Sidewalk Citizen Bakery – Calgary, Alberta

May 19th, 2015

I love bakeries and cafes, and when I heard about Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, I knew it was a place where I needed to go. We ventured to Sidewalk Citizen Bakery on a weekend, and they had a lot of people in line, ordering from loaves to pastries, and even sandwiches!

We were just stopping by basically just for a quick snack on our way to lunch. I love Pain au Chocolat, so naturally, it was something I got. The pastry was flaky, the chocolate wasn’t too sweet or too bitter.

We also go something different, a Cheese Croissant which was amazing. The cheese was in the croissant, and it was crispy and awesome! It wasn’t as greasy as you would imagine it to be, so it was still very light and fluffy!

Overall, it as an amazing experience here at Sidewalk Citizen Bakery! We decided next time we drop by, it will be for an actual sandwich, and for lunch – instead of a snack! I’m sure that will make my picnic perfect!

Sidewalk Citizen Bakery on Urbanspoon

Sidewalk Citizen Bakery

2-5524 1A St. SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 457-2245

Pho Huong Viet Noodle House – Calgary, Alberta

May 16th, 2015

I’ve been told by more than just friends and co-workers to try Pho Huong Viet Noodle House on numerous occassions as they all recommend this Vietnamese restaurant location to us. We made an effort to try it as we were craving some good Vietnemese food. The nice thing about this restaurant is there is lots of parking, hoewever, it’s very popular as we watched families needing to wait for quite some time during our visit.

Once we sat down, service was really quick as they knew that there’s people waiting for our table. We decided we would start with Salad Rolls and they were pretty tasty here! Even though they came out quick, it seemed like it was made fresh to order!

We decided to eat order some Chicken Wings and the wings were really nicely fried, and the pieces were larger than usual chicken wings. It was really tasty with their salt and pepper seasoning.

I wasn’t feeling the greatest during this visit so I opt’ed for something a little less strong in flavour. I got the Chicken Pho Noodle Soup which was fantastic. There was so much chicken in the soup, and the soup was really delicious. The texture of the noodles was perfect as it wasn’t hard or soggy!

The other noodle dish that we ordered was their Huong Viet Special Sate Beef Noodle Soup and this was really quite delicious. The soup base was loaded with amazing flavours and the beef was still tender and juicy.

Our overall experience here was amazing! Everyone was right – the food was great! The location was good too! There’s a reason why this little place is so busy

Pho Huong Viet Noodle House

3855 17 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 686-3799

Bamboo Garden – Banff, Alberta

May 15th, 2015

We went for a winter hike and it was freezing this one afternoon. We figured we deserved to warm up with some spice and found ourselves at Bamboo Garden, a restaurant on second floor right on Banff Avenue.

Once upstairs, it was kind of worn down, but it wasn’t too bad. We got to sit near their employee table and figured out that they weren’t Thai, they’re Mandarin Chinese. So, that would explain the huge variety of “Asian” cuisines on the menu.

We decided we would start with a medium order of Tom Yum Soup as nothing really warms you up than hot, spicy soup. The soup was decent, it wasn’t too spicy of flavourful but it was still quite tasty.

Sticking with the Thai, we ordered one of their curries, we picked the Red Curry with Beef and we got an order of Coconut Rice with this. The dish was actually fantastic! The curry was spicy yet flavourful, the beef was tender and the portions were generous.

I rarely go to a Thai place without ordering my favourite, the Pad See-Ew and this one we got it with chicken as that’s how I like it. This plate was fantastic and they cooked it with high heat which was perfect. The noodles were seasoned great. This was definitely my favourite dish of the evening!

As the main courses tasted fantastic, we decided we would order Mango Sticky Rice and that was kind of a mistake. The mango was so rare it was hard and it tasted like it stings! The sticky rice and coconut milk was good. Overall, this was not something we enjoyed.

So, overall, the main course was pretty awesome and the soup was good. However, the dessert wasn’t favourable – and if it was something we ordered because it wasn’t in season, they should have said something. The prices are reasonable, especially for the portion. Not a bad place to eat, especially for winter!

Bamboo Garden on Urbanspoon

Bamboo Garden

211 Banff St 2nd Floor
Banff, AB
(403) 985-6688

Pho Hoan Restaurant – Calgary, Alberta

May 11th, 2015

I was looking for a good pho place in Calgary and one of my Vietnamese co-workers gave me a list to try. It just so happens that Pho Hoan was on this list and so we went in to try them. They are located right on 17th Ave, and although there are a few parking spots in front of the place, there’s really only 5 spots. We ended up parking on the side streets and walking to the restaurant.

