Tuesday, April 30, 2013

An evening on Whyte Avenue ... Accent European Lounge and Block 1912

I am seriously behind in posting ... honestly just getting back into the swing of things after being sick for a couple months ... so I am going to start off with posting about a recent evening we had.  Kevin and I are part of a group of awesome folk who attend plays, movies, theatre events, and other drama / art related activities all around our city.  Recently we joined an evening that took us to the Old Strathcona district of the city and Whyte Avenue.  We were going to a movie called "Upside Down" in the historic Princess Theatre.
Accent European Lounge 
8223-104 Street
ph: 780-431-0179
We also had the opportunity to join some of the group members and go for supper beforehand ... the restaurant that was chosen was the Accent European Lounge - just off Whyte Avenue.   We have had the pleasure of dining a few times with our theatre going group ... in big and smaller numbers (blog posts yet to come) and I find it can be a great experience as long as we do a little work ourselves as Celiac and Gluten Intolerant before we go out.  This was our first time dining at Accent European Lounge so as I always do when dining out at a new restaurant I called the restaurant beforehand to see if they accommodate eating as someone with Celiac disease and having to have a gluten free meal.  The young lady on the phone knew at once what Celiac Disease meant and let us know that the Accent European Lounge definitely had options for us.  We decided we would then go with the flow and decide once we were at the restaurant and what was presented to us what we would eat.  The waitress once I identified that we were celiac with a gluten free requirement for eating, was able to go over the menu with us ... give us a few options and let us know that the chefs were knowledgeable and able to make adjustments to most entrees on the menu.  We decided to go with the special of the evening - it was a "New York Tenderloin with a Peppercorn sauce and a side of vegetables" - once the waitress checked with the chef she came back out and let us know that the sauce would have to be omitted because of a gluten thickener but that the rest of the dish would be ok.  So we stayed with that order.
  We were not disappointed ~ the steak was done medium rare with a tasty seasoning.  We were pleasantly surprised with the awesome vegetable side to accompany our steaks ~ roasted potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, carrot, pepper, cauliflower and a lovely little fresh tomato cucumber garnish.  The vegetables were cooked very well, and seasoned nicely.  It was a great steak and awesome dish.  Beautifully presented.

We then went to the movie "Upside Down" at the Princess Theatre (built in 1914) - sat in the upper balcony it was a neat experience.  While it may not be a theatre for big action films, or ones that you would want a big screen production, there was a welcoming warm quaint feeling about sitting there in this almost a century old theatre and watching the film.

Afterwards we decided to head to a local Cafe to discuss the movie and for some coffee/tea and sweets - so we walked a short distance down the block to the Block 1912 - A European Cafe - This is a very cute and trendy coffee house on Whyte Avenue, totally set up so that groups of all sizes can enjoy chatting and sampling the delicious fare.  As it was later in the evening our group of theatregoers decided to stop for coffee/tea and sweets ~ At first Kevin and I were only going to get a couple cups of Soy Chai Latte ...
Soy Chai Latte ... spicy and but not sweet - we had to add sugar. :)

... but as some of the group came back to the table with yummy desserts we were wondering if we should go and take a look to see if Block 1912 had any sweets to accommodate Celiacs ;)  Well when our friend Steve came back to the table with a delicious looking chocolate cake and then announced to us "know what this is also Vegan and Gluten Free they told me" well then of course (for the blog post of course) we had to try a piece for ourselves.  So Kevin went up to see what they had that evening, and brought back to the table a piece of heavenly (and rich) chocolate cake, and a hot mixed berry crumble.
The chocolate cake was not really sweet - which was nice, and very smooth and rich, I could not finish my piece and it would have been good getting half the slice ha ha ~ delicious.  Kevin's hot mixed berry crumble ... was amazing (and he is lucky I had my own piece of cake to finish) it had a crumble on top that was mostly nuts.  Definitely will go back to the Block 1912 and see what other tasty fare would be on the menu for Celiacs and Gluten Sensitive folk ... and report back - it's the least we can do.  ;)

Block 1912- A European Cafe
10361-82 Avenue
ph: 780-433-6575

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