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Posts tagged ‘Yam Fries’

Pub Review: Pig & Duke

Website: http://pigandduke.ca/
Location: 503 4 Avenue SW

I’m not exactly sure what meal you would call this, but dinner was what it was supposed to be.  Breakfast didn’t happen, lunch was at 3:00 p.m., so it seems logical that dinner would get pushed back…until 10:00 p.m.?

Working in downtown and commuting to Alex’s place via +15s meant that I passed by this pub multiple times.  Alex even mentioned going there once or twice, so when given the opportunity to try it out, I jumped at the chance.  After all, I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to write a review on food.

Like most pubs, we seated ourselves.  The waitress came by in a moderately timely manner.  Even though I had been looking at the menu in the hours before, I still had no idea what I wanted.  The Classic Burger was on special that night, but for the price it was offered at, we had to order it as is, which was the burger with regular fries.  Since Alex and I both opted for yam and garlic fries, respectively, we had to pay regular price.

We started with the Korean BBQ Steak Bites, which funnily enough, though it was an appetizer, came out after/at the same time as our mains.  Like Bank & Baron, the steak bites was served in a skillet, but unlike Bank & Baron, Pig & Duke served it with a blue cheese dip and a side of garlic bread.  Honestly, I’m finding that a lot of appetizers now can be ordered as mains, considering their size and all.  Alex and I were both a little apprehensive about the blue cheese dip, as neither of us are a fan of the pungent flavor of it.  However, upon trying it, it really wasn’t all that strong.  In fact, it was virtually undetectable.  In comparison, Bank & Baron’s steak bites are far superior in flavour and consistency.  What I mean by consistency is that each of the chunks of beef at Bank & Baron were more uniform, whereas here, there could be a piece that required a fork and knife and others that were so small  that the meat completely dried out.

The Classic Burger is exactly what you’d expect from a burger by that name: a 6oz patty topped with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and onion, topped with a pickle spear and skewered by a knife.  As indicated on their menu, their patties are made up of a blend of beef and pork, but I couldn’t tell the difference between this and a regular patty; the consistency of the meat was about the same as a regular beef patty.  Unlike yam fries elsewhere, these ones were criss-cut, which allows the fry to better maintain its integrity.  As a result, these fries seem “meatier” than their sad, limp, counterparts.  If you’ve been following my reviews for a while, you’ll know that I love garlic and when I ordered these fries, I expected much more garlic flavour than I got.  I was thinking it’d be something closer to what Earls had offered at their restaurant, minus the semi-raw garlic collected at the bottom.  I, honestly, don’t have a problem with the Earls’ fries and the amount of garlic it has, but when  I’m eating them and expected to go back to work afterwards and talk to people…well, maybe not.  The fries were seasoned with some kind of spice blend, not unlike the herb and garlic fries at McDonald’s.  As such, the top few fries, though they appeared to be seasoned, tasted like normal fries.  It wasn’t until I got to the bottom half of  the basket that I started getting the garlic flavour coming through.  As much as I like ketchup, mayo on fries is a totally different experience.  While it may seem kinda gross to be dipping fries into may, aioli is essentially the same thing; giving it a different name doesn’t make it different all of a sudden.  Of course, I don’t recommend eating fries with mayo all the time because that is a lot of fat on fat, but for me, it feels like a bit of a treat.

Overall, I had a pretty good experience here.  Service was relatively prompt, and I had no actual complaints about the food.  I would definitely come back to try some of the other things on the menu.  As Alex said, there’s nothing she wouldn’t recommend on the menu, which is a good sign.  Based on this experience, I’d give this place a 3.75/5.

Back: Classic Burger with Yam Fries
Middle: Korean BBQ Steak Bites
Front: Classic Burger with Garlic Fries

Restaurant Review: Milestones

Locations: 3625 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, Alberta, T3A OE2 (Market Mall)
107 8th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2G 0K4 (Stephen Avenue)

Website: http://www.milestonesrestaurants.com/

This in one of the restaurants that I keep coming back to. The first time I tried this place with my family near Christmas since my dad got a gift card. It may have been disappointing for him, but I loved it. However, I didn’t have the chance to return to this place much while I was in high school. When I hit university, the first few years were occupied with my studies, so I didn’t get a chance either. It wasn’t until third and fourth year that I went rather frequently.

