Friday, July 24, 2015

Dinner at Meat

Every time I return to Edmonton for a visit, I'm always excited to learn what's new. Jessica recommended that I try MEAT, and as the name suggest, it was nothing but meat. The restaurant had an open seating that was refreshing and very hipster-ish. One side of the restaurant had a giant window that made the restaurant feel summery, although, the view wasn't the greatest. The restaurant had long tables that was shared and gave a picnic feel. Each section of the table had four sauce bottles; Mustard, Spicy, Cherry, Bourbon. I was pretty impressed by the decor and vibe. The service was okay but could be improved. We had to wait fifteen minutes before our water got refilled during our meal. The menu was straightforward; nothing different from other BBQ restaurants I have been. We ordered the Sample Platter. The Sample Platter consisted of Ribs, Smoked Chicken, Pulled Pork, Fried Chicken, Brisket, Sausage, Mac and Cheese and Garlic Fries. The Ribs were small, and I would have felt ripped off if I ordered a full rack. The Ribs were more like riblets. The Ribs were dry and tough; sauce was needed. I like my ribs to fall off the bone. The Smoked Chicken was soft but felt dry and mushy, the sauce was needed. The Pulled Pork were dry and naked; sauce was needed. I like Pulled Pork with a little fat and sauced. I could always add more sauce to it afterwards, but it needs to be wet when served. The Fried Chicken was bananas! It was fried perfectly. The skin was delicious, and crispy. The Fried Chicken held in a lot of spices and herbs, a perfect blend for a great Southern Cajun Fried Chicken. I could order a ten piece and hide in a corner eating this. I can see why they won "Best Fried Chicken". The Brisket was soft and juicy, a little dab of sauce was needed. It wasn't dry or chewy. The Sausage was great with a bit of sauce. The skin on the Sausage gave a small crunch to it which added more texture and flavor. The Sausage also contained a nice kick that made this item lively. Mac and Cheese were off the hook. I never liked Mac and Cheese, but something about the cheese they used in this dish was addicting. It was executed very well. The Garlic Fries were to die for; there were whole lots of garlic, and I love it. I was so happy this didn’t out to be like garlic parmesan fries. Overall, the items on this Sample Platter were a hit and miss, but I would only order what I love the next time around. There was no wrong way to choose which sauce to use.

Verdict: Not bad for a BBQ house, I would this another visit when I'm in town.

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MEAT *
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* Sauce anyone? *
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* Lynchburg Lemonade and Black Cherry Soda*
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* Sample platter with Mac & Cheese and Garlic Fries*

Meat on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dinner at Ramen Danbo

There are so many Ramen restaurants in Vancouver, it is no surprise that I didn't know about Ramen Danbo until it got featured on Vancity Buzz. I met Maria after work and headed down to Ramen Danbo. The weather was starting to get hotter, and I was questioning myself if I wanted to eat something so hot. Regardless, my tummy had made up its mind. Let the sweat bead drop. Upon arrival, I was expecting a packed house but it wasn't. The spacing inside the restaurant was very cramped; probably could fit twenty people max. The menu was very simple and straight to the point. We ordered the Gyoza, Yakibuta Chashu Pork Donburi, Classic Tonkotsu Ramen, and Yakibuta Chashu Pork Ramen. The Gyoza was meh, nothing special about it stood out. The Ramen dishes were expensive, and the portion sizing were small. Maria liked her Classic Tonkotsu Ramen, and she would come again, but that's because she works near the area. It is worth it for her since she isn't near the downtown core. For me, I had the Yakibuta Chashu Pork Ramen, which was the same as the Classic but with more Chashu, which was also a bit pricier. The Chashu was lean, and I was hoping for some fatty melt in your mouth Chashu. I love the fact that you can customized everything about the meal. I chose the default selection, and I wished I nixed out the spice because I couldn't enjoy the soup base. I tried both the soft and firm noodles, and I like the firm noodles more because I enjoy the elastic chew, la denta. I thought the Chashu in the Yakibuta Chashu Pork Donburi was better than the Ramen. The Chashu was a lot more fatty. Overall, the meal was tasty, but after factoring in the price and portion of the food, Ramen Danbo seem average at best. Even thought they offered the customers an unique experience.

