November 5, 2011

Dinner (again) @ Bannock

My foodie friend Mel and I loved Bannock so much the first time around that we decided to come downtown one Friday evening just for dinner.
We started with a round of cocktails. Mel ordered the back forty: gin, cucumber limeade, white cranberry juice, cointreau, dill purée with gherkin garnish. We both didn't like it. I was never a fan of herbs in my drink to begin with. After expressing her dissatisfaction, our helpful server got another drink for Mel. She was much happier with the the mighty canuck, which I had tried last time. I ordered the HBC: vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice, peach purée, fresh lime served in a martini glass. My drink was better than the back forty, but I didn't taste a lot of peach purée. The might canuck is still my favourite drink here.
Mel loved her bannock bannock so much that she ordered it again. This time around, the bannock was served folded, which made it a lot easier to eat. We found the combination of house-smoked salmon, onion, cumin, cream cheese and arugula to be just as delicious as the first time. However, the smoked salmon was quite rich, and after awhile, it became a little overwhelmingly so. I wouldn't want to eat the entire bannock in one sitting, and a quarter was more than enough to satisfy me.
Nothing screams comfort food more than mac and cheese. Bannock's version was made with great Canadian cheeses and topped with crunchy flax granola. This was definitely yummy and comforting, though I wouldn't say that it was outstanding. The sauce was appropriately creamy and cheesy, and I liked the playfulness of the granola topping. However, I still prefer my mac and cheese to be topped with breadcrumbs. Again, this was too rich to finish in one sitting. Luckily, Mel and I shared the dish, and I ended up packing a lot of it home.
Although I love to try new things, I couldn't resist reordering my boneless back rib burger again! The smokey tomato jam and the subtly bitter arugula made a refreshing combination, and the abundance of veggies helped to cut some of that fattiness of the burger. The back rib was moist and flavourful. No complaints from me about this burger! In fact, I would have to make a big effort to not order this again next time I come.
Last time, I fell in love with Bannock's butter tart. I was a little disgruntled to learn that they sell the tart at a much cheaper price in the grab and go section ($3.09 vs $8). So this time, Mel and I opted to try something else- warm s'mores pie. I thought the components were a little out of balance: too much marshmallow and not enough graham cracker. Even though the marshmallow was great, I was disappointed that the graham cracker here became soggy from the moisture. I also thought that the dessert was better off without the accompanying berry sauce. The s'mores pie was certainly sufficiently rich on its own. However, I did like the chocolate component, as it was really dark and rich, almost reminiscent of a molten chocolate cake. Overall, I liked this dessert quite a lot, but it didn't wow me like the butter tart did. In the end, I bought a butter tart to go, and it tasted just as good after I reheated it in the oven. I guess I won't be dining in for that tart anymore. 
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