The first Milestones location I went to while I was in university was the Stephen Avenue one. Sitting on the patio along Stephen Avenue at lunch time was beautiful. I loved the sounds of the clock chiming noon. The atmosphere of Stephen Avenue was one I will never forget. That day I had a Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich with Yam Fries and my friend had The Montreal Stack with the roasted garlic Caesar salad. I typically like chicken and cuisine from the South, probably because I loved deep fried things. Well, who doesn’t. Of course there are times of deep fried overload, but it’s definitely satisfying. Keeping this in mind, I returned in May with my mom for Mother’s Day. I decided to get appetizers and from this day forward, every time I go to Milestones, I get appetizers. On Mother’s Day we had an Appetizer Share Platter that had calamari, phyllo shrimp and crispy Asian chicken bites, a California spring salad with goat’s cheese, and Kobe beef sliders. As I’ve said in a previous review, I’m not a huge fan of wasabi and just avoided dipping my sliders into the soy sauce, sesame, and wasabi dip that was provided. I’ve never had Kobe beef before and it was delicious because of it’s melt in your mouth quality. The dip for the calamari, which I’ve forgotten now, was strange tasting and I didn’t like it and I don’t like cooked cucumbers that were in the Asian bites, but the Asian bites themselves were pretty good. I don’t remember much of the California spring salad except that it had the right amount of dressing (aka not drowning in it) and it hit all the flavours advertised (so sweet, savoury and a bit tangy without any overpowering another).

After Mother’s Day, I started taking my sister every time we went to the mall. Milestones became the place I went to to de-stress and unwind after a particularly stressful academic event, usually a big paper or exam. Now, I normally don’t drink because I don’t have a high tolerance for it and I don’t like the taste, plus now that I’ve learned that as an Asian who doesn’t have the enzymes to break down alcohol, I’m at a higher risk for esophageal cancer, I’m just not gonna drink at all. Anyways, the first time I went with my sister, we had a peach bellini. It was so good! I mean, if you put that much sugar into a drink, I’m going to drink it. I think I got about 3 sips in and was drunk, so my sister finished that off. In terms of food we had the ahi tuna tacos, a roasted garlic Caesar salad and a Californian burger. The ahi tuna taco was one of the biggest disappointments. It had a crust of spices around the slices of tuna, but nothing was seasoned. A pinch of salt would have been sufficient, but there wasn’t even that. The burger was average, like the kinds of burgers you could find almost anywhere. But the roasted garlic Caesar was phenomenal. Another weakness of mine is garlic and Caesar. I didn’t find the garlic too overpowering. There was just enough to give it flavour. The only complaint was that it was a bit on the salty side, I guess that was to compensate for under-seasoning the tuna.

Other dishes I’ve sampled from Milestones are: the appetizer share platter with fire grilled Indonesian chicken wings, Canadian brie and Pesto flatbread, hot spinach and artichoke dip, and crispy Asian chicken bites, spicy Thai basil noodles, Italian sausage ravioli, spicy Thai chicken roll up, portobello mushroom chicken, prime rib beef dip, and a Milestones Garden Burger. This Appetizer Share Platter was so big that we had a hard time finishing it in addition to our meal. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Indonesian chicken wings. They were rubbed with some kind of dry spice that left a unappetizing aftertaste in my mouth. The hot spinach and artichoke dip was delicious but became overwhelming after a while because of its richness. If you order this, I highly suggest that you go with more than two people and share it. The spicy Thai basil noodles were similar to ones that my dad made at home so I felt like it was a very comforting dish. I had the Italian sausage ravioli for dinner at a friend’s birthday dinner. It was a very pretty plate. Originally when I looked at it, I thought that the portion size was so small and that I would still be starving after. I was wrong. I was so full that I had to share a dessert with someone after, the dessert shots. These had mini versions of five different desserts stuffed into a shot glass: key lime pie, caramel gingered apple crisp, break up tub, ganache torte, and white chocolate cheesecake. My favourite was the break up tub which was cookie dough and cookie chunks in ice cream. The spicy Thai chicken roll up was another disappointment. I should have expected it though, I mean to order jasmine rice wrapped up in a tortilla is obviously a mistake. The rice is unseasoned (again obviously) and the filling of spicy smoked chicken breast with peanut sauce and toasted sesame cucumber mayo wasn’t enough to flavour the rice. Carbs on carbs is never really tasty if both are pretty bland options. The portobello mushroom chicken wasn’t bad, except that the pasta was overcooked and over-seasoned. Pasta should be done al dente, not soft. It was a large portion and the saltiness made it hard to finish. The prime rib dip was good even though it had Gorgonzola butter, it was not overpowering which is how I think blue cheese should be served. I understand that dishes should showcase the natural flavours of a product, but not for something as strong as blue cheese, at least not for me. Like all MIlestones burgers, the Garden one wasn’t super special, but still very good. All the burgers here satisfy a certain kind of burger craving I have.

