From Saskatchewan

Restaurant Review: The Konga Cafe

A restaurant review of the Konga Cafe in SaskatoonCan I give a restaurant a 7 out of 5 rating?  If I could, I would give it to the Konga Cafe.

It is located at the bottom of Caswell Hill in Saskatoon and features an amazing assortment of Caribbean food and fare.  Being from Guyana, it feels like I have travelled back in time and can eat some of the food that I grew up with.

When we go to the restaurant, it doesn’t feel like we are going out to eat in an establishment but rather like we are going over to a friends place to eat their excellent home cooking.  From the first time we went, we were made to feel at home at The Konga Cafe.  It has a festive laid back atmosphere.  Not only are you chatting with your server but chatting with other guests.

Of course the food is amazing.  Caribbean Jerk Chicken, Curried Shrimp, Spicy Peanut Shrimp, and an amazing steak.  If the kids just want a burger or chicken fingers, they have that as well.  For dessert, you need to try the key lime pie. 

The Konga Cafe has long been a favourite restaurant of both Jordon and I.  It is a great enough experience that makes it perfect for a special date night out but it’s casual enough that we can take the kids and enjoy it as a family any evening.  No wonder why it is so highly rated on TripAdvisor, Planet S Magazine, and Zomato.

Click to add a blog post for Konga Cafe on Zomato

Konga Cafe
204 Avenue H N
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
(306) 244-7867

Website | Facebook

Restaurant Review: Smoke’s Poutinerie (Moose Jaw)

A couple of weekends ago Jordon, Mark, Oliver and I drove to Moose Jaw for a day of taking some photos and exploring the sights.  It was a gorgeous day and the plan was to eat the famous Nit’s Thai Food.

Restaurant Review of Smoke's Poutinerie in Moose JawWe explored, had a good time and were about to go into Nits when the smell of a dirty deep fryer just about made us gag.  So that was definitely out of the question.  We walked further down main street until we noticed Smoke’s Poutinerie.

Two boys and a signed that said, “BBQ, Mac & Cheese Poutine”.  Even if I wanted to go somewhere else, I would not have been able to hold them back.

We went in and ordered four different poutiness.  Oliver got the BBQ Mac & Cheese Poutine, Jordon ordered the Philly Cheesesteak Poutine, Mark ordered the Rainbow Poutine, and I got the Chicken Fajita Poutine.

So while we were all starving when we walked in, none of us were able to finish our box of poutine.  We all gave a great effort but there was just too much excellent an amazing food.  The other thing about the food was that while we all got really different dishes, I would have been happy with all of them.  They were that good and I don’t know if any of us other than Oliver would say, “This is my favourite.”  They are all our favourites.

Of course as a diner style restaurant, they had Coke products in glass bottles.  It only made the experience better.

So while Moose Jaw is over 2 hours away, I would actually consider driving that far to try it again.  The food and the dining experience was that much fun.  If you haven’t been there, you really need to try it out.

Smoke’s Poutinerie
11 River Street
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
(306) 691-2873
Website | Facebook (local restaurant)

Click to add a blog post for Smoke's Poutinerie on Zomato

Hiking the Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

On the Sunday before Victoria Day, Jordon, Mark, Oliver, and I hiked the 3 kilometre Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park.

The start and end of the trail features these steps.

The Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Jordon, Oliver, and Mark at the start of the trail.

The start of the Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Mark is ready to go

Mark and Oliver at the start of The Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Oliver had just fallen but was okay.

Oliver on The Narrows Trail

Jordon and Mark on the trail.

Jordon Cooper and Mark Cooper walking The Narrows Trail

Mark showing off his new sunglasses that we bought for him as an early birthday gift.

Mark Cooper on The Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Oliver checking out Waskesiu Lake.

Oliver Cooper exploring the Narrows Trail at Prince Albert National Park

Lake Waskesiu from The Narrows Trail

Jordon and Mark explore the trail.

Jordon Cooper and Mark Cooper hike the Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Down by the boardwalk on The Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Two ducks swimming near the shore.  Well not that near, I was using an M.Zuiko 75-300mm lens which means that I was shooting at a 600mm equivalence.

Ducks on Waskesiu Lake in Prince Albert National Park

Here is Oliver exploring the dark underbelly of The Narrows Trail.

Oliver exploring the dark underside of The Narrow Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Tree on The Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Jordon and Oliver hiking The Narrows Trail

Waskesiu Lake

Waskesiu Lake

If you ever have a chance to explore some of Prince Albert National Park’s trails, make sure you do.  It was my first hike like this and I had a blast.  We explored the Waskesiu River Trail later that day and of course are heading back up to hike to Grey Owl’s Cabin later this summer.

