I have to be honest, I was a little hesitant to try this restaurant because of my insane love of BBQ and the fact that I knew one of the owners was a vegetarian.

I have heard nothing but good things about MEAT though, so we were in the neighborhood and starving, so what better to fill a hungry belly than with BBQ?

I am a Certified BBQ judge for Kansas City BBQ Society, so I am no expert on BBQ but I have a good palate for competition fare.  I badly wanted to be impressed by the smoky, tender quality of the Texas style BBQ at MEAT.

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I am not a huge “breakfast at breakfast time” kind of person.  I dutifully make myself a healthy smoothie every morning to take to work, but it usually doesn’t get consumed until 10am or later in the morning.  Weekends are interesting at our house, I don’t think our fridge has seen actual breakfast food in over a year.

I love breakfast, just not in the morning.  I am a huge “all day breakfast” fan as well as a fan of eateries that serve brunch past 1pm.

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Help Save B’s Diner!

Posted: February 6, 2016 in Comfort Food, Events, Food Trucks

As I am sure you have all heard in the media, B’s Diner has had to close the doors of the Old Strathcona location.

Many people have expressed that the community needs to give back to someone who has supported and cared for so many…  Here is your chance!

Help Save B’s Diner – GoFundMe Campaign

She might throw something at me for doing this, but I just can’t stand idly by and watch this happen!  I have worked right by her side the last couple of months on a few projects, and B’s just needs to be!  She is such a generous person, let us show her how much we appreciate all of the hard work she has done for Edmonton.

 

Meals on Wheels; Feeding Body and Soul

Posted: January 29, 2016 in Charity

This year I thought that I would do something a little different.

Food, obviously, is a passion.  So is volunteering.  This year I wanted to share some of the charitable organizations in Edmonton that help feed the city.  We have a lot of great volunteers and staff that help keep hunger at bay.

One of the day job duties that I was most happy to perform over the years was to find resources for the clients that I was working with in case of an emergency.  They were on very low incomes, so I learned a lot about where people could go in Edmonton when they need help.  I can’t say I know all of them, because the list is extensive.

The first organization that I would like to share with you is “Meals on Wheels“.

Edmonton Meals on Wheels is a not-for-profit organization that relies on volunteers to provide nutritious meals and related programs which promote health, well-being and independence for the clients they serve.

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Everyone seems to be doing a “Year in Review”, so I thought I might as well take a stab at it myself.

It has been an extremely busy year for me as far as my day job is concerned.  I ended up banking a whole pile of hours this past year.  This means that I did not get to spend as much time as I would have liked dedicated to blogging.  This equates to not as many invites to menu launches and special events which leads to some more hard work on my part to get out and get eating at Edmonton’s many new restaurants that have launched this year.

Not so much for blogging in 2015, but lots was going on for Twitter and Instagram.  I actually reached my 2015 goal on Instagram for 1000 followers.  Go me!

I was able to indulge in some old favourites this year as well as find some new ones.  I would like to share my top five with you.

B’s Diner

I finally had the opportunity to go and have breakfast at B’s one weekend and meet the lady that is a legend, Brenda Der.  There were previously two “Bs” that made up B’s Diner now there can be only one!  Brenda has taken the reins of the Diner and there are going to be some new and exciting menu changes that are coming up for 2016.

At B’s you will find traditional Diner fare as well as some menu items on special that are just good home cooking.  The Tocino (Filipino) breakfast special is something that I highly recommend you try!

Not only does this lovely lady run the diner, she also runs a not-for-profit school lunch program for children, a yearly Christmas dinner for the less fortunate, Christmas hampers for needy families, Christmas meals for seniors and the women’s shelters… etc.  Brenda has a huge heart and donates a lot of her time to charitable acts.  Watch out for her campaigns throughout the new year.

