Sunday, July 24, 2011

barry takes a bite out of jasper.

last friday, a bud and i took off to the mountains for a day of hiking, kayaking, and cursing mosquitos. we not only conquered the alpine meadows hike at mt. edith cavell, but also managed to stay upright, despite massive blood loss thanks to the swarms. to celebrate we decided to head to the emerald lounge at the jasper park lodge for a quick drink.

its here that we met our server, jonas henriksson. i decided to take his advice and try jpl's signature martini. this turned out to be one of the best drinks i've had in a long while. of course, it probably helped that jonas actually invented the drink himself.

the infamous martini came into being 4 years ago when jonas first arrived in Alberta from his home in sweden. determined to try canadian ice wine, he began a mission to create the perfect hybrid of swedish and canadian spirits. what originally started out as a drink with equal parts inniskillin ice wine and straight-up vodka, morphed into ice wine and citron vodka, and finally as a mixture of absolut pear vodka and inniskillin, served in a sugar-rimmed martini glass. it goes for a cool $17, but it's worth the treat.

after our $17 drinks we decided to head into town to papa george's for supper. we chose this restaurant on my older sister's advice - she would not stop raving about their game burger, served with a side of potatoes fried in duck fat.

both of us opted to get this, but we started off with elk pot pie and pan seared scallops. we both felt that our appies missed the mark - great in concept, but not worth the price. my bud's elk was overcooked, and though my scallops were done perfectly, the faro patties that they were served with were over salted.

a mix of elk, venison and bison, the game burgers arrived promptly after our starters. we expected game burgers to have a stronger flavour. though these were cooked perfectly, they were bland for our tastes. the great service and beautiful ambience couldn't balance out our disappointment.

oh - and the potatoes fried in duck fat? superb.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

barry learns some fun facts about tres carnales

only open for a week, tres carnales is already the talk of the town. all you mexican food lovers, rejoice!, because this place is the real deal.

chris - one of the tres carnales - gave me some fun facts to share about his new place:

1) 2 years ago in a small mexican town, 3 buds sat down with a bottle of flor de cana rum. by the end of the bottle, the idea and business plan of tres carnales was hashed out. really, wouldn't the world be a better place if all ideas came about this way?

2) these guys have some serious passion. all 3 (chris, dani and edgar) are right in the thick of things at the restaurant - chris and dani work the floor, while edgar tends grill. need a food recommendation, or a way to snag one of their elusive tables? just ask one of these guys and they'll hook you up.

3) all the meat is locally sourced within 200 km of edmonton, so feel good about supporting your friendly neighbourhood ranchers!

4) their menu is going to be changed up regularly. chris was already talking fish tacos (hell, yes), duck, and desserts. my response to this news? thank you, jebus.


some other things you should know:

1) come expecting to socialize with strangers. this place is small, and they emphasize communal eating (including a large communal table). after waiting in line for awhile, my bud and i ended up dining with the couple behind us in line. turned out to be a really awesome conversation about travels through mexico, the small-town feel of edmonton, and pink tacos. (don't ask.)

2) the chorizo is made in-house, and is pretty damn awesome.

3) the sangria is alcoholic. it might taste like juice, but by the second pitcher you'll suddenly realize it's not.

4) at first we were all a little disappointed that the hot sauce wasn't so hot. turns out the real stuff is made in-house and kept under lock and key in the back. ask for some up front with your food. you won't be disappointed, but your tongue might hate you just a little for trying to burn it off.

5) ordering is a cross between pampa and famoso. you initially order at the counter, but if you don't want to start a tab, you pay up and get your table sign clothespinned. (you'll get this when you go) otherwise you can keep ordering more from your table. like additional pitchers of dangerous...

6) watch out for table cherry pickers. they kept coming in behind us, and cutting in front to wait for tables. give them the cut-eye, and be ready to grab a table as soon as you see people heading out.

eat some tacos,
and be ready to make some new friends.

10119 100A Street
Rice Howard Way