which was a New England clam chowder that featured Yukon gold potatoes, smoked clams and was infused with whiskey and Sam Adams lager. Very tasty as well, the flavours were all well rounded and complemented each other nicely.

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The other dish I tasted was the Kimchi Shrimp WonTonachos from Chef Levi. This dish had ‘puffy’ crispy wonton chips topped with made from scratch kimchi, sautéed shrimp, shredded Asian cabbage, green onions and a garlic sesame aioli! Holy Hanna this was outstanding! I wish I had more room in my belly so I could stuff more food in my face hole! The kimchi wasn’t too spicy and the aioli calmed the bit of heat, the shrimp were perfectly cooked! I seriously considered asking if I could get a plate of these to go but decided against it since they would probably get soggy.

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2 other items were ordered at our table that I was unable to try due to allergies and they both looked good as well. The Gravy Train – an undone lasagna style beef Wellington and the Elvis in a Jar – banana, peanut butter whipped layered dessert. Which both got a lot of yummy noises from around the table.

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I found out later that night via Twitter that the Burly Chef was the champ of the night! And Chef Levi signed up for 2 more of these popups (so follow these chefs on Twitter for more details).
I can’t wait for the next one! The Burly Chef may have been the champion of the night but I think everyone who ate any of these dishes were the real winners 🙂

Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!
Kyra

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Banff Burger Showdown – Banff Ave Brewing Co & Saltlik Restaurant Review

Hi friends!

Last weekend we were in Banff for my company Christmas party (I know awesome right?) and we decided to check out a couple places that had been featured on Burger Wars Banff. Both were decent burgers but there was one clear winner.

Our first night we went to the Banff Ave Brewing Co.. They have 2 other locations, one in Jasper (the original) and one in Fort McMurray. When we arrived we were seated right away. The place was relatively busy but not overly so. Our waitress came over and let us know that they had 2 seasonal beers available which we both opted out of and went with something off the menu. I had a pint of the Banff Ave Blonde Ale ($7) and Ward had the Brewer’s Oar Cream Ale ($7). Both were good. Mine was light and refreshing and Ward’s had a nice creaminess and was a bit heavier but not too heavy.

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After our drinks arrived we ordered our food. I got the Brew Pub Drive-In Classic (featured on Burger Wars) which had 100% Alberta beef, lettuce, (hold the tomato), onion, pickle, Dijon, mayo ($14) and I added smoked cheddar (+$2) all on a garlic buttered brioche bun and it came with skinny fries. The burger had good flavour but the meat was a little on the dry side. The mayo and Dijon were a nice touch as was the toasted garlic butter bun. The fries were a bit over cooked but they came with a side of Sriracha mayo that helped them out a bit. Over all a decent burger and meal.

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Ward ordered the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich which had the choice of grilled or crispy chicken breast (he went with crispy) then topped with Frank’s red hot, smoked cheddar, bacon, lettuce, tomato, blue cheese dressing on a mini French loaf served with skinny fries and Sriracha mayo ($16). He said it was very spicy and the sandwich was huge! He didn’t finish the whole thing. I didn’t have a bite since it had tomatoes on it.

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The following day we decided to go to the Saltlik for lunch. They are tucked away off of Banff Ave but have a cute mountain cabin looking exterior. They also have a location in Calgary.

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Since it was mid afternoon the place wasn’t busy at all, just a few people having a late lunch or early drinks. The burger that was featured, and won, on Burger Wars was the Royale with Cheese. Ward went ahead and ordered it. This burger was Kobe beef topped with aged cheddar, bacon, lettuce, (hold the tomato), onion, pickle, garlic aioli on a brioche bun, served with skinny fries ($18.50). This burger was so good! So moist it was dripping on the plate, lots of flavour, and that garlic aioli was just right! The fries were also really good, well seasoned with salt and pepper and just the right crisp.

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Since Ward was ordering the Royale with Cheese I decided to go with something different and got the Wolly Bully Burger. This had a bison and pork patty, 2 panko crusted onion rings, emmental cheese, arugula, truffle aioli on a sourdough bun served with skinny fries ($18). The flavour of the burger was nice and it was a big burger but it was a little dry and the arugula didn’t stand up to the heat of the patty and became wilted. I was sad that I hadn’t ordered the Royale as well.

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So the clear winner here was the Royale with Cheese! Next time I’m in Banff I will make sure to go back and get my own so I’m not just stealing bites of Ward’s.

Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!
Kyra 🙂

Banff Ave Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon
Saltlik on Urbanspoon