Tag Archives: Saskatchewan

REVIEW: Leven’s Coffee Company

9 Feb

Leven’s Coffee Company
Sonnenschein Way
Saskatoon, SK

http://www.levenscoffee.com/

As I have posted in previous entries, I am a coffee nut. I am constantly on the search for the perfect bean to brew, best espresso based drink, and the best cup of brewed coffee. I have brewed coffee using many different methods and each have their merits, I guess. This is evident by my coffee brewing gadgets on the counter.

My search for the perfect bean has brought me to Leven’s Coffee Company. I have heard a great deal about this company as of late… they have been on Facebook, Twitter and on the news promoting their fundraiser for a boy named Ozzie. Ozzie has a rare disease called Moebius. You can find out more about Ozzie at http://imsupportingozzie.com

What makes Leven’s unique is that they roast very small quantities of coffee, thus keeping it always fresh. This allows them to offer a fantastic variety of beans and roasts without the risk of massive amounts of waste due to the coffee becoming stale. When you order a press coffee or buy a pound of beans, you are literally enjoying coffee that has been roasted within the last day or two. Some of the coffees offered are Mexican, Ethiopian, Guatemalan, Sumatran, and Dominican, all of which are Cafe Femenino ethical coffees. I tried the Dominican Republic beans.

I choose to brew my coffee using the pour-over method. There are many different techniques and tools for a pour-over, but I choose to use the Melitta method. According to Melitta.com, this method of pour-over was the original drip method of brewing coffee. It was invented by Melitta Bentz in 1908. Her invention permanently changed the way coffee was brewed. It utilizes a cone shaped brewing vessel and a cone shaped paper filter. After adding ground coffee you slowly pour over hot water (just slightly off the boil).  This method, in my honest opinion gives, the perfect cup of coffee. Most coffee officianatos would call me silly and say the coffee press is the only way to truly enjoy coffee. Though I love the coffee press and the results it brings, I personally think that the coffee brewed using the pour-over method is more intense and has a fuller body, rounder mouth feel, and has a more delicious, complex flavour. In future posts I will explore this method (and others) for brewing coffee.

Coffee only stays fresh for up to 14 days after roasting. Since the pound of coffee I purchased was roasted just hours before, it will stay fresh for as long as I am using it. I usually go through a pound of coffee in about a week or two so this is perfect for me.

I visited Leven’s Coffee Company on Saturday to see what all the hype was about. They had just recently opened their new location at the Farmer’s Market on 19th Street. During my visit I asked many questions and they were all answered thoroughly and friendly. I asked about all of their coffees, their roast colours, and the levels of acidity. Since I really don’t like overly tangy coffees, I requested advice on what I should choose. In the end he suggested the Dominican coffee. He knew exactly what to suggest and it was right on the money.

As soon as I got home I ripped open the bag and gave it a big sniff. It was delicious!!! I quickly ground and brewed a cup. As soon as I poured water on the grounds the smell was amazing and the bloom was beautiful. After brewing was complete, I cleaned up, took a picture, and then sat down to enjoy this incredibly fresh cup. It was AWESOME! Honestly, it was the best cup of brewed coffee I have ever had. The flavour was rich, intense, toasty, full-bodied, and had a very balanced acidity. It is as perfect of a balance as I have ever had.

Leven’s Coffee Company roasts simply the best beans in the city. No other roaster can come close to the quality and freshness as Leven’s. As soon as I finish up this pound I am heading to Leven’s once again! I can’t wait to try the other coffees!

Leven's Coffee Company on Urbanspoon

REVIEW – Fixin’s Homestyle Eatery

2 Feb

Fixin’s Homestyle Eatery
106 Circle Drive West
Saskatoon, SK S7L 4L6
Phone: (306) 978-6506

http://www.fixins.ca/

A couple of weeks ago my fiancee stumbled across a link on Facebook. It was a advertisement for Fixin’s Homestyle Eatery located in the Travelodge Hotel. The website was colourful and the pictures of the food looked delicious and high quality. Somewhere on the page had a listing for their different buffets. The only one that caught my eye was the chicken and rib buffet. This is how it is described on their website:

Evening Buffet – $12.95
Fridays & Saturdays, 4:00pm-8:00pm
Saturday, indulge in
“Chicken & Ribs.” Buffet features homemade Soup of the Day,
fresh salads, crisp vegetables and delicious homemade desserts

Saturday comes along and we were out and about in the Circle Drive area at supper time. We decided to try Fixin’s. Ummm, where do I even begin to review this restaurant? While dishing up at the buffet and while eating, I began to compile a list of adjectives that adequately describe the experience. My list included such words as nasty, cheap, gross, disgusting, yucky, abominable, awful, beastly, crappy, cruddy, crummy, detestable, distasteful, foul, grody, gruesome, hideous, icky, loathsome, lousy, nasty, nauseating, odious, offensive, raunchy, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, rotten, sickening, stinking, and vile. The sad part was that not one of them adequately describes how bad this place is. This place makes Saskatoon’s lousiest buffets (Smiley’s and Johnny Boys) seem incredibly appetizing.

