Fred’s Not Here at King St W.

Posted on June 21, 2011

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One of the most influential people I have met since my move to Canada is my personal trainer, Dwayne Walker.  I have met him back in 2002 and I have followed him around since then.  He is what you can call my personal happy pill as his optimism is infectious and he can make you believe that anything is possible.  With my current career change, I have to put this part of my life on hold and I haven’t seen him for a while.  So when he calls to take part in a surprise birthday party for his other half, of course, I said I’ll come.  Big plus is that I haven’t been in his restaurant of choice. The surprise birthday party is to happen at Fred’s Not Here at King St. W.  I have heard about this place once before and it would be a good opportunity to start blogging ;)

I actually came in early (you just have to if you hope to find street parking in King St. W) and I walk into the restaurant.  Cozy banquets line up one wall and an array of tables for the rest of the space.  I see that they gave us one big table at the center of the restaurant.  One might expect that it would be darker as you go inside the restaurant but they had skylights strategically letting in natural light inside.  What a smart idea.  The design definitely added to the ambiance of the place.

In a few minutes, my friends start trickling in and we are one big party of people.  The restaurant has a special three course menu for a big group with a set price of $40.  Much as I find a lot on the menu tempting, knowing how big Canadian dinner servings are, I opted to order from the regular menu and went for the 6-hour oven Slow Roasted Alberta “high river” region certified Angus beef brisket w/ grilled Portobello spinach risotto.  I am a believer that things cooked slowly for a long period is always a winner.  Seeing that it’s paired with risotto is even a bigger plus.  I skipped on ordering something for starters.  Risotto always demand a big spot on my tummy and I intend to finish each morsel.

One of the best things that can happen to a blogger is that he goes with a big party.  It always presents the opportunity to sample more dishes.  The waiter served the starters and the most impressive was the Baked lobster & crab soup w/shot of sherry.  I felt a tinge of envy looking at it.  The puff pastry just beckons you to crack the top and spoon out all the yummy goodness inside.  I remind myself of my risotto.  I’ll wallow in all of my envy when I get my food. :p

The waiter comes back served all our main courses all at the same time.  Considering that we are a big group, the wait was not that long.  Another plus in my book.  I get a big plate with my beef brisket and I do the test of tenderness – see if the meat flakes at the touch of a fork.  It readily falls apart and tasting it, I can attest to its depth of flavor and tenderness.  Being always of a risotto fan, I try the side dish.  It was exquisite!  A good balance of cheesiness and flavor.  I assemble each tiny component on my fork and I take a perfect bite.  Ah…pure bliss.  What’s quite ironic is that while I am relishing my dinner, I am sitting beside my trainer.  I always just give him a big grin when he asks me if I followed his rules about my consumption of carbs.  He might as well just roll his eyes as he knows I have no willpower when it comes to food.  He would just normally look at me and send me do extra cardio minutes on the gym’s ellipticals.  Ah well, it’s a party.  So one must indulge :)
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