Reader. Writer. Romantic.

Posts tagged ‘Tacos’

Restaurant Review: State and Main

Location:  129, 6455 Macleod Trail SW
Website:  https://www.stateandmain.ca/

Today was a ridiculously busy day.  In the future, I would never recommend trying to hit up three bridal shops in one day.  Before we even finished our first shop, some of us were starting to feel hungry, so by the end of the second shop we, or at least I wanted to cannibalize some of the bridal party.

We stopped at one restaurant before this one, but it couldn’t accommodate a group of seven at that time.  Since we were ravenous, we looked for the next best alternative and since we were going to be stopping at Chinook to see if we could find some wedding stuff we thought State and Main would be the best option.

As it is the holiday season, parking at the mall was scarce, but we were lucky enough to find somewhere relatively close.  Since we didn’t want to be turned away from another restaurant, we had called ahead to see if there was space and they reserved a table for us of their own accord, which I thought was really nice.  The others in our party weren’t so luck in finding a parking spot, but they eventually all made it.

We were the first of our party to arrive since we had the good fortune of finding a parking spot.  We started with an appetizer, calamari, of course.  I love calamaris that have all the “extras.”  State and Main choose to serve theirs with a medley of jalapenos, onions & bell pepper with a roasted red pepper aioli.  This is one of the better calamaris I have had, but that may be because my opinion is influenced by the fact that the jalapenos, onions, and bell peppers helped to balance the greasiness that is characteristic of fried foods.  Compared to Boston Pizza, which has pretty much the same medley, State and Main is a little more refined.

The majority of the party ordered tacos, three ordered the Long Beach Fish Tacos with the Ginger Cilantro Slaw, and I ordered the Gogi Tacos with Fries and a dill dip.  As per my food ADD/ADHD, I love trying multiple things so Julia and I planned to swap a taco so we’d have the chance to give more than one menu item a try.  The fish tacos consisted of lightly spiced mahi mahi topped with avocado, shredded lettuce, tomato, green onion, chopped cilantro, fresh lime, and a salsa.  After eating many fish tacos, I have learned that I do not like mahi mahi.  There’s something about the taste of the fish that is off putting for me.  Besides that, this taco was rather ordinary.  It’s like every other taco you have ever had in your life.  A taco is unique only in its toppings and seasoning and these are the basic.  There was nothing special about the Long Beach Fish Tacos, but the Gogi Taco on the other hand was phenomenal.  My protein of choice has never been pork.  I’m not saying that I won’t eat it or that it can’t be prepared deliciously (ref: crispy suckling pig), but if there’s the choice of beef or chicken or sometimes even fish, I would choose them over pork.  The problem is it is usually overcooked which makes it dry and tough to eat and some places there’s either a freezer burn taste or a very strong porky taste.  You may think, what the heck, of course it tastes porky, it’s pork, but it’s not what you think.  It’s a very distinct unsavoury flavour that reminds me all too much of raw meat.  But the Gogi Tacos were nothing like that.  The meat was succulent and flavourful.  The Gogi Tacos consist of Korean inspired pork topped with ginger cilantro slaw & sriracha mayo on the side.  The sriracha mayo isn’t totally necessary, but it’s still nice to have a little for dipping since it provides a little bit of heat.  The ginger cilantro slaw, though there was very little of it (I mean, you can only fit so much into a taco), it packed a punch.  It provided the refreshing bright notes that the Long Beach Fish Tacos lacked.  Now I don’t normally rave about fries, but I think these fries were worth raving about.  They are the perfect thickness, balancing the satisfying crunch of the exterior with the smooth softness of the interior.  Paired with the dill dip elevates it to the next level.  It’s creamy, but not heavy because the dill provides that touch of zinginess to prevent it from being just another fatty mayo dip.

The others ordered a Burrito Bowl, California Chicken Wrap, and an Eggs Benedict.  I’m not sure how they liked it, but based on the fact that they finished it all, it was good.  The Burrito Bowl looked pretty big and was probably really filling.

Since we wanted to get on with shopping and save some money on the bill, we didn’t have dessert, so next time I’ll definitely have to come back for that.  Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to split the appetizer between everyone, so I ended up having to pay for the entirety of it, making my bill seem ridiculously expensive, but I guess if I took it off, it would seem pretty reasonable for a lunch.

