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Fast food sushi disappointment

Take out sushi from Sushi Ginza at Chinook Centre

Take out sushi from Sushi Ginza at Chinook Centre

I really should know better. Every time I’ve been to Sushi Ginza in Chinook Centre over the past few (years?) I’ve been disappointed. The worst part of it is that the rice is dry, but I also feel like there’s very limited selection.

 

But I don’t learn my lesson apparently – and once again while at the mall to do a little shopping (see my Instagram feed for my shopping scores) I was hungry and popped to the food court for a bite of dinner. The food court was PACKED and I hoped that since it was the busy period, this meant that the food would fresh- no more dry rice. I was wrong. I hate leaving bad reviews, but I really need to remember how disappointing this fast-food sushi is.

Take out sushi from Sushi Ginza at Chinook Centre

Take out sushi from Sushi Ginza at Chinook Centre

You might remember that I’ve also had GOOD experiences with fast food sushi… click the category tag below to get the highs and lows.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2017 in South-West Calgary, Sushi

 

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Kaffi Klassik, Reykjavik

Klassik Crepe from Kaffi Klassik

Klassik Crepe from Kaffi Klassik

Twice I’ve been to Reykjavik, and twice I’ve been to the Kringlan mall – the largest shopping mall in Rekyjavik with over 150 shops and services. Twice too I’ve been to Kaffi Klassik as well – the second time I made a point of going again to get one of their crepes for my lunch, remembering how interesting and tasty it is!

Kaffi Klassik menu

Kaffi Klassik menu

English-speaking visitors don’t have to worry too much about the tongue-twisting Icelandic language, although they are very proud of their language and it’s displayed prominently, (and they have many laws in place to protect it), pretty much everywhere is also comfortable communicating efficiently in English. The menus are in both English and Icelandic – which is good.. because while some of the Icelandic words “feel” familiar… there are some which aren’t Iceland-ified loan-words, and they’re completely foreign!

Kaffi Klassik menu close-up

Kaffi Klassik menu close-up

There are a few interesting diversions though… like “paprika” doesn’t mean the spice the way you’d anticipate – it means bell pepper apparently… (This was also similar in Finnish…) I got the Klassik Crepe with ham, rice, leek, bell pepper, cheese and mustard sauce the first time I visited (and the second too!) while my companion opted for the quiche which she thought was less unusual and more agreeable to her palate at the time we visited.

Licorice meringue cookie from Kaffi Klassik

Licorice meringue cookie from Kaffi Klassik

We also had to have one of the licorice flavoured meringues… I don’t really like meringue – but I’ll suck it up for pretty much ANYTHING licorice-flavoured. (As expected, it was chewy and SO yummy!)

Quiche from Kaffi Klassik

Quiche from Kaffi Klassik

Crepe from Kaffi Klassik before digging in...

Crepe from Kaffi Klassik before digging in…

I don’t usually see these savory crepes here in Calgary – I’m seeing them more now – but do you know any place that you’d recommend here at home?

Reykjavik shoreline

Reykjavik shoreline

I’ll close with a photo of the shoreline looking across a bay to downtown Reykjavik. One thing I really love about Iceland is the diversity. Volcanos, deserted alien landscapes, black sand beaches, lush green hillsides, rocky shores, open meadows… it’s all there – and all within a few hours drive or less. The only thing you won’t find is a thick forest! LOL

My Icelandic friend Guðmundur told me a joke… “What do you do if you get lost in an Icelandic forest?” My reply (and a close-enough response to the joke) “sit up”. 😀

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Out of town - Europe

 

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The Big Cheese – poutine in Kensington

Montreal Smoked Meat poutine from The Big Cheese in Kensington

Montreal Smoked Meat poutine from The Big Cheese in Kensington

A few weeks ago I was walking home really late and popped into The Big Cheese for a bite to eat – I was really far from home still and there were very few (non-bar) places open, so it might not have been my destination of choice, but it was a good option.

The menu of The Big Cheese in Kensington

The menu of The Big Cheese in Kensington

I ordered the Montreal Smoked Meat poutine, in the smaller size rather than the larger one – and it was really way too big. Not just the quantity of the food, but also once the fries and gravy cooled off – they were kind of icky. I’d rather split this with someone else and get it while it’s hot and tasty.