Happy Birthday Jordon!

It’s Jordon’s 41st birthday today.  To celebrate I got Mark and Oliver up early and we gave him his gift which was a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Lens for his Pentax camera.

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Lens

He will use it to shoot Mark’s football this fall with and maybe some wildlife.  I hope he likes it.  Of course Mark is super excited as it means that he gets Jordon’s older Sigma 70-210 lens.  He sees it as a win-win.

Mark gave him a new Starbucks Travel Mug

Starbucks Travel Mug

Oliver gave him Saskatoon’s Electric Transit: the Story of Saskatoon’s Streetcars and Trolley Buses by Easten Wayman

Saskatoon's Electric Transit by Easten Wayman

It’s a used book from Westgate Books.

They also ordered Jordon a 65 litre backpack for our trip to Grey Owl’s cabin.  It’s big enough that we can pack Oliver in it and have room to spare.

North 49 - 55 litre backpack

It is Jordon’s day off today.  I took it off to hang out with him.  After the boys were off to school, we went for coffee at City Perk and then grabbed lunch at the Spring Roll on 33rd.  This afternoon we are  off for a long walk as Jordon tried out his new lens and then to Broadcast House where Jordon does his 5:15 roundtable with David Kirton and Cynthia Block.

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Jordon is working today but I am not.  He did get up early and gave me a new “Canada” spring jacket, a chocolate rose that I wanted and a chocolate rose (my favourite kind of rose).  He also took me down to the CP Rail Bridge in Saskatoon and put a love lock on the stairwell.  The wind was howling and it was unbelievably cold by the time that we climbed the three flights of stairs.  By the time we got back to the car our ears and faces were frozen.  I’m glad he did it.  It was a great romantic gesture.   He does this romance stuff well.

I got him a new hat by Under Armour.  His old hat was stolen out of our Mazda.  It’s not the same but it is close enough and I think he looks good in it.

Under Armour Hat

Think of it as lingerie for bald guys.  Before you comment that I am horrible at this Valentine’s Day stuff, I actually am and this is what Jordon wanted.

For tonight, we are ordering in.  We have tried to go out many times over the years and the food sucks on Valentine’s Day in so many places.  They seat us late, rush some food out, and rush us out.  Not exactly romantic.  There are better nights for us to go out and enjoy being a couple.

We aren’t sure where we are ordering in from yet but I could go for some pizza or Vietnamese food.  After the kids go to bed, we’ll chill out over some gourmet coffee and music to chill out to.  There is a reason why we have a 60 gig iTunes library.

I hope you are having a good day as well.

Restaurant Review: The Woods Alehouse

The Woods Alehouse in Saskatoon

I used to hate going here.  The only time we went here was when The Rook & Raven, The Congress Beer House and State & Main were all packed.  Each time I regretted it.

Then things started to turn around.  They changed the seating arrangements.  The food improved to the point where it was edible.  There seemed to be a better attitude by the serving staff.  Instead of just having a wide selection of beer, they understood that a pub needs more than that, it needs to be a place where people enjoying going to.

They now have several good things on the menu from some excellent fries to some kind of nacho thing they do with fries instead of chips.   It’s pretty incredible.

There are good sandwiches and wraps as well.  The atmosphere has changed and the serving staff is now pleasant and fun to talk with.

There is a little less seating now then there was.  It makes the place more open, relaxing and more flexible as it is a great place for game nights, poetry slams, or as a place for a big gathering.

Normally places that suck don’t turn themselves around but The Wood’s Alehouse has and in the process has made a lot of us big fans.

The Wood’s Alehouse
148 2nd Ave North 
Saskatoon, SK S7K2B2

Woods Alehouse on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Alexander’s Restaurant

Alexander's Restaurant

I have been eating at Alexander’s Restaurant for 20 years and it has remained one of my favourite restaurants from the first time I entered the restaurant.  Alexander’s manages to keep what is good while updating and reinventing itself in areas that need improvement like almost no other restaurant I have ever seen.

Long time favourite meals have been the nachos, quesadillas, excellent burgers, sandwiches, and of course their desserts.  Another staple of the Alexander’s dining experience has been excellent service which remains the same no matter how many waitresses and waiters come and go.

Over two decades, the restaurant has changed.  Five or six years ago this would have been a different review as the quality of even the appetizers varied from visit to visit.  Over the last couple of years the consistency of the food has returned which is what you want from a restaurant which serves up some excellent comfort food.

The prices is right, the food is good, and it is fun to go back to a place that brings me back to my college days while still remaining pristine and current.  I love it.

Alexander’s Restaurant & Bar
414 Cumberland Avenue North
Saskatoon, SK
S7N0W7

Alexander's Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon