The New Padmanadi

I visited the new location for Padmanadi in Edmonton at 10740 101 St. I envy Victoria High School (I went there, once upon a time) students because Padmanadi is now a five minute walk for lunch. The new location is unassuming from the outside, but once you walk in, it’s very bright, the furnishings are beautiful, and every plate is etched with the Padmanadi logo. For a place that had a very family style feel, there is this hipness to the new location that the old one never had. I’m sure it will grow on me, but it’s a dramatic change. Either way, the food was still the same, just a couple dollars more than before. I’d like visit it at night and see what effect the lighting has on the ambiance, as they have east facing windows that let in a lot of natural light during the day. We ordered the wheat free curried mutton and the roti canai. I’m looking forward to going back and ordering something new next time. I noticed that they finally had Hot and Sour soup listed on the menu, something I’ve been dreaming of since Padmanadi first opened, so that’s something I am thrilled to try. I’m glad to see the wheat free items marked on the menu since so many people are effected by that intolerance/allergy or just want to avoid it for their own reasons. (However, I’m not sure if that means gluten free in general, since there are other sources of…

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New ones from Remedy and a visit to Oriental Veggie House

It’s been hard to go out and eat lately with my work schedule and other commitments, but finally, yesterday I visited Remedy. New (to me) flavours of cheesecake: chocolate banana (no peanut butter) and lemon raspberry. When they brought us the slices, I thought, whoa, the chocolate banana is going to be so delicious, and didn’t give enough credit to the lemon raspberry. Looks can be deceiving. I’m not going to say I disliked the chocolate banana, because that wouldn’t be true, only that I felt like eating something tart, and the lemon raspberry was perfect to pacify that. We had a beautiful day out in Edmonton, and then as evening hit, thundershowers. Sitting at the second floor of Remedy, looking out the window towards the downtown core was a great vantage point to watch the storm and enjoy good food. I love summers in Edmonton. Last week S and I went to Oriental Veggie House. It’s probably been a year since I went there, and I think that was my last time. I hate speaking ill of a vegetarian business that has been around for so many years, because I have a lot of sentimental attachment to the place. But I’m not as into their food as I once was. OVH was my first vegetarian restaurant and where I celebrated the first few birthdays after being vegan. Going there satisfied a nostalgic need, but the food is almost never spectacular, and it’s gotten too expensive to go there solely…

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Home cooking and more Daiya. A visit to Lemongrass.

I think one of the major reasons I’ve been vegan with ease for so many years is the fact that something simple like a bit of avocado, tomato and spinach thrown together can get me salivating. Food doesn’t have to be fancy to be delicious, but I’ll admit that sometimes the aesthetics of what I’m eating comes into play. If I go out to eat, the enjoyment increases tenfold if care and attention was put into the presentation. To me it just feels like it is an extension of the care and attention that (I hope) went into preparing a meal. But if I’m eating at home, the colours that really effect me. Fresh bright leaves, ripe tomatoes, avocados, fruits, vibrant juices, just looking at them makes me feel good. I already know that love and care was put into cooking or preparing something, when I’m home, and cooking for myself, so I don’t necessarily need to see it in the final product. This morning I had a hankering for a Mock Tuna Salad Sandwich (based on Neal Barnard’s recipe in Food For Life, which again, I am proud to mention, is my mother’s book, not mine. Vegan contagion win!) My night time work schedule has me existing in a different time zone, so my stomach operates on different hours. 4am is a perfectly reasonable time to be preparing a meal. It was, of course, delicious. I melted up some more daiya cheese today for my mini snack of nachos (on my…

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Cheesecake from Remedy Edmonton… again

