A little while back, I received an invitation from The Keg Steakhouse + Bar’s PR company asking if I would be interested in attending their lobster summer menu tasting event. I have to admit that I am not usually a regular at The Keg, considering I don’t really eat a lot of steak or meat and potatoes (worst Albertan ever?). My preference is always the seafood or fish dish, so when I read lobster – I was immediately on board! When I arrived at our table and saw the tasting menu, I was overwhelmed by how many options they were bringing us to sample and it was all lobster related too, but I guess when you’ve been offering a lobster summer menu for over 15 years as The Keg has, you know what you’re doing.
Our Lobster Summer Tasting Menu
The Keg also has several feature cocktails for the summer and I was interested in a lot of them, but as our tasting menu came with wine pairings, and I was driving myself home, I decided to try the Strawberry Basil Lemonade sans gin. I thought this was a nice refreshing drink for the hot summer day and would love to drink it while sitting on a patio. I really liked the tartness of the lemonade and the basil in it – I am confident that adding gin could only make it better!
All you can eat (AYCE) is one of those phrases that simultaneously delights and horrifies me. I love the idea of choice and options for a single price but I also hate being overwhelmed by choices and trying to decide how much I can eat before feeling too full and wanting to throw up. So when everyone was telling me about It’ All opening up in Chinatown, I was very intrigued but also a little unsure about going. However, my awesome friend JP came to town last weekend and since I know he can eat a lot and would be able to polish off everything I take but cannot finish (no waste here), we decided it would be a great place for a meal.
It’ All is a Japanese and Korean all you can eat place and one of the selling features for us was that it had a ton of Korean side dish (banchan) options. I have seen photos of the massive banchan area in the buffet and couldn’t wait to try as much as possible. After some deliberation, we went with twelve different types of banchan…
Banchan Plates! This is only a small selection of all the banchan available
Living in a landlocked province is one of the hardest things for someone who loves seafood… Whenever I get near a city close to the ocean – I gorge myself on all the seafood available. However, that’s not to say that we don’t get any seafood here in Edmonton, but I just find it occasionally “meh”, so I am always excited to hear friends rave about seafood-centric places that are close to home. Black Pearl Seafood Bar has been open for awhile now, but I haven’t been able to find the time to go until recently. A few friends and I decided to pre-snack before heading to the Yelp Edmonton Museum After Dark party a couple weeks ago and boy am I glad we went to Black Pearl!
Black Pearl Seafood Bar
Remember when you were a kid and the best birthday parties you were invited to involved pizza and pop? Those were my favorite kind of parties and this past week my Gastropost Edmonton friend Brittney invited me and a bunch of pizza loving bloggers out to Urbano Pizza Co. for a pizza and pop party!
Urbano Pizza Co. is the newest restaurant from the owners of Sabor Restaurant and Bodega Tapas and Wine Bar and it’s a place where you can either build your own pizza or try one of their signature pies. The pizzas are cooked super quickly (90-120 seconds) and you could theoretically be in and out with your pizza in 5 minutes! The pizzas are cooked in these very cute and colourful personal ovens – I do believe I even heard that one of them only does gluten-free pizzas, so that’s really great for people with gluten allergies!
Super cute pizza ovens
Ramen… I remember the very first time I had ramen that was not instant “ramen” – it was at Kintaro Ramen in Vancouver and it was pretty much a life changing experience. Every since then, I have been on the hunt for the rich, umami taste that I experienced back in Vancouver. I have had ramen-ish experiences in Edmonton but nothing that was reminiscent of that very first bowl. But I think Prairie Noodle Shop is out to change the ramen landscape in Edmonton and I, for one am 100% on board for the Edmonton Ramen revolution.
Prairie Noodle Shop has been hosting a series of pop-ups over the past year to help them develop and refine their core recipes and I have had the privilege to make it to all four pop-ups. The frenzy surrounding the pop-ups have involved all seats (100-150 bowls) being sold out in 5 minutes or less! The good news is that Prairie Noodle Shop is going to be moving to a permanent bricks and mortar location on 124 Street some time this year – the timing is dependent on when the City approves their development permits etc.
The very first bowl I had from Prairie Noodle Shop was in October of last year where they sold the bowls as a first come first serve – the line for the 8pm seating started early and was sold out by 7:45pm. Edmonton was definitely chomping on the bit to get their first taste of Prairie Noodle ramen. The initial bowl was an Alberta pork based ramen using Irvings Farm Berkshire Pork – I vaguely remember hearing something about smoking the bones outside, so they did use every part of the pig that they could. The Alberta pork ramen had a shio style broth that was made with the smoked bones, dashi and dried shrimp. The toppings with this included pork done not one, not two but three ways: char-siu style, shredded ham and shoulders, and a crispy chicharon, sweet corn and an umeboshi (Japanese salted plum) egg. For someone who doesn’t love eggs, this umeboshi egg is *almost* enough to change my mind… I just end up giving the egg yolk to one of my friends and eating the rest myself. Finally, I want to talk about one of the most important things in a good ramen, the noodles – the Prairie Noodle Shop partners did try making their own noodles, but in the end decided it was a better option to have them made fresh by a Chinese lady (who remains a secret) instead. The noodles are very good and have that delightful “bite”/chew that you want in your ramen noodles.
Alberta Pork Ramen – Shio broth with pork done three ways (char-siu style, shredded ham and shoulder, crispy chicharon), sweet corn, and umeboshi egg