Everyday Life with Erin

Exploring the Beauty of YYC

Arriving in Portland for our first day, we figured we should have some food before beginning our adventure. We stopped at Lardo, a food cart turned sandwich stop that specializes in everything pork.

The little restaurant on the east side is welcoming inside, and also features a large, outdoor seating area. Besides their food menu, they have numerous beers available on tap. We ordered at the counter, were given number, and waited patiently for our food to arrive.

First up was the Korean pork shoulder sandwich which included house made kimchi, chili mayo, lime, and cilantro. The meat was juicy and the mayo added a perfect amount of spiciness. Next, was the pork meatball banh mi, which reminded me of a Vietnamese sub with its pickled vegetables, sriracha mayo, cucumbers, and cilantro. This was both of ours favourite. Both sandwiches were served on a warm ciabatta bun that was soft and enjoyable. We also ordered two sides, the potato salad which was full of bacon and cheddar, and the lardo fries which were fried in fat, herbs, and parmesan. Both were great, but the fries were incredible with the crunchy parmesan flakes and mixed herbs.

This was the perfect lunch to get us started. Highly recommend!

Looking for a quick bite to eat, I stopped at Po-Ke, located on 9th Avenue and Centre Street north. They’re Calgary’s first restaurant who specialize in poké bowls and sushi burritos. It’s a small place where you can either dine in or grab and go. You can also build your own build or order one of their already created ones.

I decided to try out the po-ke special bowl, as it was recommended as being the most popular. It’s a mix of ahi tuna and salmon, topped with a seaweed salad, mandarins, avocados, sesame seeds, and shredded nori, all served on top of a bed of rice. The dish was fresh, had a delicious signature sauce on it, and was big enough that I couldn’t finish it. I ordered the regular size and was very impressed with the value for money.

If you’re looking for something quick, fresh, and affordable definitely give Po-ke a try!

After wanting to go for months, we finally had the chance to check out Nights & Weekends, and it was a meal I’ll never forget!

This restaurant does a pop up every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Shiki Menya in Bridgeland. They have a small menu, but enough items that make it difficult to decide. Sitting at the bar and watching the food be cooked and plated, didn’t make the choice any easier. In the end, we decided to order as much as possible. We began with the pickled mushrooms which are exactly as they sound, and if you love both the pickled taste and mushrooms, you’ll obviously really enjoy this dish. Next, we had the beef tartare. It was served on top of a caesar aioli and with a side of chips, and was absolutely delicious. After that, our mains came out intermittently as they were ready. The char siu sliders were fantastic. The meat was charred nicely, and the combination of the sauce and the soft bun made them a perfect, little treat. The homemade pasta was full of flavour, and the sprinkles of nori added a lovely saltiness. Across the board though, everyone’s favourite was the wagyu skirt steak. Besides being cooked to perfection, the tenderness and subtle hint of vanilla is a meal that I will dream about for days.

I really cannot say enough good things about the quality of their food. This is a place you must visit!

There’s something that I love about a breakfast hash. It like taking a traditional breakfast meal and mixing it all together to create a bowl of deliciousness.

On the weekends, Notable offers their brunch menu, and their hash is top notch. The cubed potatoes are topped with smoked brisket, over easy eggs, cheese, salsa verde, a spicy ranch sauce, and avocado. It’s hard to put into words how special their brisket is. It’s so tender and juicy, and has a lovely smokey taste to it. This hash truly is something else.

In the heart of Renfrew sits an expected treasure: POW Pizza. Inspired by the Motor City itself, this pizza joint is cooking up truly authentic, Detroit style pizza: Done on a focaccia dough, toppings perfectly distributed to the edges, baked in steel pan, and cut into squares.

For being a small place, they have enough variety on their menu to try out. They offer seven different pizzas, meatballs, salad, and treats. On our first visit, we tried out the meatballs (definitely order them!), and a couple of different pizzas. The classic pepperoni was exactly as it sounded, yet true to Detroit style, had the sauce on top. This was unlike any pizza that I’ve ever had, but the sauce and Wagyu beef pepperoni was delicious. The haute Renfrew reminded me of a perogie style pizza, with bacon, garlic sausage, cheese, green onions, and sour cream. It was superb, and I loved all the flavours it encompassed.

If it’s pizza you’re after, give POW a try!

We all know that in the world of cocktails, not only are you judging it on flavour profile, but also presentation. Smoking a cocktail is a great way to accomplish both of these things. Upon a recent visit to Blacktail Bar, at Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, I ordered their s’mores old fashioned. Having your traditional bourbon, scotch, and bitters, it also included honey cinnamon smoked syrup, chocolate bitters, and was topped with a flaming s’mores. Presentation and taste were top notch!

 

I’m always on the hunt for good cookies and recently stopped into Lina’s Italian Market to check out the options. I purchased a bag of oatmeal raisin, my personal favourite, and it came with six small cookies. Guys, these cookies are delicious and here’s why: they were chewy, soft, had the right balance of raisin to oatmeal, and were perfectly spiced with cinnamon. These were definitely better than what I’ve been able to make at home, and I know this won’t be the last time that I buy them!

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