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My Saskatoon Blog

Pink Cadillacs' Danny Zuko Burger

posted by Noël    |   June 18, 2014 09:04

If you haven't been to the new local diner in Willowgrove, you should get yourself over there, pronto! Nestled in the Willowgrove Community Square you will find Pink Cadillacs, my new favourite place to get a "homemade" burger and an authentic malt.  The atmosphere is truly nostalgic, from the jukebox, the decor and benches, to the outfits the servers wear, this diner made me feel like I was in one of the diner scenes from Grease.   

After perusing the menu I couldn't help myself from ordering the Danny Zuko burger, and I must say it truly was mouth watering. The burger options are endless, and let's not forget about the unique dog options on the menu. 

The menu isn't the only unique feature at Pink Cadillacs.  This diner turns into a lounge on Friday and Saturday nights with 50's and 60's inspired drinks, music, and dance moves! Honestly, for all of us who love the 50's and 60's this place should definitely be on your "must experience" list when deciding to eat local in YXE this summer. 

Now I couldn't just end this post without throwing in the Intro song from Grease! For all of my fellow Grease fans, enjoy!! 

Satisfying the Curry Cravings at Meg's Restaurant

posted by Noël    |   June 12, 2014 09:23

Meg's Restaurant, a quaint spot on 3rd Avenue in Saskatoon, was voted Best Late Night Snack Shop in Planet S Best of Food & Drink 2014. I'd like to propose that it is also one of the best authentic East Indian restaurants in Saskatoon.  

About three months ago my brother-in-law boasted wildly about Meg's Restaurant, claiming it was a "must try" restaurant in Saskatoon, especially if I was craving a good dish of butter chicken or dal masala.  I fell in love with Indian food while I was backpacking overseas after finishing university here in Saskatoon. Growing up I was a typical prairie girl, with German heritage, who had her fair share of perogies, farmer's sausage, cabbage rolls, borscht, and of course rullkuchen. It is to no one's surprise that my tastebuds had never truly experienced food with delightfully flavourful colours and spices until I travelled. After returning home, all I craved was a good dish of curry or dal masala, and at the time, Saskatoon didn't have many options for the "food detoxing" backpacker.

It's been seven years since my travels and it wasn't until just a few weeks ago, while taking up my brother-in-law's suggestion, that I found the most authentic dal masala dish in Saskatoon.  From the moment I walked into Meg's Restaurant, to the last spoonful of my meal, I was whisked back to my carefree backpacking days. Savouring every mouthful, I convinced my husband to order a second round of food for us to take home.  It was like another dose of heaven the very next day.

I can't boast enough about this restaurant.  If you've been searching for authentic East Indian food, look no further! Reasonable prices, friendly service, and the most mouth watering curry ever! Not to mention, they are open super late to satisfy those late night cravings! View their menu here.

Eat These Words Community Supper

posted by Elle    |   May 29, 2014 09:23

Warmer weather seems to bring our attention back to the beauty of eating locally. As our city crawls out of hibernation after a harsh winter, we begin to turn our thoughts to the growing season that is now underway. One of my favourite things about summer in Saskatoon is the veggies! Local produce seems easier to come by, as we see a surge in the number of vendors at the Farmers' Market, and the variety of locally grown vegetables available for purchase expands.

The warm weather, of course, also brings the opportunity to get your hands dirty and make DIY summer vegetables happen. Its almost June, so it's time to get rolling on the gardening plans for those of us who wish to tackle it ourselves. I noticed people working away at the Saskatoon Food Bank's Garden Patch the other day, which served as a little reminder for me to head to Early's Farm & Garden Centre this weekend to pick up the necessarily supplies and seeds.

One positive thing about our climate is that as Saskatonians, we are motivated to squeeze out every last drop of precious summer, and we enjoy it that much more. I know I enjoy the fresh, locally grown produce so much more this time of year, partly because of the camaraderie that happens surrounding it. Food is often the centre of community, it has been since the earliest civilizations, and I'm so excited for the many upcoming opportunities for our city to come together in celebration of eating this summer!

