(San Fran Trip) Ferry Building Market – Fisherman’s Wharf

So after the tea garden, we headed over to the Ferry Building Market. My friend who had just been to SF a couple months before us had recommended it but to be honest I wasn’t that excited for it yet. However when we arrived at our station and got out to ground level, I thought the view was gorgeous. We walked through some merchants that had booths outside, across the street from the FBM. This was actually where I picked up a flattened wine bottle for my dad, which serves now as our cheese plate.

We walk into the FBM and there were just so many artisan shops! I had no idea it was going to be something like this and was so excited immediately. We tried to walk around first to see what we wanted to eat but honestly I was already starving.

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We settled for some raw oysters as I had really been looking forward to this. The shop that we stopped at was the San Francisco Fish Company. We picked the Royal Miyagi (the smaller ones) and the Blue Point oysters. I have to say the Royal Miyagi were one of the better oysters I’ve ever had. Regardless, both oysters were really delicious. Apparently I had put too much horseradish on tfung’s oysters and he definitely ended up tearing up :P.

We moved on and decided we’d just get lunch at the fisherman’s wharff after we were done exploring the FBM. So we just grabbed another snack here:

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We got the salted pig from baccalone. We actually got the mixed salumi cone, which came with  4 different types of meats. We had capocollo, orange and fennel salame. It wasn’t that good, but was a good experience. It was nice to try some cured meats and tfung really loved it. I myself was not a huge fan. We actually came back a second time and we had the Custom Salami Cone, and picked the three most expensive ones, including the Prosciutto Cotto. I still think that it wasn’t worth the rave.

We had come back on the last day of our trip since we had a 4pm flight and decided it would be better to grab lunch here first. We visited some new places at the market:

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First we went to the Pressed Juicery. I had actually looked this up before coming to San Fran, but found out that it was kind of far from where we were going around. It was also not really a restaurant so we wouldn’t be investing a lot of time there and therefore was not worth the trip. However during our second trip to FMB, we saw that this place was open as a small booth with fridges that they store all the juices. They were very generous with samples for us to try before we made a purchase. I believe each bottle was somewhere around $5 or $6, which is definitely cheaper than the fresh juices I usually get in Canada.

We tried Greens and Citrus. I’m a huge grapefruit lover and so the Citrus 3 was an obvious choice. We also wanted to be a little healthier since we were on this crazy unhealthy food trip, and decided that greens 3 tasted the best. They were very fresh and raw tasting, so if you don’t like that then I’d stay away from these. There was a little bit of residue in both, which was actually a little too gritty for my liking. I don’t mind bits of the fruits or veggies in the juice but when they’re all churned down into very very tiny particles it’s just a little unnatural.

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We also visited the Cowgirl Creamery, as tfung loves cheese. We had a long look and decided that we’d get a small serving of mac and cheese.

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The serving of mac and cheese ended up to be a lot more filling than we imagined. It was a penne sort of pasta as opposed to macaroni, and the cheese was much more real tasting. To be honest it wasn’t a very strong cheese, but I just like my mac and cheese by Kraft….I know I’m a weirdo but I’m just so used to it! Tfung loved this and said it was probably one of the better mac and cheese he had.

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Of course, we had to visit Blue Bottle Coffee, but there was a line up. It was a little too long for my liking, but we lined up anyway.

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I tried to capture the individual coffee drips in action but was unsuccessful. She had taken all the orders away before I could get into position in line to snap the picture. But if you can see, each different type and blend of coffee is dripped through those cups and those paper filters, down into the serving cups. Pretty cute!

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As a latte lover, I of course ordered the Latte. It was rich and creamy, with a little of the acidic/sour taste to it. I did enjoy the latte but didn’t think it was extraordinary from the ones I’m used to. To give some perspective, I live in Montreal, home of many hipster and cute cafe shops. They do a lot of artisan espresso drinks, so I’m quite used to higher quality lattes. As a result I thought this was good, but not amaaaazing. So It’s probably pretty damn good.

