Tandoor ‘n’ Flame (Red Deer, AB) – Great Lunch Deals!

I finally made the drive down to Tandoor ‘n’ Flame in downtown Red Deer after having a request posted on ToothFoodie.com. The restaurant is situated in this odd s-shaped road which resulted in plenty of angled parking.

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame Front

I took the opportunity to walk around downtown which I think we all take for granted. The history, the architecture (it may not be Chicago or New York, but still rich in its own way), and the people are in a category of their own. No matter how beautiful and comfortable the expanding suburbs can get, they could never compare to Downtown Red Deer.

Inside, the restaurant is well-light and decorated with East Indian themed items. Immediately, you see the buffet layout stretching from one end of the restaurant to the other. The buffet area was very clean which is much appreciated as I remember entering some very dirty buffets as a kid. Here, it looked spotless despite my arrival just pass the lunch rush.

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame Interior 1

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame - Buffet

I was shown to the owner, Dilbagh Singh, who was behind the bar. He greeted me warmly and I requested the lunch takeout special menu. He happily handed it to me.

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame Interior 2

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame Interior 3

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame Interior 4

I decided to order the Curry Bowl which had a choice of Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Channa Masala, Aloo Curry, Chef’s Vegetarian Special, or Chef’s Non-Vegetarian Special. A bed of basmati rice was included with the curry bowl. I decided to go with the Butter Chicken. Dilbagh asked what level of spiciness would I like (mild, medium, or spicy) and I requested spicy.

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame - Butter Chicken Curry Bowl

Despite the name Curry Bowl, the dish did not come in a bowl. It came in a sizeable microwave-safe container. Like the restaurant, it was cleanly plated in the container.
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Fortune City Seafood Restaurant (Vancouver, BC) – Peking Duck for the win!

My aunt invited us to dinner after finding out that we were visiting Vancouver. She suggested Fortune City Seafood Restaurant for Peking Duck. Being one of my favorite relatives, how could I say no?

The restaurant is located on the top floor of the 1st Avenue Marketplace which also houses the T & T Supermarket.

The interior of the restaurant is not bad for a Chinese restaurant. It doesn’t look new, but certainly not dated. However, the tables were packed in like sardines. We certainly felt close to our neighbors.

We put in the order for Peking Duck right away. The second course was the Lettuce Wrap.

Fortune City Seafood Restaurant - Peking Duck

Unlike some places, the duck was not carved up infront of us. It was carved in the back and the skin was served on a large plate.
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Pelican Pier (Calgary, AB) – Not Your Typical Expected Fish and Chips

We found ourselves in the Northwest area and spotted Pelican Pier nearby. A quick glance at their menu online revealed a fish and chip joint with an attached fish market. Thinking that with a fish market attached, the food must be fresh so we headed in.

Pelican Pier

The interior of the restaurant had a seashore theme which was a nice deviation from the modern, cozy-style used by big restaurants like Cactus Club, Earl’s, etc. I thought it was neat that even the blinds had a gradient of blue.

Pelican Pier Interior

Pelican Pier Interior 2

Pelican Pier - Condiments Boat

My wife was hoping to have some raw oysters, but, unfortunately, they were only sold through the fish market and not shucked for table-side.

My wife settled for the Fish Tacos which came in a set of 3’s with a choice either fries, soup, or salad. My wife went with clam chowder as her side.

Pelican Pier - Fish Tacos

The Fish Tacos were plated with the ever popular metal rack holding them upright. They were quite reasonable with a decent size piece of fish in each taco. The fish had a panko coating which resulted in a very crispy exterior while maintaining a moist, meaty center. Textually, the Fish Tacos were great as the panko crust was very crispy while the pickled onions, shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes offered up some lightness and a decent crunch. Taste-wise, it was a little bland. I imagine that some fresh salsa or spicy sauce would have elevated the dish. We were offered Tobasco Habenaro and Tobasco Smokey sauces of which I heavily relied on the latter. Still, I think the tacos would have been awesome with salsa.
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McKim Wonton Mein Saga (Vancouver, BC) – Famous Wonton Noodle Soup lives up to its Name!

We found ourselves stuck in line at the Peace Arch border one evening so by the time we got back to the Canadian side, it was late. We contacted PhoenixWright for some suggestions in the Richmond area. Top of the list was McKim Wonton Mein Saga, renowned for their Wonton Noodle Soup.

