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Just a collection of posts containing restaurant reviews, videos, and articles about the restaurant industry. Most of my reviews are of Saskatoon restaurants but when I travel I get inspired to post about what we have eaten on the road, both good and bad.

What It Takes to Be a Michelin Food Inspector

Inside the secretive lives of the people with the best job in the world.

The inspectors go all over the world, we invest in them. We send them to Japan, New York, Milan to build up that standard and benchmark across the world. It’s a full time job and the inspectors never tire of it. They have got to live and breathe it, it’s a lifestyle. Lots of people write to us for the job and then change their mind as they don’t realize how full on it is.

Restaurant Review: Asian Hut Restaurant

I ordered in from the Asian Hut for the first time a few weeks ago as a family.  We ordered the combo for 4 and it was more than enough food for all 4 of us, and we had some leftovers.

The food was hot when I picked it up and was ready when they told me it would be.  It included everything that was promised.

Everything was delicious, and the portions were big enough for our family. 

As for the food, it really does have the best pho in the city as well as some of the best wonton soup that I have found.

Asian Hut Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Physics of Sushi

Master sushi chefs in Japan spend years honing their skills in making rice, selecting and slicing fish, and other techniques. Expert chefs even form the sushi pieces in a different way than a novice does, resulting in a cohesive bite that doesn’t feel all mushed together.

Restaurant Review: The Underground Café

The Underground Café is located on 20th Street and is just west of the historic Roxy Theatre.

The coffee shop has two areas.  It has a sheltered front patio nestled in front of the shop  and right beside Village Guitar.  it is an ideal patio for soaking up the vibe on 20th Street all summer long.  Inside is a deceivingly large coffee shop with lots of seating and great coffee and teas.  The menu is make up of lunch options like paninis, grilled sandwiches, salads and soups.  For those of you with a sweet tooth, they have a good selection of desserts.  

The service is solid.  The front end staff know what they are doing and do it well while the food is out quickly from the kitchen.  The coffee and tea is fresh and well made.  If you are new to Saskatoon or call it home, it is worth the visit.

There is local art displayed to enjoy or buy.  You won’t want to miss the weekly live music shows in the evening.

The Underground Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: Winston’s English Pub

Jordon and I pop into Winstons’s English Pub quite often.  We generally grab  a seat in the Library which is a side nook on often quieter.  The food and service is consistent and despite the British vibe, the menu is largely Canadian pub favorites.

The food is good and the service is fast.  It’s even more remarkable when you consider how busy Winston’s can be some nights.  It often is literally overflowing with patrons.

The food and service is one thing but the reason people flock to Winston’s is the beer menu, one of the largest in the city.  Yet even as non drinkers it is a fun place to pop in, relax, and grab a bite of comfort food that warms you up especially in the winter.

During the summer months, ditch the Library and head upstairs to their deck.  It’s one of the cozier patios in the city and is a wonderful place to chill out and cool off with friends.

Winston's English Pub & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: Ace Burger YXE

One of the best parts about Saskatoon is running into the Ace Burger Food Truck when you are out and about.  I’ve had Ace burgers a few times now and each time was great! The Ace Burger is a cheeseburger with bacon, greens, tomato and red onion nestled in a fresh home style bun along with Siracha mayo.  It is one of, if not the best burger available in Saskatoon.  Not only can you get it all summer long via the Ace Burger food truck, you can get it at The Congress Beer House all year long.

You can find the Ace Burger food truck at local Saskatoon events like The Fringe, SaskTel Jazz Festival, and daily on the Snack Map app that is downloadable from from the Google Play and Apple app stores for free.

Ace Burger YXE Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: New Island Sushi

Jordon and I went out to New Island Sushi on Friday.  The food wasn’t bad but the cost was and we left unimpressed considering many said it was the best Sushi in Saskatoon.

The food is passable and is better than some other sushi places in Saskatoon.  Compared to other markets, it really is mediocre.

Mediocre is what the restaurants  strives for.  Dirty washrooms, poorly maintained booths (ours had the paint worn off) and broken fixtures like the busted blinds we looked at all meal.  Also most of our dishes had chips in them.

It’s part of their business model but having to pay for refreshment refills despite the salty food (in part from the soy sauce) and dry rice set the tone for a really mediocre lunch.

There is good sushi in Saskatoon, it just isn’t found at New Island Sushi.

New Island Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yuasa Town : The Birthplace of Soy Sauce / Long Version

Yuasa, a small coastal town in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, is a fishing port and the producer of one of Japan’s most well known mandarin oranges, the Arida mikan. But a stroll through the traditional streets, including the only stretch of the famous Kumano Kodo pilgrim route that runs through the center of a town, takes you back to an age before westernization, when Yuasa was a vibrant hub of gastronomy in Japan. For it was here, in the 13th century, that soy sauce as we know it was first established and produced, and even now the streets are rich with the smells of fermenting soy sauce, still produced exactly the same way it was more than 750 years ago.

Back When Pizza Hut Was an Experience

Retro Ramblings captures what Pizza Hut was like before it became fast food.

As you’ve learned by now, my Father traveled quite a bit when I was growing up, and to kind of take the sting out being gone so much, when he would get back in town on the weekends, he would always take the family out to eat on Friday or Saturday night.  This usually meant a trip to Western Steer, Bonanza, or Wendy’s back when they had the Superbar.  But a couple of times a year, we would be treated to my favorite place to go in that time frame, Pizza Hut.  We only got to go a few times a year because, for the time, Pizza Hut was expensive.  But that was part of the appeal.  It was a step above other places to eat back then.  You weren’t just paying for the food, you were buying an experience.

From the moment you walked in the place, you knew it was something special.  You knew this was going to be something you’d remember, and it all started with the decor.  The interior didn’t look like a fast food joint with it’s huge, sprawling windows, and cheap looking walls, or tiled floors.  When you walked in, you were greeted by brick walls, with smaller windows, that had thick red fabric curtains pulled back, and a carpeted floor.  It just felt higher-class that walking into McDonalds or Burger King.

The booths were high-backed, with thick padded vinyl seats and back rests.  The high backs was also different from your usual eating out experience.  These high backs gave you a sense of privacy, which was great for a date night.  Also great for a date night were the candles on the tables.  Those little red glass candles that were on every table, and were lit when you got to your seat.  It was a little thing, but when added to everything else, it was quite the contribution.  Your silverware was wrapped in a thick, cloth napkin that beat the heck out of the paper napkins everyone else was using at the time.  And you could always count on the table being covered by a nice, red and white, checkered table cloth.

The lighting at Pizza Hut back then was lower that what you were used to at other places.  This was due to the lower wattage bulbs they used, along with their gorgeous, Pizza Hut log emblazoned, stained glass light shades they used to have.  Seeing one of those things now instantly takes me back to another place in time!  They still look classy and bring old memories flooding back every time I see or think of one.  The private feeling booth, the low lighting, the candle on the table, and the brick wall beside you gave a unique feel to the table you were dining at.  It greatly enhanced the overall experience.

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How Jiro Dreams of Sushi’s Apprentice is Making His Mark as a Sushi Chef

Chef Daisuke Nakazawa, who appeared in the film ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ while working as an apprentice (for many years) under now legendary sushi master Jiro Ono, had been living in Seattle, until Bronx restauranteur Alessandro Borgognone picked him up and dropped him off in New York’s West Village.

Four months in when Pete Wells dropped a full four stars on the place—good luck ever scoring a seat, now.

So, how perfect is Sushi Nakazawa’s nigiri? Eater’s Kat Odell scores a bar seat to find out. And just for the record, Nakazawa’s tamagoyaki is on point.