The people's business has been keeping me from my Parliamentary food blogging business, but people have been reminding me food business is the people's business, so I decided to come back from hiatus with another former political blogger in tow today -- the Calgary Grit.
Today was another one of those days where the Parliamentary Restaurant slackens their rules to admit the rabble -- staff and their guests -- for a special buffet. Today, the theme was A Taste of Newfoundland. I will admit, I was skeptical, but Dan and I gamely decided to give it a go -- for Canada.
My first thought was this: what about Labrador? This was billed as "A Taste of Newfoundland." Since I began dabbling in the world of Canadian politics I have learned two key geographic lessons: it's Newfoundland AND Labrador, not just Newfoundland; and, it's coast-to-coast-to-coast, not just coast-to-coast. I can only assume The Taste of Labrador will be its own event, lest Yvonne Jones be forced to raise a point of privilege.
Nevertheless, I gave it a go. We ran into some Newfoundlanders who told us the menu was indeed a fair representation of their regional cuisine. I was saddened to hear this, and can only imagine it tastes much better in the great province itself, with the salt air in your nostrils and the lager cold in a frosted mug.
Here's the plate I made:
We'll start with the salads. The potato salad with lovage seemed like a fairly standard potato salad, as was the macaroni salad. I passed on a Newfoundland ice shrimp salad (I'm very wary of buffet shrimp) and the coleslaw.
I'm told the crispy capelin were very authentically Newfoundland; I found it authentically salty and fishy and in need of sauce. The potato, bacon & five brothers Avalon cheddar cheese quiche was, as far as quiches go, a solid quiche. The cod cakes were just fine, as was the corned beef.
Overall, on the mains I would have liked some more hot side dishes, and some less fishy fish with some sauce to accompany it. Usually I made a second trip on the appy/entree round; this time I did not.
On to desert. I passed on the touton with molasses and the scones with wild blueberry preserves, although the scones did look tempting. Instead, I put a personal-sized Haskop berry pie on my place, along with some fruit salad -- you know, cause I'm healthy like that. While the pie was very tart and could have used more fruit (it was very saucy), it was tasty and it gets points for format -- who doesn't love a personal pie? For more points, the crust top could have been replaced by a crumble topping. When it comes to pies, I'm all about the crumble topping.
Dan and I left full, but somewhat unsatisfied. After extensive focus grouping, we agreed on a rating of 2.5/5, lamenting the lack of saucier fish options and more hot sides and other meat entrees. I will still have an open mind though when my travels finally take me to the great province of Newfoundland (and Labrador).