Geneva - Nutella Banana

Geneva Crepe Cafe – Don’t let the sign deter you

Many new eateries have popped up in the Kingston downtown Princess area this past little while. We are so happy about this, and we are looking forward to checking them all out. Our visit to the crepe cafe was a spur of the moment, post-dinner, pre-fellowship move. We had passed it so many times driving down Princess, but had never really gotten around to trying it. To be honest, we were a little hesitant (the signage is not particularly appealing), but we decided to go for it. Thankfully, we were pleasantly surprised by what we got!

atmosphere

The cafe is partial service (like Cafe le Matin) – so you order your food at the cash, and they bring it to you. They always have a sign outside with specials, so take a look at whether there’s anything you might like (this is how K decided his crepe choice). As you walk in, you see the crepe bar, and their menu is written above. There were quite a few choices, and after a tough choice about what to pair the nutella with, we ordered and grabbed some seats.

The front section of the cafe generally gets lots of foot traffic, so we opted for a table at the back. Despite there being quite a few occupied tables, it still didn’t seem too noisy.

what we ordered

Because this was meant as a dessert more so than a meal or other snack, we decided on sweet crepes. I don’t normally like savoury crepes, but perhaps one day we will go again and venture beyond my taste palate boundaries. In general, we really liked the crepe itself – it was nice and soft, with just a light crisp that added a great texture to the plate.

K opted for the Strawberry Delight crepe – a light crepe filled with strawberries and condensed milk, topped with powdered sugar and whipped cream). This is a combination he loves, and he was very satisfied with the flavour of the crepe. It had a good amount of sweetness, and is something we would order again.

I decided on the nutella and banana crepe (also a combination that I love very much). It too was topped with powdered sugar and whipped cream, but with some drizzles of chocolate sauce as well. I am someone who really enjoys sweetness, so the nutella wasn’t too overwhelming for my liking, but K preferred his to mine. One surprise sensation for me was that the bananas were hot! This made the crepe very warm overall, which I really enjoyed.

Generally, the sweet crepes are on the lighter side, but still leave you feeling satisfied. Word of warning – do not expect them to heap on mountains of fruit. the fruit is very thinly sliced, but it was a very appropriate portion for the size of the crepe. I was able to eat everything in one bite (not like at some places where half the crepe is falling off your fork because the ice cream is also melting simultaneously and there is so much fruit you cannot get all of it).

overall

4 (out of 5) for food

3.5 (out of 5) for atmosphere

We had a good experience here, and will probably come again. The sweet crepes sit well in your stomach and leave you feeling good. However, it isn’t somewhere we see ourselves becoming regulars. The cafe fills a unique food niche in the restaurant scene of downtown Kingston and we are glad to see it doing well.

Head to Geneva Crepe Cafe at 297 Princess Street (Princess and Clergy) for a sweet (or savoury) treat!

C

Geneva Crêpe Café on Urbanspoon

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AquaTerra – We LOVE regional ingredients!!

AquaTerra…how you have evaded our patronage, I will never know. This is by far one of the better restaurants in Kingston, in all categories of comparison (service, food quality, worth), and for some ridiculously strange reason C and I had never been there together. C is an AquaTerra regular due to her affiliation with TORF and has had several items on the menu before. I, on the other hand, am an  AquaTerra virgin…NO MORE! And spoiler alert to the evaluation at the end, it won’t be the last time I go either haha.

atmosphere

AquaTerra is just inside the main lobby of the Radisson on Ontario St. and I guess for the past few years C has been trying to find a faster way into the hotel other than the main entrance but has yet to find one. So, we entered through the main entrance like normal people. Upon entering the restaurant you’ll get an almost lounge-y feel to to it, which isn’t a bad thing…I really felt like the atmosphere would’ve been more suited to a nighttime event rather than our casual lunch.

Also upon arrival the excellent service begins. The hostess and our server were almost borderline impossibly kind, which made our dining experience all the more enjoyable. You could tell our server’s passion was in serving fine food, which was so cool to see.

During the week AquaTerra offers a prix fixe menu for $15. This includes a soup or salad, a main, and a dessert with coffee or tea. For the quality of the food and the portion sizing, I would say that the $15 for a lunch is well worth it. On Sundays they offer a brunch buffet but I’ve heard mixed reviews about it. C and I had the prix fixe.

what we had

C ordered one of their refresher mock-tails, she found it a little too heavy on the spritzer with the mango flavour being dulled and the pineapple flavour being too much. Well, I liked it and I guess that’s why I drank most of it. $4.

This was their complimentary rosemary, chive, and red pepper butter to go with the bread basket. I’m not really sure if it’s a staple at AquaTerra or if they change these butters every week, but regardless it was tasty. The red pepper flavour comes through the most but it was definitely an upgrade over your standard butter. We LOVED that they used Pan Chancho bread.

We both got the soup of the day as our first course. This was a cauliflower based soup with chorizo blended in. The soup itself was seasoned wonderfully, although we wished that the chorizo flavour would’ve came out just a tad more. It was thick, creamy, and definitely an awesome starter.I highly recommend it if they ever serve it as a soup of the day again.

This was my curried chicken wrap (grilled chicken, sauteed peppers, onions, sweet curry mayo). It reminded me a lot of a chicken wrap that I had when C and I visited Mackenzie King Estates in Gatineau Park, except the chicken in the Aquaterra version was more juicy and tender. The curry flavour came out beautifully in this wrap and the fries were fresh and absolutely delicious. I wish there were more fries on the plate haha. The only thing that I would add to this plate would be some kind of aioli to go with the fries. Really solid dish though.