Downtown Diner – Fort Saskatchewan

Keith and Lori of the Downtown Diner in Fort Saskatchewan are also wonderful people.  It is a journey that is generally out-of-the-way for most people who live in Edmonton, but it is certainly worth the drive, and the wait at the doors.

Everything in the Diner is made from scratch.  The red glitter vinyl and 50’s style décor completes the ambiance of an almost authentic Diner experience; the only thing missing is the actual streetcar!

My favourite at the Downtown Diner has to be the BLT.  It is made with thick cut brown sugar bacon.  All of the fixin’s are fresh.  I always order a side of the Diner chips and an extra order to take home.  I still haven’t had enough room for dessert, but will make it a 2016 goal to go!

Daravara – 124 Street

Daravara is my new neighborhood “go to” for some really great eats.  Some of the staff, including the Chef, are transplants from Dadeo.  It’s a great place to go for drinks and dinner after a rough day at work.

After eating here several times before and after my review, I can tell you that you now will need to wait for a table on a Friday or Saturday night.  If Beth is working, sit in her section, she will take excellent care of you!  The burnt honey and garlic cauliflower is still my favourite food item here; I am hoping they will keep it!

Fairmont Hotel MacDonald – Downtown

The Mac is still on my top list of favourites.  Chef Jost and his staff are such wonderful hosts.

The Confederation Lounge is a little more on the casual side to enjoy some nice drinks and a beautiful view.  The “Classics Perfected” cocktail menu that just launched a few weeks ago is something that you really need to go and try.  The “Old Fashioned” has got to be my favourite here.

Privada Wine and Tapas – St. Albert

Privada was one of my favourites of 2014 with a wonderful meal that I got to experience from Chef Tony Krause.  To make a long story short, Tony went on an adventure for a few months and is now back at Privada.

Privada has as many locally sourced and grown ingredients as possible.  The charcuterie is cured in-house.  Chef has done some foraging so knows his wild ingredients and his seafood; he supports sustainability.  The owners are gracious and supportive of Chef.

For our anniversary dinner this year, we decided to switch it up a bit and go to a pop-up at Privada that was hosted by Chef Tony.   We were not disappointed.  This was my favourite meal of the year!  There wasn’t one dish that I did not enjoy.

There are so many wonderful eateries in Edmonton that it is hard to experience every one of them.  By supporting our local businesses, we support our local economy and help people flourish right here at home.  I am guilty of “grab and go” when I don’t have time to eat properly.  My goal for 2016 is to see how much more I can switch over to supporting local.

The three that I am most looking forward to in 2016;

The Buddha Boys are Chef Daniel Huber previously of the Pourhouse and Chef Levi Biddlecombe of “Attila the Hungry”.  They launched at the end of the 2015 Food Truck season and had some great things going on.  They have been busy with the launch of Hart House in Camrose the past few months.  I can’t wait to see what they come up with in the new year.  Completely my fault for them not being featured in my top five, I have been so busy with life that I have not had a chance to make it into Hart’s House.  I am a huge fan of Chef Daniel’s gourmet creations! And Levi, I really miss those damn Duck Tots!

The Local Omnivore is back in a new incarnation of a licensed deli very close to home here in Edmonton.  They previously had a Food Truck that had really great coffee and their own cured and smoked bacon. They have only been open a few weeks and I am excited to finally have the time to get over there and give them a try!

Duchess Bake Shop is opening up a breakfast eatery in the same plaza as The Local Omnivore boys.  Duchess has gotten so busy that they have had to expand into a four bay location!  If the pastries are to die for, I can only imagine what breakfast will be like!

Watch out for some blogs coming up on local charities that support feeding the city of Edmonton.  Charities are also a passion, I have put in many hours this past year getting to know some really great people.

I hope that you and your loved ones have a very happy and healthy new year.  Cheers to 2016!

 

Tonight!  Fairmont Macdonald has invited taste testers from Edmonton to welcome the new cocktail menu.  Please follow live on Instagram and Twitter tonight at 5:30pm.