McKim Wonton Mein Saga

Once we arrived, we found only one other table occupied. It was quiet, but to be expected for a weeknight.

McKim Wonton Mein Saga Interior

My wife was hungry and ordered Beef with Gai-Lan.

McKim Wonton Mein Saga - Beef with Gai-Lan

We were served a generous portion of Beef with Gai-Lan. The beef had good caramelization thanks to the high heat used in a wok. They were likely tenderized with some sort of chemical enzyme tenderizer so each piece was soft with the slightest bounce. With plenty of sauce, they were succulent and satisfied my wife’s expectations. The gai-lan were cooked just right, maintaining just the right amount of crunch to contrast the softer leafy ends.
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Market (Calgary, AB) – Great Oysters and Delectable Duck Tacos

Market Restaurant came to my attention after appearing on Vacay’s Top 50 Restaurants in Canada list. The style looked refreshing and something my wife was in the mood for one Friday evening.

Situated on 17th Avenue among the many popular restaurants in the area, Market blended in well.

Market

Inside, the atmosphere was modern with an open kitchen concept though acoustics were a bit loud due to the crowd.

Market Interior

Market Interior 2

My wife saw raw oysters on the menu and insisted on a half dozen. There were 2 options: traditional or foam and caviar. My wife decided to go with the Foam and Caviar Raw Oysters.

Market - Foam and Caviar Raw Oysters

The raw oysters came on the usual plate of ice. They were fresh with a light brininess. My wife thought the caviar and foam worked well with the oysters as they added more dimensions of flavor. She thought these were better than the past ones that she had and would suggest these over the traditional ones given the same price point.
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Burger Boy (Red Deer, AB) – Burger and Fries, Of Course!

With all the major fast food franchises around, it’s nice to see a small business fast food restaurant still around. With that in mind, I made the short haul to Burger Boy.

Burger Boy

Burger Boy is located centrally, just north of Downtown Red Deer. With ample parking in the parking lot shared with several small businesses, you can spot its sign from as far away as Antique Mall Red Deer.

Burger Boy Sign

Inside, the restaurant had a fast food atmosphere with an upfront counter, behind-the-counter menu, and a vintage McDonald’s-style seating arrangement.

Burger Boy Interior

In view of the immense menu, I stood awhile before deciding on the Moz’n Bacon Boy. Bacon was the key draw for me.

Burger Boy - Moz'n Bacon Boy

The Moz’n Bacon Boy arrived in a classic Red Robin-style red basket, a perfect medium for the atmosphere. Besides the beef patty, mozzarella cheese, and bacon, the burger included shredded lettuce, tomato slices, pickle slices, relish, and what I suspect was thousand Island sauce.
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White Spot (Calgary, AB) – Pirate Pak Day 2014

For people growing up in British Columbia, White Spot was the place to go with family and the words “Pirate Pak” brought out big smiles. Pirate Pak was the ingenious idea of Nat Bailey, founder of White Spot, as a way to cater to kids just like the McHappy Meal. Banking on these childhood memories, White Spot came up with Pirate Pak Day as a way to bring in past customers who grew up with White Spot while supporting a worthwhile charity. On Pirate Pak Day each year, White Spot serves a special version of Pirate Pak for adults (normally for kids 10 and under).

On Pirate Pak Day 2014, which was on August 13th 2014, I decided to head to one of two White Spots in Calgary. The one I went to was north end one near Barlow Trail.

White Spot

The interior of the restaurant reflected the modern cozy trend found in Earl’s, Joey’s, Moxie’s, etc. It certainly wasn’t the casual diner-ish atmosphere from my childhood.

White Spot Interior

White Spot - Pirate Pak Sign

Without even bothering to open the regular menu, I peruse the special Pirate Pak menu. There was a choice of beef and chicken burgers with different toppings. I decided to go with the Bacon Cheddar Bigger Burger which was a 6 oz beef patty topped with hickory smoked bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and Triple “O” sauce. All Pirate Paks include a soft drink (which I was oblivious to), endless fries, creamy coleslaw, a scoop of premium ice cream (chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry), and the famous chocolate coin. Unfortunately, no paper crowns were provided any more.