The hostess and our server seemed a bit distant.  At the end, she didn’t even come to pay out our bills, she had another waitress come by with the machine and collect for her.  She nearly missed one of us, until we pointed it out to her.

I would certainly return for the food, but I’m not sure about the service.  I’m willing to give them another chance since it could’ve just been an off day for her, but based on my experience that day I’d have to say my rating would be 3/5, but I would recommend this place for the food for sure.

State and Main

State and Main Interior

Calamari

Calamari

Fish tacos

Long Beach Fish Tacos with Ginger Cilantro Slaw

Gogi tacos

Gogi Tacos with Fries and Dill Dip

Advertisements

Restaurant Review: Anju

Location: 344 17 Avenue SW
Website: http://www.anju.ca

Another night on the town enjoying great food with great company. Tonight I had dinner here with my best friend, Julia. I’ve wanted to come to Anju for a long time and tonight I wasn’t disappointed. The menu is new and different as fusion food often is.

We ordered four dishes and one side which turned out to be completely unnecessary. The Spicy Buckwheat Noodle Salad was the first to come. When I hear “buckwheat noodles,” my first thought is of soba, but these were not that; they looked more like instant noodles. The dish was chilled, hence the salad served with grilled pork belly. The salad consisted of the noodles, kimchi, cucumber, carrot, daikon, nori, and half an egg served on a bed of shredded romaine lettuce, but the daikon was kind of hard to find in everything. The choice to serve it with grilled pork belly was a good one. The sour spiciness of the kimchi serves to counterbalance the richness of the pork belly. And deciding to simply grill it without the addition of a lot of seasoning was a good contrast to the aggressively seasoned noodles. The next dish that arrived was the Spicy Salmon Tacos which are tacos with salmon mixed with spicy mayo on a sesame slaw topped with avocado mousse and seaweed and lime wedges on the side. The taco shells are made of a wonton wrapper, giving it a much need crunch. I’d have to say this is my favourite dish of the entire evening. Not only is it fresh tasting, there are a variety of textures that make it so much more interesting to eat. Though the menu stated that there’s masago on it, there wasn’t any tonight. It didn’t taste as though anything was missing, but it would have added another level of depth to the dish. The Poutine For Your Seoul came next with the kimchi (the side we ordered). Had I known how many dishes contained kimchi, I wouldn’t have ordered this as a side. The poutine had cheese curds and fresh cubed tofu, drizzled with Kabayaki Gravy, topped with dehydrated Kimchi. This one was primarily chosen because of the punny name. Julia loved the name so much and I thought why the heck not, it made me laugh, so let’s give it a try. It was a good dish, but so heavy. It really could have done with some citrus accompaniments. The last dish to arrive were the KFC sliders. I think this item is a modification of one of their existing menu items (it’s not on their online menu). They are buttermilk fried chicken topped with two sauces: a mayo one and a Gochujang sauce (spicy fermented bean sauce), served with kimchi flavoured chips on the side. After all that kimchi, these chips didn’t taste of much. This one was as heavy as the poutine and by this part of the meal, all the carbs were really getting to me, so much so that I had a hard time getting down my allotted one and a half sliders.

This place, like all tapas bars, are pricey. Now I know that going to a tapas bar with one other person is a no-no. Next time I’m bringing at least two other people as the serving sizes are a better fit for parties of three or four. Next time less kimchi and fewer dishes of carb heavy ingredients.  I don’t think I can eat kimchi for the next few weeks and feel as though I’ll be full for a long time to come. There are still so many things that i’d love to try out on the menu. I would definitely recommend this place and i would most certainly return here. Based on today’s visit, I’d give this place a 4.25/5.

Anju Exterior

Anju Exterior


Anju Exterior

Anju Exterior


Anju Interior

Anju Interior


Open Concept Kitchen

Open Concept Kitchen


Spicy Buckwheat Noodle Salad

Spicy Buckwheat Noodle Salad


Spicy Salmon Tacos

Spicy Salmon Tacos


Poutine For Your Seoul

Poutine For Your Seoul


KFC Sliders with Kimchi Flavoured Chips

KFC Sliders with Kimchi Flavoured Chips

Restaurant Review: Chili’s

Location: 1632 14 Ave NW
Website: http://www.chilis.ca/

Chili’s is a fun restaurant to go to with friends or family. Most of the food is great, but it’s not a restaurant that you’d want to keep going to again and again. It’s more like a restaurant you’d go to once a year. I’ve been there with my family many times and they’re food isn’t too pricy, especially the 2 for $25 or 2 for $30 deals.