(@yegfoodie or on your left here on the website)

Please see the press release below for more information:

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– Fairmont Tastemakers from around the world combine talent and technique to create new level of excellence in hotel cocktail creation globally

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is inviting guests to taste what happens when elite mixologists from around the world come together to craft cocktails.

Classics. Perfected., Fairmont’s new global cocktail menu, is just what it sounds like, a selection of beautifully balanced and delicious cocktails created by newly appointed Fairmont Tastemakers.

“When people “meet for a drink” at one of our hotels – from The American Bar at The Savoy to The Plaza in New York – they expect the crispest gin and tonic and a truly perfect manhattan. With this new menu that is precisely what they will get – along with quality ice and bartender’s advice when appropriate,” said Jane Mackie, vice president, Fairmont Brand. “The Classics. Perfected., menu was curated by our top bartenders who were charged with helping us to discover and perfect the best old and new classics.”

“This is much bigger than a new menu,” continued Mackie. “It is about shaping and sharing Fairmont cocktail culture with our neighbors and visiting guests in over 20 countries.”

Fairmont’s bars around the world have historically been places were deals were struck and history was made, showing that cocktail culture is about more than just drinks. The bartenders who have presided over these storied bars have been shaping cocktail trends for over a century. Bringing together Fairmont’s best mixologists to collaborate and share their expertise, has unearthed a new level of quality and craftsmanship.

Selected for their individual talent and mastery of cocktail methodology, the Fairmont Tastemakers for the two-year program include – Grant Sceney from Fairmont Pacific Rim, Nader Chabaane from Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Erik Lorincz from The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel and Tom Hogan from Fairmont Singapore.

Cocktail innovations in hotels have typically been the work of visionary bartenders working on individual specialties for guests’ sipping pleasure. This is the first time that Fairmont has hand selected top bartenders from around the world to create cocktails together. The new creations were developed in partnership with Kathy Casey at her Liquid Kitchen Food Studios in June 2015.

The menu features three sections: the most requested classics that guests know and love, revived classics to entice cocktail enthusiasts and the “neats” for those who wish to savor the richness of the program’s carefully selected spirit partners.

“We are incredibly proud of the group of partners involved in Fairmont’s new cocktail program,” said Alexandra Blum, VP, public relations and partnerships, FRHI Hotels & Resorts. “Each brand was hand selected for its outstanding quality and global appeal. We are so pleased to see that this careful curation in partnership with our hand selected Fairmont Tastemakers, has resulted in a world-class offering for both our trend setting and discerning.”

Global spirits included in the program, chosen for their quality and craftsmanship, include: Remy Martin VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac, Belvedere Vodka, Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label, The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, Bombay Sapphire, Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, Woodford Reserve Distillers Select, Cointreau, Mount Gay Rum, Casamigos Tequila and Louis XIII.

Cocktails will be served in beautifully crafted Schott Zwiesel crystal glassware, distributed by global partner Fortessa, to further elevate this special offering.

Classics. Perfected., will be available at all Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in the Americas starting on November 23. The menu will be rolled out globally over the holiday season.

I have a friend that is a regular at Daravara and he had been recommending it to me for months. It has been a super busy year for me work-wise, so I finally decided I needed to make the time for a visit. It is relatively close to my home and I love the 124 street area; it is home to me!

Daravara is an unpretentious gastro-pub that has the neighborhood pub feeling. Head Chef Shane Loiselle hails from a background of Dadeo, The Petroleum Club, Zinc and the Harvest room at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald.

If you follow along with my Food Adventures, you know that my husband and I had our first official date at Dadeo. Our favourite Server was Beth. She was amazing at remembering the regulars and always smiling and friendly. We loved it when we got to sit in her section. We were sad when she was no longer at Dadeo and always wondered where she went. Imagine how thrilled I was to see that smile relocated to Daravara!

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