This was a longer but much needed post. I loved this place and I wish that Distillery was just as good, but sadly it’s not. If I lived in San Fran, this would be the place to go on a weekend with tfung! I highly recommend coming here if you ever do visit San Fran, even though you may think it’s a very touristy spot.

~ kehwon

(San Fran Trip) Japanese Tea Garden – Golden Gate Park

Wanting to relive the Japan trip we made last summer, I had signed me and tfung up for the Japaense Tea Garden Tea Ceremony for the Friday morning. They only have openings on Wednesday and Friday mornings, so I had called in ahead of time to make a reservation. We made the reservation for 10:30 as it is free admissions into the Japanese garden until 10am every day. So we first came to enjoy some of the beautiful scenery the garden had to offer.

I honestly love Japanese gardens. They just give this sense of tranquility that I can never achieve in any other setting. It gives me a sense of comfort, that things will be alright. It’s just a great feeling, and I wish I had a Japanese garden easily accessible to me in Toronto.

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After enjoying the beautiful scenery, we went over to the center of the garden, which is where the snack shop is located. This was also the location of the tea ceremony.

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We could see the kimono-clad lady setting up for the tea ceremony, and after I snapped a few pictures, we decided to order some snacks while we’re waiting. After all, we hadn’t had any food that morning yet.

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We ordered the dorayaki and the green tea cheesecake. The dorayaki is kind of like two pancakes together with redbean paste filling. It is a sweet that was made famous (at least in my chidlhood) by the cartoon (or anime as it is referred to in Japan), Doraemon. The robot cat who was the star of the cartoon absolutely loved dorayaki. I thought it was pretty good but not really anything to note. It taste like the good quality ones I could buy in Toronto, at its freshest state. Other than that I hadn’t thought it was spectacular. I did however quite enjoy the greentea cheesecake. There was just enough greentea flavour, but still had the cheesecake taste. It was a good balance of the two. Every bite with the whipped cream was better than the next. My only complaint is that it was too small to share between the two of us.

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The tea ceremony was an amazing experience for me. We learned the proper procedures of the tea ceremony, as well as how to properly receive and drink our maccha tea.  You receive the bowl with your right hand hugging the side of the bowl so that the fingers point away from you, and the tips of your left hand’s fingers supporting the bottom edge of the bowl. You set it into the palm of your left hand, and then rotate the bowl three times clockwise. Then you drink from it, usually 3 sips to finish all of the tea in the bowl and you make a kind of slurping sound at the last sip. This slurp when done right is a sign of respect and appreciation for the beautiful tea that was brewed for you by the tea maker. There are also many other rules and procedures but this was the most important part.

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To balance the bitter taste of the maccha tea, we were served some sweets. They were the famous japanese mochi and some japanese crackers as well. The Tea was absolutely delicious in my opinion. It was so creamy and rich, with just enough bitterness to it that doesn’t overwhelm you. The mochi was of good texture, not too chewy but not too mushy, and the filling wasn’t too sweet either. The crackers were also slightly sweet and had a very slight burnt flavour to it.

I loved the whole experience so much, and I hope tfung did too. I’m more into the Japanese traditional stuff, like when we got to wear yukatas at the onsen in Tokyo. If you have any interest in Japanese traditions, I do recommend you check this place out. If not for the tea ceremony, for the garden and some of their snacks is good too!

Japanese Tea Garden Tea House on Urbanspoon

~ kehwon

Oysterfest – Old Port

So today was the Oysterfest in Montreal at old port, more specifically at Terraces Bonsecours. It was such a beautiful day today, and we had an amazing time.

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Food Tickets

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So our first stop was of course oysters. This is, I believe, a store from the Jean-Talon Market, called Boite Aux Huitres. We got 5 oysters for two tickets. We actually came here three times and every oyster was amazing. They were so sweet and fresh, and didn’t have the fishy taste. This is why I love East Coast oysters, even though they tend to be smaller in size (although these ones were quite massive), they are usually much sweeter, have a crunchier texture and aren’t very fishy tasting.