Tonight I went with my cousin and sister who I consider more as friends than family. As usual we started with an appetizer: the triple play. The three appetizers we chose were: the boneless buffalo wings, the jalapeno poppers, and the crispy chicken crispers. Despite it’s odd name, the crispy chicken crispers was by far my favourite of the trio with it’s honey mustard dipping sauce. Unlike most honey mustard dipping sauces, this one was heavier on the honey and only a hint of the mustard was detectable, but enough so that you knew it was there. The chicken was well breaded (by that I mean that the breading was not heavy and oil, but crisp as the name entailed) and very moist on the inside. As per usual, the buffalo wings (aka the hot sauce on them) was sour enough to choke you up upon inhalation. It’s typical paring with a blue cheese/gorgonzola ranch dip made it an ordinary dish. The jalapeno poppers were also quite average, although they were very crunchy and the inside gooey as it should be, I could taste very little of the spicy of the diced jalapenos inside. We also decided on a second appetizer, a quesadilla explosion salad. I must say, this is one of the better salads I’ve had. I’m not usually one to order salads unless it’s a side to my main course. Though it is not even in the same league as the Asian Steak Salad at Milestones, but it has its strong points. We decided to go with steak since the triple play already had chicken we didn’t want to have another chicken dish. It was a good choice. The tartness of the balsamic vinegar really stimulated our appetites and the balance was so perfect that there was no one element overpowering another. My only complaint about the dish was that I got a charred piece of steak and I’m talking completely blackened and tasted awful, but that was really minor.

For our mains, I ordered the Spicy Grilled Shrimp Tacos, my sister had the Sweet and Smokey Burger and my cousin had the Bacon Ranch Chicken Quesadilla. In the past I’ve had horrible experiences with shrimp tacos. Most of the time they are dreadfully underseasoned so I was wary of trying a shrimp taco, but as there was already chicken in the appetizer I didn’t want to get chicken tacos. Plus I get more than enough chicken at home…My main was three tortillas topped with zesty coleslaw, pico de gallo, sautéed garlic chili shrimp & fresh sliced avocado. Served with chipotle rice and beans. It also came with a spicy sauce on the side. It was the most amazing sauce I’ve ever tasted. I want that sauce on everything. They were great on the tacos, but even better on the fries. There was an actual kick to it. It actually made my throat burn, but in a good way. The rice was dry and hard to swallow while the beans were wet and tasted too salty and strange to me. For me the Sweet and Smokey Burger was nothing special. It advertised that there was a mango infused BBQ sauce, but the mango taste didn’t really come through, nor was there any BBQ sauce on the side. I think they mistakenly gave us a chipotle sauce instead. The Bacon Ranch Chicken Quesadilla wasn’t anything special either. I mean I’ve never had bacon in a quesadilla, but they’re all pretty flat and don’t have much filling.

Of course at this point everyone is stuffed, but nope, gotta get dessert. The waitress recommended we get the Skillet Toffee Fudge Brownie and my sister really wanted it so we ended up getting it. It was very sweet…good for satisfying my craving for chocolate and sweets, but not something could eat by myself.

As the menu has changed slightly from the last time I was there, I can’t remember which burger I had, but it was huge. I could not finish the entire thing. Even half of it killed me.

Overall the prices are quite reasonable and the servers are super friendly. The server we had tonight was super awesome and it’s too bad the receipt she gave us doesn’t have the survey code cause I would have praised her for her excellent service. Ah well, can’t have everything you want. As this is not a restaurant I would return to on a regular basis I would rate it a 3.5/5.

Triple Play: Jalapeno Poppers, Boneless Buffalo Chicken Wings and Crispy Chicken Crispers

Triple Play: Jalapeno Poppers, Boneless Buffalo Chicken Wings and Crispy Chicken Crispers

Quesadilla Explosion Salad

Quesadilla Explosion Salad

Sweet and Smokey Burger

Sweet and Smokey Burger

Spicy Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Spicy Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Bacon Ranch Chicken Quesadilla

Bacon Ranch Chicken Quesadilla

Skillet Toffee Fudge Brownie

Skillet Toffee Fudge Brownie

Tag Cloud