Restaurants

Peasant Cheese Shop

9:20 a.m. on a Friday morning and I was already thinking about dinner. I didn’t want to go out or cook. I thought I would be considerate for once and do something I know L would enjoy. At 10:00 a.m., I called Peasant Cheese Shop to order a mixed cheese and meat platter ($25). For this post, let’s listen to Bus-ta Rhymes – Gimme Some More.

The Mélange a Trois ($25) platter includes two cheeses, one meat, crackers and garnishes. When I called to place my order, I was informed that the store requests customers order 24 hours in advance. The male on the phone said he could prepare me a plate by that afternoon, but he would have to use a disposable tray instead of a wooden platter.

store.jpg

L said that Peasant Cheese’s rules doesn’t leave much for spontaneity, and a cheese shop should know a thing or two about romance. I told L that this popular cheese shop is too busy for procrastinators. When I arrived at 3:00 p.m., the shop was packed.

train back

I decided to save some money by taking transit back home. On the first train, I stood by several hungry U of C students. A young Asian man looked particularly impressed and eyed my platter.

getting off.jpg

I wanted to tell him that this was nothing – Peasant Cheese offers much more elaborate spreads and if pre-orders, he can get it on a nice wooden tray.

again bus.jpg

The second train wasn’t as busy. I got a seat this time but my arms were getting tired and I was starting to wish I splurged $15 for an Uber.

Travelling cheese platter.jpg

It started to get really windy and I was clutching the plastic cover to prevent the platter from blowing away. Luckily, L came and picked me up so I didn’t have to walk another 11 minutes.

car

The garnishes made the two cheeses and one meat into a meal. The platter included green olives, figs, currents, physalis, tart cornichons and what tasted like a white wine jelly.

platter

The capocollo was thinly sliced and not overly fatty. If you eat a lot of charcuterie, you’ll know what I mean. Some meats taste so oily. Not this one. L could detect some heat. I couldn’t detect any spice.

chateau

The Chateau de Bourgogne was ripe, creamy and buttery. The currents paired well with the cheese, as it gave it more flavour. I think this cheese would go well with champagne because it left no aftertaste. I enjoyed eating the rind.

lindsay

L liked the hard cheese – Lindsay. The texture was firm and crumbly. The flavour was earthy and nutty. I did not enjoy eating the rind. The only thing I didn’t care for was the wine jelly. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t drinking, but the smell was off-putting.

cheese cracker

It would have cost me more than $25 to buy all the crackers, cheese and garnishes from a store. You have to pay a deposit for the wood platter, but I would recommend it. Cutting into the cheese on a plastic platter took away from the experience.  I could have rearranged it on our larch wood platter from Knifewear but I was feeling too lazy. I would order from Peasant Cheese again in a heartbeat. Hitting the Sauce gives this Kensington gem two fat thumbs up.

Peasant Cheese Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mediteranean · Vegetarian

Jerusalem Shawarma and Bakery

I was in charge of ordering food for the volunteers helping out Jyoti Gondek’s campaign. I had heard good things about Jerusalem Shawarma and Bakery, so I gave them a try. I’m glad I did, as this place rocks out the best shawarmas I’ve ever eaten. Let’s play some appropriate music. I’ll pick Drop it Like It’s Hot because when I was playing this for Jyoti she told me I had the worst taste and I wasn’t allowed to pick the music for election night.

When I went to go pick up the food, I brought my dog with me. He didn’t have his leash on and before I could stop him, he stomped on freshly cemented pavement. Eek. I apologized to the employee and I offered to pay for it. He did it for free but mentioned sarcastically that he loves doing his work twice.

I ordered medium size chicken, beef and falafel wraps. Each were cut in half and wrapped up tightly in foil. I tried one of each. All of them were delicious.

The chicken was crispy and savoury, bursting with notes of lemon and spices. The amount of meat to vegetables were perfectly proportional.

The beef was sliced in thin slices. The beef was tender and rich in flavour as well. I loved the mix of sour, spicy, crunchy and savoury flavours from the pickles, beef, vegetables and sauces.

The falafel was crunchy on the outside. The interior was fluffy and light. The falafel tasted fresh like green like a herb garden. This one tasted the healthiest, as it wasn’t as saucy as the meat wraps.

The prices here are excellent for the quality. A medium wrap is $8.99. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Jerusalem Shawarma again for catering. Hitting the Sauce gives Jerusalem Shawarma two fat thumbs up.

