Noorish

I had the chance to get together with my sweet friend Sarah and her precious son Parker for lunch this weekend. Sarah suggested a place she loves to go, and she doesn’t get to go their often. So, being the brave, adventurous eater I try to be, we made a plan to meet at Noorish just off of Whyte avenue and 109 street.

See Sarah is a vegetarian/vegan. Not super strict, but does try to eat that way when she can. So Noorish is a great place where she can get her local/organic/raw/vegetarian/vegan needs met.

Right away I thought of this…

Before I left, I asked Andrew if he wanted me to bring him home anything, and I think his exact words were “Are you serious?”

Ok, so this is not Andrew’s cup of tea…fair enough.

But I was going take the risk and try something new and exciting…even if it did mean a whole lot of gas when I was finished.

We arrived around 1pm and found the restaurant incredibly busy. In fact, because we didn’t have a reservation, we had to eat at the window counter. But that was ok, we had enough room and it was nice to be able to look out the window as we visited.

Noorish

We began to look over the menu. Things like cashew cream, walnut taco meat, miso gravy and coconut bacon started to make me feel a little worried. But the food that I saw being served looked incredible beautiful and very healthy and Sarah assured me that her dad enjoyed his meal and that her husband had eaten here twice and didn’t complain (too loudly) about it. So we pushed on.

We ended up ordering 2 things to share which was a great way to try more!

We had the soup of the day, which was a spicy sweet potato soup topped with greens and walnuts for crunch. The soup was creamy, thick and very spicy. I would like to try to find a recipe to replicate this soup because I really enjoyed it.

Soup of the Day and Onion Flatbread

On the side is what they called their onion flatbread. It was mostly cooked onions pressed together to make a cracker-type crisp thing. It was good to dip in my soup, but I fear I had bad onion breath after that…luckily Sarah ate one too so hopefully she didn’t notice.

We also shared the Bodhi Burger. A sprouted chickpea burger topped with spinach pesto, cashew herbed cream, red onion, tomato, avocado and fresh sprouts. The presentation was incredible, and the taste matched. It was a very flavorful, filling burger…and I only had half! On the side we had their black kale Caesar which is topped with coconut bacon. Coconut bacon is an interesting thing. It is smoky and savory like bacon, but has a hint of coconut flavor that comes through. I like both coconut and real bacon, so this was a real winner in my mind.

Bodhi Burger

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed my meal. I’m not sure I will be back again any time soon as Andrew is somewhat opposed to trying things like this, but if I were to happen on Noorish again, I would be happy to have another delicious meal there.

 

 

Rostizado

“Do you think it is going to be as good as Tres Carnales?” I posed to the guys as we made our way down to the Mercer Warehouse.

“I mean, I love their tacos…can it be better? I looked at the menu, it seems really different… and more expensive… A whole chicken is $50! That better be one big chicken for $50 right?”

“And I guess I am going to have to mention something about my blog? I mean it looks weird if I just start pulling out my camera to shoot the restaurant and everyone’s food…but I always feel so embarrassed talking about my little blog. I don’t want anyone to think I think I am super awesome…I’ll just work it in to conversation if I can” I said

Rostizado

Rostizado is the newest offering by Tres Carnales owners Dani Braun, Chris Sills and Edgar Gutierrez.

Unlike their first restaurant which has a fun-Mexican-street-food-patio kind of vibe (which I LOVE) and a menu full of tacos, tortas and great sides like guacamole and chips (again…all things I love), Rostizado feels more adult, more grown up.

Rostizado

I was excited to experience this new restaurant, and intrigued by their location.

Rostizado

The Mercer Warehouse was built back in 1911 and now houses some of “Edmonton’s most vibrant tech and design community, cafes, restaurants, and a long list of other services.

We got to Rostizado at about 6:30. The 70 seat restaurant was packed! Not surprising as this place just opened a week ago and with the success of Tres Carnales.

Rostizado

Two hostesses informed us the wait could be about 45 minute for a table of 5…again not surprising, this place just opened. However they took a cell number and told us they would text when the table was ready. That was sure nice because it allowed us to wander around downtown and not worry that we would lose our table.

An hour later we were being seated in the beautiful and eclectic dining room facing the open kitchen where you can see rotisseries full of chicken and pork. Rostizado literally means roasted, which is a perfect name for this restaurant as a good portion of their menu offers various takes on roasted meat.

Rostizado

Our server came and took our drink and meal order.

