One of the best things about living where we do is the plethora of restaurants within walking distance of our home. Although we’ve definitely been eating in a lot more than in past years, on those evenings where we feel like retiring from the stove, it’s great to have many neighbourhood options to choose from.
Not too long ago, Jill, Mack and I had dinner at MRKT. Jill had never been before, but we knew she would like the atmosphere – laid back and unpretentious, it was the perfect place to have a casual bite to eat.
The MRKT ricotta was a lovely starter. Although the house-made ricotta itself didn’t have much flavour on its own, combined with the rosemary almond crackers and apricot-mango chutney, each layered bite begged for another.
Like any of their soups, I couldn’t go wrong with the chickpea and beef stew (that night’s meat option). It was clear a lot of love went into that bowl – the meat and pulses were tender, the broth was well seasoned, and on that rainy day, the soup was thoroughly warming.
Chickpea and beef stew
Mack and Jill had both opted for the night’s special, a paella with chicken, mussels and shrimp. As far as they were concerned, the paella should have been on the regular menu.
With the kitchen’s consistency, you can never go wrong with MRKT. We’ll be back!
Blue Plate Diner
I cheered when Blue Plate Diner’s small, four-table patio was installed earlier this year (perhaps spring should not be measured in produce, but in patio resurrection?), but Mack and I hadn’t had the chance to enjoy it yet. The day finally came a few weeks ago before White Night, on an afternoon made for sipping a cool cocktail under the sun.
Cocktails always taste better on the patio
I love the new menus – laminated and sleek, they also feature a page highlighting which local producers and small businesses they source from! We weren’t all that hungry, so decided to split the Indian sampler platter.
The salad was unnecessary as far as we were concerned. Mack liked the samosas, chock full of potato goodness, while I actually preferred the cauliflower pakoras. Half the fun was experimenting with flavour combinations, as both cilantro yogurt and tamarind apricot chutney were provided for our dipping pleasure.
Like MRKT, Blue Plate Diner is another one of our go-to restaurants. Great for its proximity to our condo, but even better because we enjoy the food!
10542 Jasper Avenue
Lunch: Tuesday-Friday 11am-2pm; Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday 5pm-late
Blue Plate Diner
10145 104 Street
Monday – Thursday 11 am – 10 pm, Friday 11 am – 11 pm, Saturday 9 am – 11 pm (Brunch 9 am – 1 pm), Sunday 9 am – 10 pm (Brunch 9 am – 2 pm)