Once we were seated, we were happy to hear that everyone inside spoke Vietnamese! We were pretty much the only foreigners in the restaurant! With us being as strange as we were, we decided to get an order of their Chicken Wings which was really quite delicous. They were fried really nicely and there was a large amount of meat on their chicken wings.

I told my coworker that I really liked Beef Ball Noodle Soup and he said he use to take his daughters here to eat their beef ball noodle soup – so that’s what I ordered. He was right, they were good! The balls had excellent taste and texture and the noodle and soup was actually very flavourful. This was one of the few places that had a good amount of beef balls as well!

We also had a bowl of their Carrot Beef Stew Noodle Soup and it was also quite delicious. The bowl of soup was large with tender and juicy beef stew, cooked to perfection.

Overall, we really liked our dining experience here! The food was awesome, the prices was good, the service wasn’t bad either!

Pho Hoan Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Pho Hoan Restaurant

5020 17 Ave SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 235-2917

Hoang Long Noodle House – Edmonton, Alberta

May 11th, 2015

We often stop by West Edmonton Mall when we go visit Edmonton, even though we may have nothing to get there or anything. This time, we just walked a circle and the decided we will get a quick bowl of pho before heading home. Located right inside the mall – outside of the supermarket we found Hoang Long and it wasn’t busy – but had a few tables.

Once inside, we pretty much got to sit where ever we wanted as they were not busy. The menu was kind of neat as it’s quite customizable by picking options of what you want in your noodle soup. I wasn’t feeling that great so just wanted to stick with my favourite, so I got the Beef Noodle Soup with Beef Balls as that’s the “1 item option.

My hsuband got pretty much the same thing, but his was Beef Noodle Soup with Rare Beef instead. It was quite rare and tender! the bowls of soup was average in size and the prices seems high for a bowl of pho, but the location was nice.

Overall, the food was decent. It wasn’t the best but it’s nice to sit down in a mall to eat dinner that isn’t your typical chain restaurant or bar/pub. For basically $20, you can’t go wrong on a nice hot bowl of noodle soup.

Hoang Long on Urbanspoon

Hoang Long Noodle House

West Edmonton Mall
8882 170 Street
Edmonton, AB
(780) 483-0891

Dynasty Century Palace – Edmonton, Alberta

May 11th, 2015

Recently, we traveled for a day trip to Edmonton in search of a good dim sum place where we kind of stumbled upon Dynasty Century Palace which was located on the second floor of a large building right on 105th Avenue. In fact, it’s quite hard to miss! The location is large with lots of parking – which makes it quite an ideal location (although the parking lot it is attached to is a pay lot).

We got seated and the service here is really speedy! They definitely know turning tables means they’re making money – so they work hard and I’m sure they rewarded! They are the traditional style dim sum experience with the carts which is fantastic! We started by ordering everything, and everything was quite delicious and fresh. The prices were also very reasonable!

We got our standard orders which would consist of Chicken Feet which the flavours were really good, the texture was nice and the size of them was quite large and they were not tough or over cooked! They’ve mastered chicken feet for sure!

Usually we don’t order sweets or if we do, we wait until the end. But when the waitress comes by sayings she’s got fresh Egg Tart on her cart, we’re going to get it and eat it right away! These were really good, quite a buttery tart and the filling was good!

Everyone eats Ha Gaw or shrimp dumplings and this almost is the standard of this generation for dim sum. Since it’s a common dish, we ordered it. The shrimp inside was quite large, cleaned out properly and has an excellent shrimp texture. The skin was thin yet it did not break. Not a bad ha gow at all!

Then, something a little different, we got an order of steamed Beef Short Ribs which we don’t usually get as it’s often tough and full of fat, marinated in a black peppered sauce. Although this dish wasn’t as fatty as they normally come, it was just a tad on the tough side. The flavours was spot on – just like how I remembered it to taste! Overall, not bad as the flavour was just amazing.

I don’t often order rice for dim sum either as they’re really filling – then you don’t get to try as much options, especially when it’s just the 2 of us. However, the Lo Mei Fan or sticky rice was something I have been craving for awhile, so we ordered some. It didn’t come in the standard glass bowl, but it was just kind of dumped into a bamboo steam basket. The flavours and texture and taste was perfect! This really made me want to go home and make some – but I don’t as it’s pretty time consuming.

There’s nothing my husband likes more than Lo Bak Go or turnip cake, so when he saw that go by – guess what, we ordered it! It didn’t have much filling to it but instead it had more rice flour – so it didn’t taste as good as it could have. Still quite tasty and we all know I make this at home, and I must say, he likes mine the best!

Overall, we had a fantastic time here. It was fun, the service was great and the food was really tasty! We wouldn’t mind bringing people here or to come back ourselves as they have a huge selection of food/dim sum!

