FOOD COMA | The Welcome Diner

FOOD COMA | The Welcome Diner

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My love of the past run deeps. So deep in fact, I made my sister walk in the desert heat to check out a restaurant that I had seen a cute photo of on Instagram. I steered us down the wrong road by walking on a bike path along a freeway (I swear I usually have a great sense of direction) and finally got us on the right road just as we were both becoming very hangry. I often am swayed by a great photo on the ‘gram, that’s how I discovered Sketch in London. Happily, I am able to report that the majority of my quests that spawned from an attractive photograph have turned out pleasant and have been well worth it. The Welcome Diner is another one of those success stories.

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The building, a classic example of Googie architecture, was fully restored by The Welcome Diner in 2016 and if you happen to walk in the right direction, it’s very close to the Hotel Congress. If you’re into classic cars with futuristic design, the space age, and anything midcentury modern, you will definitely be able to appreciate the restoration and design of this diner! It was originally built for the Sambo’s Restaurant chain by Ronald Bergquist in 1964. It is everything I want out of a sixties diner – chrome for days, spacious booths, and the friendliest staff around.

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Let’s talk about the food. THE FOOD! It was all so delicious! I suppose that’s what happens when a diner has a farm-to-table ethos and scratch cooks everything. Of course I had to try the biscuit eggs benedict – can confirm it was yum. Katie had the roasted vegetables which looked like the perfect southwestern breakfast fare. She confirmed it was also yum. Will we return? Short answer: EMPHATICALLY YES.

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No classic diner decor would be complete without a few black & white photographs from the original restaurant. Bonus points if those photos happen to be of a streaker who looks like a 70s dad.

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You can find The Welcome Diner Broadway at:

902 E Broadway Blvd
Tucson, AZ
85719

HOURS
Sunday – Thursday
8:00 am — 10:00 pm
Friday – Saturday – 8:00 am — 12:00am

The Welcome Diner – Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Website

FOOD COMA | The Shameful Tiki Room

FOOD COMA | The Shameful Tiki Room

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Allow yourself a minute to adjust your eyes to a dimly lit tiki dream bar. Good, now we can get started.  As you may or may not be aware of, I am on a tiki tour of the world. The allure of the kitsch is strong within me and I have made a point of seeking out establishments old and new of the Polynesian variety. From Arizona to Japan, the tiki always finds me; beckons me with its warm glowing blow fish lights. How thrilled was I to find out that there was a tiki bar in Vancouver? One cannot express the joy of discovering The Shameful Tiki Room. If you aren’t into the garish decor that is the essence of all things tiki or fruity n boozy cocktails that are often ablaze with an artful flame, perhaps you should exit out of this browser now. If all of that sounds like a real keen time to you, scroll on!

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Does this drink come with a side of flame? That’s the only question I ever want answered when at a tiki establishment. I *believe* this was the Zombie cocktail which was rated 4/4 barrels – the maximum alcohol content; there’s a limit of 2 per customer if that’s any indication of the level of potency. This is what I would classify as a “floor licker” beverage. It tastes super good but don’t drink it too fast otherwise you’ll be on all fours in no time.

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What’s better than a flaming drink for one? A FLAMING DRINK FOR TWO! I’ll admit I was incredibly intrigued by this indulgent drink solely due to its name: the Mystery Bowl. Who doesn’t love a good mystery? I’ve always been a huge fan of Nancy Drew so this seemed like a natural progression, really.

There are so many more fantastic cocktails to be had! We paced ourselves as to insure that we would be leaving the bar upright. Check out their extensive “grog” list here. They also serve food as well which we did not have room for so it still remains a mystery to me. Check out the chow here.

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You can find The Shameful Tiki Room at:

4362 Main Street
Vancouver, BC

HOURS
Sunday – Thursday
5:00pm — 12:00am
Friday – Saturday 5:00pm — 1:00am

The Shameful Tiki Room – Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Website

FOOD COMA | Elderflower Gin Fizz

FOOD COMA | Elderflower Gin Fizz

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It’s Wednesday; it’s time for a drink. As the balmy summer weather continues to drift away with the biting autumn wind, it’s time to bundle up and drink something refreshing that reminds us of warmer days gone by. Enter: the Elderflower Gin Fizz, a twist on the average gin n soda classic. A little citrusy, a little floral, and a lot of nice.

I first enjoyed this tasty treat when I was living in London. It was my first Christmas away from home and I found solace when I wandered around Oxford Street admiring every holiday window display – Liberty of London’s in particular. While browsing the shoe hall in Liberty, eyeing the most decadent and out of my budget footwear, a shopping event was taking place. A server offered me a cocktail and I readily took it. Hello I’m living in a foreign country because I ran away from my problems, please give me a free drink.

The second I tasted this elixir, I imagined myself as an elderly spinster draped in furs talking about my youth; a perfect picture of Ms Havisham. I knew I had found my favourite drink. I chased down the server to find out what it was… elderflower! I had a vision of myself as an elderly flower, it was kismet.