C got the AquaTerra burger (Kenview farms black angus burger, sauteed onions, maple dijon mustard). C added cheese for an extra dollar and other than that you would think that it’s your everyday kind of burger. But not all your everyday kind of burgers can taste like a smorgasbord of flavours in your mouth like this one was. The burger was juicy and chock full of flavour, cooked to absolute perfection (right at that point where the meat is cooked through, but there is this massive moisture retention going on).

Okay so by this point we’re actually surprisingly full. Almost to the point of satiation. But we must persist! Dessert awaits!

I got their warm chocolate bread pudding (served with caramel creme anglaise and pralines). I’ve had bad experiences with yucky bread pudding in the past so I’m not sure why I ordered this. I thought I would be way too full to eat anything more, let alone something that had the word bread in it,and the chocolate aspect of it sounded way too rich for me (for those of you that know me, you know that I really don’t like chocolate). I was pleasantly surprised with this dish. The bread pudding was warm and light, and by light I mean as light as a bread pudding can be. The chocolate flavour was relatively subtle contrary to its appearances (I mean look at that picture…it looks like it was left soaking in a chocolate fountain for twenty minutes). I didn’t end up finishing it because I was way too full, but it was definitely a good way to end of a meal.

C was even more full than I was so she got the ice cream. Their ice cream comes from a regional creamery called Slickers near Picton, ON. This particular day’s ice cream was made from local Concorde grapes. Our taste palettes were definitely not prepared for this one. When you usually think of grape you think of a clear, crisp flavour in some kind of juice medium. This was a very vivid grape flavour in a cream medium, so the creaminess really threw us off. It was really tasty and we really liked that they use regional ice cream. C and I will definitely be taking a trip to Prince Edward County to try more of Slickers ice cream. Oh, one more thing. Look at that portion sizing. THREE SCOOPS?! Too much for us, man.

overall

4.5 (out of 5) for food

4 (out of 5) for atmosphere

Eating at AquaTerra for their prix fixe was such a nice treat for C and I. We loved our server and the regional ingredients that were used. The presentation of the food was tasteful and the food itself was tasty (see what I did there? haha). Will we be back? Definitely. We need to go there at night and try their dinnertime menu and atmosphere. I wish we could have scored them higher for atmosphere but it was just too odd during the day time.

One more story. Our lovely server forgot to charge us for C’s refresher mocktail and instead of running back to the computer to print out a new receipt with the correct charge on it (which we would have been more than happy to pay), she waived it off and said it was her mistake so that was on her. Classy move. In exchange for a $4 dollar mocktail the restaurant will get our probable undying support and loyalty through our eating adventures.

Go check out AquaTerra near Ontario and Johnson (1 Johnson St.) inside the Radisson.

K

Aqua Terra on Urbanspoon

 

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Curry Original – We LOVE yogurt mint sauce!!

So…Curry Original downtown has become sort of a staple in our diet. Despite having been in Kingston for over 4 years, I had only come here once in the first four years of living here. However, this all changed when K and I started a holistic diet a few weeks back. Because of its rather stringent list of acceptable foods, we found ourselves at Curry Original many times, as it was one of the few places we could eat without breaking any of the rules. Since then, we have made many trips to this little place down on King Street, which is hidden from view of the main street by the much larger, much more imposing Lone Star Texas Grill.

atmosphere

As you enter, you venture down this awkward hallway where the bathrooms are. Do not be deceived – keep going through the second set of doors and you’ll be greeted by one of the owners (we love family-owned and operated restaurants!!). The restaurant itself is a pretty large space, but it is a bit too dimly lit. It also has a random back patio area that offers an almost completely obstructed view (which makes us wonder if it ever gets any use). There is always Indian music playing in the background, and rarely is it bustling at lunchtime.

what we ordered

No matter what you order, they always give you papadum, which is this thin, deep fried wafer made of lentils. It pretty much melts in your mouth and is very tasty. Unfortunately…K and I ate it all before we realized we should have taken a picture of it (sorry, we’re still new to this).

Today, like most days, we opted for the always-great lunch combo. For under $10, you get a mulligatawny soup (a hot chicken stock soup with lentils and veggies), salad (it’s really nothing special, but it lends itself to a more balanced lunch), and a main dish.

K decided to get the chicken tikka which is chicken breast cooked inside the tandoor oven and then doused in a rich tomato and yogurt sauce that is rich and sweet (K says: it is SO YUMMY :D).

I went for the Chicken Tandoori (which is only offered on the lunch combo menu on Fridays). The chicken is super tender and juicy because they cook it in the tandoor, and it comes with this fantastic yogurt mint sauce (SOOO GOOD). We have been trying to figure out what it’s made of so we can recreate it…but no such luck as of now. K says that the palao rice with this combo is a little bit dry, but this would change if they just had some chicken jus on the rice.

Last but not least, we ordered some naan bread! On our holistic diet, we weren’t allowed to eat this, so we pounced on it once it came. In his zeal, K forgot to take a picture before he ripped it apart. Below is a photo of our reconstructed naan bread =) It was a little bit burnt, but still a good side dish. The bread itself was very large, and the top was very soft.

overall

4 (out of 5) for food

3.5 (out of 5) for atmosphere

We like Curry Original a lot, and will definitely be coming here again. We’ve been so many times for the lunch combo (the value is just too hard to beat), so perhaps it will be good to come for dinner one time. If we do, we’ll make sure to amend this post! A side note: we much prefer the downtown site to the uptown one (they don’t even give you yogurt mint sauce for the chicken tandoori!!).

C

Curry Original - Downtown on Urbanspoon