Monday, March 3, 2014

Things I ate {But didn't take photos of}

{Are you a food or drink blogger in Edmonton? Come to The Common on March 4th and meet up with fellow food bloggers from our fair city! Details here.}

That lengthy blog break (let's face it, it was like two years) really did a number on my relationship with my camera. It's slowly making its way back into my bag, but I ate a bunch of excellent food sans camera that I thought was worth reporting on.

Bistro India {10203 116 Street}

Somehow Bistro India has worked their magic in that once cursed house turned restaurant on 116 Street. When we lived nearer to them in Oliver, we got take out all the time (which is why it's even stranger I haven't posted about them here). To stay or to go though, what you really need to get your hands on are the dosas... and maybe some of the Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani, and anything else on the 'Southern Favourites' menu. During the day, they have a wider range of dosas, but you can get masala and paneer dosas any time of day. We had a little feast of take-out on Valentine's Day, and watched House of Cards.

97 Hot Pot {10602 97 Street}

So, hot pot. I just tried hot pot - for the first time - a couple weeks ago. A friend and I were driving down 97th late on a Thursday evening, looking for soup, and saw the bright neon sign.

We arrived around 10pm (they are open until midnight), and there were only a handful of tables filled... It sounds like this is a rare occurrence, with the place normally packed. Our table for two was equipped with an induction burner each (with a temperature control... keep it on one) and a little gadget that allows you to alert the server, ask for more water, etc. It's buffet style - You mark your order on the menu, and they bring it out. Everything on the menu (unless you want a specialty broth) is included in the $25.95 per person price.

Our order consisted of a bunch of things... Thinly sliced lamb and beef, taro, winter melon, bok choy, cuddlefish balls, minced, spiced lamb and some sweet potato noodles. Make sure you ask about portions if it's your first time there; The sliced lamb and beef, for instance, is piled high, but when you order a cuddlefish ball or the minced lamb or taro, you get one.

They also have a condiment station with everything imaginable (minced ginger, red bean paste, vinegars, etc.), where you can grab items as needed.

Everything was delicious, but my favourite was certainly the cuddlefish and minced lamb. We ordered a second round of those. For dessert we decided on the osmanthus cake, a cube of tea flavoured gelatin, which was beautiful, tasty and delicate. A perfect way to finish the meal.

Since there was barely anyone in the place, we found the service pretty good (water and broth refills, mostly), and they were happy to answer any questions we had. Can't wait to head back!

Woodwork {10132 100 Street}

Probably no more needs to be said about Woodwork, but I can't not. We share an alley with the restaurant, which means I get to smell the delicious woodsmoke every day I head out the door. We've been for drinks, snacks, lunch and dinner a number of times. And I went to a work Christmas party (just before they opened) where they roasted an entire pig and made a six foot bûche de Noël... I have one photo of a Violet Fizz.

The lunch special is excellent - $15 gets you one of four hot options (if they have the meatball sub, do it), with a side kale salad or soup. They also have a few excellent house sodas, well worth shelling out an extra $3 for.

For dinner, we rarely stray away from an order of Smoked Chicken Drumsticks with house bbq sauce ($8 for three) and the full rack of ribs with fennel slaw and the best beans ever ($25). If we're with others, we like to add the Steak Tartare ($13), made a little more delicious with pickled beets and smoky chips served in lieu of bread, and maybe some Mac n' Cheese ($14), famed from their food truck days.

And dessert. The PBJ thing ($10) is quite good, but if you like liquorice and a good cocktail, and something a little more delicate, make sure you try the Tiger Tiger ($8). Although a little more hearty, the Pear and Goat Cheese Galette ($10) is also well worth your time.

If you enjoy cocktails, you've likely already treated yourself at their bar. My favourite continues to be the house sour, which has the added benefit of a fire display and a resulting smoky flavour. But the 'Savoy Shuffle', a random, daily creation, has yet to disappoint. They also have a tidy, carefully chosen beer list, and feature bottles.

As for the cold thing, they've recently installed a fabric panel (which I heard will be turned to bison hide next winter) to direct the air into the corner; It seems to do the job. And as you can probably tell, this is about the meat. The only real vegetable (and vegetarian) dish is the kale salad, which is delicious as well, by the way.

Lunch is served weekdays only from 11:30-2
Dinner service starts at 5pm weekdays
They are closed Wednesdays

There it is. A food blog post without many pictures... I'm not sure that's a thing these days. Next time I'm at these spots, I'll be camera ready.


Isabelle said...

I didn't realize you guys had moved right downtown! Are you in the Cambridge lofts? We used to live there, it's a cool building. Still haven't checked out woodwork, but I'm eager to. It's also good to know that Bistro India specializes in doses. I love the one at Remedy.

Unknown said...

Yep, that's exactly where we are :-D Haha. It's a popular place!

Yeah it's nice they focused on South Indian - sort of a fresh take. And so many dosa options. Love the dosas at Remedy, too!