Reader. Writer. Romantic.

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

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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

 

Location: 1534 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA
Website: http://www.thepizzapress.com

On our way in to our hotel, we passed this place.  It was, of course, Braeden who suggested we try it out.  After all, it is pizza and what does he love more than that? I didn’t mind since I hadn’t had pizza in a while, but more importantly, I was starving and any food sounded good to me.

We walked in at around 8pm local time and found it to still be quite bustling.  On the door, the hours stated that the place was open until 1am, one hour after the Disney Park closed, a perfect time and place to satiate any late night cravings.  From our vantage point, it was hard to see any details about the pizzas they had on their menu.  Luckily, they had smaller menus on double sided cards for us to peruse.  “The Herald” caught my attention right away.  It was the only pizza on the menu with a white sauce.  It also helped that there were onions and mushrooms on it, two of my favourite pizza toppings; I was sold. Despite not liking tomatoes on my pizza, with the exception of the actual tomato sauce, I decided to go with the pizza as is since that combination was chosen by the chef, I would give it a try first before changing anything because who knew, maybe I would end up liking it.  Braeden stuck to his familiar Hawaiian pizza, only here it was called The Sun and had bacon on it.  Honestly, before I could have cared less for bacon, but recently, after having fried up some pretty good maple bacon, I’m warming up to it.  The great thing about this place is that every pizza is customizable.  It’s clear that the chefs here take a lot of pride and care in what they do.  One in particular, I’m sorry I didn’t catch his name, asked each and every customer about his or her day.  It’s small things like that that make a place special.  Now I’m not saying that it’s not done at other places, but as this had a more fast food feel to it, it seemed different.  Like they actually cared.  He actually asked for details not like many other places where people ask as an automatic opener.

However, what struck me first was the way the place was setup.  Or rather, the theme that the place had.  I suppose the fact that it was called The Pizza PRESS should’ve clued me in.  The place is setup like a newspaper press.  The titles of the pizzas are related to common suffixes added to newspaper titles (ex. The Calgary Herald, The Calgary Sun, The Alberta Gazette, etc.).  Each step we had to take from ordering our pizza to customizing it to paying for it had a different “label” assigned that corresponded with some part of the editing/publishing process.  But what got me the most excited was the fact that there was a typewriter on display right on the counter.  And if I remember correctly, it was right between the two cash registers.

Since it was late, we opted to take the pizzas back tot the hotel to enjoy.  Since it was only a short walk from our hotel, the pizzas didn’t have a chance to get cold.  One bite and I was in love.  I remember thinking and saying to Braeden, “this is how [thin crust] pizza should be.”  The pizza here was vaguely reminiscent of the ones I had in Italy, only that the ones in Italy were more burnt and had less toppings.

Would I recommend coming here? Absolutely.  Would I come back here?  You bet.  The staff were friendly, the food was great, I didn’t have to wait long for my pizza.  They even have beer on tap (not that I drink beer, but it’s still pretty cool since beer and pizza are a classic pairing).  Of the many pizzas I’ve eaten, I have to say this place ranks in the top tiers.  Though it’s not my favourite food, I would still rate this place a 3.75/5.  I can’t say I’d give it a higher rating until I had the chance to dine in.  I guess there is only one bad thing I can say about this place, I can’t stop eating. It’s that good.

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