Monday, November 28, 2011


Well, here we are three years later, and this little project is still happening (although posts have been admittedly sparse lately do to a diet consisting mostly of chocolate...). I don't have anything new to add or to reflect on this year vs. last, however, since so many of my posts have been related to school, I thought I'd post this picture:

Photo by Maki B.

Thanks to everyone out there for reading (and for your support through school - this side project made that experience so much better). Here's to another year.

Noorish: Conscious Eatery and Superfood Elixir Bar

I was pretty skeptical of Noorish - "Really!? Superfood!?" - as we observed their sign going up a few blocks from our apartment earlier this fall. The health claims, marketing strategies and general use of the word "superfood" remain confusing on my end, but who am I to turn down an excellent veggie burger? Twyla over at "It's a Weird, Wild and Wonderful Life" visited the spot earlier in November, and we followed suit the very next week.

Although we were expecting casual, café style service a la DaCapo, when we arrived for a Tuesday evening meal we ran into a sign that said, "Please wait to be seated." A few minutes later we were greeted at the door and led to a table in the middle of the busy restaurant. Water was provided quickly, as was coffee for Charles and a chai tea for me. Food wise, the Bodhi Tree Burger ($17) was undoubtedly coming my way, and eventually Charles decided on the Laughing Buddha's Belly Bowl ($16).

Our food arrived at the table relatively quickly, though I had just enough time to browse their 'grocery' collection of bagged 'superfoods', spreads and gift totes from The Chocolate Doctors and raw-vegan books amongst other health food style items.

The portions at Noorish may appear small, but we struggled to finish our entrees. My burger was packed with chickpeas, walnut-basil pesto, cashew cream and avocado - an entire meal in itself. And it was one impressive veggie burger, with a soft interior and wonderfully crisp exterior. Combined with accompanying salad of kale, sprouts, seeds, beets and carrots, I was plenty full by the end (though not full enough to skip the dessert menu, of course). Charles ended up enjoying his bowl of quinoa and Thai green curry quite a bit, and now that I look at their menu again, it seems that it would be easy enough to re-create at home on a cool winter evening.

Charles had been eyeing the Walnut Brownie ($8) since we arrived, and we ended up sharing one prior to leaving. It was dense and certainly chocolate-y, and the cashew cream and cocoa nibs sprinkled on top provided nicely contrasting textures.

We also picked up four confections from The Chocolate Doctors ($10) to go. Since my current employment situation makes me slightly really biased, I'll just say that their confection style offerings are all available at Noorish.

While I remain skeptical about 'superfoods' and some of the general lifestyle prescriptions Noorish puts forward, their veggie burger is excellent, and if for nothing else, I would certainly return for another.

Noorish: Conscious Eatery and Superfood Elixir Bar
8440 109th Street
Noorish on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Leaving the familiar for Padmanadi

That's what we've been doing a lot of lately - the familiar. Transcend, DaCapo, Sugarbowl, repeat. We're trying to make the most of Garneau, since we'll be moving out of the neighbourhood, across the creek and into downtown/Oliver at the end of the year. Simultaneously sad and exciting.

Tonight, however, we ventured away from our regular hangouts to head to Padmanadi with Tanya after some puppy sitting. Neither Charles or I had visited the spot in sometime (although Charles mentioned just last week that he would like to swing by). The food is as good as ever, and the atmosphere is eternally friendly and welcoming. The three of us indulged in some favourites:

Bean curd "drumsticks"

The famed Curry "chicken"

Ginger "beef"

Shanghai Baby Bok Choy

Creamy rice pudding with coconut milk and cinnamon

We also swooned over their cups. Charles got a heart shaped cup and saucer full of coffee, while Tanya and I received our Jasmine tea in a couple green beauties.

I always forget just how comforting a trip to Padmanadi is. Here's hoping for many more visits throughout the cooler months.

10740 101 Street

P.S. Here is said puppy - Willow - who recently came home with Tanya. How could you turn down a request to look after her for a couple hours?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oodle Noodle: Jasper Avenue

I remember my first trip to Oodle Noodle - I had stopped at the Whyte Avenue location with my dad after my very first semester at U of A. The noodle boxes were tasty and the crazy strobe lights and singing and dancing employees were even better.

Since then they've expanded incredibly, with four franchised locations throughout the City and a 'Downtown 2' location in the works. Due to a last minute call into work on Sunday, Charles and I found ourselves at the Jasper Ave location for some quick eats.

Generally, I pass straight by a packed Oodle Noodle during weekday lunch hours and head the half block over to Drift for a sandwich (sadly they're now closed for the winter... there's catering, though!). On Sunday though, the place was quiet and our orders came up quickly - two lemongrass boxes, one with tofu for me, and one with beef for Charles.

As in the past, the noodles seemed slightly oily, but in general I found some improvement at this location compared to my last few encounters at their Whyte Ave local. The 'seasonal' vegetables - broccoli, carrot and cabbage - were still crunchy, and although I would have appreciated some more flavour via the sauce, Sriracha livened things up a bit. Charles consumed his noodles in no time, so I'll assume he concurs with most of my thoughts...

Although I can't necessarily see myself waiting in line for one of their boxes at lunch, evening and weekend visits are certainly in the cards. And actually, Rachel and I found ourselves there again on Thursday evening for a quick and in the end, satisfying, pre-chocolate tasting bite. The guy at the wok was even dancing.

Oodle Noodle - Downtown
10842 Jasper Avenue
Hours: Su - Th 11am-10pm, F-Sa 11am-11pm
Oodle Noodle (Downtown) on Urbanspoon