brunch

Meat Me for Brunch

May 30, 2015

When I think of brunch it's usually some version of eggs benedict accompanied by a mountain of fruit. Meat isn't usually the first thing to come to mind, so when Meat deviated from their weeknight dinner service to offer weekend brunch I was curious to see what was on the menu.

MEAT - 8216 104 Street - Edmonton AB

Opened just over a year ago, Meat delights those in Old Strathcona with the smell and taste of tender smoked meat. The large windows bring in lots of natural light to the open concept dining room, and the communal dining tables give this restaurant a casual, laid back feel. Bourbon, cherry and spicy barbeque sauce and mustard line each table, waiting eagerly to accompany your meal.

The brunch menu is straightforward, offering seven breakfast dishes and three sandwiches. My boyfriend started his day with the Beef Brisket Benny with Hashbrowns ($15), where the soft poached eggs and brisket sat on caramelized onions and a fluffy buttermilk biscuit. The housemade hollandaise added flavour to the dish and the crispy hashbrown was a great accompaniment, but it did feel like the dish could have used a bit more brisket.

For myself I went with the Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Flapjacks ($16), and it was probably the best decision I made that day. Biting through the crispy skin revealed piping hot, juicy chicken that was perfectly seasoned. The three cornmeal flapjacks with butter and rosemary maple syrup made for the perfect sweet and salty combination and the portion size held me over ‘til dinner. Unfortunately, one of my pancakes wasn't fully cooked through, but another quickly arrived to the table in its place. If you're going to Meat for brunch, this dish would definitely be my recommendation!

Edmonton doesn't have as much of a brunch culture as other cities (hello, Calgary!), but it's great to see another restaurant start to offer casual weekend dining. Old Strathcona is a great area to spend a warm weekend afternoon, so why not kick it off with brunch at Meat? And not to worry if you're a vegetarian, as they have veggie friendly options too. Not too many people seem to know about brunch yet, as it wasn't overly busy during our visit, so you can avoid long lineups and kickstart your weekend with some smoked goodness!

Meat on Urbanspoon

Edmonton food

Honey & Hot Sauce: May 26 Pop Up Dinner @ The Common [GIVEAWAY]

May 21, 2015

Back in 2012 pop up dinners were immensely popular and The Common was the main restaurant to host these one-night-only type of events. From Korean food to breakfast for dinner, if there was a pop up at The Common, I was there too.

On May 26 pop up dinners are returning to The Common and the theme this time around is honey & hot sauce. Sweet and Spicy is a classic pairing and is perfect for summer weather. I can't wait to taste what Chef Jesse Morrison-Gauthier has planned for the menu.

For the pop up two seatings at 6:00 and 8:30PM are available and the night will consist of 4 courses for $40. It's such a great deal! I've always had great experiences at The Common both in terms of food and service, so Honey & Hot Sauce should make for a great night!

One thing I love about pop up dinners is the element of surprise. If you want to be surprised, stop reading now! Otherwise, continue :). The menu is often kept a secret until you're seated at your table, but here's what will be on the menu for Tuesday evening:

  • Wings ‘n Things: Chicken wings, sweetbreads & rabbit wings with honey walnuts, sriracha, and green onions
  • Honey Glazed Bacon with hot & sour cabbage salad
  • Chili rubbed lamb popsicles with honey caramel
  • Chili chocolate doughnuts with foraged honeysuckle

The menu sounds fantastic, right? I'll be there on Tuesday night and The Common has given me the opportunity to give one of my readers two tickets to the 6:00PM seating. All details are down below, but if you don't want to take your chances, some seatings are still available and you can make your reservation for the pop up through Kyla at kyla@thecommon.ca.

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THE GIVEAWAY

Two Tickets to Honey & Hot Sauce at The Common - 6PM Seating
$80 value

Mandatory Entry: To enter, tell me which pop up menu dish 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) (+1)
2. Tweet about the giveaway: "I'm excited for the Honey & Hot Sauce Pop Up at @TheCommonYEG! Enter @littlmissandrea's giveaway for tickets #yegfood" and link back to this post (+2)
3. Follow me via Instagram (@littlmissandrea) (+1)
4. Visit my Facebook page, like and share the giveaway post (+3)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is open to anyone 18+ years of age. You have until May 24 to enter and the winner will be selected by random and be contacted via email. Good luck!

