Friday, November 26, 2010

Sunday Dinner at High Level Diner

With a veggie burger craving already surfacing, Charles and I decided to head to High Level Diner for dinner this past Sunday evening. Walking into a slightly busy space around 7:30pm, we were seated at a cozy table for two near the bar, and were soon greeted by our very friendly server (Christina of August Studio Ceramics... she will be at Make It this weekend, btw).

Given the cold, snowy conditions that evening, we both opted for a warm pot of Earl Grey, and while Charles went immediately for the Sunday Prime Rib Dinner ($22), I was off to veggie burger land ($13).

We were happy to see our plates come out in good time, as we spent the 15 minutes in between listening to the threesome next to us talk about what is (and isn't) considered 'art'... just as they started getting into the Blair Witch Project (the original only!), we dove into our plates. Charles seemed to enjoy his prime rib, which came out medium rare, moist and tender (it starts at medium rare, but they will continue cooking at your request). While the steamed veggies weren't anything to write home about, it was certainly a welcome Sunday evening meal to counter the cool winter weather outside.

Prime Rib Dinner

I also enjoyed my veggie burger - full of sunflower seeds, brown rice and flax, amongst other items, it was cooked until crispy then loaded with sprouts and a whole wheat bun. And really, you can't go without the burger toppings here - dijon, corn salsa and beet relish... the latter is incredible. Oh, and the house ketchup, which is full of spicy horseradish. Like Charles' vegetables, there's not a lot to say about the green salad here - spinach, red onion, carrot and a balsamic dressing that's slightly overwhelming... next time I'll head back to my standard side, the caesar.

Veggie Burger

The toppings

As the snow came down a bit harder (and the threesome next to us moved into 'abstract art'), we decided to share the bread pudding as a final warm up. Thankfully it came out quickly, heated through and sitting in a pool of rich brown sugar bourbon sauce. Dense, moist and rich, we were happy for the small bowl of whipped cream that comes alongside to 'lighten' things up a bit. After many desserts around this City, I still think this is my favourite 'cold-snowy-evening' dessert.

No matter how much this little intersection of restaurants and cafés changes, I don't think we'll ever be leaving High Level Diner. Although all the meals we've had here in the past haven't been phenomenal, there are some times when it's just the perfect spot.

High Level Diner
10912 88 Avenue
Hours can be found here.
High Level Diner on Urbanspoon

*I also wanted to mention that back in August, we stopped for brunch with my Aunt, Uncle and cousin from Bonnyville. My uncle has had a severe case of Coeliac disease for the past 10 years or so, and he was the happiest person I ever saw munching on a club sandwich - "I can't believe I'm eating a club sandwich!"

While the kitchen is not wheat free, and the Coeliac friendly menu is mostly made up of their other menu items that can be made either with substitutes (ie. gluten free bread) or without the item containing gluten, he said the big thing was that they understood what was going on (ie. they weren't going to serve him a steak on top of a piece of garlic toast... yes, that's happened to him elsewhere, even after he explained the gluten thing pre-order). So thumbs up for that.


Isabelle said...

Wow - that is great to know about high-level! There aren't many restaurant in town that I know of that carry gluten-free bread.

Marianne said...

The Kinnikinnick loaves seem to be in lots of markets, but this is certainly the first restaurant I've seen it in. It seems like it wouldn't be too difficult to keep a loaf in the freezer, but then you'd also have to hope that attention is being paid to other items in the kitchen as well.