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  1. The Right Drink for What Ails You

    January 7, 2014 by admin

    Wondering what is the right drink to lose weight, for an upset stomach, to fall asleep? Wonder no more!

    Greatist has rounded up 21 drink suggestions for every type of situation and need:

    To Build Muscle — Milk

    To Lose Weight — Green Tea/Grapefruit Juice

    For an Upset Stomach — Ginger Ale

    For a Head Cold — Lemon and Honey Tea

    To Fall Asleep — Tart Cherry Juice/Warm Milk/Chamomile

    For Digestion — Water/Herbal Tea

    For Spicy Food — Milk/Yogurt

    For a Hangover — Water/Orange Juice/Banana Smoothie

    For Dehydration — Coconut Water

    For Bad Breath — Water

    For Hunger — Milk

    Read more… 

  2. [Calgary] Kol3

    November 9, 2012 by admin

    Kol3 specializes in ban xeo, which are crepes filled with various meat and vegetables. They also offer pho and some appetizer items, but the reason to visit is definitely for the crepes.

    I’m a big fan of ban xeo, so I was excited to try these out. There are only a handful of restaurants that serve these in Calgary.

    This was definitely one of the better crepes that I have had. I tried the Traditional ban xeo. This was a large crepe filled with shrimp, onions, mushrooms, bean sprouts, mung beans and your choice of meat – I chose pork.

    The onions were grilled, and all the flavours worked really well together in the thin crepe. I enjoyed the little salad that accompanied the dish, dressed with a fish-sauce-based vinaigrette. The portion was also nice.

    I would definitely return for this dish again.

    Kol3 on Urbanspoon

  3. [Calgary] Sichani’s Mediterranean (Kingsland Farmers Market)

    by admin

    During the summer we visited Kingsland Farmers Market for the first time. It’s a bit smaller than the Calgary Farmers Market, but very easy to visit as it’s just off Macleod Trail. And it wasn’t particularly busy, especially for a Saturday.

    We stopped at the food court for a bite to eat. I liked how they had tables outside so we could enjoy the warm weather.

    After surveying the options (burgers, sushi and other vendors), we decided on Sichani’s Mediterranean. My husband ordered a donair and I had a chicken shawarma (both large).

    After receiving the sandwich, I questioned whether large was the right choice. It was humungous! We took our sandwiches outside, unwrapped them, and took the plunge.

    While I questioned ordering the large sandwich, I had no problem polishing it off! It was fresh and flavourful, and the pita bread was delicious (they also sell the bread separately to take home). There was an unexpected kick to it, and I quite enjoyed the bold curry flavour.

    I would definitely return to have another shawarma. They’d be perfect for lunch, as long as you can handle the food coma afterward. :)

  4. [Great Falls] MacKenzie River Pizza Co

    August 1, 2012 by admin

    This summer we did an overnight trip to Great Falls, Montana. I had an itching to go shopping at Target, so off we went on a long weekend. Before going, I researched different restaurants, and decided to try this family friendly restaurant for “the best pizza in Great Falls.”

    We decided on a couple of pies that were around $9-11 each, very reasonable compared to other pizza places I’m used to. You can choose to have your pie baked on sourdough, natural grain or thin crust.

    We chose two pizzas with the sourdough and natural grain crust:

    Caribbean Chicken
    Jerk spiced chicken, sweet Caribbean sauce, pineapple, red peppers, fresh cilantro and mozzarella.

    Mozzarella, ground beef, pepperoni, bacon, tomatoes, red onions and green peppers.

    Out of the two, we preferred the Caribbean chicken. It was sweet and spicy with a nice tang. The Rancher was okay, but a bit on the salty side. We also found that the dough was kind of uneven – some slices were on the thinner side, and other slices were very large and extra doughy.

    It was a pretty long wait for our pizza, I’m not sure if they mixed up our order with someone else’s. But it was a good pizza to eat on a Friday night when you’re in a new city – comforting, and pretty delicious.

    Here’s their website:

    MacKenzie River Pizza Co on Urbanspoon

  5. [Calgary] Ichi Rock [ra:ku]

    by admin

    We had a TeamBuy for a new sushi restaurant in Calgary called Ichi Rock. This is a tiny little spot, but the staff is very friendly and the food was fairly good. Here’s what we enjoyed:

    We ordered a sushi roll combo, and the presentation was just beautiful! I wasn’t planning to take photos of the meal, but this was a really nice plate. The rolls were fresh and tasty.