Dynasty Century Palace on Urbanspoon

Dynasty Century Palace

200-9700 105 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
(780) 428-3388

1 Pot – Calgary, Alberta

April 9th, 2015

It was a pretty chilly spring evening when we decided to go to Chinatown in Calgary and try 1 Pot which is located right next to the paid parking lot. The space is large inside, but they were really busy! We made reservations as a friend told us it’s a good idea to… and it is! Just make sure you and your entire party gets there on time!

We didn’t know how to order… if checking “1” actually meant “1” of the item or if it’s “1 order”, but it turns out to be just 1! So, we had to get a few more sheets for us to mark down what we wanted!

There’s tons of varieties of soups and there’s also a sauce bar kind of thing where you grab a bowl and put the sauces you like into the bowl to enjoy with your hot pot.

The food, and the soup was pretty decent. The quality was ok – but the portions were a bit on the smaller side. So, order lots up front too!

Overall, it wasn’t a bad experience, and they’re super busy – so they must be doing something right!

1 Pot on Urbanspoon

1 Pot – Hot Pot

123 3 Ave SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 708-8088

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver – British Columbia

April 6th, 2015

During our road trip to Vancouver, we decided to stay at the Castle in the City, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and what a glorious stay it was! Although the hotel was undergoing some major renovations, it was still quite nice. The lobby wasn’t done yet, and one of the main reasons for our trip was the visit their Fairmont Store – which they are renovating out.

We stayed in their King Bed Deluxe Room and it was quite nice. It’s great as it still has the old feel to it, yet it’s not run down! The room was simple and that’s really all we need!

The neat thing about this bathroom was the flush handle – it’s like the bar that you use to flush! It’s not typically what you see inside a hotel, but it was fine! It was a weird side note I had in my mind when I saw it.

The stay was still really nice, with a view of Vancouver Art Gallery. I think the only disappointment was the Fairmont Store not being here anymore and was told the closest one was in Victoria – at the Fairmont Empress. We did find finding where to go for parking the car tricky as it was our first time in this area. We ended up just parking the car on the street and running inside to ask Concierge where to go. It was quite an ordeal as there was some protest outside the hotel as well. But, we managed and all was well!

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

900 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
604 684 3131

Travelodge Salmon Arm – British Columbia

April 6th, 2015

We decided on a limb that we were going to take a road trip to Vancouver for the weekend, where we would stop over half way so we would have more time in Vancouver. Our halfway point this trip was around Salmon Arm where we booked into Travelodge which is conveniently located right off the highway.

We stayed in their 2 Queen Bed Room that is a motel like hotel that has tons of amenities! There’s free breakfast in the check-in area and a giant pool as well. The rooms are equipped with coffee maker, mini fridge and a desk!

The beds are decent and the rooms are quite clean – although my sheets smelled like smoke in a non-smoking room. I’m sure it’s just in the air though.

The bathroom is divided out such that the toilet and tub are in the bathroom and the sink with lots of counter space is located just outside of the bathroom area. This does make it convenient for more than one person to get ready in the morning!

The overall room was decent in size and the stay was good. Location and rates were excellent – so there’s really not much to complain about!

You can view the room walk-through below on the link!

Tradelodge Salmon Arm

2401 Trans Canada Highway
Salmon Arm, BC
(250) 832-9721

Chatime – Calgary, Alberta

March 30th, 2015

Recently, bubble tea places has been popping up around Calgary alot, and when we heard of Chatime in Chinatown, we knew we wanted to try this place out! Located right on Centre Street, a small store front exists with just a few tables – and they have only bubble tea.

We’ve been here twice now and both times, the drinks were pretty good. It does take a LONG time for your drink to come, and double check your order as we’ve been getting mix ups, or them forgetting items that you’ve paid for. The nice thing about here, you can really customize your drink with the amount of sweetness, ice and there are tons of toppings you can put in your drink.

I ordered their Chocolate Hazelnut Milk Tea and they didn’t goof it up -but it didn’t taste the same as my first time here. So, I think they may need a big more consistency – or there’s something going on as the wait is quite long for a bubble tea. The milk tea is quite nice though and you do get the chocolate/hazelnut taste!

We also ordered the Jasmine Milk Tea and usually with the toppings is where they seem to mess us – so if you ordered any toppings, just be sure to double check it. They do give you a bit of hassle, but ultimately – you paid for it! The Jasmine Milk tea is really good as well though!

Overall, their drinks are quite good. It can be worth the wait if they get it right! It’s a neat little place to go to! Make sure you do have some time as the first time we were there, we waiting over 40 minutes for the drinks. The second time was about 20 minutes. So, I would like to think they’re getting better!

Chatime on Urbanspoon

Chatime

#102 328 Centre Street SE
Calgary, AB
(587) 352-0710