Verdict: I love the option of able to customize your meal, but the pricing and portion sizing was a turn-off. I think I would come back but on a very rare occasion.

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* Gyoza *
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* Yakibuta Chashu Pork Donburi *
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* Yakibuta Chashu Pork Ramen and Classic Tonkotsu Ramen *
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* Another serving please *

Ramen Danbo on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

McDonald's McLobster Premiere

Back when I was young, I grew up eating McDonald's every day of my childhood life. To my parents, it was the easiest thing for them to feed me. They didn't want to go the extra mile and cook me a personal Chinese dish because they knew I wouldn't eat what they ate. I grew up a picky eater, but I never demanded McDonald's. McDonald's was like crack for me; I would get so excited when my parents told me we were going to McDonald’s that I wouldn't be able to pronounce "McDonald's" correctly. I would stutter and make the word "McDonald's" sound like a heart attack. It wasn't until I was a teenager that I found out that there was a thing called "McLobster." To that effect, I was devastated to find out that it was only available in Atlantic Canada. I knew from the very beginning that I would never travel to Atlantic Canada. The hope of eating a McLobster was out of reach. It has been a lifelong dream to try the McLobster.

One day, while Maria was driving, I looked out of the window and saw a poster that I believed was a McLobster. I thought that wasn't possible; I was dreaming. Maria was puzzled and decided to back up the car for our curiosity. The poster was too far for me to confirm. I quickly checked online, and my dreams were coming true. Fast forward weeks later and Vancity Buzz was holding a contest to be one of the first people to try the McLobster a day before they become widely available. I entered Maria and me into the contest. Surprisingly, Maria was the one who won the contest *WOOP*. Please take me?

When we arrived on this glorious day, I was excited. A section of McDonald's was closed off for the event. The tables were covered with a red and white checkered table linen. They went the extra mile to make this feel special. The picnic effect was winning me over. After signing in and receiving our swag, we chose a table and waited for our meal. I was surprised that they got servers walking around asking us for our drink and side order; taking service to the next level. Vancity Buzz and McDonald's representatives were there to walk us through the night and talk about the history of the McLobster. Then it happened, the McLobster landed on my table. I couldn't wait to taste it. I didn't know what to expect. When I opened the box, I was happy and sad at the same time. The sandwich was small. It took me three bites to finish the sandwich. I savored each bite as much as possible. I tried to ask for seconds, but they told me I had to wait until tomorrow (release date). The McLobster was a cold sandwich which was different for me. If I had ordered the McLobster without knowing the history (why and how it was made the way it is) I probably won't like it as much as I did knowing it. The McLobster was like a chicken salad sandwich but with lobster. It consisted of a hot dog bun, lobster, mayo, lettuce, and celery. It was refreshing on the palette; perfect for those hot summer days. The best part? It was real lobster. Another plus for this sandwich was the balance between the lobster, vegetables, and bun. Unlike the other McDonald's burgers and or sandwiches the balance between the bun, meat and vegetables were always skewed towards the meat and bun; which made it feel heavy and greasy. I'm eagerly waiting for my second McLobster; lunch time couldn't come soon enough.

Thank again to McDonalds and Vancity Buzz for the lovely evening and experience. My lifelong dream has been fulfilled. Now bring back the McPizza.

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* McLobster!! *
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* It's going to be a picnic *
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* Swag *
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* Can I eat it now? *
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* Nom Nom Nom *

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Nike SB Dunk Low "McFly"

Sometimes you buy shoes because they look dope. Sometimes you buy shoes because of the crazy nickname it is given. Sometimes you buy shoes because of the history to have this shoe produced. Sometimes you buy shoes because of the insane material used and or quality. And sometimes you buy shoes because of the HYPE. I scooped up a pair of the Nike SB Dunk Low "McFly". The nickname grabbed my attention as a must have, but I wasn't too sure about the colourway or quality. The colourway was very similar to the Nike SB Dunk High "Chairman Bao" which I love. The images online didn't do the shoe justice. I'm glad I have them because they look a lot better in person. The spackle midsole and tinted light blue shoe was money. The material on the overall shoe was like canvas? which I wasn't too fond of. There were definitely some HYPE attached, but I buy what I want and what I am going to wear and HYPE is the last thing that would affect my decision.