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Green Gables Oysters from PEI
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Green Gables Oysters from PEI

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Next we went for some lobsters. At the Notkin’s Lobster and Shrimp Boil booth, we got half of a lobster for three food tickets. There was also the option of 3 large shrimps for 2 tickets but to be honest they didn’t look that good. The lobster was so sweet and fresh. It came with a small container for melted butter, two pieces of potato and one small piece of corn. We didn’t really care for the veggies to be honest. The lobster and the melted butter was amazing. Definitely was a wonderful buy.

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Green Sangria from Face Cachee de la Pomme

We also got a green sangria which was interesting but not too amazing.

Next we got the Lobster Croquette from Dolcetto/Santos.

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The texture was very creamy inside, but I didn’t think the flavour was amazing. It didn’t have a lot of lobster flavour which was disappointing. But my friend really liked it.

We got this awesome thai basil, blueberries mojito drink after, from the restaurant Ryu.

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Mojito from Ryu

It was really delicious and refreshing. It was also stronger than we had expected, which was nice. I thought it looked really watery but it wasn’t. We got the two drinks for 1 food ticket.

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Lobster Roll from Bevo

Next we got the lobster roll, which was really sweet and fresh again. The mayo sauce wasn’t too overpowering, and there was a good balance of the chives to complete the roll. I did think that the bread wasn’t very good as it was cold. But it was better than I had originally imagined.

There was also a cocktail competition which featured Mott’s Clamato, and bartenders from various well-known restaurants in Montreal. They were given special ingredients (like oyster) to put in the cocktail and the judges would judge them based on presentation, taste, balance and so on.

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Judges judging the Mott’s Clamato competition

It was a really fun and beautiful day and I wish I could have shared it with all my friends and family. But at least I was there with one of my good friends, and it was an awesome experience. I’m likely to come back even though it was a little expensive. We paid $45 and $75 for two entry and 12 food tickets combined. Any additional food tickets would be $5. (The $45 entry came with 2 food tickets and $75 entry came with 10 food tickets). We didn’t end up buying any extra ones.

I do recommend you to come here if you enjoy seafood and drinks in the afternoon. It’s very date appropriate, as it’s literally right beside the waters, and there are so many benches and tables under shade. There are also boats that you can rent and cycle through the surrounding waters. But it’s also a very lively atmosphere that makes it a great place to hang out with your friends on a Sunday afternoon.

~ kehwon

Big in Japan Bar – Plateau Mont-Royal

So I had been hearing a lot about this bar lately from my local friends. They had been saying that this place was really cool, and was super hard to find. They were right about everything, and more.

So we get here around 10pm, and push through this kind of sketchy red door.

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Big In Japan Bar’s Mystery Entrance

So we walk in, through this narrow corridor (which is actually where people end up waiting in line). The walls were lined with this taupy-greyish thick fabric. And at the end of the corridor was the entrance to the bar which was not yet visible to me, as it was covered by this fabric.

We walk in and my eyes probably lit up like Harry Potter’s when he saw the Great Hall in the Hogwarts Castle.

The bar was very oddly shaped, with the waiters and waitresses being able to walk through to each customer (an ingenious design in my opinion). There were swivel chairs that could be expertly placed if you wanted more intimate positions. Some people were just standing. We were able to get a spot with two swivel chairs, which we pushed together so that the three of us could sit on them.

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Big in Japan Bar; 4175 St Laurent; Coin Rachel; 438-380-5658

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I ordered the Yuzu Chu-Hi, which was part of their Japanese menu. This was a 355mL bottle for $9. It’s got an interesting taste which I think is because this is a malt-based drink. There were two flavours available: yuzu and grapefruit. It was hard for me to decide because I love both, but I figured yuzu flavoured products were much harder to find in Montreal so I settled for that.

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Americano

My friend got the Americano, which contains campari and vermouth. It was really quite delicious even though it was a little strong for me. The flavour was sweet enough but not too overdone so that it makes you want to gag after a few sips. It was garnished with a slice of orange.