It was a cold terrible day for CityChase on Saturday. I finally experienced what my friend calls “Vancouver Winter,” where there are never enough layers to protect you from the humidity, rain and sleet, and the only escape is going inside. But the event ended on a positive note, it warmed up slightly, and my fingers regained feeling, so that was nice. The lunch provided by the organizers was of course meat and cheese based, and that wasn’t much of a surprise. I had listed vegan as a dietary restriction, so I’ll just assume that is why we got so many bananas and oranges at our station. The most important thing to me, was that the participants were having fun, and it seemed like they were having a heck of a time in spite of the rain. After I was done at my ChasePoint (which was the Mitsubishi Car-eoke one at the City Art’s Center) I went over to the Over the Top Fashion Swap at the Winspear. I didn’t go for the clothing swap, but I wandered around the vendor’s section to see what homemade goods people were selling. I’m so glad I went because one thing that caught my eye (surprise, surprise) was Kerstin’s Chocolates (10139 – 112Street, Edmonton, AB). They have several vegan dark chocolate options that I know of, such as some of the Cocophilia bars, but there might be more. They were selling a Chocolate Coconut Cup there, but she stepped away from the booth so…

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Guru Fine Indian Cuisine in Edmonton & Hip Hop in the Park

It’s funny how the trip to Guru Fine Indian Cuisine started. I posted a picture of my East Indian junk food snack from Blue Plate Diner on Facebook, and then a friend commented on how Edmonton lacked good Indian food when compared with Vancouver. I got my city patriotic foodie feathers ruffled a bit, and had to prove her wrong. Guru seemed like a good place to make that happen. I was right of course, Guru (17021 100 Ave, Edmonton, AB) has great food and a great relaxed fine dining atmosphere. They seem open to modifying the dishes to suit vegans, and suggesting items. It was empty when we went in there, but it was midday Friday. When we visited on Saturday it was packed (so I’d recommend reservations on the weekend.) We ordered the Guru Palak Chilgoza (minus the cream and butter) and the Guru Daal (minus the butter.) I wasn’t super enthusiastic about the Palak Chilgoza. Both my dining companion and I thought it would have been better with pretoasted pine nuts and coconut milk. However, I could not get enough of the Guru Daal. There was this satisfying quality to the dish, that lightly spicy umami combination that spreads from your mouth to the rest of your body. If you love cilantro, you’d probably love this dish too. Another thing they had were creative little (alcoholic) drinks on the menu. Most of their martinis looked appealing, but we decided on the Coconut Kiss. Very tasty. But you…

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Blue Plate Diner

A friend and I went over to the Blue Plate Diner for a snack a couple of nights ago. It has a relatively inconspicuous location downtown, at least I’ve always missed it, and I know I’ve walked by countless times. I had been meaning to visit since I saw it listed in the VOA Dining Guide, and finally got around to doing so. We ordered the Indian sampler plate since it was one of the few vegan items on the menu that we could share. I really liked one of the chutneys and the pakoras were quite good, but the samosa’s were way too greasy for my liking. If we do ever go to the Blue Plate Diner again, I’m going to try the Lentil & Nut loaf, because it looks interesting. Over all though I think the Blue Plate Diner is a great option for lacto-ovo vegetarians, moreso than vegans. But it is a nice downtown option open till 10pm everyday, which feels unusual, and easy to visit if you’re checking out Edmonton’s City Market. But of course, if you’re checking out the City Market, there are so many other options to snack on. Speaking of the Edmonton City Market… I keep meaning to go, maybe next week. There are two vendors I want to check out specifically, Limegreens, and Fiesta Olives. They were mentioned on the Edmonton Journal’s website. Limegreens looks like a decent raw vegan snack source, and Fiesta Olives… well that’s pretty self explanatory. I’ve gotten on some kind of olive kick lately, and I’m craving a new…

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Padmanadi

A friend and I took a little visit to Padmanadi a few days ago. Whenever we go, we don’t mess around, and order about three dishes to share. This time was no different. We had a hard time deciding what to order, well… between three dishes as per usual. The spicy chicken, the spicy shrimp, the lemon ribs and the lo hon chow mien. The Tom Yum soup was a given of course, but part of me really wanted to try the shark fin soup again… maybe next time! There are two dishes I love above all other’s at Padmanadi. The Lo Hon Chow Mien, and the Panacotta (made with coconut cream… yummy.) So we had to order it. The portions have decreased from the giant plate of noodles, but I feel like they’ve increased in veggies so I’m quite happy with it. I’m always interested to see the presentation of the Panacotta, because it’s never looked the same twice. During this visit it was in a nice little dish topped with raspberry coolie with a side of peach sauce. I was happy they didn’t put sprinkles on it like last time. I contacted Guru, a relatively new Indian restaurant in Edmonton (opened in December), to find out if there were any vegan options. They replied quite promptly to my email, and yes! There are two dishes that can easily be modified to be vegan, and one of the roti’s is vegan. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to check it…

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Famoso Pizza – Vegan options(?)

