Sunday, December 13, 2015

Popeye's Walkley Rd opening day review!

Popeye's Chicken Tenders just opened my meal!


It is about time the Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen opened- first they were saying opening Labour Day weekend on their Facebook, then "they" (Popeye's head office) was claiming their Facebook was not their site and fake and that they never said they would be open then.
Oh, then Popeye's was claiming someone hacked their Redit? site and was making up dates.
I have never even seen the Redit/Reddit? site and just follow the Popeye's official Facebook page that links from their commercial site.
That they were making up such silly things is really just dumb-now "they" (Popeye's) is saying the same fake Facebook page is their real social media page.
People are not stupid, so nice try.

I went to Popeye's the very first day it was open. The Walkley Rd location is a short walk from my house. The first thing that hit me when I was walking to their restaurant was the smell of cooking oil in the air- even before I could see their store.
I've been living in the area 10 years and can say that no other place that serves food has left a cooking oil scent in the air.
Maybe that should be a separate post, but I am really not pleased about that.

But now on to the food, which is what most people want to read about.
The store was not very busy when I visited Thursday night. There was no wait in line and a lot of chicken was already cooked- so no wait at all for food.
I had a 3pc chicken tenders combo with 2 sides. The meal came with a biscuit and a soft drink too.
Bonus points for having Barq's root beer- that is my favorite root beer from the commercial kinds.
For my sides I had mashed potatoes w gravy and the mac and cheese.

The picture at the top of this review is how my meal was served when I was at the restaurant. I did not yet open the potato or mac and cheese. This is what the chicken tenders look like.
I have never had Popeye's before, so this is different.
Most places I get similar kinds of chicken, they seem to call them chicken fingers or chicken strips in Canada, it seems.
I thought the tenders looked very crispy and are a different presentation than what I am used to.
First I tried the biscuit when I got my order- the biscuit was good. It is a regular biscuit-if you like biscuits, these are fine and not too much to really say about these.
Well, I make amazing biscuit- so unless there is something really different about these I am a bit indifferent.
The biscuits I make have organic maple bacon and medium cheddar in them and are so good!

Tenders Combo w Mac and Cheez, Mashed &Gravy

This is what my Tenders combo looked like once I unpacked my meal at home.
The mashed potatoes with gravy were good, but I was not expecting there to be bits of chicken and meat in the gravy.
I have never had Popeye's before and no one at the store or even on Popeye's website make it clear that there is meat in this. Cajun gravy? well that does not really tell me too much about the item- that is has Cajun spices I guess.
When the gravy was hot, it was good on the mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes were quite smooth and not lumpy at all. I'm not sure if this is from the potatoes being from one of those mixes or maybe they get these in a bag like the mash potato you get at the grocery store.
I could not find anything on Popeye's site about how these mash potatoes are made, so I kind of doubt someone is sitting there boiling and mashing these all day long.
When I tried the gravy once my potatoes had cooled off, the gravy was very gelatin-like and not that appealing.
I asked what the mac and cheese was like (I know, a silly question-but I had never been here before).
I asked if it was more like a pasta salad or like with an actual cheese sauce. The girl at the cash said it was similar to kraft dinner.
I did not look at the mac n cheese until I got home and I guess it is similar to the premium kraft dinner- the one that had the cheese pouch you just heat up. The cheese in this is somewhat like Velveeta. If you like mac and cheese, then this one is good.
This is probably one of the few not fried, no meat items on the menu here!

Chicken Tenders a closer look!

This is what the chicken tenders looked like when they are cut up. You can see that it is just white meat inside. These were well cooked and mild. The breading was very crispy. I could not finish my whole meal and so put some of the chicken tenders away for later.
I had to put them in a ziplock bag to keep the scent of oil out of my fridge.
Also when I did go to reheat these, my kitchen smelled like oil for quite a while until I ran my fan and aired out my place a bit.

With my meal I had the mustard sauce and the sweet heat sauce for dipping.
The mustard sauce was similar to Dijon and had a lot of mustard seed in it. I will surely get a lot more of this mustard sauce,I really liked it.
The sweet heat sauce was true to the description. The sauce was sweet and spicy- more spicy than I expected.

Overall my meal was good and I will be back to try more of the food.
One small issue I was unaware of was I had ordered the Combo Dinner or whatever it is called with the two sides. I did not realize until I got my receipt that I was charged a EXTRA 30 CENTS for a large Coke.
I was not told that there was an extra charge and also just wanted a medium drink- esp since I did not even fill my cup halfway with soda.
Also, the ice in the soda machine was not working very well- the ice cubes jammed and could not come no cold soda, or st least not cold for very long.
If I have to think of any other issues so far, it would be that the menu is not always clear and it is on some computer screens that change their images all the time.
So one minute you see just the shrimp and fish prices, then the chicken comes up on the same screen afterwards. So, unless you read quite quickly, this can be slightly confusing if you are not familiar with the menu and have never eaten here before.