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Jamaican Mule

My last friend ordered the Jamaican Mule, containing rum, ginger and some syrups. I thought this was surprisingly delicious. When she had first ordered it I had imagined it to be a dark and thicker drink. But it was actually very refreshing and the ginger was not overpowering at all. All of the drinks came with the cute little Japan-themed tooth pick. I thought it added such a cute but subtle flare to it.

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On top of the main portion of the bar, where we were situated, there were these bottles hanging there. My friend explained that these were unfinished bottles of patrons when they order the expensive sake. They are allowed to sign or write a message on it, and then are placed there for others to see. I thought that was a great way to add a more personal relationship with the patrons.

You can either open a tab or pay as you go. If you open the tab you get this cute little card that kind of resembles a hotel card, with a number on it. At the end you can pay separately if you’d like by card. I thought this was a system that worked very well with what patrons often need.

In terms of the ambiance, I absolutely 1000000% loved it. It’s perfect for me. I love way it was decorated. Simple, modern yet with very subtle accents. The candles obviously gave a romantic touch, and I did see a lot of couples there. But it’s not so obviously “romantic” that friends can’t enjoy the atmosphere. It wasn’t TOO loud, but definitely wasn’t a super quiet environment. I loved that you don’t get secluded booths so that it’s more lively and you could probably meet some interesting people there. The owner comes around later in the night to pour your drinks and make conversation with you which was something I really appreciated. This place is definitely not good for a big party though. The reason being that you have to sit or stand along the bar and it’d be very difficult to chat with your friend who was standing 9 people down…. I’d say if you have a party of 3 or 4 would be perfect.

I loved this bar so much, it has become my favourite bar at the moment. Just everything about it made me so at peace and happy. The fact that it has a slight Japanese theme to it didn’t hurt either. I highly recommend coming here for a chill night if you just wanna chat with your friends!

Service: 3.5/5
Drinks: 8.0/10
Atmosphere: dark, down-key, relaxed, sophistocated, modern, simple
Price: $10-15 per drink

Big in Japan on Urbanspoon

~ kehwon

(San Fran Trip) Cocobang – Union Square

So finally I’m reviewing all the incredible places we went to in San Francisco, and the series will be in order.

Just a little background, we went in late July, and took two connecting flights which was incredibly exhausting. So when we finally arrived and checked into our hotel and decided we really should get something to eat. We were originally planning to get some sushi this night, but when we were walking around near our hotel we decided to settle for Korean food. The reason being that San Francisco was much colder than we imagined! I was about 10˚C when we arrived that night, so we wanted some spicy hot soup.

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Spicy Fried Chicken

We ordered the Spicy Fried Chicken since tfung was very excited about getting fried chicken. I have to say it was pretty good but I just wasn’t in the mood for oily and greasy food. The batter wasn’t super crispy or anything since it was in this sweet and sour type of sauce. But the overall flavour was really good and the chicken wasn’t dry at all. The coleslaw type side that came with it was doused in thousand island/mayo sauce which was really delicious. However as a dietitian I thought the amount of sauce they used was excessive.

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Kim Chi Hot Soup

We already wanted some hot soup for the night, but when we sat down, we saw the table next to us share this dish and we asked them what it was. So we ordered the Kim Chi Hot Soup, fully loaded. It had a bunch of veggies in it, kimchi of course, tofu, ramen, some rice cakes. There wasn’t any meat in it but it was so delicious. Tfung did find it a little spicier than he would’ve liked but it was perfect for me. The kimchi was sweet and spicy, not really much sour taste to it. I loved the ramen in it, it was done just the way I liked it, not mushy and a little bit more on the underdone side.

Overall we liked the food, but it wasn’t anything mind-blowing. The price was fair and service was pretty good. I did find that the girl didn’t understand my english very well, maybe I have a Canadian accent…..

