Wednesday, March 30, 2011

And please

don't be thwarted by the constant blog design changes... I am not sure what I am doing yet.

I Have Returned... Figuratively.

I have returned from a long, very long, break from blogging.  A break that was more or less forced upon me by the weight of finishing a degree, completing a practicum, and organizing my life to such a degree that would allow for blogging, photography and cooking.... (how I have missed these creative outlets!)

Although I have been meaning to return to the proverbial blogger home all on my own, I was given a push today from an outside source and I must give credit where it is due!  Thank you Absolutely Edibles Catering and Cafe for pushing me to reconnect with food today!  Thank you also for rekindling that little fire, a fire that had long grown cold from inattention, for writing about something that fills me with so much joy - food of course!  I should also thank my dad for the recommendation and mom for treating my sister and I to such an awesome meal!

What I experienced today was a tasteful combination of stellar local ingredients, a classy yet comfortable atmosphere, an exceptional waitress with knowledge and personality to boot, an accommodating and personable chef (Brenda) willing to share insight and also ask for some back, a most reasonable and respectable bill and most importantly, a menu of reasons to return to Absolutely Edibles Catering and Cafe as soon as I possibly can, with as many people as I can wrangle up!

But what of the food you are saying?  What did we eat?  Well,  I will tell you...

To start, the three of us girls enjoyed three skillfully prepared, artfully displayed dishes including
Scampi ala Enrico - a delectable shrimp and savory tomato sauce dish,  Italian Pockets - chicken and gouda wrapped in pasta served with marinara dipping sauce, and Wild Mushroom Triangles - a succulent and savory wild mushroom filling encased in olive oil brushed phyllo pastry.  By the time we finished these tantalizing appetizers, we could hardly wait for our lunch entrees!  We all ordered burgers of various sorts!  The waitress, and I apologize for not asking her name (you know who you are!)  prefaced our order with a comment regarding out wait time, "We make our burgers fresh when they're ordered, so they must be formed and cooked before they get to the table, so there will be a little wait."  For a fresh, actually 'made to order' burger, I would wait a long time and these burgers were worth the wait!

My mother, ever the indecisive menu reader, opted for the Triple Sliders  - Kangaroo (yes, I said Kangaroo) topped with peppered bacon and havarti, Lamb topped with tzatziki sauce and Elk blended with fresh herbs and cranberries topped with smoked cheddar and prosciutto.  (The perfect option for anyone choosing between more than one burger)  I can safely say that my mother, not necessarily a burger lover, couldn't decide which burger she loved the most because they were all so DELICIOUS!

My sister, slightly more decisive and ever adventurous, chose the El Diablo Burger - Organic ground beef stuffed with ground chorizo sausage and gorgonzola cheese, topped with, (another cheese... can't remember) with a side of spicy tofu and vegetable soup (SO GOOD!)

I went straight for the lamb burger.  There is some sort of magnetism between lamb dishes and I, so I went for it.  The burger was called Greek Islands and it was a perfectly formed, expertly grilled ground lamb burger topped with crisp lettuce, purple onion, tomato and a tangy, fresh-herb infused tzatziki!  My mouth is watering... again.  You know those AWESOME burgers you remember - juicy, perfectly seasoned, succulent.. the ones that leave your plate covered in drippings and your hands delectably sauced?  This was one of those burgers...  I was a mess.... the burger, was outstanding!

We had to leave promptly to drop my sister off at the University.... and since we hadn't quite rounded out the dining experience (yes, there is dessert folks) my mom and I had to return and sample what we could of the dessert menu.

Brenda, anticipating our return (we told her we'd be back) prepared a sampling platter (not a large plate, a PLATTER) of three of her desserts: Tiramisu - espresso, coffee liqueur and mascarpone layered with lady fingers, Lemon Mousse Cake - sponge cake layered with fresh lemon mousse finished with a fresh raspberry compote and lastly,  Death by Chocolate - Rich devil's food chocolate cake layered with chocolate mousse and finished with Callebaut chocolate ganache.  These three desserts were light as air, delicately sweetened and freshly prepared.  We CLEANED that platter off in a few short minutes, and I am not ashamed to say that I was using the side of my fork to scrap any residual raspberry compote and chocolate ganache from its surface.

I have not had such a conclusively delicious lunch, from start to finish, in a long time.  Not only were we treated to a culinary feast for the senses, but we were also treated to lively conversation about the food we were eating and the passion the goes into preparing every bite.

Let it be known that with a full lunch and dinner menu, a vast and varied catering menu and that no matter what your culinary preference, whether that be vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc, etc, Brenda, and her capable team at Absolutely Edibles Catering and Cafe are fully prepared to accommodate even the most selective of Edmonton and area diners!

Finally, a beautifully designed restaurant where carnivores and herbivores  EAT together peacefully!

Absolutely Edibles Catering and Cafe was a treat in more ways than one, and I can't wait to return (with camera in tow) for another taste bud tingling meal!