The meat was good, the fries were good, the grainy mustard was super good and I will NEVER turn down a pickle.. yum. So overall, I’d definitely have this again – though I think I’d rather go with a friend and split an order. (And then maybe go next door for dessert… hehe)

What about you – where’s the best poutine in Calgary in your opinion? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2017 in North-West Calgary

 

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Parc de la Chute-Montmorency

Lovely dessert

Lovely dessert

On the same trip where we visited the sugar shack and enjoyed Maple Syrup treats we also stopped at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency – the park with Montmorency Falls. There’s a charming hotel there, Manoir Montmorency. We had lunch there that was really lovely – in a room with a sky-painted ceiling. (Though no views of the falls unfortunately!)

My photos of the falls were super rushed, so they weren’t very good, so here’s a pretty photo from a photographer on Instagram!

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Out of town - Quebec

 

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New image style for Instagram

Gravlax and super tasty mustard from the cafe in Ikea - so pretty too!

Gravlax and super tasty mustard from the cafe in Ikea – so pretty too!

In my previous two posts I showed off the new style of images I’ll be using for Instagram (come follow me!) and there are a few more I thought I’d share here… ones I won’t necessarily be blogging about, but thought are pretty all the same.

Take out sushi from Sushi Ginza at Chinook Centre

Take out sushi from Sushi Ginza at Chinook Centre

The style doesn’t translate perfectly to the blog… but what do you think? Do you think you’d click a post with these graphics – or do you like the regular, unedited style better?

Lemon strudel from Kruse's bakery (located in the Market on MacLeod)

Lemon strudel from Kruse’s bakery (located in the Market on MacLeod)

Do you think that this style of graphic works well in the blog?

My companion's meal at Ikea - meatballs.. yummm

My companion’s meal at Ikea – meatballs.. yummm

Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

Carrot-cake "muffin" filled with cream cheese icing from Kruse's bakery (located in the Market on MacLeod)

Carrot-cake “muffin” filled with cream cheese icing from Kruse’s bakery (located in the Market on MacLeod)

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2017 in South-West Calgary, Sushi

 

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Salad doesn’t have to be boring….

Collage of photos from inside the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar Bar

Collage of photos from inside the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar Bar

In my previous blog post I shared some photos from inside the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar – a clean, stylish shop in Eau Claire market. Today I’m going to share just a few quick photos of some of the salads I’ve put together using their product for dressings.

I don’t really LIKE to eat salad a lot – not that it’s not tasty.. it just gets BORING after a while. Putting these oils and vinegars (ok.. way more vinegar than oil.. I love the ZING) along with some delicious creamy goat cheese makes any salad WAY more interesting for me.

salad topped off with dressing from the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar Bar

salad topped off with dressing from the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar Bar

This is tomatoes, goat cheese, and leftover beets from the previous night’s dinner over mixed greens, with blackberry-ginger balsamic vinegar along with blood orange EVOO. YUM!

Red pepper, mushroom, goat cheese and spinach salad topped off with dressing from the salad topped off with dressing from the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar Bar

Red pepper, mushroom, goat cheese and spinach salad topped off with dressing from the salad topped off with dressing from the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar Bar

My friend doesn’t like mushrooms… but I like them, so I tossed mushrooms into MY salad.. but left them out for him. Red pepper gives lots of colour, goat cheese, and spinach are topped off with the Persian Lime Infused Olive Oil mixed with Pomegranate Dark Balsamic vinegar. YUM!
Finally one more – this is a salad with green, yellow, and red mini tomatoes, goat cheese…. & amazing dressing made with blackberry-ginger balsamic & blood orange evoo. It’s served up in my gorgeous hand-made blue pottery bowl that I got from an artisan’s show a while back.

I also picked up a few more flavours recently… now I need to find the perfect dish to try out the Dark Chocolate Dark Balsamic vinegar too…. it tastes so yummy just on it’s own. Ice cream maybe? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2017 in Downtown Calgary

 

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Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar

The owner of Eau Claire Market Oil & Vinegar Bar putting together my purchase.

The owner of Eau Claire Market Oil & Vinegar Bar putting together my purchase.