Service: 3/5
Food: 8.5/10
Atmosphere: Shabby chic Korean
Price: $10-30

Coco Bang on Urbanspoon

~ kehwon

Article – Five Aspects Meal Model

Article – Five Aspects Meal Model

Since I’m studying Dietetics, there are many aspects to food that we have to learn. We usually think about the clinical aspect, but we are currently taking a course called Foodservice Management, in which it teaches us how to manage a foodservice setting (restaurant or perhaps hospital are the more common ones).

Interestingly, as a start-up to the class, we were presented with this article. It shows the five aspects of the meal: The room, the meeting, the produce, management control and of course the atmosphere. 

I agree with everything that they say or point out in the article. I especially agree with how big of an impact the waiters can have on the enjoyment of the meal. Of course the atmosphere plays a big role as well. If you are a foodie and truly enjoy going out to eat, please take a quick read! It’s interesting to think about these things when we go out and enjoy (or not) our meals. Perhaps you’ll think more carefully when tipping the waiter/waitress who was serving you after this article, and make sure they truly deserve the tips they are receiving from you!

Cacao 70 – Downtown Montreal

So recently I had a massive cake craving, and my friend suggested we go to Cacao70, since the last time we tried to go we were too late and they didn’t accept any more people in line. I actually thought this was nice of them, that they wouldn’t let us line up and then tell us that they were closing.

But anyway, we made it this time and while we did wait about 20 minutes, it was worth it to satisfy my craving. I have to say that where we were waiting was a little stuffy and really just not very comfortable, especially since it was raining that night.

Walking into the store, the aroma of dark chocolate wasn’t too overwhelming which was surprising. Usually at these dessert places, the smell of chocolate when you enter the store completely turns you off. So I was still in my chocolate cake mood as we were seated and given our hipster glass bottle of water.

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The setup of the store made it so that you could watch them prepare the waffles, crepes and most of the dishes. Being a student of dietetics and having seen food service kitchens, it was nice and reassuring to have a more open kitchen concept,

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They had a large display of different chocolates at the bar, and is available for purchase among other take out items. There were actually a large amount of patrons in line who wanted to take out, so that’s always an option if you don’t want to wait so long.

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Finally getting to the food, I ordered the Cacao 70’s Triple Chocolate Cake. I loved the presentation of it as it was much more refreshing than the old cake-on-a-plate. It’s also good because you get to taste all the flavours in every bite. Perhaps it was the fact that I was craving chocolate cake, or because it really was very very tasty. I absolutely loved this dish and am craving it right now as I’m typing.

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My friend ordered the New York Frozen Hot Chocolate, as she had some ice-cream before our dinner. She said it wasn’t too rich or sweet and isn’t really something for someone who has a huge sweet tooth. She had thought that the one from Second Cup tasted better than this one, as this tasted like chocolate milk mixed in with crushed ice. Perhaps there are certain items on the menu that just aren’t as good, but I have to try all of them first :D. As I’m not a huge frozen drink person, I probably won’t be ordering this the next time I’m back.

Definitely the wait was a little annoying, but if you’re with friends that you can chat about anything, you’re golden. The service was quick yet polite. They don’t rush you to finish your conversations, and are very good about refilling water. You do have to go up to the cash register to pay for your bill though. In terms of price I did think it was a little expensive, but it had satisfied my sweet tooth craving so well that I didn’t care much for it. My cake was around $10.

I love dessert places and Cacao 70 is really the atmosphere I look for when I need to satisfy that late night sweet tooth craving. They are opened until 10 or 11pm in the summertime, which is perfect. I bet the chocolate in the winter will be a real treat as well. I highly recommend this place if you and your friends are looking for a place to get some cocoa!

Service: 3.5/5
Food: 8.2/10
Atmosphere: chocolate-themed, easy
Price: $10-20

Cacao 70 on Urbanspoon

~ kehwon

Holder – Old Port Montreal

This was one of the first restaurants I went with my new found friends in Montreal. I’m not sure whose idea it was but it wasn’t something that I found myself. After that first time, I’ve come back many many times and it’s been tried and true in my books. Other than the fact that their signature dishes are ALWAYS this good, it’s not impossible to get a reservation and the price is very reasonable. It just makes it so easy to come here to eat!