An event in support of Slow Food Saskatoon, a local community organization promoting local, sustainably-raise food, is happening on May 31st in Saskatoon. 

Join the conversation about good, clean and fair food during this convivial evening that celebrates the fine things in life: fine home-cooked local fare accompanied by readings that reflect on urban life within nature, courtesy of the U of S MFA in Writing Graduate Students. Vegan-friendly, gluten-free friendly, and kid-friendly too! Cash bar, raffle for Made-In-Sask art, edibles, and books. 

Tickets are still available! Get yours here

Eat Local YXE :)

The Big Red Bus

posted by David    |   May 26, 2014 15:21

I want to experience the unique and exciting. When going on vacation, I'm more interested in finding the unique local hotspots than in going to the same old chain restaurants where my experience will not change. When I visited California, I had to hit up In-N-Out Burger, since it is a local phenomenon and a great burger joint. On our honeymoon, my wife and I found Caffe Fantastico in our Parkside Victoria Hotel. It was local, unique, and fantastico. Its a wonder that while traveling, our eyes are often drawn to the unique and fascinating, yet when we return home we don't realize that Saskatoon has some unique gems of its own. 

In 1949 a green bus rolled off the assembly line in England. It was designed to be used as a rural bus throughout the countryside. However, World Ward II had just ended, and London was short on buses. So, the green bus was painted red and put to work in the capital city. It gave London 17 good years before retiring to North America to be used as a tour bus at Niagara Falls. Eventually this run came to an end as well, and the bus was purchased by a restaurant in Regina. In 1985, Laurel Beaumont purchased the bus and used it as a mobile fish and chips bus throughout Saskatchewan.

Travel became quite difficult with the old bus, so she looked for a permanent location for her mobile restaurant. In 1989, Bus Stop Refreshments parked across from the Delta Bessborough and opened for business. It has been here ever since. The unique double decker bus now serves hotdogs, ice cream, and cold drinks in downtown Saskatoon from April through October. It has become a favourite among young and old alike for the past 25 years. 

 

Photo Credit: urbanspoon

I had my most memorable experience at the Bus Stop when my whole family got together to spend the afternoon entertaining my sister's kids at the Forestry Farm. Afterwards, we decided to go for ice cream. The Bus Stop was a little farther out of our way, and we passed several ice cream chains on the way. We could have just as easily gone to McDonalds or Dairy Queen, but we wanted something more unique. In my opinion, the uniqueness of a local gem like the Bus Stop has a substantial impact on making an experience memorable.

On this particular trip, I remember debating between getting an ice cream cone or a milkshake. Ice cream seemed like the obvious choice, but I was thirsty so I chose a raspberry milkshake. I was not disappointed. I now get milkshakes every time I go. Although the Bus Stop is known for its ice cream, in my mind, milkshakes are its best kept secret. As we walked by the river enjoying our treats, I remember feeling like I was enjoying a taste of heaven. 

The grass is green where you water it (cue Justin Bieber song). We often feel as though we need to travel away from our city in order to experience the unique and interesting, forgetting to look at the beauty and excitement that can be found in our own backyard. Sometimes it is right under our noses, a historical treasure on the banks of the Saskatchewan River.

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Eat Local

It is Top of the Hops Weekend!

posted by Elle    |   May 24, 2014 10:34

Pick your favourite poison to enjoy on the patio this summer, with samples from over 200 liquor, beer, and wine brands featured at Top of the Hops. Doors open at 6:30 tonight. You can get tickets at the door, or in advance. There are over 85 vendors sampling a huge variety of libations, and some great food accompaniments as well! I scoured the web for a list of vendors to see which of our local alcohol producers are going to be in attendance, but didn't find it if such a thing exists. I guess it will be a surprise! I am hoping that many of the local guys will be at Top of the Hops so I can sample the flavours and products I haven't tried.

Photo Credit: Top of the Hops

As I've got booze on the brain, I thought I would share some cocktail recipes that would definitely accompany the warm weather we are expected to have this weekend (fingers crossed for no rain!). I love, love, love supporting local brands, so I thought I'd put a Saskatoon spin on a few recipes that are a must-try for the patio, poolside, or lake this summer! They all include great locally-made liquor and beer.

