Friday, May 1, 2009

Epicurious in Edmonton 6

Last Friday, I had a stressful meeting, so my Beloved took me out for a romantic dinner to lift my spirits. :) We decided to try out Murrieta's West Coast Grill on Whyte Ave. The place is named for the legendary bandit/hero (depending on one's point of view), Joaquin Murrieta, which led to a stimulating conversation/debate (depending on one's point of view) about how our culture glorifies outlaws, scoundrels, and the like. One thing Craig and I did agree on was that the dark wood paneling, vaulted ceilings, posh decor, extensive wine list, live jazz piano, and eclectic menu were not consistent with the bandito/revolutionary image of Murrieta. They did, however, create a delightful epicurean experience for us.

We started with the the baked brie appetizer, moved on to the grilled vegetable flat bread, followed by the jumbo ravioli, and finished up with the bread pudding. Everything we had was delicious (though the bread pudding is not the very best in Edmonton - see below), and the service was impeccable. Murrieta's is an ideal place for a romantic dinner or night out with a visiting scholar. I expect we'll return.

Earlier this week, we returned to a favorite place of ours, Da-De-O, with our friends John and Juli, who had never visited the cajun diner before. Tuesday is Po-Boy night, which made it a good excuse to try their po-boys. Usually, we just stick to the vegetarian jambalaya or the BBQ beans and rice. Craig, Juli, and I all decided to break from our vegetarianism and opted for seafood while John held fast to his veggie principles. My calamari po-boy was overflowing with crispy, spicy perfection. I got the potato hash as the side instead of the famous sweet potato fries. But I swiped some of the fries from Craig's plate. I also sampled his blackened catfish - not bad. We finished the night sharing key lime pie and bread pudding. The pie was not so great, especially after last week's excursion to Vi's, but the bread pudding was phenomenal. It could very well be the best we've had in Edmonton, though I think a taste test between Da-De-O and Highlevel Diner might just be in order.

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