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I had come back tonight with my parents and we ordered a Salmon Tartare with Mujjol Caviar to share as an appetizer. The dish was quite good but I didn’t think there was anything special compared to other salmon tartares I’ve had. However it should be noted that they do give you a fair amount for 11.50.

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True to form, I had ordered the Duck Confit. At 21.50, this dish is a must have. The duck is so tender and moist on the inside but fried and slightly cripsy on the outside. It is served on my favourite salad, arugula, dressed with truffle oil. There are also some fingerling potatoes at the bottom. Aesthetically, this dish does not look very appetizing. However when you start eating, it is very rich. The truffle oil made the salad taste amazing, as it often does. There wasn’t much else in the salad which was fine as it was so rich already. The potatoes were done well.

On other occasions, tfung and I ordered the Buffalo Mozzarella salad dressed with balsamic reduction and pine nuts.

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It was absolutely delicious, very fresh tomatoes and the cheese was not overwhelming, as I do not like very strong cheeses. I loved the balsamic reduction and the pine nuts added a nice touch.

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tfung and I ordered the duck confit as well as mussel and fries. The mussels were quite good, but they weren’t the best I’ve had. They weren’t the freshest mussels, as they did shrink quite a bit. It did come in a very large portion for 20.50 though. The house fries were quite good and were served with mayonnaise.

Overall, I love this restaurant and the service is decent. It can become very noisy especially later at night. There is a wide range of people dressing up and dressing down, which is nice to know that you could go in shorts and they will not give you snooty looks. One thing I would complain about is that this restaurant is a little heavy on the salt.

Service: 3.5/5
Food: 8.5/10
Atmosphere: casual, lively, bistro
Price: $20-30

Holder on Urbanspoon

~ kehwon

Pizzeria Romeo – Mont Royal

Of the many times I’ve walked along Mont Royal at night, I always seemed to notice this restaurant. From the outside it was always loud and busy with lots of people even at 11pm. The decor that I could see from outside is black-themed, with sturdy wooden tables and chairs.

So I decided to bring my parents here after they drove me in for the start of my internship this summer.

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It had been a hot day so I decided to get myself a white sangria. They topped it off with a lychee. I do believe the lychee was canned and the wine was okay. It was still a really refreshing drink on this hot day. After a long day of moving, it was really relaxing to enjoy my ice cold drink whilst feeling the light breeze from the bustling streets outside. Ever since I had a really good experience on the patio two years ago, I’ve grown to love these European style open restaurant concept. They provide proper shading for my sensitive skin, but also allows me to enjoy being outside.

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Romeo is a pizzeria, and so we decided to order two pizzas to share amongst the three of us. We ordered the Mushroom Truffle Pizza as well as the Italian Sausage Pizza. The mushroom pizza was absolutely delicious, while the sausage was quite dry and I didn’t enjoy it at all. The two pizzas were $15 and $14.50 respectively, which is a decent price for its size. We weren’t too hungry to begin with and so we were full with the two pizzas.

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The service was very slow and they actually forgot to make our second pizza for the longest time. The waitress had come by and told us that they did forget to start cooking it, and apologized for the mistake. There were only two waiter/waitress on the floor serving about 40 people, so perhaps they could staff another person on the floor. They did have a fully stocked bar which can be a treat for those who just want to enjoy a nice drink.

Overall I did enjoy my experience, since I don’t usually eat with my parents at restaurants other than Asian ones. Although this isn’t a must-eat, it definitely is a good choice for one of those nights where no one can decide where to eat, and is also quite affordable.

Service: 3/5
Food: 8.0/10
Atmosphere: bar, open, industrial
Price: $15-25

Pizzeria Romeo on Urbanspoon

~ kehwon

Duchess Bake Shop – Downtown Edmonton

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On a quiet Sunday afternoon in Edmonton, Duchess Bake Shop is far from tranquil. Karen and I were looking for a place to have some lunch and sweets. Duchess immediately came to mind.