“Would it be ok if I pulled my camera out to take some pictures?” I asked the waitress.
“Yes of course!” she said “Are you a blogger?”
“Yes” I said sheepishly. (this is the point that I instantly start to sweat)
“Oh awesome, what is the name of it?” she inquired
“Oh it’s not really a big deal or anything…it’s just this little food…” I stammered, now feeling like I was fully sweating through my dress.
“No, no, no, don’t sell yourself so short.” Matt interrupted me. Turning to the waitress he replied “She’s got a recipe and food blog.”
Thanks, Matt, for pumping my tires…it was nice. But unfortunately it didn’t stop the sweating.
“Can I have the address? That way I can look up the review and share it with the owners” she said.
Is it hot in here? I was thinking…boy those rotisseries give off a lot of heat…
“Sure, I can write it down for you if you want.” I tried to say in my most calm, nonchalant  voice.

Now if you know anything about Tres Carnales, they are FAST. I mean order-your-food-and-it-is-out-in-a-matter-of-minutes fast. We all deduced that was because of the type of fare that they offered (tacos and such) so we felt like there was no way Rostizado could be nearly as fast.

Boy were we wrong.

Our food came just as our drinks were arriving.

I don’t think we had been sitting at the table more than 10 minutes…it was incredible.

Usually I am not one who likes to wait a long time for a table in a restaurant. I think this is a trait that I inherited from my dad. I would like to a) walk in and sit down right away or b) make a reservation. But the sting of waiting is really taken away when you know your food will be out almost the instant you order it. (ok…maybe not the instant, but it couldn’t have been more than 5 minutes…at least it didn’t feel very long)

I’ll tell you what: that food was well worth the hour wait for a table.

Here is what we all had:

ALBÓNDIGAS– Tihiro tried the house meatballs made with a mixture of pork, veal, beef and rice. It was topped with a Mexican tomato sauce that had a bit of kick to it. I tried a little bite…I mean I need to do the research if I’m going to write something like this right? Delicious!

ALBÓNDIGAS

PLATTER FOR 2– Matt and Mike decided they were going to go for it and share the platter for two. The presentation of this meal was especially beautiful. Served family style on a cutting board emblazoned with their logo and name, filled with roasted chicken (about 1/2 a chicken in total), a pile slow roasted pork with chimichurri sauce, spicy roasted “rosti-papas” (potatoes), tortillas and salsa verde. The boys were able to finish off the whole platter, which our waitress said she has not seen two people do yet (4,yes…2,no). It looked amazing, but I didn’t need to sample it because I was having my own roasted chicken dish.

Platter for 2- Rostizado

ROSTI-PUERCO CEMITA- Andrew went for the roasted pork sandwich. A large sesame seed bun filled with slow roasted pork, topped with chimichurri sauce and pulled, stringy cheese and a side of rosti-papas and salsa verde. I grabbed a little bite of the pork (again strictly research-based) and it was incredible. Juicy and tender with a wonderful balance of herb-y flavor from the chimichurri sauce.

ROSTI-PUERCO

ROSTI-POLLO CEMITA- I had the roast chicken sandwich. Exactly like Andrew’s but piled high with tender, moist chicken rather than pork. Instead of the beautiful chimichurri sauce, I had a tomatillo sauce on mine. So amazing.

ROSTI-POLLO

Our waitress also brought us a little of their signature bar snack to try too…like a house-made Mexican bits and bites. Salty and a little sweet…and very, very addictive.

A sweet, spicy Mexican bar snack

At this point, I had recovered from the previous sweating incident and was enjoying our evening and taking pictures of our food. This is when 2 guys walked in with serious camera equipment to take serious pictures of the food and restaurant. They looked like pros.

Matt said “Won’t they be mad when your pictures turn out better than theirs?”

Thanks for the vote of confidence again Matt, you are ever the optimist…

I imagined having a conversation with these camera toting hipsters who obviously knew more about photography then I did.

“What lens are you using?” They would ask.

“It’s my KIT lens” I would say haughtily “I like to shoot in AUTO, ever heard of it?”

Luckily I was able to take my pictures rather stealthily and watched with admiration as they took some beautiful photos of some beautiful food.

Now even after a meal like that, there is always room for dessert right? Especially when it is churros!

A double order of churros

These babies came out golden brown on the outside covered in cinnamon sugar, and are  soft and warm (actually hot…these are made right when you order them so they are FRESH) on the inside. And if that wasn’t enough, they give you a little side of dulce de leche dipping sauce…I could have drank it straight from the bowl.

The verdict- While the wait was long, it was well worth it when we sat down and had our food so quickly. And not just any food…not just ok food…but food full of flavor and spice.  I can’t wait to go back. These guys have struck Mexican gold again.