Edmonton

Original Joe's 2015 Summer Fresh Menu [GIVEAWAY]

May 15, 2015

Spring is definitely here to stay, which means summer is just around the corner! Sunshine, 30 degree weather, and cocktails on the patio are just some of the things I'm looking forward to. What are you favourite things about summer?

To celebrate the coming of the warmer months and the launch of summer menus, Original Joe's wants to send one of my readers a $50 gift card to check out their new dishes this season.

Some of the new dishes include Shrimp Tacos ($14/3) featuring garlic cajun shrimp, cabbage, fresh pico de gallo, cilantro and lime crema on grilled flour tortillas. Served with a mixed green salad, this seems like a perfect pairing for a drink on the patio.

A hit from last year, steamed PEI Mussels ($14.50) are back on the menu. A full pound of mussels are steamed in a light beer cream sauce with garlic, onion, chilis, and lemon juice, and served with a side of bread.

Continuing with the seafood trend, the Miso Salmon Salad ($16.50) is what I'm looking forward to trying. Wild pacific salmon is baked in a miso-sake marinade. served with mixed greens, cucumber, pea shoots, matchstick carrots, sliced avocado and cilantro in a sesame vinaigrette.

Last winter Original Joe’s & Mealshare partnered up to turn dining out into helping out. An incredible 21,684 meals were raised for people in need, so Original Joe's is back at it again with the Summer Fresh menu. For every purchase of the Steamed Mussels or Miso Salmon Salad this summer, a meal will be provided to someone in need. How fantastic is that? You get to eat and someone else does too!

As as child I absolutely hated brussels sprouts. You couldn't get those things near me! But I'm slowly learning to enjoy them and the Baja Brussels Sprouts ($8) sound pretty appetizing. Brussels Sprouts are flash fried with red pepper and chopped bacon, tossed with fresh lime juice, parmesan and chilis, then garnished with lime crema and fresh cilantro.

Last but not least is the Mediterranean Chicken Wrap ($15.50) with shwarama style grilled chicken breast served in a garlic naan bread with lemon feta spread, shredded lettuce, onion, tomato, banana pepper, pickle, chopped parsley and topped with tzatziki. Want to try out the Summer Fresh menu? Check out the details below!

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THE GIVEAWAY

One $50 Gift Card to Original Joes

Mandatory Entry: To enter, tell me which summer fresh 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) (+1)
2. Tweet about the giveaway: "The patio is calling! Enter to win a $50 GC from @littlmissandrea to try the @originaljoes summer menu! #yegfood" and link back to this post (+2/one tweet per day)
3. Follow me via Instagram (@littlmissandrea) (+1)
4. Visit my Facebook page, like and share the giveaway post (+3)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is open to anyone 18+ years of age. You have until May 29 to enter and the winner will be selected by random and be contacted via email. Good luck!

Earls

Fresh New Flavour: Earls Spring Menu

May 13, 2015

Given that it snowed a couple centimetres in Edmonton last week, it may seem that Spring isn't quite around the corner. But soon enough the sun will be shining and the patio will be calling - at least that's how it felt when I checked out the Spring Menu at Earls!


Paloma: el Jimador Reposado tequila, fresh lime juice, Jarritos Mexican grapefruit soda

Over the past year I've really noticed a change in the style of food served at Earls. It's no longer the restaurant where you go for comfort food like burgers and fries, it's where you can go and expect craft cocktails and sophisticated meals.


Tuna Tostadas

For the Spring Menu Earls is making quite the change. There are lots of fresh dishes packed with flavour, and Earls has begun a partnership with Spring Creek Ranch (based out of Vegreville, Alberta) to serve their beef on the menu. The evening kicked off with some of the new and noteworthy cocktails, namely the Paloma ($8.50) and Watermelon Pina Colada ($8.50). I went with the piƱa colada and loved the added delicate flavour from the watermelon. The rum wasn't overpowering, and I really enjoyed how light and smooth it was. Come summer months, you'll find me sipping on this drink out on the patio.