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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Saucony Grid 9000 "Reserve Tiffany"

I haven't been able to post much lately, but, none the less, here is another sneaker pick up post. Since the Saucony Grid 9000 "Tiffany" was released, Saucony cooked up another colourway that I had to add to my arsenal. It was Saucony Grid 9000 "Reserve Tiffany". Everything about this shoe was on point. The best part of this shoe was that I was able to get it under retail and it less than $100. Quality, material and craftsmanship alone was worth more than what I paid. At least, that's what I want to believe. I can't drop $300 - $500 every weekend on shoes anymore. I don't know how some people do it.

Damn it, I forgot to take a side by side picture of both pairs of Saucony "Tiffany" and "Reserve Tiffany"

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dinner at Hakata Ramen

Maria and I tried to go to Pepper Lunch during the evening, but the hype was still too real. Pepper Lunch was so packed that we couldn't place an order. We'll try again in a month or two; let the hype die down. We wandered around for a bit and discovered Hakata Ramen. It was a small homey ramen restaurant. Nothing spectacular about the decor. The service was friendly. The menu was straight to the point, nothing more and nothing less. We ordered the Gyoza, Shoyu Ramen, Tomato Ramen and Chicken Karaage. The Gyoza was meh, nothing special alarmed me. The Shoyu Ramen was decent. It was salty but not in a soy sauce salty way that I was hoping. The noodle was alright; it was more on the soft side while I like it firm with a bit of a chew. The Cha Su was lean and chewy, and I didn't think it gave the broth any texture or depth. On the other hand, Maria liked her Tomato Ramen. It was very tomatoey was how she described it. The Chicken Karaage were amazing. It was crispy, soft, and juicy. The only issue with this dish was that it was drenched with Teriyaki sauce. Next time, I'll ask them to hold the sauce or put it on the side. I also think they used white meat/breast instead of dark meat. The portion sizing and pricing were average. Overall it was an okay experience.

Verdict: I wouldn't come back unless it were to try the Tomato Ramen and the Chicken Karaage without the Teriyaki sauce.

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* Hakata Ramen *
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* Gyoza *
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* Shoyu Ramen *
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* Tomato Ramen *
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* Chicken Karaage *

Hakata Ramen on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Lebron X "Cork"

Another grail is in my possession. This time it was the Lebron X (10) "Cork". When Lebron James won his first championship in 2012-2013, I knew Nike was brewing something special in his honors. The result was the Lebron X (10) "Cork. The execution of this pair was one of its kinds and phenomenal. Who would've thought to put cork on a shoe? I was blown away. First of its kind. Way better than the corks coming out today. I hate it when a company slaps on the hottest trend on every shoe model. For example, 3M, South Beach / Yeezy colorway. When the shoe first released it was mayhem, and I was unlucky. It instantly sold out. It took a couple of years, but I finally got my pair.

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Adidas x Undefeated x Bape

I'll keep it short and simple. Another sneaker collaboration between Adidas, Undefeated and Bape. My love for Bape has never died and when I saw the collaboration I knew I had to cop; not just one but both pairs. I was fortunate enough to purchase the pair online through Undefeated and waited patiently for my package to arrive. That luck was not luck at all, but misfortune in disguise; the package never arrived. I rechecked my ordered, and I got refunded for my purchase. I looked into it a little deeper, and it appears that Undefeated oversold their product. SMH. I was disappointed, and I scrambled like mad to obtain the two pairs. In the end, I got what I wanted. I hope Undefeated get their shit together, I would hate to stop shopping with them.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Breakfast / Lunch at Scoozis

