Remedy and La Shish

Edmonton keeps me busy. I had a wonderful run through the river valley yesterday, did a bit over 7 kilometers. I had only intended on doing 5 but it was so nice out I didn’t want to turn back. I feel oddly like a tourist in this city, everything is slightly unfamiliar and new. Of course I mean that in a good way, because it’s like discovering the great parts about my home city all over again. A friend and I went to La Shish Taouk (224 Mayfield Common, Edmonton AB) yesterday evening, I’ve had the vegetarian combination plate there before and really liked it, but for once in my life, I wasn’t feeling hungry. I ordered a large glass of fresh carrot juice though and I did pick at the falafel plate and the sauteed veggie plate my friend ordered. They have a really decent selection of vegan and vegetarian foods, and if you miss smoking indoors they also have flavoured apple or grape shisha (I’m not a smoker, but I’ve tried the apple and it was pleasant.) Sometime later in the evening we went over to Whyte ave, tried to go to Cafe Dabar, but the moment we started walking up to the place the “Open” sign was switched off! Darn. Remedy was still open, so we headed over there. I’m starting to really like that place, and I keep wondering why I didn’t go there more often when I lived in the university area. They had a…

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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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Saskatoon, Vulcan, Calgary, Edmonton.

The last remaining days in Saskatoon were pretty uneventful. I went to Keo’s on 2nd again, this time with my mom. I was a little nervous taking her there because in the past she didn’t like anything too unusual, or atypical. But she loved the massaman curry just as much as I did, and wondered how I could eat the pad thai in all of it’s hot spicy glory. I spoke with the owner’s son, and found out that there was a sibling restaurant in St.Albert (a suburb of Edmonton) but he wasn’t sure of the name. I’m guessing it’s probably Thai Mekong Restaurant (506 St. Albert Road, St.Albert, AB). So I’ll try and check that out soon. I got into Edmonton on Saturday afternoon, so I missed the Worldwide Vegan Bake sale that was happening at Planet Organic, but I did end up following tradition and going with Jen to Double Greeting for a quick evening snack. We decided to go to Calgary the next morning. While in Calgary we stumbled upon Le Chein Chaud. My normal go to place, Buddah’s Veggie house has turned into a meat veggie “Fusion” restaurant, so I was less interested in heading out there this time. So we were walking down 4st towards 17th, and there it was. The Chicago is vegan without modification. The consensus was that the veggie dogs were undercooked, but the toppings almost made up for it. We decided to drive the two hours to Vulcan, just because… we were already in Calgary……

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Leaving Saskatchewan aka, love letter to saskatoon

So today will be my last day in Saskatchewan. Having been here for several years, I’ve both loved and hated this city (those feelings often corresponded with the weather.) But after a while, when I said “I’m going home,” that meant Saskatoon, not Edmonton. This post has nothing to do with being vegan really, it’s heavy on the Prairie part though. Saskatoon is a city with opportunities for great things. Not that it has the potential to be great, but it is, you just have to actively seek out the awesome things that are happening here. There have been a few occasions where I’ve looked for equivalent activities availible here in Saskatoon in other and bigger cities, only to find them lacking. Maybe the city’s small scale makes these things possible. I wont miss the cold weather, but I will miss quite a few things. I will miss walking across the Broadway bridge towards downtown and looking at the Bessbourough Hotel as it reflects in South Saskatchewan River after watching a Rosebud burlesque performance or attending a poetry slam at Lydia’s or going to a raw food pot luck. I will miss the public discussion groups held by CIHR, Cafe Scientifique, where people gathered (in crowded rooms) and shared ideas on topics like harm reduction, food safety, mental health. I will miss the being able to participate in SWITCH, a student driven project offering after hours care in the core neighbourhood (a project I haven’t seen in many other cities.) I will…

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Keo’s Kitchen on 2nd

A friend and I went out to Keo’s on 2nd (129 2nd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK) last weekend. I’m not sure when they opened the downtown location, but the original Keo’s location (which doesn’t exist anymore) was the first restaraunt with vegan options I ever went to in Saskatoon. So I have some very fond memories related to eating there. This visit didn’t disappoint. At first they weren’t sure where to seat us, so we started out at the bar, but we ended up getting a table. The Broadway Ave location (1013 Broadway Ave, Saskatoon, Sk) can get really busy in the evenings, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one. I like their semi open kitchen set up, there is slightly less mystery about what’s happening back there. It was fantastic to be able to see them prepare my meal. We ordered the massaman curry with extra veggies, the pad thai with tofu, and the vegetarian spring rolls to start. I appreciated our server’s suggestion of adding tofu to the pad thai rather than putting it in the curry dish (he said it would probably get soggy, and I can see how.) Luckily my dining companion likes spicy food as much as I do, so we got it all hot. However, you have to specify your spice level, otherwise they bring it out mild. We forgot to specify, despite talking about our mutual love of spice, and why we liked it, for a good ten minutes, and ended up with mild…

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Saskatoon to Edmonton to Saskatoon in 48 hrs.