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I went to The Grocery, my local shop in Shoreditch to find this exquisite elderflower cordial and I discovered the Belvoir Fruit Farms, a company based in the Lincolnshire countryside – how British. They create the loveliest cordials, presses, and effervescent drinks. Every one has been a taste sensation and I am SO PLEASED they are launching in Canada! Fingers crossed we get a Whole Foods in Edmonton one day. #daretodream

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INGREDIENTS

HOW TO MAKE

  • Place mint leaves in glass with ice
  • Mix gin, cordial, and a squeeze of lime in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Double strain into glass over ice and mint leaves
  • Top with soda water
  • Take a sip and imagine yourself as a fur clad elderly lady with the most interesting stories
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Optional: add a dash of curious Chloe cat for extra cuteness points

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FOOD COMA | Reposado Margarita

FOOD COMA | Reposado Margarita

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Allow me to let you in on a little secret: the best margaritas do not come from a pre-made bottle. It’s shocking, I know. I have tried to dress up pre-mixed margaritas in a nice glass but so many of them have a taste I would liken to nail polish remover. The funny thing is, an exceptional margarita is one of the simplest drinks I have ever made. It’s time we start paying the most ordered drink in America the respect it truly deserves! Wanna hop on this tasty train? Keep scrolling for details:

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A delicious margarita begins, of course, with the base liquor – tequila. In my travels, I have learned that it is better to stick to smaller run batches of tequila as they are made of 100% agave and NO FILLER! Thus, the bottle is pure flavour country and nothing suspect. One of my favourites is Espolon. Not only are the illustrations on the bottle amazing (hello day of the dead skeletons) but it tastes incredible. The reposado begins its life as blanco tequila and then it’s aged 3-5 months in lightly charred American oak barrels giving it that flavour and golden colour. Yum.

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A good salt rim is also key in this drink, in my opinion. While I was in Iceland, I came across this brand of salt, Nordur. They have created this company around sustainability, renewable energy, and tradition. I was originally lured in by the packaging, which is typical consumer Sandy for you, but I was moved by their dedication to the craft while being aware of the ecosystems around them. This salt is so delicious and perfect for rimming a margarita because it’s both salty and sweet with the blueberry flavouring.

It’s time to choose your own adventure: If you want to find out more about the company, browse right here. If you want to find out more secrets to the best margarita ever, continue scrolling my dude.

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Other ingredients: Cointreau or Triple Sec, Agave Syrup, and limes

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 oz of Espolon Reposado
  • 1 oz of Cointreau Triple Sec
  • 1 oz of Agave Syrup
  • 1 oz of fresh lime juice

HOW TO MAKE

  • rim glass with lime wedge and flavoured salt (Nordur preferably)
  • pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice
  • shake vigorously
  • double strain into glass over fresh ice
  • add a lime wedge garnish on rim (optional)
  • sit back and enjoy some sipzzzzzz
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If that wasn’t interesting enough, let’s briefly touch on the legend of the margarita just for fun. One story credits a Texas socialite, Margarita Sames for inventing the margarita cocktail at her home in Acapulco in 1948 by using 3 parts tequila and 1 part lime juice. A lesser known tale is that a bartender in Tijuana created it to impress actress Rita Hayworth. Either way, many thanks to either of them for allowing me this opportunity to waste away again in Margaritavilla a la Jimmy Buffet styles.

photographs – sandy karpetz

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FOOD COMA | Cognac Crusta Cocktail Recipe

FOOD COMA | Cognac Crusta Cocktail Recipe

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It’s the beginning of the end of summer which is the exact point when we should be making the most of it. I’ll be doing that by indulging myself with bike rides at dusk, buying fresh produce from local gardens, and of course, making fancy cocktails. It’s all about balance, right? Speaking of balance, this Cognac Crusta is the perfect combination of zesty and fresh with a smooooooth taste. Want to know how to make this critrusy dream? Scroll on down.

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INGREDIENTS:

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HOW TO MAKE:

  • rim short highball glass with lemon juice and muskavado brown sugar
  • place one full spiraled tangelo (or orange) peel in the glass with ice
  • mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • double strain into glass over ice and tangelo peel
  • put maraschino cherry garnish on top (optional)
  • ENJOYYYYYYY

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FOOD COMA | Dinner at 10 Foot Henry

FOOD COMA | Dinner at 10 Foot Henry

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How much do I love 10 Foot Henry? Let me count the ways….. As of this blog post, I have now returned to this establishment two more times and it has been an absolute delight each and every meal. Located conveniently on the beltline, across the street from my favourite Calgary hotel (Hotel Arts), every dish I’ve had here has been a taste sensation – so much so that I once double ordered the yellow fin crudo in one sitting. No regrets.

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First off, the decor is the best. The ceiling is adorned with a plethora of hanging plants and you can watch the open air kitchen with bated breath for your meal to be released. The cocktails are phenomenal… and I wish I could remember which ones these were (their drink menu is noticeably absent from their website) but the one on the right was a cucumber dream.

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Ten Foot Henry is all about family style sharing, which I can get into…. until it comes down to certain plates involving tuna.

Remember me mentioning that double order of yellow fin crudo? Well, here it is. I get dewy eyed just thinking about how good it is. The chimichurri combined with the sesame seeds and chilis.

The bucatini cacio e pepe is so simple yet such a perfect pasta in every way – cheese and pepper, what more does one want? It’s actually what I want most days.

Peep the full menu here.

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The grilled asparagus was also life altering when combined with truffle aioli and manchego cheese.

We then finished off dinner with chocolate truffle balls covered in pistachios.

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You can find Ten Foot Henry at:

1209 1 St SW
Calgary, AB
T2R 0V3
(403) 475-5537

HOURS
Monday – Sunday
11:00am — 11:00pm

10 Foot Henry – Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Website