lunchography

A lunchtime buffet is often a bittersweet affair. Initially, visions of all you can eat spring rolls and delicious noodles have you salivating in gluttonous anticipation. A second thought soon enters the mind: I will hate myself after this meal. No work will be accomplished this afternoon as I recover from this self-inflicted misguided attempt at proper nutrition. Then you decide to choose the buffet anyways because it is just too hard to pass up. Royal Thai offers a dining experience much like this.

Ginger Beef:

Buffet Plate:

Thai Shrimp Salad:

Apparently people exist that can eat at a buffet and only consume a normal portion of food. For those of us with self-control issues, Royal Thai also offers up some delicious single plate meals to order. No particular dish really blew our minds, but everything was quite tasty. The restaurant used to play the same clip of an old man carving different types of fruit into amazing edible sculptures over and over again. They seem to have stopped playing this video. What a mistake. Either way, this place offers up a stellar buffet. You can even get the buffet to go. If you’re in the mood for too many spring rolls, give Royal Thai a shot.

The glorious day has finally arrived. For what seemed like many years, we have stood on the sidelines of the street food revolution. Sure, there was the odd hotdog cart kicking around downtown, but we knew that we were destined for something more fulfilling. Now that the legality of it all has been sorted out, the food trucks have descended upon Saskatoon. The first one we decided to sample was JoyRide. At the time of our dining experience, the truck they were serving out of was painted white without any names or markings designating it as a delicious spot to dine. We even had to ask one of the employees to pose for a photo so we could get a shot of the logo. No matter the looks, never judge a book by its cover.

Pulled Pork Rice Bowl:

Trout Taco:

Burger with Chips:

The food came out incredibly quickly. Everything was piping hot and fresh tasting. This may have been because we were some of the first people to arrive to eat there that day, but it did seem like the servers had everything set up to get food out to the people as fast as they could. There was very little difference between this food and what you’d expect to receive at a restaurant. The burger was juicy, the fish taco was fantastic, and the pulled pork over rice was a great dish to eat while on the move. The portions were quite small, and the chips served with the burger appeared to be nothing more than rippled No-Name brand. Either way, none of us were complaining after finishing our meals. These guys are usually pretty good about posting their location each day on their twitter account, @Joyrideyxe. If you’re looking to enjoy the sun during the last little bit of summer we have left, track these guys down and enjoy your meal in the fresh air.

One of the fancier restaurants in the downtown area just recently set up shop within the Olympia’s bones. If you have had any experience with the dearly departed Olympia, you probably have an idea of how strange it might feel to have your water served to you in wine glasses in the same room that you used to stumble into to get some pretty gross chicken fingers at four in the morning. This restaurant went up so fast, one cannot help but wonder, which ghosts still call this place home? You’ll be happy to know that they seem to have successfully cleaned the space up quite nicely. And they’re serving some pretty good food to go along with the fresh decor.

Margherita Pizza:

Lasagna:

Another Pizza:

Verduri:

Gnocchi:

Good lord do these people ever know how much we all love cream and cheese. Every dish we sampled was incredibly rich. Everything tasted fantastic, but they certainly did not help to boost our energy levels that afternoon. All of the meals looked just as good as they tasted, and the staff were very courteous and professional. The bill was no larger than you’d expect for a fancy lunch, coming to about 15 dollars a head. Give this place a shot when you’re feeling like some hearty Italian food.

There may not be too many, but there are at least a couple of seasonal restaurants in the downtown area that are only serving up meals during the summer time. One of the most beloved has to be the Bus Stop just out in front of the Bessborough. Everyone knows them for their wide selection of ice cream flavors and other dessert treats that are well known for being a wonderful way to beat the heat around the river valley during the scorching Saskatoon summer. You can also grab a respectable lunch from the Bus Stop. Hot Dogs may not be quite as refreshing under the cruel sun, but they’re still a great treat.

Riverbank Frank with Relish, Onions, Hot Mustard, and Chili Sauce:

Riverbank Frank with Hot Mustard, Onions, Relish, and Banana Peppers:

Peach Britalian Soda:

Riverbank Frank and a Humongous Popcorn, both with Cheese:

When you order a Riverbank Frank, you get to select four different toppings from quite an extensive list. You can also elect to add cheddar cheese to your Dog. This is highly recommended. Depending on your appetite, a single Frank may not quite be enough to satisfy. A second Dog can get a little pricey, but an alternative is to grab a big bag of popcorn to round out your meal. Also, remember that you do not have the self restraint to eat here and decide not to get a delicious ice cream cone as a finisher. If you’re looking for a quick lunch that you can eat while enjoying the fine summer scenery, head down to the Bus Stop.

image

Yet another place to check out in the foodcourt. There certainly is no shortage of asian cuisine dispensaries in Midtown Mall. Variety is the spice of life, though, and Edo brings another option to ponder while you take a few laps of the main foodcourt bend. Their space in the mall is defined by the big flat grill they have right up front beside the cashier. They use this to cook about 10 pounds of chicken and vegetables at a time for their hungry customers. Sometimes the dishes sort of blend together here, but for the most part they are quite good.

Bento Box:

image

Crab Rolls:

image

Udon Soup:

image

Shrimp on Rice:

image

Edo can be guilty of going way too heavy on the sauce sometimes. Your last few bites usually end up with you trying to fish the last few grains of rice from the puddle at the bottom of your dish. That being said, the sauce is delicious and it certainly isn’t a big enough problem to stop people from eating here. The bento box is a great size and variety for the price, and you get a healthy portion of shrimp in any dish that features the tiny crustaceans. This food is quick and satisfying, and a pretty good choice if you find yourself at the foodcourt for lunch.