If you think I go out to eat nearly everyday… you’d be right. Since I’ve been in Edmonton for less than two weeks, seems like people want to spend time with me. It’s been really nice to hang out with my old friends (and some new ones) and check out some of the places I never got around to visiting in the past. I’m looking forward to using the VOA Vegan and Vegetarian Diner’s guide to find other hidden treasures. A friend and I went to Famoso Pizza (11750 Jasper Ave NW) yesterday. He loves the place (and is a mostly carnivorous omnivore) but I was interested because they have a rice and oat based “Vegan-Rella” on their menu, AND they have received various awards (top pizza place in Edmonton 2008, 2009. Top Pizza in Canada, 6th place at the International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas.) So it was time to check it out first-hand. I liked the set up: casual, seat yourself and order at the counter. I ordered the only vegan friendly pizza on their menu (the Margherita) which has cheese, basil and olive oil with a campania tomato sauce. It was tasty, but plain. Luckily they had a container of red pepper flakes available and I doused my pizza with it. The sauce was great, and although the cheese was a bit strange (the consistancy of watery melted mozzarella), I would love to try another pizza just with more toppings. But it’s a bit pricey, especially since the “vegan-rella” adds an additional two…

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Happy Mother’s Day!

I skipped the VOA potluck today, and spent the day with my mom instead. Happy Mothers Day! We tend to go to Europa Cafe in West Edmonton Mall for brunch on Mother’s Day, but this year we went elsewhere. Normally it’s a decent place where my mom and I can have a selection of cold salads, and my dad can still have his meat and cheese dishes. But I am so glad we missed it this time. We walked by, and it was heavy on the seafood, and not so heavy on the salad or the other normally vegan friendly options. We have an old standby at West Edmonton Mall… Boston Pizza. Now, I know I’ve mentioned the Californian before, and I’m sure I’ll do it again. “Back when I was young, there was a vegan pizza right on the menu…” Alright, I’m done being nostalgic. But there was actually a vegan pizza on the menu at BP’s a few years ago. They took it off the menu when they changed their menu because they said demand wasn’t high enough, but I sincerely wonder what the demand would be now if they offered it. So many people are switching to soy, cutting out dairy, and/or trying to live healthier lifestyles. We ordered (shockingly!) the Vegetarian without the mozzarella, and… it tasted like pizza. Give it a try sometime, you might even be pleasantly surprised. Looking at the rest of the menu I was disappointed. There aren’t any sauces (other than the pizza…

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Padmanadi and Remedy in Edmonton

Another great food day in Edmonton. A friend and I went to Padmanadi (10626 97 St NW.) I had an unusual urge to go there. It probably had something to do with thinking about the Mother’s Day buffet (which I am NOT going to today.) We ordered a few things I haven’t had in a long time: the curry chicken, roti canai, and my favourite, the Tom Yum soup. My dining companion suggested adding coconut milk to the Tom Yum soup and I was pleasantly surprised by the flavour. He said it was similar to a thai soup called tom kai gai. Basically in my general opinion, you can’t go wrong with coconut milk. I’ve never added it to something and said to myself “Oh, I wish I hadn’t done that.” It’s just that good. Admittedly every time I go to Padmanadi, I compare it to it’s first or second year of operation and am disappointed. Once upon a time the tom yum soup was in a ridiculously large pot, with fake shrimp, and other bits of fake seafood. But I’m working on forgetting about it, because it’s still a great place to go, especially if you don’t know any different (and even if you do.) We had a super weird looking panacotta, but it was also pretty fantastic. It’s worth trying at least once (a visit.) Later we dropped by Remedy (8631 109 Street NW) for a late night snack. I haven’t had a great experience with their vegan…

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