Beer Floats

 

This one is easy. Pour Double Chocolate Porter from Saskatoon Brewery over your favourite ice cream, scooped into glasses. Make this extra awesome by choosing locally made ice cream from Prairie Sun Orchard.

 

Beer Sangria

 

1 1/2 cups white grape juice

1 cup LB Distillers' Vodka

1 crisp red apple, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 orange, quartered and sliced

5 12oz bottles of Prairie Sun Brewery's 306 Urban Wheat 

Combine the grape juice, vodka, grapes, apples, and oranges in a pitcher. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 8 hours for the flavours to infuse. Fill glasses half way with the grape juice mixture and some more fruit. Fill the rest of the glass with beer. 

 

Beer' Garita

 

 1 bottle Paddock Wood Czech Mate

1 shot tequila

1 shot LB Distillers' Seabuckthorn Liqueur

1/2 shot Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice

1 Tablespoon frozen limeade concentrate (thawed)

Juice from one lime

Ice

Also very easy. Combine all ingredients together in a large glass. Mix, then add the ice. Voila!

I hope you enjoy experimenting with these recipes! They can all be tweaked and played around with to suit your individual preferences, but hopefully they serve as a starting point for your creativity! If you have a favourite summer cocktail, please share the recipe in the comments! Also, as always, enjoy responsibly :)

Cheers! 

How to Gracefully Spring Into Summer

posted by Elle    |   May 12, 2014 10:59

Sometimes I feel like I need a little kickstart or a reset button to launch me into a time of healthy eating. Most of us want to look and feel our best as the weather gets warmer and the layers start coming off, but it can be challenging to get out of the "winter eating" rut and step into spring with motivation to eat clean. I noticed an upcoming event today that I think could be just what I need to get on the right track with fuelling my body with healthy, nourishing food this spring and summer. 

Beyond Nourished is bringing hands-on nutrition education to Saskatoon on May 14th, with a workshop held at Superior Cabinets. Tickets are still available for the "How to Gracefully Spring into Summer!" workshop. This event sounds like a great way for local women to come together for a fun, educational, and inspiring evening, filled with great food. What could be better than that? Check out the poster for the details! 

If this event intrigues you as it does me, you can also order tickets online here. You might want to jump on this, as there is limited seating available. Visit Beyond Nourished's website for more details on the philosophy and vision of this program.

Happy Healthy Eating! 

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Eat Local

This Will Make You Hungry

posted by Elle    |   May 7, 2014 09:18

I love food, and food is one of my favourite things about Saskatoon. As a fairly small city in the grand scheme of things, I feel like our restaurant options and the number of local producers here is pretty incredible. I eat out a lot, and I go for the local guys as often as possible. I enjoy atmospheres that are personality-injected and slightly off-beat, and flavours that are unique.

I think it is so important to remember that the food scene in Saskatoon is of such a high quality, and is so diverse, because of the people behind the growing, the preparing, the cooking, the presenting. One thing I love about the Farmers' Market is being able to see the face of the person who grew or raised the food that I purchase. Lately I've been hearing more about the talented Saskatonians who are behind the best restaurants in Saskatoon, and it makes me enjoy the food and the ambience of these local spots all the more.

I recently came across a really great local blog about- you guessed it- food. Saskatoon-written, no less. What I love about this blog is not its gorgeous, mouth-watering, hunger inducing food photography, and not the enticing recipes that go along with the photographs. It's not the engaging local restaurant reviews. It's the person behind this blog, whom I have never met, but who's personality and obvious true love for food is evident on every page. If you love Saskatoon food as I do, and enjoy feeling that connection to the locals behind it, pay sweetsugarbean a visit. I promise you will be inspired. I've added a little bit about its author, Renée Kohlman, below. This was taken straight from sweetsugarbean, and I hope reading it will encourage you to click through to her blog. 