If you’ve followed me on Instagram or on my Facebook page, you’ve likely seen the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar pop up more than once.
Ages ago I visited a cool similar bar in Victoria, BC, and loved it… but didn’t know of any place in Calgary that offered a similar experience and product. Then before last Christmas I stumbled upon the one in Eau Claire Market in downtown Calgary and loved it!

Inside the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar - such a clean, stylish shop!

Inside the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar – such a clean, stylish shop!

I love being able to sample the flavours in advance (and have taken a few friends to do the same), and love that they suggest pairings to make really lovely flavours. I will use flavoured balsamic vinegars and extra virgin olive oil for a bunch of different dishes… but in the end I keep coming back to salads- because I don’t normally LIKE salad- and tossing on a really special dressing makes it WAY easier to get more greens into my day.

Today I’ll share some photos from inside the shop, and in a future post I’ll share some of my salad creations.

The packaging to take home my purchases from the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar.

The packaging to take home my purchases from the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar.

p.s. – how do you like my new graphics? I’m trying something new with my Instagram feed and thought I’d bring some of the photos over here too!

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2017 in Downtown Calgary

 

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Yummy meals in Quebec City

Montreal smoked meat for dinner from Café-boulangerie Paillard

Montreal smoked meat for dinner from Café-boulangerie Paillard

Before and after our St. Lawrence cruise, mum and I stayed in Quebec City. We had the chance to visit a BUNCH of different restaurants, cafes, and other places to try what the city had to offer – to fill our happy bellies!

Of course… while in Quebec, we had to enjoy Montreal Smoked Meat – the best place I had it from was Café-boulangerie Paillard which happened to be around the corner and across the street from our hotel. This place was ALWAYS packed which I think speaks really highly of how popular and tasty it is. I also had Montreal Smoked Meat from a fast food chain… and it was no where near as good as this!

Trois Garçons

Café-boulangerie Paillard was so popular, that although we planned to go there one morning for breakfast it was just TOO crowded and we wanted a slower pace, so we checked out Trois Garçons across the road instead. (Also super-close to our hotel)

Breakfast from Trois Garçons - eggs benedict for me!

Breakfast from Trois Garçons – eggs benedict for me!

 

We stayed at the Hôtel Manoir Victoria – a really nice hotel with a beautiful lobby and lovely rooms. The only challenge were the stairs to get into the hotel – a bit of a pain for my mum when her knee bothered her, especially with suitcases.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2017 in Out of town - Quebec

 

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Maple Syrup in Quebec

The host poured warm maple syrup onto shaved ice

The host poured warm maple syrup onto shaved ice (since there was no snow yet in October) and then rolled the sticky sweet onto a tongue depressor for a maple lollipop!

One of the little side trips we took while in Quebec was a trip to a little strange museum, and more importantly, a maple syrup farm! I actually have NEVER had ‘fresh’ maple syrup before this, so it was a special treat.

Maple trees near the sugar shack in Quebec, not far from Quebec City

Maple trees near the sugar shack in Quebec, not far from Quebec City

Did you know that Calgary has a maple syrup festival? In 2017 it took place at the beginning of March so we’ve missed it now… but it was held at Heritage Park. Check http://www.calgarymaplefest-eng.com/ for information about the festival, and if you’re interested, mark your calendars for next year! Of course, we don’t actually have maple trees here, so it won’t be fresh either, but still a sugar shack is a good thing!

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Out of town - Quebec

 

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Old Quebec, Quebec City

Walking along the boardwalk connecting Plaines d'Abraham and Old Quebec

Walking along the boardwalk connecting Plaines d’Abraham and Old Quebec

We started our 2014 Royal Caribbean St. Lawrence River cruise in Quebec City. One of the popular tourist areas is Old Quebec on the shore.


There are a LOT of cafes and restaraunts in this area, but we found a lot of them quite complicated and expensive. We opted instead to pop into Bel-Gaufre and grabbed pre-made sandwiches, some veggies to snack on as we walked around, and two desserts. A date square for her and cheesecake for me.

The long walk up a fairly steep cobbled hill connecting Old Quebec and the city above.

The long walk up a fairly steep cobbled hill connecting Old Quebec and the city above.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2017 in Out of town - Quebec

 

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