Surprise I’m in Edmonton. No, wait. I’m not. I woke up this morning and it took me a moment to realize I was back in Saskatoon. The road to Edmonton was beautiful. It turns out 7pm is a perfect time to see the beauty of Saskatchewan, after the horrible weather of last week it was so promising to see the snow melting AGAIN. Now we are having rain storms, and I’m loving it. A few months ago my mom decided that my vegan diet made a lot of sense from a health stand point. And she’s still going strong, which is awesome. I hadn’t been home since she decided to make this change, so I was looking forward to trying some home cooked vegan meals. No matter where I go to eat, it never compares to the food my mom can make (since it’s cooked with an extra spoonful of love.) I’m also going to take credit for her dietary change (which has also effected the way my dad eats) though I guess the PCRM and Neil Barnard have had a lot to do with it too. She made a couscous salad that was fantastic. I should probably get the recipe from her, but to be honest I’d rather she just made it for me. Hee hee. And a very tasty tofu dish. I was thrilled to be home in Edmonton for a day or two. Today was the Saskatoon Raw Food potluck, and it was great to meet everyone and…

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Ode to Pretzels

I love soft pretzels. Those commercially availible SuperPretzels burrowed their way into my heart when I was working at a hospital years ago and the only vegan option was either that, or some lettuce (and I’m not even kidding.) When I went to Denver for the first time in 2006 I realized in one quick sweeping generalization that Americans Love Pretzels. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely accurate, but there was a pretzel cart, store, etc everywhere I went.  Some sort of pretzel love I’d never seen before, especially not anywhere in Canada. All subsequent trips to the United States meant more soft pretzels, all over New York City, Arizona, random places in Seattle, Portland. They were there. And they made me happy. Saskatoon is not the place to go if you like commercially available fresh soft pretzels. Maybe I haven’t looked hard enough, but I haven’t seen them anywhere. So following the logical course of action… I baked some… I’m excitedly plotting my dish for the Raw Food Potluck on Wednesday, it’s not going to be anything fancy. My first priority is that it’s tasty and simple.

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Samosas for lunch

Who knew, vegan samosas right in downtown Saskatoon. I went to Asian Taste restaurant (101-3rd Ave North, Saskatoon) for lunch today (and I might be updating from work, shhh, it’s a slow day) just to give it a try. I’ve walked by it over a dozen times, and every time I’ve meant to ask about their food, but haven’t gotten around to it. It was pretty decent. Stuffed with just spiced potato, and deep fried. They also have roti (the Naan has butter in it) and potato pakoras. I didn’t ask about anything else, but I’m tempted to give one of their lunch or dinner buffets a try while I am still in town. One thing Edmonton is great for, is East Indian food. Prices are all quite reasonable. I paid a dollar for my samosa, and it was a decent size. The highest priced item on the menu is under 10$ (and that’s a meat dish anyway.) There are a few items on the menu that sound promising. I’ll have to check it out some more. Oh and by the way, there is a Raw food potluck happening again next week. Since it’ll be the last month I’m in Saskatoon, I’m going to make darn sure I attend. Come check it out. It’s happening on Wednesday April 14th, in the lower level hall of Grace-Westminster United Church (505 – 10th Street East, Saskatoon) You can find out more information, or about future potlucks on LightLiving.com and/or join the group…

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Portland February 2010

I forgot to mention going to Portland in February, since then I’ve been busy with school and work. Thankfully I have four consecutive days off, and it feels wonderful. It also occurs to me I should update my 101 in 1001 days list at some point, considering September(the end month) isn’t that far off, and I have managed to accomplish many of the goals on my list, as well as accept that some goals had to be modified. T and I went to Portobello for our fake Valentine’s Day (on Feb 17th,) it was wonderful, and delicious as always. We went there last year for fake Valentine’s Day, and every time I’m so impressed with what they come up with. I’m really excited to see what the Chef (Aaron Adams) ends up creating at Vegan Iron Chef (in PDX of course) this summer. I ordered the gnocchi (as usual) and my friend had an enviable portobella mushroom steak. We started out our meal with a french bread and pate. Oddly enough I found myself getting full really quickly. I think it must have had something to do with the massive portion of pate we got. We ended our meal with a delicious sweet pecan tart. I just love that place. Anyway, I had a nice time. I had hoped to check out the SkiBowl at Mt. again one more time, but the snow this year was pretty pathetic up there. Word on the street was we’d just be sliding around on ice.…

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