 

Photo Credit: Renée Kohlman

Sweetsugarbean is a combination of my favourite things: cooking, food photography and writing.  Cooking from scratch is one of the best things you can do for yourself and those you love, and I'm so happy to share my recipes with you.  I'm super fortunate to make a living doing what I love...and to be in the food industry for as long as I have, you really do have to LOVE it.  I've worked in various corners of the professional kitchen, most recently taking the position of pastry chef at a brand new gluten free/nut free/organic/whole foods restaurant here in Saskatoon called Leyda's.  Food truly is my passion, and I don't stop living it once I leave the work kitchen.  I still come home and cook for myself, family and friends.  Eating well, using as many fresh and local ingredients as possible, means the world to me.  I feel most at home in my little green kitchen; it's where I feel grounded and happy.  Be it boiling chicken stock for soup, or whipping up a batch of whole wheat biscuits on a Sunday morning,  these simple pleasures are a part of my everyday life.  With a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art and a diploma in Culinary Arts, my interest and education in both these areas are reflected on these pages.  I'm a self-taught photographer and I use a Canon A520, as well as my iPhone to take the photos.     

 

Photo Credit: Renée Kohlman

My Mom is a fantastic cook, and I was always in the kitchen with her as a young girl.  Baking cookies since I was about 10, I've eaten my fair share of cookie dough!  We ate really well growing up, and living on a farm for the first 7 years of my life, I learned early on where food comes from.  Some of my earliest memories are running through tall rows of corn, digging up potato plants to unearth the treasures beneath, and sitting on my pet calf  "Susie".  The connection between farm and fork is something I believe strongly in.  My own garden plot is a busy place, and there is nothing better than picking lettuce, or a cucumber or a tomato that you seeded by hand, watered and watch grow.

Photo Credit: Renée Kohlman

For the recipes in this blog I try to use all good quality, natural ingredients - local and organic if possible.  Butter always, never margarine!  When you start with good, wholesome products, you will make good, wholesome food.  My garden is a busy place in the summer/fall and many of the vegetables will appear on these pages.  If I can't grow it, I'll often pick it up from the local farmer's market, where excellent farmers are doing excellent work.   Most recipes "come from my head", but I will give credit if I adapt it from another source.  Inspiration often comes from just looking inside the fridge and seeing that I have a pound of apples, half a block of cream cheese and some puff pastry to use up.  I hate throwing food out, so "clean out the fridge days" usually turn into tasty treats!  Baking and desserts often appear here, only because I have a horrible sweet tooth and I love to bake with all my heart.  While I do joke about loving butter and bacon (a lot!) I also try to make food that is healthy and not too fussy. I'm a comfort food kind of girl, so I can guarantee you will not see anything on the blog about foie gras or truffle oil. Cheese and chocolate, that's another story.

Read more from sweetsugarbean

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Eat Local

A Saskatoon Saturday Morning in Riversdale

posted by Elle    |   April 7, 2014 16:36

This past Saturday morning was a morning well spent. What started as a planned visit to the Saskatoon Farmers' Market with my fiancé and some friends, turned into somewhat of a walking tour of Riversdale. If you haven't spent a ton of time in this area of Saskatoon, I implore you to! Riversdale is home to some of the best in coffee shops and restaurants (two highly important facets of life, in my opinion). A visit to Collective Coffee is the perfect way to start a weekend morning (any morning, really), as the coffee is fantastic, the service is on point, and the latte art adds a lovely touch to the whole experience. The vibes are relaxed- a great way to set the tone for the day. The Saskatoon Farmers' Market, best visited early on a Saturday, of course always renders a bountiful haul. We were shopping light this past weekend, so after picking up a few bottles of Thrive Juice, some bacon from Golden Prairie Wild Boar Meats, and a few of the necessities from Uncle Mike's, we were leisurely en route to our next stop in the neighbourhood.

The Hollows has a fresh, delicious, locally sourced menu that leaves you feeling satisfied, but not weighed down by extreme portions or a heavy carb-load. The perfect brunch for a group of people looking to maintain that spring in their step on a morning out. I appreciate a really good hollandaise sauce, and The Hollows has some of the best in town, for all of you fellow benny-lovers out there. The Hollows also offers take-away farm fresh eggs by the dozen, which we decided to try. If only Goldie's General, the lovely little shop above the restaurant, were open on Saturdays. (If you're looking for something to do on a Sunday, you must check out Goldie's for handmade soaps, candles, vintage clothing, and numerous other odds and ends.) A quick jaunt back to The Farmer's Market to grab a cone from Prairie Sun Orchard capped off our morning in the sweetest way possible. Seriously. Fresh. Toasted Coconut. Ice Cream. Delicious.

If you're looking to enjoy some of the best flavours in Saskatoon in a two block radius- Riversdale is a great place to be. The shops and vendors I mentioned are a few among the many other fantastic options in this neighborhood, and are well worth a visit. 

Enjoy your weekend!

Check out this awesome Saskatoon foodie!

posted by Elle    |   April 3, 2014 13:32

The people of Saskatoon who have a huge love for local cafés, restaurants, vendors, and markets are so important to keeping our vibrant food culture alive. I recently stumbled upon a fantastic local Saskatoon blogger, Penny McKinlay, who shares her love for the local flavours our city has to offer on her blog, Wanderlust and Words. Penny writes about local vendors and products, and shares her experiences at local restaurants! If you're looking to try a new place this weekend, check out her blog for some insight! She has visited some great local restaurants that are off the beaten path, but are supposedly fantastic! Penny also shares great information about the offerings of local growers and vendors. An excerpt from her most recent post is below.

Black Summer Bok Choy

Chris Buhler says that Floating Gardens’ Black Summer Bok Choy is the star of their greenhouse crops. As an owner, Chris should know, so I was delighted to give it a try. First of all, bok choy is super nutritious with loads of Vitamin A, C, and K. It’s also a good source of calcium, potassium, and manganese. You can eat it raw or cooked, and it’s a common ingredient in Chinese, Philippine, and Thai recipes. I tried the younger leaves raw in a salad and liked the added texture and flavour - the lettuce seemed very limp and bland in comparison. I also cooked them; they had a touch of lemon as well as a peppery bite. I'll definitely buy it again. Variety is the spice of life, so change things up a little this week by trying a vegetable you’ve never eaten before. I’m glad I did.

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Eat Local at Bon Temps Café

posted by David    |   February 25, 2014 11:23

Business in Saskatoon is booming, and unique new restaurants are popping up all over downtown. One of the latest new places is Bon Temps Café on 2nd Ave, offering Louisiana Cuisine at its finest.

photo credit: Bon Temps Café

The Bon Temps theme includes home cooking from the cajun bayous and the upscale Creole cuisine of New Orleans. The decor replicates the atmosphere of a typical Bourbon Street bar and grille, and the music has a distinct blues flavor to it.   

I had heard good things about Bon Temps, so I decided to go there for some wings and fries with my brother. The first thing I noticed as I walked in was the unique atmosphere. Secondly, I found that the prices were more reasonable than I expected. We ordered Louisiana Hot Flappers (wings) and Bon Temps Fries. The food came out within 10-15 minutes, and I immediately noticed how good the fries looked. While the wings were good, these fries were the best I’ve had in Saskatoon. The large serving was only 4 dollars and easily shared by two people. They were so good, I’d go back just for them.

Bon Temps is also supportive of local music artists, as Phoenix Lauren and the Strength were playing a live show. A full list of upcoming entertainment can be found on the Bon Temps website. The music was really good and I felt as if I was getting way more value than what was charged on my tab. Live music, a unique atmosphere, great food, and reasonable prices all in the same place- what more could you ask for on a Friday night out? 

While it may be easy to choose from the long list of chain restaurants available in our city, I would encourage you to try one of our new local restaurants this weekend. Bon Temps is a great example of a unique local spot. Places like this may be a little bit hidden from our mainstream view or are off the beaten path, but offer much more quality than you could find at any chain restaurant. Eat local at Bon Temps Cafe!

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