I have been to Scoozis on two occasions, and on both occasions I have been disappointed. I should note that on both visits to Scoozis, I came in with a large party (15ish people) and had made reservations ahead of time. The first attempt was during breakfast. I ordered the BC Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict. The eggs were good, but I distinctly remembering the Hollandaise sauce tasting off. I can't describe it, but it was different, and I didn't like it. The Hollandaise sauce had a sourish aftertaste. I don't know if it was because it had too much egg or lemon. *shrugs* I have no clue how they made it onto Vancity Buzz's list of best Eggs Benedict. Mind you, the service during the first visit was good but the food was just meh. I didn't see myself going back, but I spoke too soon.

My worst experience at Scoozis was during my second visit for lunch. As I got seated, I noticed the table was going to be a hard squeeze to fit six people. I decided to pull a chair out and place it at the end of the table. Everything was fine at this moment. Behind me was an empty booth and there were plenty of room for people to enter and leave the booth with ease. I don't take up a lot of space. As the manager was handing out menus, he turned his attention towards me and started to yell. I couldn't believe the things he was saying to me. "You can't sit there and block my prime estate. That prime estate earns me $75 an hour. Do you not know how expensive rent is in Vancouver? Are you going to pay for my rent? I'm going to lose money. If you sit there like that, I can't seat anyone". I was furious, but I do understand where he is coming from and what he meant, but come on, there must've been a better way to say this to me. I felt belittled as if I offended him. I had no problem moving my seat around, but no one was sitting at the empty booth. I moved my seat anyways. Ten minutes later the manager sat three people in that empty booth behind me. I think the manager did it to despite me. The restaurant wasn't packed. They could've seated the party of three anywhere else. Whatever, I let it pass and ordered my food. I ordered the Calamari Meal. Again, the food was meh. Some of the Calamari were crispy, and some were soggy. It was not pleasant. I finished my food and looked over to the booth. I take note of what they ordered; coffee, two main dishes (shared), a dessert (shared). It has been an hour and half, and our table was getting ready to pack up to leave while the booth is still chatting showing no signs to leave anytime soon. I doubt that "prime estate" made the manager $75 an hour during my time there. I hope the restaurant lost money that day. I hope the manager got a paper cut from opening up those expensive restaurant bills.

Verdict: The manager is a douche, and I am never coming back. He can eat a fat dick!

Scoozi's Medit on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 10, 2015

Dinner at Indochine Kitchen + Bar

I overheard someone saying that Indochine Kitchen + Bar was a sister restaurant of Phnom Penh. I was curious and since I enjoyed my experience at Phnom Penh I had to try Indochine Kitchen + Bar. I came to the restaurant during the dinner service with a large party, and I was surprised at the size of the restaurant. It felt small and crowd. I would probably recommend making reservations, especially for the weekend or late night drinking session before heading off to the club. The atmosphere was loud; everyone is enjoying themselves and drinking. The restaurant's decor was covered in all black with hints of Asian figures placed throughout the restaurant. It felt like an Asian version of a sports bar and or lounge with a modern twist. A couple of items on the menu were borrowed from Phnom Penh and I ended up ordering the Black Pepper Poutine and Hainanese Chicken. Everything about these two dishes was amazing. The gravy they used for the poutine was somewhat of the same as the black pepper gravy you would get from an HK cafe, but less fatty and more savory. The fries were not too mushy and had a crisp to it. The ground beef mixed in with the gravy paired very well. To top things off, they added a runny egg on top; it blew my mind. This Asian version of a poutine rocks! I wouldn't mind having the Black Pepper Poutine once a week for the rest of my life. The Hainanese Chicken was soft, moist and flavorful. The rice that went with it was delicious; it was soaked / cooked with chicken broth with garlic. I left the restaurant satisfied and as a bonus, I couldn't finish my food, so I had leftovers. WOOP!!

Verdict: A sports bar and or lounge with Asian food. Perfect place for drinks without the bar food.

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* Black Pepper Poutine *
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* Hainanese Chicken *

Indochine Kitchen + Bar on Urbanspoon