Jerusalem Shawarma and Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurants

Wyndham Garden/Freeport Food & Bar

My friend Jyoti Gondek is running for councillor in Ward 3. I volunteered to help with event planning, as there’s nothing more that I like to do than order wine and food. Jyoti held her fundraiser at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, which is located by the airport, in Ward 3.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 1.48.10 PM.png

I found out that Chef Hans Puccinelli works at Wyndham Garden Hotel. Previously, he owned Inti, the first Peruvian restaurant in Calgary. I still remember his juicy, spicy chicken Brasa sandwich and the Lomo Saltado, which is steak and onions in a peppery gravy sauce. Unfortunately, Inti is now closed. At least I know where to find Chef Puccinelli now.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 1.47.17 PM

Chef Puccinelli created a special menu for us, all within our budget. I asked him which items he would recommend and he added his special touch to make dishes pop with flavor and texture. For example, instead of your typical beef slider, he jazzed it up with a spicy aioli and added deep-fried onions for a crunch. He made mini crab cakes with guacamole as topping, to give the crispy bite creaminess to it.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 1.46.29 PM

Chef Puccinelli suggested we serve ceviche in a shooter glass. The seafood tasted fresh, the tartness of the citrus was lovely, light and bright.

The watermelon skewers with basil and feta were a refreshing combination. The watermelon was sweet, the feta cheese was salty, and the basil added a taste of summer.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 1.47.41 PM.png

For dessert, he created a selection of cheesecake and European cakes. I never got the chance to try any but they looked scrumptious. Plus, by the end of the night, all were devoured.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 1.47.49 PM.png

I must have eaten a dozen of the bocconcini, tomato and basil skewers. All the ingredients tasted really fresh, while the drizzle of sweet balsamic reduction made the flavor pop.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 1.46.43 PM.png

I loved the cheese platters. I’ve been at functions at hotels before and I was expecting the generic spread reminiscent of Safeway. Chef Puccincelli chose a variety of cheeses and presented it in a way that reminds me of Peasant Cheese in Kensington.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 1.47.04 PM.png

The event planning staff at Wyndham is highly competent. Parisa and Kaya responded to my multiple inquiries promptly. The room was set up as requested. Parisa double-checked every detail of the party with me, and then again the morning of the event.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 1.47.33 PM.png

I hope the restaurant at the hotel offers Chef Puccinelli’s popular dishes that he served at Inti. I was told the restaurant at Wyndham Garden – Freeport Food + Drink – will have an all-new menu coming out this week. As Chef Puccinelli is involved, I’m sure it will be fantastic. I sure hope some of his Peruvian signature dishes are on it.

Freeprot Food + Drink Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cheap Eats · Japanese · Restaurants · Sandwiches · Vietnamese

Green Cilantro- Banh Mi

I purchase my wine and beer at the Highlander at Richmond Place. One of the staffers there told me that she’s addicted to Green Cilantro, a Vietnamese take-out shop a few doors away. I’ve been before and I wasn’t impressed, but after being informed that new management took over, I gave Green Cilantro another chance.

Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 10.00.17 AM.png

The new manager is a real sweetheart and he likes my dog, so big bonus points right there. He took over Green Cilantro since January 5, 2017. Business has been growing too. He had to open up later that day because of a large catering order. I learned that if you order a certain amount, you get 10% off the bill and Green Cilantro will deliver too.

Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 10.00.00 AM.png

I ordered a chicken sate sub ($7.50) with cucumber, onions, peanuts and carrots. The bread was airy and fluffy. While it was toasted, it didn’t scratch the top part of my mouth. The vegetables aren’t pickled like at Thi Thi in Chinatown. Also, I don’t think Green Cilantro offers pate mayo.

Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 10.00.45 AM.png

I appreciated the care that went into making my sub. The result was a tasty and light sandwich, still warm after a 10 minute walk in the freezing cold. The sate sauce and mayo soaked nicely into the bread.

If you live in the hood, check out Green Cilantro. This is one business that deserves our support. Besides subs, pho and vermecelli dishes are offered here as well.

 

Green Cilantro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mediteranean

Pita Basket – Catering

My office held a meeting last week. Normally my office brings doughnuts and coffee. This time around, I suggested that we order something more substantial for the attendees. The problem is that our office has such a small budget. For 11-14 people, I couldn’t go over $80.00.

Enter Pita Basket. I ordered the Pita Wrap Tray ($63.00), which came with seven large wraps cut in half. I chose three chicken, three beef and one falafel. The next time I order, I’ll likely increase the chicken and falafel over the beef, as the former were more popular with our guests.

The portion of filling was generous and filling. The tangy sauces and addition of tomatoes made the wrap a bit wet and juicy. The vegetables taste fresh and were crunchy. The thin pita was still crisp and warm, despite waiting 15 minutes to eat after it was delivered to our room.

Donair.jpg

I couldn’t take pictures of the platter. Sure, I can get away with that behaviour at a restaurant with my friends, but I didn’t want to look unprofessional around my boss and the attendees. Plus, we were discussing ‘serious’ topics.  I did manage to discreetly sneak one shot.

Truth be told, when I visited two years before, I wasn’t impressed with my shawarma at Pita Basket (NE location). However, I’m glad I gave the chain another try. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Pita Basket in the future.

View my food journey on Zomato!

Pita Basket Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato