September 15, 2014

Oh Doughnuts!

You are making me so happy

I don't know if you know this about me but I love doughnuts. 

I'm not a sweets type of person and for the most part I don't ever have dessert, and candy is even more rare for me to consume. Yet when it comes to doughnuts I'm such a sucker for them. Now let me be clear. What Tim Hortons serves is not doughnuts. It's some sort of fast food abomination of something delicious. 

Glazed and lemon curd.
If you've had a real doughnut you'll understand. And if you live in Winnipeg you know my plight of the lack of good doughnuts.

In my travels I always grab doughnuts. Seeking out what is considered the best in the city and usually I'm not disappointed. There's just something about a good doughnut that understands me. 

I've had Yonni's Doughnuts in Victoria. Bogart's Doughnut Co. in Minneapolis. Glory Hole Doughnuts in Toronto. Voodoo Doughnut in Portland (far too many in two days). And Hazeldean Bakery in Edmonton. Yet when it comes to my hometown. There is no doughnut scene. 

It looks like that is about to change. 

Oh Doughnuts has started to serve their delicious concoctions at Parlour Coffee. No surprise I dragged Adrian there the first day they were available. We tried both kinds available - grapefruit curd and lavender glaze. They were tasty and exactly what I wanted. Now I'm stuck waiting for them to open a storefront. Here's to hoping it's soon. Until then I am going to dream of that lavender glaze... or just keep frequenting Parlour Coffee for doughnuts and coffee. 

You should follow Oh Doughnuts on Twitter and Instagram to find out when and where they are available.

September 11, 2014

Pub Chat: Episode 68 - Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout

The episode the intern takes over

This episode we’re drinking Elysian Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout and talking all about our favourite movie directors with our intern Luke Jacob Thiessen. This is a pretty long episode, so make sure you have a few beers lined up to enjoy while you’re listening.

Download here. Or subscribe in iTunes here.

Show Notes

00:00 – Intro
01:40 – Elysian Split Shot
03:10 – About Elysian
07:00 – Scorcese, various curse words
15:30 – Steven Soderbergh
18:00 – Directing duos
19:35 – Peter Jackson and Lord of the Rings
21:50 – Coen Brothers and film producers
31:00 – Quentin Tarantino
38:20 – Michael Mann and Tom Cruise
45:45 – Woody Allen
50:55 – Wes Andersen
52:45 – James Cameron and Avatar
57:45 – Michael Bay
1:00:00 – Spike Jonze and Her specifically
1:03:50 – Christopher Nolan
1:07:00 – Danny Boyle
1:11:00 – David Fincher
1:13:05 – Sofia Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow
1:18:05 – Wrapping up

September 8, 2014

Le Burger Week Recap (2014)

The week my heart hated me

If you've read any of The Great Burger Hunt reviews you know I love burgers. You also know that I have certain tastes and am very specific about how a bun makes or breaks a good burger. Initially looking over all the burgers at Charcoal Collaborative I noticed most places looked like they put some effort into finding the right bun. Some were house-made, while others were well selected. Certain ones were not and basically I had no desire to stop in for their burger. Let's just say I was excited for this week and the burgers that laid in wait.

My initial glance I listed about ten places I wanted to try. I whittled that down to a top five, making it to all of them but one. 

I probably would have gotten in more than nine stops but with the holiday being the first day, it kind of made it hard. Most restaurants were closed that I wanted to try or the chef wasn't in the first day. With only a handful of places open my first day options were limited.

Deer + Almond
Luckily two of the places that made my initial ten were open on the first day. 

The first stop was The Grove. Their burger intrigued me, and Raegan and I needed a place to be able to work while I consumed a burger. The Grove was the logical choice. Paired with a beer (Old Boy), I ordered The Mondo Mushroom Melt. It was surprisingly no too messy - I honestly thought this was going to be one that would fall apart and be a mess but it was well designed. Very tasty too, with the right amount of sauce. All the flavours in the burger and the additions worked very well together. 

Later that day I met Paul at Mano a Mano & Teo's Lounge - only to find their burger sold out. Kudos for being open on the holiday at least. 

From there we ventured to Nuburger. The winner of last years Le Burger Week in Winnipeg. We got there just in time. As we got to the front they had to do a "bun count," and lucky for us we got the last two buns of the night. This was 6:30 PM and they were sold out. The Summer Breeze had a nice zing, was well balanced, albeit a bit drippy. The star of this was the patty was well seasoned and very light. It wasn't a rich burger that had me in a coma, the perfect size and perfect balance of flavours. There's a reason they won last year. 

Day two brought me to one of my favourite spots for lunch - Deer + Almond. The only entry that wasn't a beef patty I believe. The Chicken Fried Chicken Burger Ya'll was pretty special. Arguably not a burger but a sandwich. That being said the chicken was unreal and the side of soup was spectacular.

Dinner time on day two was Fitzroy. The American Beauty was so basic and had crackling on it, so I instantly knew I wanted to try this burger. They knocked it out of the park. This burger was my favourite of Le Burger Week. This was a basic, simple cheeseburger but executed very well. Everything was accounted for and the taste was superbly balanced. I think everyone I spoke to said this was in their top 3 of the week.

Needless to say I was feeling a bit lethargic on the next day and decided to skip burgers.

Elements the Restaurant
After a day of burger rest I returned to the quest, this time with Adrian and Jacob to Marion Street Eatery. The burger that is more pickle than burgher. The Tickle My Pickle Burger set out to do exactly as promised. It tasted like dill and pickles. It was good and different but with the sheer size of it and the dry bun it didn't rank too high on my list, but it was one I was recommending to people to try if they were interested in the dill pickle taste and a different style of burger.

The Friday lunch consisted of a stop at Elements the Restaurant. The Lamb Burger was as tasty as expected, anytime there is a lamb patty I am a sucker for it. It had house made feta too, which was excellent. The bun to patty ratio kept this just out of my top 3.

Table Manners was only available Saturday and Sunday, and had a limited amount of burgers. Kevin and I went early and the line up was already pretty big. The Bear Boy had a jerky bun, french onion slaw, sauerkraut, mozzarella, all beef patty. It was really tasty - and the best bun I had all week, really setting them apart. This burger cracked my top 3 instantly.

Table Manners
With no plans to hit up another place the decision was made to try Pizzeria Gusto but it was closed and they also had a sign up that they were sold out for the week. I had heard really good things about their burger. Since Inferno's on Academy was right beside it we stopped in for the Big Kahuna Burger. On paper this burger sounded wonderful and it looked pretty. Sadly the flavours of this burger weren't balanced too well with bacon that was too salty, pineapple that was making the bottom of the bun soggy, and a non existent jalapeño and cilantro aioli. Every bite was a different flavour - had it been evenly balanced this burger may have cracked my top 3.

The final day Adrian and I tossed our hat in the ring by making our own burger - The Manitoban. A bison and bacon patty, which we cooked sous vide and then charred on the grill, and topped it with sautéed local onions and mushrooms, a sous vide egg, and Manitoba Trappist cheese. The bun was cut slices of rye bread that we toasted.

Adrian and I's creation
If I had to rank them I would go Fitzroy, Table Manners, and Deer + Almond.

If my Instagram photo likes was any indication of what burger was the best it would still fall onto Fitzroy. Unless you included the entry from Adrian and me, which somehow got more - ya'll crazy.

Le Burger Week was great fun and I ate a ton. I never had a bad burger. They were all tasty in their own way but a few stood above the rest. Now onto a week of no burgers to get my arteries back to their unclogged ways. Thank god Le Burger Week is only once a year.

August 21, 2014

Pub Chat: Episode 67 - Sculpin

Home cookin' !!!

Kevs Kitchen (Twitter) joins us to talk all about food, home cooking, beer and whole lot more. To top it all off, we’re drinking a favourite of ours, the excellent Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point from San Diego.

Download here. Or subscribe in iTunes here.

Show Notes

00:00 – Intro
00:15 – Ballast Point Sculpin
01:30 – Tasting the beer
03:10 – Ballast Point and fishing
04:55 – Home cooking
10:00 – Immersion circulator cooking
12:10 – Chemistry in cooking
18:30 – The most expensive book ever
19:30 – Recipes versus techniques
22:45 – Planning versus ingredients on hand
25:45 – Sustainable and natural ingredients
29:05 – Motivations for drinking beer
31:30 – Making condiments and infusing liquors
37:20 – No excuses for not cooking
43:10 – Brewing beer, variety and consistency
49:50 – Wrapping it up

August 7, 2014

Pub Chat: Episode 66 - Commander Imperial Stout

The BBQ episode

Abstract Artform is back on the podcast and he brought ribs! We’re talking all about barbeque, from our favourite sauces and rubs to cuts of meat and wild game. Dead Frog Commander Imperial Stout (2014) was the drink of choice.

Download here. Or subscribe in iTunes here.

Show Notes

00:00 – Introductions
00:52 – Barbecue
03:25 – What makes good barbecue
08:00 – Barbecue competitions
12:55 – Southern barbecue styles
15:40 – Dead Frog Brewery
17:20 – Dead Frog Commander Imperial Stout
19:10 – Back to barbecue competitions
24:20 – Styles of barbecue by location
28:00 – Barbecue methods
32:25 – Wild game
35:50 – Why barbecue
40:15 – Cheap beer and the hood-est rats
41:10 – Wrapping it up

July 24, 2014

Pub Chat: Episode 65 - Weizen Heimer

And Winnipeg!

This episode we’re joined by Audrey from GoWPG to drink a delicious summer beer, Weizen Heimer from Half Pints and talking all about our great city. There’s lots of great things to do in Winnipeg so we decided to choose a few of our favourites.

Download here. Or subscribe in iTunes here.

Show Notes

00:00 – Intro
00:10 – Half Pints Weizen Heimer
01:55 – Favourite Winnipeg pubs
03:40 – Winnipeg Fringe Festival
06:15 – Folklorama
08:20 – Belgium
09:25 – Things to do in Winnipeg
16:30 – Winnipeg Folk Festival
19:10 – Jazz Festival
21:25 – Table for 1200
22:45 – RAW:almond
25:15 – We have a barge festival?
26:50 – Winnipeg restaurants
30:35 – Wrapping it up

July 10, 2014

Pub Chat: Episode 64 - The Purge

"Just the two of us" - Adrian sings

This episode it’s just the two of us and we’re talking about the movie The Purge, because the sequel is coming out next week. In addition to the movie, we’re also purging our collection of Pub Chat-destined beer.

There were a few beers of questionable freshness in the cellar, so we decided to fix that problem the only way we know how – drinking. The line-up is Inveralmond Blackfriar Scottish Ale, Uncommon Brewers Siamese Twin Dubbel & finally Uinta Brewing’s Crooked Line Cahoots Rye IPA!

Download here. Or subscribe in iTunes here.

Show Notes

00:00 – Intro
01:00 – Inveralmond Blackfriar
04:25 – High concept
06:15 – The Purge
16:45 – Uncommon Siamese Twin Ale
22:00 – More on The Purge
27:20 – The Purge sequel
28:45 – James DeMonaco
32:40 – Ethan Hawke, Johnny Depp, etc
36:10 – Uinta Crooked Line Cahoots
41:00 – Johnny Depp’s filmography
43:45 – Back to the beer
44:30 – The Purge going forward
47:00 – Wrapping it up