Before we left for Calgary, a coworker of mine recommended a restaurant in Banff to eat at- should we decide to venture out. Naturally it piqued my curiosity, so I looked it up. Turns out that The Grizzly House serves exotic meats and fondue. Heck yes I was going to go there! This was my early birthday dinner and celebration of our son’s successful weekend.
Upon entering the restaurant you feel like it was trapped in the early seventies. The soundtrack of 70’s and disco music being played throughout added to the atmosphere. Besides unique decor, the history of the restaurant was a social gathering where you could connect with strangers by calling their table number. A swingers restaurant that serves fondue and exotic meat? Let’s see what’s up with the food…
We chose to go with a four course meal. Our meal began with a soup or salad. My wife had the chicken tortellini soup while I went with the salad and house dressing. Excellent way to get the tastebuds excited. Then a cheese fondue. The hostess recommended tossing in the roasted garlic inside the cheese and it was next level.
Next came out the hot stone for us to cook our meats and a variety of dipping sauces. We sampled kangaroo, yak, yellowfin tuna, frog leg, alligator, buffalo and venison. Each unique in texture and flavor. The sauces equally as tasty. To end the meal we had a chocolate fondue with fresh fruit to dip.
The tastes were incredible throughout the meal. The place is a bit more pricey than I’m normally comfortable with, but for the experience to try new meat, well worth it.
And we never called any other tables. Experimenting with food was enough for this trip to the restaurant.
Christmas is a time of over indulging. I appreciate all the food that comes out at this time of year.
Every year, my wife and I stockpile meats and cheeses. We set out these spreads on the Winter Solstice and continue to graze through the remaining bits until January rolls around. Adding to the delightful feast, I also make “Fancy Sandwiches” which is a recipe I learned from my father many years ago. His tradition was to have them ready for Christmas Eve. Honestly, 30 sandwiches hardly lasts in our home- and it’s just my immediate family eating them!
My wife and I also do a lot of baking during this time. Specifically cookies. A few years back, we would fill large tins with a variety of treats and give them to my wife’s brothers. One year we gave away tins to about a dozen different families who came over to celebrate solstice with us. Needless to say, we love cookies at Christmas, but if we start too soon, we have to make another batch (or two.)
Everyone has traditions involving food at Christmas. Besides “Fancy Sandwiches” we also make schnitzel and liver ball soup on Christmas Eve. And yes, the kids do enjoy the soup. But only once a year as it is fairly rich and heavy. But that’s a tradition my father did for us growing up, so it was nice that my wife wanted to keep it up. I hope our kids will pass it on to their future families and such. Plus we also do a fondue on New Years Eve. That is a family favorite by far!
What are your favorite foods or traditional meals that you enjoy over the holidays?
It’s that time of year when rich foods fill you up and your brain becomes mushy. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is the time to overindulge and the have a reason for working out in January. I do the eating part. Not the workout part. Oftentimes I’m filling up on cheese. It gets tough to know when to stop.
We turned a meat and cheese charcuterie into a meal the other day. It was a lovely foray into the various cheeses that we know and love. Goat cheese (of all varieties) has become the most popular for this spread.
Sometimes we do a baked Brie that doesn’t last long either. But with all the other cheeses we bought, we didn’t pick one up this season. But tonight we will be having a cheese fondue. Normally that meal is saved for New Year’s Eve. But we moved it up a couple of days and plan on doing a “Deep Fry Fest” on December 31st. End the year with a greasy bang!
Do you get filled up on cheese during this week? Any favorite flavors that are a must have for the winter season?
I’ve already finished day two of my four day weekend. Most of my time has been spent driving around for the kids. The other majority has been playing with my 3D printer and the props I’ve been making.
During all of this, I have been finding the time to make some decent dinners. My wife and I have been doing our best to get back into meal planning now that there is a set schedule for school. It sounds easy, but it really isn’t. My days off means I am the master chef.
I’m pretty bad at including vegetables in the meals. I usually just plan the meat portion and a side of potatoes, rice or pasta. This week I was behaving myself and adding in more vegetables. Last night was roasted cabbage and carrots. Tonight was pesto and tomato chicken.
For whatever reason, I never think of what vegetables to add. Perhaps one day I’ll get better at at. Until then, it’s roast beef and potatoes for Friday nights dinner!
Yesterday I mentioned Business Trip Eats and the variety of food we’ve been eating. Nothing really stood out. That is until last night. Where we indulged.
A coworker who had come to Winnipeg previously, as well as my boss recommended a restaurant to me for our last night here. So three of us hit up a place in Winnipeg called Carnaval: Brazilian BBQ. It was an all you can eat meat extravaganza.
There was so much meat. It was on huge skewers and the cooks brought it around to each table asking if we wanted to sample some. At first we were tackling the food faster than it was coming out.
Beef, pork, chicken, lamb, more beef, sausage, wings, beef again… it just never stopped. As we were eating, we were laughing at how awesome the food was and how foolish this restaurant is. Because we were going to get our money’s worth and more.
The food was coming so quickly that I hardly had time to pause and get any photos. It was evident rather quickly that we were going to be in trouble. Our laughter about how this restaurant was foolish turned into how foolish we were.
We only managed to eat for an hour. We were stuffed. And hurting. But it was so worth it. My coworker Dillon was putting me to shame with his ability to want to continue sampling the meats. I was unprepared to push my limits and was done about four plates before him.
If you ever make it to Winnipeg- the Carnaval Brazilian BBQ is worth a stop. Especially if you love meat. And BBQ. And hating yourself afterwards.
Over the past few years, I have been perfecting my ability to make a smoked bbq brisket. I usually only end up making three or four of them a year. That way it keeps the family desiring more and doesn’t overdo the enjoyment of the meal. Last night was the largest one I have ever made.
We do not have a smoker, so I have become resourceful in using our bbq. I put a smoker box on the side burners and place the brisket on the opposite side. I keep the temperature between 200° and 250° allowing the indirect heat to slowly cook the meat over the course of a few hours. Every hour or so, I add some more water soaked hickory wood chips. But before the meat goes on the grill- I have to prepare it.
We have found the best cut of meat for the price is down at the Costco in the USA. Once I open the meat I give it a quick rinse and pat it down with paper towel. Sometimes I’ll trim some of the larger fatty bits if it’s over an inch thick. Then I salt the entire thing, followed by pouring some soy sauce and brushing bbq sauce all around it. Next I add a dry hickory seasoning on the entire brisket to create a crust once the meat is cooked.
As the brisket smokes, my entire neighborhood smells heavenly for hours. (It’s amazing how olfactory senses can add to the enjoyment of a meal.) Last night I also made a different type of potato salad. I roasted some cubed potatoes tossed in olive oil and covered in garlic, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper. I baked the potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes turning them every 10 minutes so as not to burn the bottom.
Afterwards I allowed the potatoes to cool in the fridge before adding some chopped up fried garlic sausage, a bit of mayonnaise and two mashed avocados. The meal turned out beautifully. We shared our dinner with a couple of friends and only ate about half the brisket. That means leftovers for lunches!
I love to cook. It’s a passion of mine. I love to experiment with foods. Both healthy and otherwise. We also have an abundance of cooking equipment. From a vegetable steamer to a deep fryer. Slow cooker to a BBQ. We have numerous cast iron pans, a wok, a pasta maker, mixers, and even a couple of fondue pots.
Today we are using a Dazey Nutri Broil Smokeless Indoor Grill. I found it at the local Value Village a few weeks ago for $10. It was brand new and never used. We are going to use it outside- because safety! I’ve never used an indoor grill before. And who knows if this will even work. Best to try cooking outside.
These first pictures are from a couple of months ago on Easter Sunday while we were on vacation. Our trip to Tokyo has inspired tonight’s dinner.
I have prepared an abundance of beef and pork for our meal tonight. Since we are grilling some meat up, I thought why not try cooking as a family. We took turns flipping the meat and serving it up.
Dinner was a success. The grill worked wonderfully. Time to prepare for a meat coma! Beer obviously went best with tonight’s dinner, so I bought a large can of Asahi to share with my wife.
We sat around the outside table and grilled the meat. It was 90 minutes of talking and laughing as a family. I think we may have to do this more often. I love that we all reminisced and planned future vacations over a lovely meal.