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!



The Common on Urbanspoon


Careit Urban Deli – Restaurant Review

Hi friends! 

It’s been way too long since my last post. We moved and it’s been hectic! So far I have not had time to really test my new kitchen and see what the pair of us (kitchen and I) can get ourselves up to. But in the meantime I am happy to bring you a review of a little sandwich deli in my new neighbourhood. 

I’ve been going to Careit Urban Deli for a few years now. When I used to work on the west end it was close enough that we could go grab a sandwich during the lunch break.
Since Careit is so close to my new home and we’ve been so busy with unpacking, painting, organizing and such I’ve managed to eat there a handful of times in the last few weeks.
They strive for “as natural as possible without the extra cost“. All of the meats for their sandwiches are from local farms and are cooked in house. They now have a few locations in the city; Hamptons, Crestwood, St Albert and if I heard correctly one opening some time this year (2015) downtown.
I’ve tried s few of their soups and sandwiches. My favourite sandwich from what I have tried so far is the Turkey Swiss. It has real roasted turkey meat thinly sliced and piled high with cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes (which I skip), and pickled banana peppers. They smear some super tasty cranberry mayo on a fresh bun (your choice of white or brown). ($8) Yum! The best turkey sandwich I think I’ve ever had!

I’ve also tried the Vietnamese panini which has roasted pork loin with sesame mango sauce, pickled carrots, cilantro and optionally their other standard veggies of tomato, red onions, pickles and banana peppers. I was also offered a little Sriracha sauce to kick it up a notch. The sandwich had a good zing to it and was well balanced with the pickled carrots and sesame mango sauce. ($8.95)

As well they make fresh made soups daily. I’ve had a few of those too; mulligatawny, beef borscht, chicken noodle, broccoli cheese, Italian Turkey. All have been really good. 

And they sell ready to go meals, fresh meat and farm eggs. The beef stroganoff is really good and I just picked up the Singapore noodles to try for supper tonight. 

On Sunday’s they have brunch as well.

What doesn’t this amazing little deli do? 

As I’m sure you all know by now I love supporting small local businesses and the fact that Careit Urban Deli also supports local by purchasing fresh meats and veggies from area farmers makes them top notch in my books! 

Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!


Careit Urban Deli on Urbanspoon

Garlic Soup Recipe

Hi friends!

Today I am bringing you a yummy soup recipe. I’ve been making this soup for quite some years now and it is a hit with my family. When I told my mom and sister I was making a batch of this soup my mom said she wished she lived nearer so she could have some and my sister asked when she could come get a bowl haha.
This recipe was inspired by a restaurant that’s no longer in Edmonton called That’s Aroma! They had a garlic soup on their menu and it was so tasty. So this is my version of that soup.
Though there is cream in the soup I wouldn’t classify this as a creamy soup since it’s not thickened. The cream just adds a good flavor and rounds it all out. I hope you make this Garlic Soup for your family and I hope they enjoy it as much as mine does 🙂
If you want to make this a vegetarian soup you could substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
Ps this makes A LOT of soup! I use my biggest pot and it’s nearly full. I’d say it’s around 4L of soup in the end.

Garlic Soup
– 1 whole head garlic
– 1 large zucchini (or 2 small to medium)
– 1 onion
– 1 large green pepper
– 1 cup diced tomatoes (if canned drain off liquid)
– 1 can chick peas (540ml)
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– 1 bay leaf
– 2 L chicken stock
– 2 Cups whipping cream
– 2 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp pepper
– 1 tsp olive oil

– Chop onion, put oil in big pot and sauté onion.
– While the onion cooks chop the zucchini and green pepper into about 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.
– Peel garlic and cut into thin slices.
– Add spices to the onion and stir.
– Add garlic to pot and stir for about 1 minute then add other veggies.
– If your using fresh tomatoes chop them about the same size as the zucchini and pepper; if your using canned diced tomatoes drain them then add to the pot.
– Drain and rinse the chick peas and add to the pot.
– Add broth to pot then bring to a simmer with the lid on and allow to simmer for about 30-40 minutes until the veggies are cooked.
– Add the whipping cream then bring back up to a simmer slowly.
– Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
*Note: the cream and broth will separate when the soup cools, just give it a good stir before warming and serving*


Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!