Browsing: Restaurant Features

Beet Happenings

July4

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What struck me immediately about an anticipated visit to Beet Happenings (818 Notre Dame Ave.) was that the food would be wholesome and healthy as depicted by its name and my hunch was accurate. The cheery spot on Notre Dame and Tecumseh serves gluten free, vegetarian and vegan offerings.

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There were a number of comfortable booths which lined one wall and we were encouraged to find our spot and then return to the counter to order. Owner Justin might even take care of you himself. As we had arrived, we were encouraged to order our dessert as well, because the counter gets very busy over the lunch hour. The philosophy of Beet Happening is that exciting, nutritious food should be accessible to all people, even busy ones.

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My lunch date immediately spied the pizzettes like the ones that you might see at a French style bakery. But first she had been tempted by the weekly special of pulled pork with corn bread. She remarked that the personal pizzas were top notch from the deliciously chewy crust, to the gooey cheese and a sprinkling of greens.

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I asked what their most popular salad was and received the emphatic answer that the Beet Happening Salad was by far the most popular. Perhaps the restaurant itself was named for the salad, I mused. I felt healthy just gazing at the array of red quinoa, chickpeas, beetroot, carrot, grape tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, currants and seasonal greens. Consuming the salad was just as satisfying. I am always impressed when you do not have to sacrifice flavor for healthy choices.

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Having eaten lightly I was not concerned about ordering dessert and had already selected a strawberry/lemon fruit crumble bar. Reminiscent of the classic Matrimonial Cake, the bar retained a crunchy bottom and a top layer of brown sugary rolled oats as well as a scattering of pumpkin seeds to make me feel good about my choice.

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My lunch date selected a gluten free tart with lemon curd and berries and was delighted with the cool lemony flavours. Beet Happenings is open Monday-Friday from 9 am -4 pm with breakfast & lunch menus available. There is street parking available and the building is wheelchair accessible.

Kath’s quote: “The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.”-Tom Robbins

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Love never fails.

Crème de L’Essence

June19

Keep an open mind when you pull up in front of Crème De L’Essence 1833 Inskster Blvd. and get ready to experience something absolutely unique. I for one was not expecting a restaurant of this calibre in the middle of an urban industrial park.

Black and white photographs adorn black walls but the room is astonishingly bright due to their south facing windows. Tables are simple and are surrounded by what I would call “church chairs”; you know the kind that can be stacked impossibly high?

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The menu itself is a basic laminated sheet. But this is where the mundane departs and luxurious food enters the scene. We started by sharing Black Garlic Linguine with arugula and parmesan. The lengthy pasta ribbons were satiny and the creamy sauce was offset with peppery arugula leaves. We moaned with our first tastes and were not shy about finishing every last dollop of sauce.

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My lunch date opted for an all day breakfast item and chose the Ube Pancakes. We were baffled by the purple flesh of the flapjack. With research, I discovered that the colour comes from the ube yam which is used in a variety of Filipino desserts such as ice cream, cakes, hopia, and halo-halo. The pancakes themselves were fluffy and delicious, sensational when topped with bruleed bananas and coarsely chopped hazelnuts. When my companion could not finish her portion, I picked up her fork and did the deed for her!

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My eye had been drawn to the Chicken Poutine where pulled chicken confit adorns herbed fries and are smothered with roasted corn, cheese curds, gravy, grape tomatoes and an option of shaved foie gras! I decided to dial back the decadence level and chose roasted brussel sprouts enhanced by a pomme puree and more chopped hazelnuts. From our elementary French we thought that the pomme puree would be apple sauce but was in fact a pureed potato as in pomme de terre or potato in French.

My relatively light choice meant I could indulge in my companion’s left overs. When you visit, ensure that you have your elasticized pants on as your tummy is sure to expand with the lavish fare.

Crème de L’Essence is owned and operated by RJ Urbano and Ryan San Diego. The have all day, take out and catering menus available. They are open from Tues-Sun 10 am- 3 pm., Wed-Sat 10 am – 2 pm then reopen from 5 pm – 8 pm. On Fri & Sat they close at 9 pm. They are wheelchair accessible.

