Saturday, July 9, 2011


We spent the bulk of our day out and about while our cabinet people worked from mid-morning to 9PM trying to finish up our cabinets. We planned to be out for the morning, so we went to the Farmers' Market. Giuseppe's quiche (my two top flavours are ham-cheddar-onion and mushroom-tarragon) is my all-time favourite breakfast here in the city. Our usual routine is: drop off hubbie and the boys in front of the nearest busker. While they dance, I get in line for quiche, then get in line for coffee and a muffin (black currant and flax is my favourite) at the Prairie Pie Company, pick up quiche, scan (hopelessly) for a table, and then head to the playground with quiche, coffee and kids in tow. Baby G sits in his stroller and chows down on the quiche, D takes breaks from trying to master the monkey bars to run over to where we're sitting, grab a bite of quiche, beg for a sip of our latte, and then back to his playground antics. It's a relatively relaxing way to have breakfast.

When we arrived home just at lunch time, we discovered our kitchen in fairly major disarray. We decided for an impromptu dim sum lunch. After a quick diaper change and a minor meltdown by D who didn't want to do anything but play with his new bike, we headed back to the west side of town, only to discover that the Mandarin, our favourite dim sum place, is closed for holidays. We opted instead to head down the street to formerly Saskatoon Garden, formerly Harbour View, now (we just discovered) Good Fortune Grand Restaurant. It's amazing what ripping up the carpet will do for the looks of a dim sum place—that simple change made the newly named restaurant seem bigger and cleaner. There are new fish tanks at the front, as well as a bbq window, containing whole bbq duck and pork. When I say whole bbq duck, I mean heads and all. Very cool!

I certainly wasn't hungry enough to really go to town on dim sum, and D was punchy enough to disrupt the entire meal, but what I did taste was absolutely excellent. We had our usual favourites, rice rolls, shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings, bbq pork buns, sticky rice for the kids, bean curd pork rolls...and that pretty much was enough for me. But then they brought around the 'adventurous' cart, with beef tendon, squid, and other delights. I actually love beef tendon, but was nowhere near hungry enough to tackle an entire plate on my own (no help from hubbie on that front). I couldn't resist the squid though—these were the cutest little baby squid I'd ever seen, with little bulbous bodies and the tiniest tentacles, all bathed in a curry broth. THAT I could manage all on my own. This place is flagged for a Planet S review in the near future. YUM!

We made it back home at 2PM with exhausted kids in tow. I was also ready for a nap, so we all had a little siesta for a couple of hours, at which point we realized we were STILL not going to be able to use the kitchen. Darn! And I had come home from the Farmers' Market with fresh peas, new potatoes, and freshly cooked tortillas that I was dying to use.

We were running out of ideas for a dinner out, so we thought we would try living like the majority of Saskatonians do, and head to 8th Street. We were thinking pasta at Eastside Marios would be simple enough; little did we know that you can't just drop in to Eastside Marios at 6:30 on a Saturday night. Half hour wait! Red Lobster was walking distance, so we tried that. Longer wait! Huh. These are not places I would ever plan to visit in advance, but apparently many people do. I noticed that across the street was the Afghan place I hadn't yet tried. We left the car parked and walked across the street. Only to discover that it had since closed and was in the process of being replaced by another restaurant. Last try: Lebanese Kitchen. No high chairs, one single table, since it's primarily a take out place, but we knew they would be friendly and the food would be good. After all, they had hummous, always popular with the kids.

We completely over ordered, because by that time we were starving. No worries, though—we have no problem with having leftover Fatayer, their little delicious pastries. We ordered a mixed dozen of those, some kibbi, tabbouleh, hummous, and a Zatar pie, since it is one of the best things I've ever tasted. We visited with the guys who run the place, as well as another lady who eats there often, and left feeling nurtured and satisfied.

The kitchen renovation has advanced from 85% to 95% complete, and is looking better and better all the time. Just one last shelf, one last cupboard door, one last drawer, and kicks, crown molding and handles left to go...oh yeah...and lights, and installing the sink...maybe we're only at 92%.

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