Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh Duchess...

On my first Saturday off in over a month I scheduled a trip to Duchess Bake Shop.  We arrived around 11:45 on this snowy February day. It was quite full but we managed to get one of the tables for two and borrowed a chair from another table to seat our party of three.
I already knew I wanted to order the ham and cheese croissant and have it warmed up, but wasn't sure what sweet ending to go with. After devouring the wonderfully tasty croissant I decided to go with the bakery's signature dessert, the Duchess.

Garner sold me on it by explaining they use marzipan imported from Germany. I also ordered a Buckingham Palace tea, which is my default beverage choice every time I go to Duchess ever since my sister recommended it to me. The Duchess was so beautiful that I almost felt guilty to eat it. The white cake was moist and the layer of raspberry along with the layer of pastry cream was quite sweet - but the marzipan provided a pleasant zing.

There was a steady flow of people coming and going the entire time we were there and I was pleased to give our table up to a familiar face when we finally decided to leave over an hour after arriving.
Duchess never disappoints and offers a wide selection of reasonably priced, beautifully crafted cakes, cookies, croissants, and of course, macarons. A visit to Duchess is sure to bring joy to anyone's day!

Duchess Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 21, 2011

another week of culinary exploration

This week I ate out more than my fair share. Such goes the life of a busy single gal like me. I got Blue Plate Diner take out on my lunch break the other day and enjoyed my favourite dish there- the mac and cheese with a side Mediterranean salad. 
presentation of mac and cheese when dining in
I also dined at Corso32 for the third time - and again enjoyed an amazing meal. My friends were unsure about the goat cheese ricotta crostini but we shared it between the three of us and they both loved it.
the amazing crostini (taken on my phone)

the bacon cinnamon bun cut into three 
Over the weekend I enjoyed brunch at Culina Highlands. First we shared one of the specials- a cinnamon bun with bacon. The salty sweet combo was great-  we were glad to split it three-ways as one to myself would have been too much! While my friends both chose the special- a strata, I went with the Ukrainian Breakfast, a cheddar caraway omlette with kubassa and perogies on the side.

I always enjoy brunch at Culina Highlands. Though the servers are busy they are easy going and attentive to fill your coffee mug and water (they leave a wine bottle full of water at your table and fill it as needed).  I will definitely be back! Where to next- I'm not sure but you'll find out soon!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Brunch at Blue Plate Diner

I enjoyed weekend brunch at Blue Plate Diner the other day. We arrived at 11 and were seated quickly (well my friend was seated and I joined her five minutes late!) We were both okay with water (I enjoyed a home made americano on the drive there) and decided on the eggs benny (friend) and the breakfast burrito (for me). (I ate half the burrito before taking the photo below).

Both of us enjoyed our meals and ate up every bite although I needed to cover  my potatoes with  ketchup to enjoy them fully. My friend opted to substitute fruit instead of potatoes (beware there is an upcharge for this).

As we left an hour later we walked past the lineup that had formed all the way to the door and were pleased that we had come at 11.

I couldn't resist going across the street to Credo for a coffee and chose a tasty Columbian single origin and then decided I would have a Jacek chocolate too. The spring like weather had drawn quite a crowd at Credo as well. I left after finishing the last drop of my coffee and purchasing a few more chocolates to share.

Blue Plate Diner on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 12, 2011

here and there..

I stopped in at The Sequel Cafe last week.  I love the rainbow magnets that cover the menu board. Great selection of homemade soups. Well priced. Unfortunately it's only open Monday to Friday, 8-4. But if you live, work or play nearby check it out in the National Bank Building right across from City Centre, Churchill Square and the downtown library.

Also made it to Crave Cupcakes on their opening day, February 4. Yummy creations. Too bad the Whyte Ave/ University area is becoming saturated with cupcake shops while most of the rest of the city has to travel so far their sugar craving may have gone away by the time they reach the destination!

I worked my last day at my office job yesterday and had my going away lunch at Bistro La Persaud. The service for our large group was slow but the food was awesome. I enjoyed an incredible Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich.

I am now truly pursuing my dreams of owning a cafe here in Edmonton. On Tuesday I start full time hours at Credo, a wonderful cafe on 104th street that I have been working at part time for three months now. The first time I walked into Credo I told Geoff I could imagine it being in Portland (where I lived for three years) and after tasting the latte he made me I said it could almost pass for Stumptown. I am thrilled to be part of the team at Credo. 


My closest friends have been encouraging me to do this for awhile now. They ask me for advice on where to eat in Edmonton as I make it a priority to dine at local restaurants as often as possible. I made a list last year of restaurants I wanted to check and worked my way down the list. Some places I haven't been to yet, but there were additions of new places that have already become some of my favourite places that I return to often. The list kept reminding me to get out and try new places.. the thing is, when I find a favourite, I like to keep returning to it!

A short list of my favourite places in Edmonton to go for amazing food, coffee, or both:



Culina Highlands, Mill Creek and Muttart

Duchess Bakeshop

Elm Cafe


and now in 2011 I want to make it to The Marc as soon as possible!

..This blog is going to be a place I record my Edmonton and beyond discoveries. I started the year in Japan and my next trip will probably be to my second home, Portland. I am excited for the day Edmonton rivals Portland in its food and beverage offerings. I know we have it in us!