White Spot - Pirate Pak

White Spot - Pirate Pak Closeup

The Bacon Cheddar Bigger Burger Pirate Pak arrived to my childhood memories’ delight. The colorful paper pirate ship carried the entire meal within its compartments.
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Sura Korean Restaurant (Calgary, AB) – Korean Pancake and Galbi Galore

It’s interesting how we learn about restaurants in the area. Take Sura Korean Restaurant for example. It was suggested to us by a Korean salesman while we were shopping in Calgary. He stated that Sura Korean Restaurant was his go-to place for authentic Korean cuisine.

Sura Korean Restaurant is located north of 16 Avenue, across the street from McDonalds. It has a parking lot so you won’t have any issues with parking.

Sura Korean Restaurant

Inside, the restaurant was surprising big with tables spaciously apart.

Sura Korean Restaurant Interior

As tradition in Korean cuisine, we were served a multitude of Banchan (small plates). These small plates are typically cold dishes which include kimchi, beans, spicy tofu, and various fermented/pickled vegetables.

Sura Korean Restaurant - Banchan

Sura Korean Restaurant - Banchan 1

Sura Korean Restaurant - Banchan 2

Sura Korean Restaurant - Banchan 3

Sura Korean Restaurant - Banchan 4

Sura Korean Restaurant - Banchan 5

Sura Korean Restaurant - Banchan 6

Sura Korean Restaurant - Banchan 7

Sura Korean Restaurant - Banchan 8

My wife wanted to start with the Pajeon which is basically a korean-style savory pancake containing various seafood and green onions. The wall near us had photos of food available and the pajeon shown was what we were used to seeing.
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Flippin Good Crepes (Red Deer, AB) – Finest Crepes in the Red Deer Market

Red Deer Market is one of our favorite places to visit on a lazy weekend. It is always bustling with cheers and laughter. The biggest fans show up bright and early. Unfortunately, not being a morning person, I tend to be a latecomer. Usually, my wife and I would do a few loops around the marketplace and fawn over the many products available, particularly from local farmers.

My wife discovered a love for crepes on one of our visits to the Red Deer Market. The Flippin Good Crepes cart is usually located in the northwest corner, across from the Red Deer Lodge.

Flippin Good Crepes

Flippin Good Crepes - Holy Crepes! Sign

A line-up is expected though it does move pretty quickly. The gentlemen who runs Flippin Good Crepes lives in town, but is a snowbird who hits the south in the winter. I guess this is the perfect business for him to be in.

Flippin Good Crepes - Owner

My wife never orders from the menu, but, instead, requests a Strawberry and Nutella Crepe (standard is banana and nutella) every time. There are savory options too, but my wife likes her crepe as a dessert.

Flippin Good Crepes - Making Crepe

Flippin Good Crepes - Adding Nutella

Crepes may seem simple, but we have had many bad ones that were either too thick, too doughy, or just plain bad. Despite just being a food cart in a Farmer’s Market, Flippin Good Crepes consistently makes the best crepes (gluten-free is available too). Here, they are crispy (my wife requests her crepes to be extra crispy) with just the right touch of sweetness.
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Diner Deluxe (Calgary, AB) – Crispy Potato Pancake and French Toast Goodness

We had our eye on Diner Deluxe ever since we noticed it while visiting OEB Breakfast Company. It is just as busy as OEB Breakfast Company on any given weekend. We decided that we had to see how it compares to their neighboring competition, OEB Breakfast Company, and lined up for the long haul.

Diner Deluxe

It took over an hour and half before we got a table. Inside, the restaurant had a diner atmosphere with license plates, toys, and vintage signs decorating the walls.

Diner Deluxe Interior

Diner Deluxe - Black Cat Sign

Diner Deluxe - License Plates

My wife ordered an Orange Mimosa (not quite the classic breakfast/brunch drink) to start.

Diner Deluxe - Orange Mimosa

After looking over the menu, she decided to have French Toast which were made from Urban Baker’s Dark Chocolate Sourdough bread and topped with a grilled banana. The alternative choice was honey oat bread topped with vanilla bean cream cheese and mixed berries.

Diner Deluxe - French Toast

The French Toast arrived nicely stacked with 2 banana halves on top. It was rather dark, but expected when dark chocolate is added to bread. My wife was surprised that she didn’t like the addition of dark chocolate (she usually likes that type of chocolate) and thought it was overwhelming. However, the nice eggy coating present on every slice of french bread was pleasant and stayed true to the french toast concept. She also appreciated the caramelization on the banana which offered another dimension of flavor.
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