Kath’s quote: “You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food”. -Paul Prudhomme

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Love never fails.

Mango Grill-Isla Mujeres 2017

June14

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On one of our final days on the island, D declared that we had not yet visited Mango Cafe. I love Mango but because I knew we had all kinds of fixings in our fridge and cupboard and because our departure was fast approaching, I was hesitant to go. I simply cannot waste food. Doug had a great suggestion as to what to do with it, so I agreed knowing that the food fixings would be going to a good home.

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We have two favourites that we ordered each year-the stuffed poblano and the coconut French toast.

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We have always marvelled as to how the stuffed chilies are made-does the filling go in already cooked to simply be reheated when plunged into the deep fat fryer? This is our best guess.

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I try very hard to eat these with the fruit and not the syrup. The syrup takes it from hearty breakfast to decadent dessert!

We love the varied colours of the cozy restaurant and always feel at home. Perhaps it is the décor, perhaps it is the staff that are as cordial as the restaurant’s owner. We befriended Polo a number of years ago and are so excited to see his lovely little family expand.

Kath’s quote:  “I will stop loving you when an apple grows from a mango tree on the 30th of February”.-author unknown

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

Rhombus Guys Brewing Co.-Grand Forks, ND

June9

In the afternoon when we planned on an evening’s visit to Rhombus Guys Brewing, we perused the on line menu and decided that we would try Scotch-eggs that evening. But when we arrived at the locale (a beautifully restored heritage building), there were lots of lighter choices on the menu. Since we started the day at Darcy’s and stopped for Happy Hour and an appetizer platter at Ground Round, we thought maybe we should get some vegetables into our tummies.

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Since we were at a brewery, we started with….beer of course!

There were four of us and we comfortably decided upon each pair sharing the cobb salad and grilled cheese sandwiches. Did you know that?:

In the late 1930s, LA’s famous Brown Derby restaurant owner Bob Cobb went to fix a late night snack for Sid Grauman, the owner of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. He took leftovers from the refrigerator and chopped them up finely because Grauman was suffering from a toothache. Grauman loved the salad so much that Cobb added it to the menu.

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The salad was not made precisely as they were in the 1930s but had lovely modern touches like rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes.

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The sandwich was fine enough. I selected it because of the promised inclusion of bacon jam. The taste which I am familiar with and love, was not prevalent but as I say, it was a pretty good grilled sandwich.

We were tempted by dessert but decided instead to head to Mike’s where the girls enjoyed ice cream as we parked our car near the river.

The best part of all of this were the lovely chats that we got to have together. Life is so busy that even with a family as close as ours is, time to visit is precious indeed.

Kath’s quote: “I smile because you are my sister. I laugh because you can’t do anything about it.”-Unknown

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Love never fails.

 

 

Darcy’s Grand Forks, ND

June8

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On a recent jaunt to Grand Forks, ND for a sisters’ weekend some helpful restaurant tips from a Winnipeg blogger friend.

We knew that our hotel provided a continental breakfast, so we checked it out before heading over to Darcy’s for breakfast. The items that we were looking forward to were bagels and cream cheese or peanut butter or perhaps a bran muffin. When there were no of these style of items available we decided on just coffee. Unfortunately the coffee wasn’t particularly good either. So the good news is that we were hungry when we arrived at Darcy’s and that was opportune as the portions were enormous.

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My SIL ordered an omelet, pumpernickel toast and hash browns (I ate most of her has browns). I chose a poached egg, grilled ham and cinnamon brioche French toast. Both dishes were excellent.

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But the reason we came was for the caramel rolls-a tall yeasty cinnamon bun drenched in caramel. It wasn’t a breakfast add on in my mind…it was dessert!

Kath’s quote: “There’s no war going on between blondes and brunettes…It’s between girls who can eat cinnamon rolls without gaining weight and me”.-unknown

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

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