For those of you that do not drink, Earls makes sure you don't miss out on the fun with their list of mocktails. I also had the Passion Fruit Limeade ($4.50). The passion fruit may make you pucker, but it really gives this drink a punch of tropical tang.

Our night started off with a taste of the Tuna Tostadas ($13/4), where seared chili rubbed Albacore Tuna is accompanied by avocado, jicama slaw, and cilantro aioli served on a tortilla chip. This honestly has everything I want in an appetizer and just screams to be eaten on the patio. The tuna is well seasoned, the pickled slaw gives a sour kick to balance the creamy avocado, there's a slight heat from the chili, and a squeeze of lime juice on top brings it all together.

The first dish we tried that evening was a fresh new take on the traditional Fattoush Salad ($17.25). Cucumbers, pickled red onions, grapes, and roasted peppers are tossed with arugula in a preserved lemon dressing and served on a bed of sumac yogurt. The salad is then topped with pita chip croutons and garnished with Italian flat leaf parsley and served with some Moroccan spiced chicken breast. There was smokiness from the peppers, tang from the dressing, and an unexpected but refreshing burst of sweetness from the grapes. It was great to see this Mediterranean salad on the menu, but I don`t know if it`s going to be able to compete with the ever popular Santa Fe Chicken Salad!

Next up was the new Oven Roasted Moroccan Salmon ($25), presented with the skin on. This beautiful salmon sits on a tomato-based chermoula and is served alongside pickled pearl onions, peas, and cauliflower roasted in Persian oil, which gave it a distinct yellow colour. It is quite rare to see skin-on fish served in Alberta, so I loved the rustic presentation and that wonderful crispy skin! The fish was cooked quite well and I would have preferred for it to be slightly undercooked, but the remaining components of the dish were quite flavourful, making this dish a hit.

Alberta is well known for beef, so if you have some of high quality from Spring Creek Ranch, you have to show it off! As of April 22, all Earls locations across Canada are being supplied with New York and top sirloin cuts from Spring Creek. We had a sampling of the sirloin served with some fresh horseradish and it was fantastic. Juicy, tender, and full of flavour, this beef really showcases Alberta beef!

The course I was most looking forward to trying was the Korean Bibimbap Rice Bowl ($15, additional $ for proteins) served up in a stone pot. Bibimbap is such a comforting dish, and Earls has put it's own spin on it. The Jasmine rice crisps up very nicely in the hot stone bowl and is topped with marinated Spring Creek Ranch striploin, zucchini, oyster mushrooms, carrots, pickled vegetables (cucumber, onion, hot peppers), and a beautiful soft poached egg. The presentation is absolutely gorgeous, and you can add the housemade sesame chili sauce to suit your tastes. Although not exactly authentic, I quite enjoyed Earls' spin on bibimbap. Crispy rice, plentiful toppings, and spicy sauce to tie it all together makes me pretty happy!

The new Berry Shortcake ($8.75) was our dessert for the evening, and it was delicious. Two layers of cake combined with fresh, seasonal berries, vanilla mousse, and almond crumble made for a lighter version of the traditional dessert. It wasn't too sweet, and I could probably eat two of these on my own.

Did I say dinner was over? Not before we all sampled the new Royale with Cheese Burger ($18). One bite and I was sold - smoked cheddar, dry cured bacon, portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, lettuce, and housemade mushroom ketchup served inside a soft brioche bun. It tastes just as good, if not better, than it sounds! While there are two other new gourmet burgers available on the spring menu, this will definitely be my go-to burger from now on when I dine at Earls. All three burgers are available for a limited time until July 16th.

A new season has brought along a new menu with some pretty delicious dishes for Earls. I know that Earls is a go-to spot for many, so it's really nice to see new dishes pop up from time to time. I love that Earls is venturing into different types of cuisine and can't wait to see what the chef collective brings forth for the next menu change. For the time being, check out the new offerings at Earls and let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: as this was a media event, views expressed in this post are solely mine. I was not expected to feature this restaurant on my blog, nor obligated to do so. This post is 100% my opinion, and as always, my priority is to you, the reader, to present an unbiased, thorough review.

Earls Tin Palace on Urbanspoon

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