Finally, She Gets To The Hardware Grill, Edmonton, AB


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man wearing stripes sitting and waiting

Ok, well that’s isn’t a picture of me, but I am smart, I don’t let my camera out of my reach, thus I don’t get any pictures of me on it that can later be used to blackmail me. It’s just my honey, tired from his back hurting and lot’s of T3’s. He was a gentleman and took me out for our dinner anyway at the Hardware Grill.

Everyone at one point while living or visiting in Edmonton, should visit the Hardware Grill at least once.

Usually when people refer to me as a food blogger, I give them a blank stare.

Turn around and look over my shoulder, because they certainly must be talking to someone else.

Then realize they were talking about me and rapidly change the subject before they ask me a question and I stammer out a stupid response.

I like leaving the reviewing, the nit-picking, the hitting up every new place in town as soon as it opens to the pros out here in Edmonton.

Here’s what I also like.

I like to go out and eat because I didn’t make it. My children are most likely not with me complaining about the fact that something is too spicy or that it has the dreaded C word in it.

Chicken, people, it’s chicken, what else would it be?

I like that I finally, in the last year or so, am starting to get my freedom back, after 7 years of diapers, breastfeeding, pregnancy,young children who wouldn’t let me out of their sight and stay with a sitter,plus more. I can start to explore what Edmonton has to offer in the way of adult dining and activities.

I also like taking pictures of everything I do, which since I like eating in nice restaurants, also translates into I take pictures at these times as well.

But here’s the thing.

I feel awkward doing it. The only time I ever feel awkward taking pictures is while dining out.

I can take pictures of everyone and everything under the sun and you will hate me for it. I will catch ya picking yer nose, the policeman on the street yelling at a kid or myself being a voyeur and coveting someone’s front yard veggie garden, I have no problem snapping a pic.

Put a plate of short ribs in front of me and I cower like a baby. I sneak furtive glances that someone might be looking at me taking a picture. The man. The man might be watching me.

I really hate taking pictures of food in dining establishments. I need to work on getting over my fear of this.

Speaking of shortribs, here they are. They were good, however I preferred the short ribs that came on top of Mike’s beef tenderloin. The ones for Downtown Dining week are in a BBQ sauce, good, however the taste almost overwhelmed the lovely mashed potatoes and accompanying roasted vegetables. The ribs were cooked to melting in your mouth perfection.

We went and took advantage of the Downtown Dining Week at the Hardware Grill, or at least I did, and tried out a 3 course meal for a mere $50. I had the split pea soup, which I traded for Mike’s duck confit, the short ribs and finished with the Prairie gingerbread with Saskatoon rhubarb compote and mango ice cream.

The split pea soup was great, so great in fact that Mike ate it and it’s certainly one of his least favorite soups. The crispy duck confit was simply the best duck I have ever had and the portion was so large it almost could be an entree instead of a starter. I would go back there just for the confit and a glass of wine. I unfortunately didn’t get a great picture of the confit, but we will certainly be going back in the next few months, when the natural light is oh so much better.

shortribs in BBQ sauce served with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables

The prarie gingerbread is real gingerbread,the cake form, which everyone knows is my favorite and it didn’t let me down. It comes with a Rhubarb-Saskatoon Compote, Mango Ice Cream on top of a lovely cookie and Warm Caramel Sauce. Mike had the Small Endings, which is a selection of treats and confections. I would recommend this for a couple to share, it was perfect for two. Unfortunately he was only one person, and my dessert was so large I couldn’t even help him out! Sad story, truly.

All in all I think that the value during Downtown Dining week should not be missed, and if I didn’t work so much this week I would be heading back to try out the cedar planked salmon and have more of that duck confit I am now dreaming about. Do not fear that this is your average fine dining teensy portions, which is the first thing most people have asked of me when I mentioned we went, we were so full from the generous servings that we didn’t finish everything.

That said, the only improvement I could see is a wee  bit more time between courses to enjoy your wine and wait for the next one. But of course you can’t please everyone, because I personally would want another 10 minutes between starter and entree, doesn’t mean the next person would.

There is still time to take advantage of Downtown Dining week and I would highly recommend going during the week!

Hardware Grill on Urbanspoon

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. fojoy says

    I, unfortunately, had the exact opposite experience when I went for lunch during DDW. The service was horrible (which was a shock as I have been there a few times before), the menu they gave us was not what was posted on the DDW website and the food was just “ok” and barely warm.
    Maybe I should have tried dinner, instead.

    • Karlynn says

      Yikes, I think the ultimate measure of a place is when it still performs at it’s best while busy or has special events on, such as the Dining Week. How disappointing that must have been!

  2. A Canadian Foodie says

    We’ll have to go together one night and book the chef’s table in the kitchen. I love going but make it only – oh once every two years are so. The portions are huge and the food is great. Glad you GOT out! I don’t get embarrasses by the camera – but Vanja does! And, I am the same as you. I rarely do local reviews. Maybe never. But ALWAYS review every detail when I travel.

    • Karlynn says

      I would LOVE to do the chef’s table, from reading reviews seafood seems to be prevalent and Mike doesn’t like any of it. I am completely up for a night out with you (plus 4 others I think you need?)

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