First of all, the price of $12.99 listed on the website is not correct. The real price of the buffet is $16.99. It’s too bad we didn’t know until the end of the meal. The first warning sign should have been the lack of people eating. There were only three others in the whole restaurant. Though my gut and common sense told me to run, my fiancee and I decided to stay for some weird reason. It was ribs and chicken night, so I was somewhat interested. I was kinda looking forward for some tasty pork! I got pork, but it sure wasn’t tasty. Though the ribs were slathered in sauce, they didn’t have any seasoning or spices on them. The ribs were covered with chunks of fat that should have been trimmed off before cooking. The ribs were not smoked or grilled. They were steamed in the oven. I can tell this because the meat was flavourless and mushy. Dry baked or smoked ribs are very tender, but still keep their meaty texture. In addition to nasty meat, the BBQ sauce was bland and very low quality… it tasted like Kraft brand bottled sauce. The chicken was just plain gross. It was swimming in oil and a “BBQ sauce” that tasted like cranberry sauce. The chicken pieces were not seasoned or grilled before cooking in the oven. The chicken still had the skin on, and because it was baked in the oven in a pan of sauce, the skin was wiggly and slimy. I’m guessing that the cooks just threw raw chicken into a baking pan, poured sauce on it, and threw it into the oven. This is NOT how you make “BBQ” chicken and ribs.

Other items on the buffet included white rice, mystery yellow rice, corn bathing in a cloudy liquid, and many nasty salads. They looked like they sat out at room temperature for hours and were sopped with bottled dressings. There were pickles, pickled onions, stale cheese, and some jello-salad type substance. The desserts were ok, but they were old, stale tasting, and were NOT homemade like the website said.

I don’t want to seem like a negative nancy about Fixin’s. There is one thing they did very well. The only part of the meal I really liked was the water. It was really cold.

So if you want to eat terrible food while getting ripped off, try Fixin’s!!!

Fixin's Homestyle Eatery on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review – New Island Sushi

30 Nov

Locations:
2036 Quebec Ave
Saskatoon, SK S7K

and

240 22nd St E
Saskatoon, SK S7K

http://newislandsushi.com/

Prices:
Lunch – $14.99
Dinner – $24.99
A-la-cart – Who cares

Well, what can I say about New Island Sushi? It definitely is NOT authentic Japanese food. It is typical Canadian sushi and noodles… very dumbed-down and bastardized. That said, it has some OK flavours at times and shwackloads of bang for your buck if you like rolls. I have tried both locations and I think the Circle Drive location is superior.

Expect fish and sauces cholk-full salt and MSG. The flavour is evident in their raw fish, soy dip, and tempura dip. Though spiking fish and sauces with MSG is weird and wrong in my opinion, I suspect a business would do that to cover up sub-par ingredients, and make you bloated and full faster. I suspected something was up after we left the restaurant. I felt like I ate a 10 piece bucket of K-Fry even though I used almost no soy sauce for dipping.

What to order:

Tempura Shrimp
Tempura Vegetable
Salmon Sushi
Deep Fried Curry Chicken Cutlet
Teriyaki Salmon Belly
Seafood Fried Udon
Dynamite Roll

What NOT to order:

Most generic rolls
Udon soups (Mmmm, MSG flavour!)

Here are some pictures:

New Island has a no waste food policy. If there is any left over food at the table they will charge you per individual piece. Because of that, DO NOT over order! If you do, the food keeps coming out and coming out! Our second last visit was traumatizing. We decided to try the downtown location this time. We ended up ordering too much and the food kept being served. We were getting extremely full and they kept bring us plates. We did not want to pay extra for wasted food so we kept eating. I was getting so sick I literally contemplated emptying my contents in the washroom and then continue, but I refrained. The only thing that really bothered us (besides being too full) was the wait staff. They were standing right by us making sure we did not waste food. It was embarrassing. Needless to say we have not returned to that location.

I give it 2 stars out of 5.

New Island Sushi - Northend on Urbanspoon

Long Time No See

13 Nov

Wow, it’s been a very long time since I’ve made a post on my blog! A lot has happened since I last posted! August was a crazy month… we were away more than we were home. Then, September came and it was back to work. Hence it is November and I am just now adding a post.

The biggest thing this summer was I proposed to the most wonderful and amazing women I’ve ever met!!! I asked her in her hometown of Moose Jaw Saskatchewan in August. She said yes!

The summer consisted of yard work and travel. We went to the lake numerous times, Moose Jaw, and Edmonton Alberta. We were in Edmonton for the Sonic Boom Festival
. This was so awesome! The day was topped off by an amazing show by Weezer!!! My fiance is the biggest Weezer fan ever and have both never seen them live, so it was so cool to share that special moment with her. Here are a few pics from that day:

So… I’m going to try and update this blog more often with reviews and food related stuff. I’ve been asked why there hasn’t been any new posts as of late by a few people. They seem to find it interesting so may be I should keep it up.

See you soon.