Monday, November 19, 2012

Hobbits, Sushi, and Chicken Waffles in Snowy Edmonton

I had a pretty busy weekend in Edmonton and there was a definite eating out aspect to it.  It all started on Friday night with a pretty good dinner out at Nomiya Ramen, Sushi, and Tapas.  The restaurant had a special sushi set on offer that was made up of fresh fish flown in from Japan that day.  I haven't tried most of these fish before as sushi and it was a great change of pace. 
Apparently they do this once in a while for some of their regular customers who want something special that isn't on the normal menu.  As you can tell from the photo above, it looked and tasted delicious with a wide variety of flavours, preparation and textures available.

The next day started as a Food Networkish event as we went down to the Sugarbowl for breakfast.   Their Cinnamon Bun and Chicken Waffle were featured on "You Gotta Eat Here" earlier this year.  There was a short line of people waiting to get in and we lucked out as our wait was under ten minutes.
The Chicken Waffle is apparently a southern U.S. dish and it was surprisingly tasty with maple butter on top.  The oven baked chicken with breading was crunchy and hot on top of a firm waffle.  The food was very tasty and the giant cinnamon bun was a big hit too.

Afterwards we took the old train down to the Art Gallery of Alberta where there were a number of excellent exhibits on at the time (November 2012).
The kids area had interactive musical floor tiles with origami folding.  There was a display of early prints of mythological creatures from the National Gallery.  The highlight was an exhibit of Edo Period Japanese art that represented a Japan in rapid transition.  There were suits of samurai armour, a katana, numerous Ukiyo-e prints from Hiroshige, Hokusai, and others.  There was this amazing human skull with a snake on it carved from ivory that really stood out from many of the other artifacts on display.  No pictures were allowed so I'll make do with a publicly available print from Hiroshige to give you an example of a Ukiyo-e print.  It is amazing that some of these beautiful prints were used as packing material for shipping and they became popular in the west as when people noticed them this way!
Wikimedia Commons (no copyright restrictions)
Some amazing sculptures were being shown in the other galleries with a pair of cool looking mutant deer and an amazing melted wax house you could walk through on the third floor.

Best of all, after the museum visit we hit the Southside Italian Market and the liquor store and found some goodies and drink.  I love how this Flying Monkey Atomic beer is packaged.

On Sunday morning we tried out the limited time Hobbit Menu at Denny's.  I was a little disappointed there weren't any hobbits, wizards or elves present, but at least there weren't any orcs or goblins!
We lucked out again and the food was well prepared and piping hot when it hit our table.  We had the Hobbit Slam and the Shire Sausage Skillet.  The food was not necessarily something out of Middle-Earth but it was tasty.
In particular, the large Shire Sausage was peppery and very yummy - they should have it on the menu permanently.  The pumpkin pancakes were nice too and a good tie-in for American Thanksgiving!  We did find the Seed Cake French Toast too sweet (much like lemon poppyseed cake) - but kids will love it.  You also get a pack of collectable cards with each meal and they are snazzy too.

Afterwards I went to check out the new Microsoft Surface tablet at the Microsoft popup store at West Edmonton Mall and the tablet is a nice little device, especially with the full keyboard.  It is nicely built and if you use Microsoft Office it is great!  Just make sure you download the full version of Windows Office via a free update using Windows Update on the Windows 8 side of the device to get rid of the Preview version from what I've read on the web.  A trip to T&T to grab some Chinese BBQ ended the day out nicely!

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