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The decor is  elegant yet simple. The bakery gives you this Victorian feel. It is bright and vibrant, yet classical and comfortable. The environment is perfectly fitting for its name and for the food they serve.

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You can see that every table is full. Karen and I had to split up: she waited by a couple who looked like they were about to leave and snagged their spot, while I waited in line to place our orders. It took about 15 minutes before it was my turn, but by then I had just enough time to decide what I would like to order from their extensive array of sweets and hot food. Their hot food options were not as robust as their desserts, but there were definitely a few to choose from. We ordered the Pear Tartine with Potato and Leek Soup and the Quiche Lorraine.

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Pear, Cheese, and Peanut Spread Tartine w/ Potato Leek Soup
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Quiche Lorraine

The Tartine was composed of a bed of chopped lettuce, under warm cooked slices of pear, on a toasted piece of rye bread, covered with a light melted cheese and garnished with fresh pepper. This combination gave a sweet and savory flavour to the tartine that was very appetizing, but not too heavy despite the cheese.  Our only complaint was the the hardness of the bread which made it difficult to eat. The potato leak soup was fragrant and had a good combination of the two ingredients (potato and leek). However, the soup was a bit watery for my liking and lacked the consistency of a creamy potato based soup.

The quiche was amazing. It was fluffy, light, and moist. Combined with the perfectly browned surface and the flaky, rich, and buttery crust, this is hands down the best quiche I have ever had. Every bite was better than the last and Karen and I had to fight over who got the last piece. I highly recommend the quiche at Duchess.

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Cafe Latte

To wash down our delicious lunch, Karen had a Latte and I had a iced Americano. There is nothing special to say about their coffee. Moving on to dessert, we ordered half a dozen macarons, a lemon tart, and raspberry white chocolate scone.

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Macarons: Pistachio (front), Hazelnut (left), Coconut (centre), espresso (back), Rose (back right), Watermelon (right)

The first thing we noticed about these macarons were that they were handsome. The colours they used were not too vibrant, but instead resembled more of a natural look that closely followed the flavour of the macaron. Also, the addition of pistachio and hazelnut on their respective macarons gave them bonus points for presentation. The meringue was not too crunchy on the outside and not too light or airy on the inside, which gave the macaron a bit of chew to it. This was great as we dislike macarons that become almost like a hard candy texture when you bite into it.  All the flavours were great and none of the macarons were too sweet (the pistachio and hazelnut stood out as the best ones). The only thing I would change would be to replace the buttercream with a ganache filling, which would give the macarons a more rich flavour and more physical support/structure to them.

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Lemon Tart

The powdered sugar and the blueberry just completes the presentation of the Lemon Tart. The tart had a fresh lemon zest flavour that you notice as soon as you take a bite.  The sourness is perfectly balanced by the sweetness. The filling was creamy and almost runny, which is a change from the typical jello-y lemon tarts that I’ve experienced. The crust was more on the hard side and not as crumbly as I would have liked. As a result, it was very difficult to cut with a knife.

Unfortunately we did not take a picture of the raspberry white chocolate scone, but we felt like we had to talk about it because it was that delicious. The outside was crunchy and the inside was soft, moist and crumbly. The pairing of the white chocolate and the raspberry was amazing. Both flavours were present and one did not overpower the other (the raspberry and the white chocolate flavour in the scone was in perfect harmony). The scone’s combination of the crunchiness and the softness as well as the perfect balance of the white chocolate and raspberry really impressed us.

Duchess Bake Shop is a great little bakery and cafe. With their beautiful decor to their amazing desserts and hot food, Duchess is a must try if you find yourself in Edmonton.

Service: N/A
Food: 9.2/10
Atmosphere: Elegant, Simple, Victorian
Price: $15-30

Duchess Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

~Thomas