Thursday, November 27, 2014

Downtown Japanese: I Love Sushi

As I have said in the past, it's really hard to find good sushi in this city. A while back my friends and I were downtown and craving sushi. Hoping to find a hidden gem, we checked out a little spot right off of Jasper Avenue.

I Love Sushi - 10106 105 Avenue - Edmonton AB


Kara-Age Tofu ($5.50)

There have been multiple times where I've driven down Jasper Avenue and spotted this little family-run restaurant. The sign is just too cute (for reference, the 'o' in love is a heart instead), and I've been told it's a go-to place for many people downtown given it's convenient location and affordability.

To start off any Japanese meal I usually go with Beef Tataki (small, $9.95) as an appetizer. The beef slices were sliced thinly and served with onions, seaweed and radish for garnish. Unfortunately the ponzu sauce was too sweet for my liking, and I felt that the tataki was pretty underwhelming, considering the price for the amount of food on the plate.

My boyfriend chose to try the Stir Fried Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables ($12.75), one of their set dinner options. All of the set dinner dishes come with a serving of miso soup, house salad, and rice, so the whole meal is a pretty good deal. The chicken was well cooked and moist, and with all the components considered together, the portion was very filling.

I was in the mood for some warm soup that evening, and chose to try out the Tempura Udon ($9.25). The noodle soup came steaming to the table and the tempura was fried to a beautiful golden yellow. The tempura wasn't overly oily and the sauce was savoury and slightly sweet as expected. Unfortunately the udon was a different story. I found the broth to be quite bland and lacking in flavour, as it didn't have the umami I expect from a dashi stock. The udon noodles were also overcooked and much softer than desired.

Friends we dined with ordered some fresh fish options like the Chirashi Don ($14, above), in which the fish was fairly fresh and was a good price for the portion size. Although I Love Sushi has a great downtown location and very affordable prices for Japanese cuisine, it really isn't a restaurant that I would look forward to returning to. There were some hits and misses that evening, so this restaurant may be good if you're in the area and in need of a quick fix, but don't expect to have your minds blown by high quality fish.

I Love Sushi on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Winter Warm Up is Back at Original Joe's! [GIVEAWAY]

Edmonton winter hits hard. My skin is dry, my toes are frozen, and my driveway just keeps collecting snow. With the temperature dropping further and further below zero, I always look for something warm and comforting to eat. For me, that's a steaming bowl of noodle soup. What do you like to eat?

When the winter chill sets in, the Original Joe's Winter Warm Up menu returns. To help get us through the cold weather, Original Joe's wants to send one of my readers a $50 gift card to get warm and cozy with one of their winter comfort foods.

The selections on the winter menu include the Bacon & Tomato Soup, which is served with garlic grilled cheese croutons. If you're looking for something a little lighter, the Kale & Quinoa Salad features chopped olives, dried figs, and candied almonds tossed in a creamy mint yogurt dressing and is topped with panko crusted goat cheese. There's also the French Onion Boar Burger, where the patty is made with wild boar and topped with caramelized onion jam, Swiss cheese and mayo on a toasted brioche bun.

The dish I'm most curious about is the Miso Ramen Bowl. The bowl features fresh ramen noodles in a white miso broth and is garnished with BBQ pork, green onions and togarashi. The great thing about this item is that Original Joe's has teamed up with Mealshare, a non-profit organization that provides meals to those in need. For every Miso Ramen Bowl purchased throughout the winter season, one meal will be provided to someone who needs it. Buy one, and you're giving one too.

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THE GIVEAWAY

One $50 Gift Card to Original Joes

To enter, tell me which winter menu item you're most interested in by commenting on this post. Please make sure you leave a valid email address in the giveaway widget as this is how I will be contacting you.


ADDITIONAL ENTRIES

1. Follow me via Twitter (@littlmissandrea)
2. Tweet about the giveaway: "Warm up with the @originaljoes winter menu! Enter to win a $50 GC from @littlmissandrea #yegfood" and link back to this post
3. Follow me via Instagram (@littlmissandrea)
4. Visit (& hopefully like!) my Facebook page


a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is open to anyone 18+ years of age. You have until November 28 to enter and the winner will be selected by random and be contacted via email. Good luck!