I was able to take a picture of the menu while there.

Popeye's Menu Dec 2015

Fried Chicken waiting to be sold!

Above you can see the menu and also how the chicken is cooked and ready to be packed up for orders. There is pretty much no wait as they are always cooking more chicken.
You can also see how the menu screens are always changing- the top one shows desserts and sandwiches, the one below then shows drinks and shrimp.

Here is my receipt, this is what I ordered:

My Receipt 

Have you been to the new Popeye's on Walkley Rd?
What did you order? Any suggestions on what menu items to try next??

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Whole Foods Vegan holiday, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner review!

With the holiday season here,I figured it would be a great time to post about my experience ordering a holiday (Thanksgiving) meal from Whole Foods in Ottawa, Canada.
Whole Foods just opened in Ottawa in November of 2014 at the newly rebuilt Lansdowne Park.
I ordered my meal online and entered my credit card info and then did not hear back from the store,so assumed my order was fine.
No issues when I went to get my food, an employee unpacked my bag to show me all the items and even told me how to reheat each item.
This was very helpful and unexpected.
One small issue I did have,but did not mention was that the Vegan Roast was different from the description-but the employee did not mention anything about this.
It was not a huge issue, as I had never tried any of the vegan roasts before,but thought the hazelnut/kale/cranberry roast sounded so good.

First I will post how each item came in the package and then a nice picture of my food arranged on a plate.

Gardein Veggie Roast and package.

This was what I was given instead of the "Vegan Roast en Croute (454g), made with cranberry,apple,hazelnut and kale".Instead I got this Gardein roast that was almost 1kg and also had 2 gravy packets in it.
The roast was still frozen when I got it,but I did slice it easily and ended up just cooking a portion for me-I was the only person here when I made my food.
But since the roast was frozen,I did save half in the freezer-that way I can eat some later-the best before is 2016 sometime.
The Gardein roast was good and it is the first time I tried one of these products. Usually I like tofu,so thought I would like this. The rice stuffing with this was very good too.
Whole Foods carries this roast year round and it costs $20 in the frozen foods section.

Gardein Roast sliced

This is what the roast looked like uncooked. The appearance is very similar to real turkey!
I have a very good chef's knife, so slicing this still mostly frozen was very easy to do!

Vegan Mushroom Gravy and Cranberry Sauce.

Here is the Vegan Mushroom Gravy (454ml) and what was supposed to be Cranberry Relish (226ml).
The mushroom gravy was the correct size and was very tasty-but it reminded me more of a soup as it was not really thickened. The taste was great,so that this was a bit thin did not bother me-you could put this on vegetables, turkey or even have it as a soup if you want!
The description for the cranberry part was written "Cranberry Relish (226ml)", but what I got was 454ml of cranberry sauce.
I like cranberry sauce,so not really a huge issue,but no one seems to be able to tell me what cranberry relish is supposed to be and I did ask at least 5 different employees at the store.
I usually make my own cranberry sauce and do not buy canned cranberry sauce,but if you do not want to make your own this one here is really good.

Herb Stuffing and Green Beans

On the left side of the picture is the Traditional Herb Stuffing (340g). I did not weigh the stuffing and am not really sure what traditional stuffing would really be as everyone I ask has a different version.
Some people just buy Stovetop, my mother makes stuffing with celery,herbs and some fancy bread. Others use rice or even meats or tofu.
This stuffing had some cranberries in it and was very good. There seemed to be a bit more than 340g of stuffing-next time I will remember to check on my kitchen scale.
On the right side is the Green Beans with Toasted Garlic and Leeks (340g). The green beans were very fresh and still crunchy when I got this dish-maybe if I did more than just reheat a small portion the green beans would have been more cooked? I eat green beans uncooked all the time and did not want to heat the whole dish as it is too much for one person.
There was not too much garlic, so this was good. I do not usually have green beans seasoned like this,so it was a nice change.

Vegan Mashed Potatoes

The vegan mashed potatoes (340g) were very good and made with soy milk instead of dairy. I actually like this better and usually do not eat mashed potato often. I do not remember what herb was in this,but it was good!

Final Presentation!

The pic above is the final presentation or plating for my meal. I wanted to make my food look nice for myself and thought this turned out quite well!
The plate for this meal is made by Fiesta in the US.

Another plate of food!

Above is another plate of food! I was hungry enough to eat 2 big plates of food that day.
If you have any vegan guests, this meal package is a great deal and everything tasted really good.
The price was also $29.99 and this is supposed to serve 2 or 3 people-but that even seems like a lot of food for 3 people.
I do plan on ordering this same meal package for Christmas dinner, as this was very tasty and would be good in case any vegetarian family members do decide to drop by.
Hopefully this review is helpful in deciding what to feed y our vegan friends and family!

-Have you tried any of these dishes? What did you think?