Monday, May 27, 2013

A&W - not great food, but some interesting changes

When we are out at Costco and have to grab lunch we often choose to go to the A&W on Millstream as a quick default.   Over the years I have been underwhelmed with them but ultimately they are a fast food place I have very low expectations.   When we went there the other day I was pleasantly surprised.  

What has changed are their fries and burgers as well as some of their presentation.   The fries are thick cut and served in little miniature versions of the baskets the fries are made in.   I also like the use of the mini cookie sheet as a serving tray.

The burgers felt like they were better made - the lettuce and tomatoes seemed better than in the past, but maybe it is all down to the presentation in the new paper bags.  In the old foil and paper bags one of my complaints about their burgers is that they were very often soggy.

Will we go here again?  Yes, because it is fast and reasonable for what it is.  I like they fact they have tried to be a bit better than the average.   A&W is half a step better than McDonald's or Dairy Queen because they have tried a bit harder with the presentation.

A&W (Millstream) on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Amazing Coffee at Parsonage Cafe

My friend Aaron and I went for a coffee during the election.  Aaron suggested Parsonage Cafe which is one I tend to forget about but I know Aaron is a total foodie guy and knows his coffee.  He also knows Ben Cram who runs the place.

I was dead tired and just told Ben to make me something interesting and he suggested coffee made with the Aeropress.  Watch the video on how they brewed my cup of coffee.

I was impressed with the cup of coffee that I got out of this method.   They weigh the coffee and water that goes into the press, it is this attention to detail that ensures a great coffee every time.

It really highlighted the fruity notes of the coffee.  Ben took some time to talk with us about coffee, the Parsonage is attached to the Fernwood Coffee Company.   I learned more from him in a matter of minutes than I had learned in the previous decade.   I like coffees with a fruity element to them.  Ben explained that this comes from how the coffee is initially dried, if it is dried with the cherry still attached and this is done in the open air leads to a much fruitier coffee. When you look at their coffee listings you can see they tell you how the beans were processed.

They have some other interesting brewing methods, but I will leave that for another time.

I also had the bagel with cream cheese and lox and it was very good and had a stellar presentation.  I can recommend this cafe for the food as well as the coffee.

 Here is Aaron's interview with Ben from a year ago

  Parsonage Cafe on Urbanspoon