Today marks the first time we have ordered a three course meal for lunch: two appetizers, two entrees,  and two desserts. For appetizers we had the calamari and Mediterranean bruschetta. As I’ve said before, I love calamari and today I was craving it. Lucky for me, so was my sister. I’ve never tried their bruschetta, what better day to try it than today? And it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Bruschetta is typically made of tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, and basil, but Milestones adds feta and a balsamic vinegar reduction which takes it to the next level. It is a bit of a mess, but completely worth it. I wouldn’t mind food all over my face if I was eating this all the time. Also, it isn’t served on a baguette like it traditionally is, instead it’s on a stone baked flatbread making it all the more delicious. The entrees consisted of the Thai red curry chicken bowl and Asian steak citrus salad. This is the first time in a Western restaurant that I’ve had something labelled as spicy and come out as actually being spicy. Okay, well technically nowhere does it say that it is spicy, but it’s assumed that curry is a little bit spicy. My only problem with this one is that there was an overload of bok choi and red bell peppers. Yes, there was a fair amount of chicken, but the ratio of rice to veggies was grossly disproportionate. Also, bok choi in a Thai dish? Really? That makes me think more of Chinese, but anyways. This is the second time that we’ve ordered the Asian steak citrus salad. The first time we found it so delicious it was tempting for me not eat the entire thing and not share it. The steak was cooked to the perfect temperature the first time we ordered it, unfortunately this time it turned out closer to medium well than medium rare. Other than that it was perfect. Oh wait, no, this time they went overboard with the red bell peppers, must just be a red peppery day. Then for dessert we had the breakup tub and The Cookie. I decided on the break up tub based on having had it in the shots. However the entire tub was disappointing. I found only 2 pieces of cookie dough in the entire tub of ice cream, the cookie bits were more like giant chunks of dried out brownie. But the thing that didn’t make sense to me was that they topped a tub of ice cream with a scoop of ice cream and drizzled caramel on top of it. The Cookie was much better. It was more like a flat brownie, but absolutely delicious. I was very happy with that. After having eaten so much, both of us entered a food coma and had to move very slowly lest we upset our stomachs. But we were both very happy.

Overall my experience at this restaurant has been very good. The servers are excellent and extremely helpful. Wait times aren’t too bad, but maybe that’s because we choose to go around 1:30 instead of exactly at noon. The food is always exceptional, with the exception of a couple of hiccups which happen once in a while. I would rate this restaurant 4.5/5.

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Left: Calamari with tartar and chipotle aiolis
Right: Mediterranean Bruschetta

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Ahi Tuna Tacos

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Peach Bellini

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Appetizer Share Platter: phyllo shrimp, calamari and crispy Asian chicken bites
Background: California Spring Salad
Foreground: Kobe Beef Sliders

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Thai Red Curry Chicken Bowl

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Background: Montreal Stack with Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad
Foreground: Southern Fried Chicken Burger with Yam Fries

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Asian Steak Citrus Salad

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California Burger
Top Corner: ahi tuna taco
Bottom corner: roasted garlic Caesar salad

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The Cookie

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Breakup Tub

 

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