    We also ordered a tempura, which was decent. It had a very flaky batter compared to other tempuras we’ve tried.

    The last item we ordered was a seafood oknomiyaki. This is a seafood pancake that we tried in Tokyo and just loved. However, we haven’t been able to find anything comparable to the one we tried (and made ourselves) in Japan.

    This one was interesting, but the taste of the bonito flakes kind of overpowered everything. It was also quite heavy-tasting.

    All in all, Ichi Rock is a nice spot to try downtown for sushi. I would be interested in trying out some of their other dishes as well.

    Ichi Rock [ra:ku] on Urbanspoon

  6. [Calgary] Seoul Korean BBQ

    by admin

    Korean BBQ is one of those rare treats that we have, usually for a special night out with friends. The last time I had gone here with some girlfriends from work, and we loved it! We were so stuffed, and everything was so delicious and tasty. This time around, I came with my husband and brother-in-law. It wasn’t a special occasion, but the food was amazing once again.

    Here’s what we enjoyed:

    There are several different options when you order Korean BBQ. You can order dishes separately, as part of a set meal, or go the all-you-can-eat route. The set meal and the all-you-can-eat option was actually comparable in price if you go with three people. The set meal, which included various meats, seafood and a seafood pancake was around $70, while the all-you-can-eat was around $25 a person.

    We decided to go for one of the set meals just to make ordering easy. You also have the option of cooking yourself, which is definitely fun with friends, or having the kitchen cook everything for you. We went this route to again make it easy on ourselves, and hopefully have less of a Korean BBQ smell left on our clothes when we left. (It doesn’t really matter either way, just make sure you don’t wear a sweater or wool coat or anything that really holds smells in.)

    We started off with a yummy seafood pancake, a surprisingly tasty salad, and an assortment of Korean side dishes. These are always a fun little bonus when you’re out eating Korean food. They also serve as condiments as you wrap the meat into the lettuce wraps provided.

    The beef included beef ribs and sliced beef. The sliced beef was probably our favourite of the night.

    There were also shrimp and oysters, chicken and pork. It was more than enough food for three people… I think it would feed four people just fine. Everything was very good and we left in the usual meat coma.

    This isn’t an everyday or every week type of restaurant, but once in a while it’s great to treat yourself to some delicious Korean BBQ! I especially like the option of having the kitchen cook everything for you. :)

    Seoul Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon

  7. [Calgary] Sumo Lounge

    by admin

    We had a Groupon for Sumo Lounge, so we decided to go for dinner one Saturday night. We’ve been to Sumo Lounge before, but usually at the Sunridge Mall location. They usually have decent Japanese food/rolls for the price – nothing spectacular, but good when you’re just cruising around the mall.

    When we first arrived, we were asked if we had a Groupon. I wasn’t sure if we needed reservations or not, but it seemed to be fine. Here’s what we enjoyed:

    1) Seafood Steam Pot – One pound of mussels served in clam broth, garlic and white wine. I’m not a huge mussel fan, but my husband loves them and thoroughly enjoyed these ones.

    2) Pork Gyoza - Pan fried dumplings stuffed with minced pork and veggies. I love the silky smooth texture of Japanese gyoza compared to Chinese dumplings, and these were delicious.

    3) Regular Tempura - Veggies and shrimp. A must whenever we go for sushi. Can really vary depending on batter and oiliness. These ones were good and not too greasy.

    4) Maki and Sushi - Salmon, white tuna, prawn, California roll, dynamite roll and Sumo house roll. This combo offered a lot of variety, and the rolls were enjoyable. (We are not huge sushi connoisseurs, but they passed the test with us!)

    Overall, we found the dishes and variety of food very good at Sumo Lounge. We would return again, with or without a Groupon.

    Sumo Lounge on Urbanspoon

  8. [Las Vegas] Wicked Spoon Buffet (Cosmopolitan)

    by admin

    I had heard a lot about this buffet and had wanted to try it last time I was in Vegas. Alas, we didn’t have enough time, so I put it on our “to-eat” list this time around. The Wicked Spoon Buffet at the Cosmopolitan is a little different from others because it is tapas-style – everything is served in little dishes.

    We arrived early in the morning around 9 or 10, so we were able to avoid the lunch rush. This is what we enjoyed:

    I really liked the concept of this buffet, but the execution of the dishes really varied. My first plate included fried chicken in its own wire basket (pretty good), Eggs Benedict (usually a miss unless you get it cooked perfectly), and a yogurt (kind of boring).

