Reader. Writer. Romantic.

Location: 2430 Crowchild Trail NW
Website: http://nickssteakandpizza.com/

After a mixed feeling kind of day, we finally got to try out Nick’s.  Brae had been planning on bringing me here when we just first started dating. Tonight we finally got that chance.  The restaurant wasn’t dead, but it wasn’t super busy either, but it was a Tuesday, so I didn’t expect it to be too busy anyways.

We were promptly seated in what I assumed to be the bar/lounge area and given just enough time to peruse the menu.  I had already looked at the menu before, but still didn’t exactly know what I wanted.  I know Brae wanted me to try the pizza since that was once of the things they were known for, but wanted to try their steaks, which is the other thing they specialize in (I mean, duh, look at their name).  After looking at the prices, I decided I’d stick to a pizza this time and come back another time to try some other items on their menu because a lot of it sounded really good.  Me being me wanted to order an appetizer and guess what, we ordered the calamari.  As most of you will know by now, this is my go to appetizer.

Like the kind of day I had been having, I had a mixed opinion about the calamari.  Having had so many varieties of calamari, I’d have to say that the batter could have been lighter.  At first, it isn’t so bad, but after about half or more of it, it starts to feel very greasy and heavy.  There are two solutions for that: sharing that with more people or make a lighter batter.  However, the tzatziki is one of the best I’ve ever had. It’s not the kind that has an overbearing amount of garlic, but just the right amount for me (I do love my garlic, but I know that sometimes the quantity that I like is often too much).  The pizzas followed shortly after we finished the calamari.

Brae got his favourite: Hawaiian and I tried the Sweet Chili Chicken. I was torn between the Sweet Chili Chicken and Chicken Carbonara, but Brae helped me choose.  I think that was a great choice because it satisfied all the tastes one craves for and chicken carbonara has the potential to be very heavy and rich.  The first thing that struck me was the stringy mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella is one of my favourite cheeses simply because of how well it melts and the slightly chewy texture it has after it’s been melted.  The pizza was simply blanketed in cheese.  Now, some may say that that is too much cheese, but for me, there’s no such thing.  In fact, when our waitress offered us some parmesan, I jumped at the chance to have more melty cheese on my pizza. While it was annoying that the pizza toppings kept slipping off the pizza while it was hot, it tasted so much better that way.  The crust itself tasted almost buttery.  It’s one of the better pizzas I’ve had, but the thickness of the crust and the doughiness are somewhat off-putting.

This is one of Brae’s favourite restaurants and I can see why.  I like this restaurant, it’s good for a casual night out and I would agree to come back here, especially since I would love to try some of the other items on their menu, but would I say this is the kind of restaurant I would choose if given a choice? No.  Restaurants like this aren’t usually in my wheelhouse, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy them when I do go.  It’s homey and the servers are friendly enough.  Besides, it’s one of Brae’s favourites so I can definitely see myself coming back here in the future for sure.  I would rate this place 3.75/5.

nick's 2

Calamari

nick's 3

Hawaiian Pizza (Brae’s)

nick's 4

Sweet Chili Chicken (Mine)

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Location: 11670 Sarcee Trail NW

We’ve passed this restaurant on many occasions when going to other businesses in the Beacon Hill area.  Each time, Brae and I have remarked that we should try this place out, but, of course, once it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind.  For a picky eater, this place is ideal.  After all, there is complete control over every aspect of your dish; it is the ultimate customization of your meal.  For those who are unfamiliar with Mongolian BBQs or grills, you are, in essence, given a bowl and told to fill it up with whatever you want.  The charge varies by restaurant, but the charge is almost always based on weight.

The general rule with restaurants like these is not to choose foods that have a lot of water weight because when the cook, a lot of it is lost and you’re left with a sad, half full plate of food.  This place is different and possibly better than others as it comes with wraps and rice so you don’t have to include a carb element in your dish which removes some of the “extra” weight.

At this restaurant, the food is arranged in several “stations.” While there is no proper way of going through the “stations,” Brae suggested we start at the vegetable station and move from there.  In a way that makes the most sense because once you’ve loaded up on all your food then you would know how much sauce you need.  I got water chestnuts, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and white mushrooms from the veggie station, while Brae only got pineapple. There was a small section with noodles (two trays) following the veggies: Shanghai noodles and rice noodles.  Brae grabbed some rice noodles. Next we moved on to the meat and seafood station.  I got squid, prawns, chicken, and beef and Brae got beef, chicken, pork, imitation crab meat, salmon, shrimp, and scallops. The last station is the sauce station.  They have such a variety that I was tempted to mix and match, but I knew that the flavour wouldn’t turn out well if I were to do that. I ultimately settled on a coconut curry sauce. Brae, of course, went straight for the teriyaki sauce, as per usual.

Our items were promptly weighed and we were given slips with the prices on them.  Mine came to almost $20 and Brae’s was about $18.  Given that the restaurant was practically empty when we go there, I’d say service was pretty fast.  When mine came, it looked complete void of sauce even though I had put in a lot (that’s probably what made mine heavier than Brae’s).  I could barely taste the sauce. It was as though it had completely evaporated as coconut curry sauce so often does when cooked unless a large quantity is used. The only other issue I had was that the beef was kinda tough. Or some pieces were and I nearly choked on one. Even Brae’s teriyaki sauce wasn’t as prominent as it normally is, but luckily, as Brae said, they will give you extra sauce on the side if you need it. And in my case, I poured the entire tea cup of it onto my dish in order for it to be enough. I would also recommend that you add salt to the dish before it is cooked because there’s nothing in there really that would give it that salinity.  The food at the stations are just that. The raw, unaltered, unseasoned state that you’d expect.  While the sauces are meant to season, most of them appear too weak and diluted to do much. But I suppose, as in my case, I would normally recommend tasting before adding more salt to the dish and they do have salt at the table if you find that you need some salt after the fact.

While the rice is just rice, I was glad that they included it in the meal as part of the overall price. The wrap on the other hand tasted raw to me and reminded me of spring roll wrappers before they have been deep fried, which made me want to go deep fry them and eat them like that.

While it was good, I’m not sure it is good enough for me to want to return.  I feel as though Open Sesame offered a better selection of items and tasted more polished, if you will. The service on the other hand was pretty good.  The waitress, who I think was also the hostess, checked in at the perfect times.  Based on my overall experience today I’d give it a 2.75/5, but, of course, I’d be willing to give the place another chance some day down the road.  Especially since I’ve never seen Brae eat his food so fast in my life. He clearly enjoyed it and seeing him that happy over food makes me happy.

xan panorama

Restaurant Interior

xan 1 -my food

My Stir-fry

xan 2 -brae's food

Brae’s Stir-fry

xan rice 2

Look at the cute bowl with a cover that the rice comes in. It even has a place for the spoon’s handle to come out of

xan rice

Rice

xan wraps

Wraps

Some people have good days sprinkled with a few bad eggs
For her she had bad days brightened up by a lucky few days

Her life began in sunshine
Brightened by his presence
By his love
But as time went on
Things became routine
And they both became too comfortable in their lives

His love came automatically
He no longer provided the gestures of courtship
He had already won the prize
Why would he continue to fight for what he already owned?

From that day on
She began to wither
And the beauty marred by the thorns were all he could see
He couldn’t see that it was he
Draining her life from her
He couldn’t see that her eyes were empty and dead
He couldn’t see that she had become a husk of her former self

He could no longer bring himself to love her anymore
He began to blame her for his misfortunes
And so she continued to die
To wish for an end as swift as the rose plucked
For she could not help but think about what she’d become
For who could love a beast?

Let poetry flow through your veins once more
It is the root of all that lies within your mind
Free it and it will thank you

Unleash the passion you have always known within your heart
Embrace the unknown
And explode with the power the words have given you

What cannot be capture in prose
Will always come naturally in poetry

Poetry flows and ebbs
Like the current of life

I will always live to breathe poetry
For I know it is the song my heart longs to sing
And what better way than this

Be brave for me
So that when I look into your eyes I don’t know what fear is
Be brave for me
So I can walk through life with my head held high

You are the light of my life
You are something so rare
So precious
I never want to lose you

I love you for who you are
But I love you more for who we’ve become
Together

If you want me to stay
Give me a reason
I need to know I’ll always be your first priority
That you’d be willing to drop everything
To come to my aid

I need to know that you will push me to greater height
But not beyond my breaking point

Prove to me that you would
Choose me
Defend me
Protect me

If you can’t do that
If you won’t do that
Then I will walk
Because I learned years ago
A man does not define me

I don’t need him to succeed
To live
To love
I have myself

So give me a reason to keep you in my life
To stay in my life
You must earn it
And deserve it

You’ve told me once before
You’re not the type to provide blind support
But sometimes in the moment
Consumed by emotion
That’s all I really need

I need you to tell me that it’s okay
That I’m not crazy for feeling the things I do
For thinking the way I do
For acting and lashing out

I’m not asking that you forget about logic and equality
Your impartiality has its moments
And I know I can be stubborn
Particular in my ways
But let me ask you to see this through my eyes

For what reason do I have to live if I am standing on my own?
Why remain in solitary confinement
Where no one cares
Where no one is here for me

When I’m standing all alone
When I’m looking for support
For a shoulder to cry on
You’re the one who’s supposed to be by my side
But you’re not
You stand beside everything that is hurting me
Telling me that there’s something more that I can do

I look at you
And I see the one person I care for more than life
The one person I’d give everything to
Turn your back on me
I put all my trust in you
And you abandon me

I’ll never be the same
I’ll never trust you enough to tell you how I truly feel
Not anymore
If you can’t stand by me
Then who can

I’ve always thought it would be us against the world
I guess I was wrong
It’s just me

 

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