    My second dish included a little takeout box of curry noodles (pretty tasty), a small serving of spaghetti pomodoro (meh), a Caesar salad (decent) and a big piece of meat (little on the dry side).

    Onto dessert! I was trying to watch my sugar this trip, so all of these dishes are actually sugar free, which is pretty cool. I think the chocolate dish and the blueberry cheesecake were my favourites, but the desserts at the Wynn Buffet were much more memorable.

    And to end off our meal, nothing is more decadent than chocolate-dipped strawberries! Delicious.

    This wasn’t my favourite buffet, but it was worth a try and it was pretty reasonable if you go for breakfast. As I mentioned, the dishes vary in quality, so there are others that I didn’t try (like the mac and cheese), which may make it worth a trip for you!

    Wicked Spoon (Cosmopolitan) on Urbanspoon

  9. [Las Vegas] Lotus of Siam

    by admin

    Before visiting Vegas this year, I went to many foodie sites to see which places we should try this visit. One restaurant that came up time and time again was Lotus Siam. It was said to be in a “shady neighbourhood,” but that it was also the “best Thai place in America.” That is quite a top billing, and so we had to try it for ourselves.

    We are huge fans of Thai food. We’ve visited Bangkok a few times and had some of the most amazing and cheap Thai food we’ve ever experienced. So already this restaurant had a lot to live up to.

    Here’s what we enjoyed:

    Our first pick was TOM YUM KUNG. This is a hot and sour soup with shrimp, lime juice, lemon grass and straw mushroom. My husband always orders this dish, and it was to his liking. It was a little too spicy for me!

    Our next appetizer was the STUFFED CHICKEN WINGS. These are deep-fried chicken wings stuffed with ground pork and served with a sweet and sour sauce. This was a pretty yummy dish at first, definitely something we had never tried before. However, it was really heavy to eat, so it’s best to share with a few people.

    I am always a sucker for anything duck, so we tried the ROASTED DUCK CURRY. This was a combination of roasted duck, pineapple, bell pepper and tomato in a red curry base with coconut milk. This was a very non-traditional curry (I don’t think I’ve ever seen bell peppers in a Thai curry before) and didn’t live up to our expectations. It was a little bland, not very flavourful at all.

    Our last, and favourite dish was the MINT AND GREEN CHILI (PORK). It was sautéed with fresh and dry chili, garlic, bell pepper and Thai basil. It was very flavourful and hit all the different parts of your mouth with its different tastes – the perfect Thai dish.

    All in all, there were some respectable dishes here, but nothing that I would call “the best in America.” Some of the dishes didn’t seem very authentic at all, but this is an interesting place to try in the middle of Sin City.

    Lotus of Siam on Urbanspoon

  10. [Las Vegas] Buffet (Bellagio)

    April 18, 2012 by admin

    People seem to have a love-hate relationship with buffets. We usually do just the Wynn buffet, but on this trip we actually tried a few of them. Because we stayed at the Bellagio and it was our 10-year anniversary, we were given a front-of-the-line pass to use during our stay. This was awesome, because sometimes you can wait upwards of an hour in line for a Vegas buffet.

    We went a couple of times, during breakfast on a weekday and during “brunch” on a weekend. I would recommend going on a weekday because the price is usually cheaper. Also, if you can time it right, you can go for breakfast and stay during lunch as they change over the menu. For the weekday breakfast, it was $17 a person, which is completely reasonable as it comes with juice and coffee and so much selection. When we went on the weekend, it happened to be an “Easter Brunch,” which also included crab legs and prime rib. With the additional selection and “special occasion,” the price went up to $37 a person.

    For breakfast, I definitely recommend the omelettes. These are made to order, and it’s interesting just to watch the chef create the most fluffy, delicious omelettes, sometimes six at a time. This was probably the best omelette I’ve had, ever.

    Other highlights were the fresh fruit and, if you go during lunch, try the shrimp salad rolls – these were amazing!

    Eggs Benedict is tricky at a buffet. You need to time it perfectly so you get it right after it’s served. Otherwise, it will be way overdone by the time you eat it. And the whole point is to have a lovely, runny egg, no?

    I had tried the Bellagio buffet years ago for dinner and wasn’t especially impressed. (It also could have been that we were buffet-ed out by that point.) This time, for breakfast/lunch, I think it was a great option to get some quality food with a lot of variety.

    Buffet (Bellagio) on Urbanspoon