Plow & Harvest “Sneak a Peek” Event

Posted: August 14, 2013 in Comfort Food
Tags: , , , , ,

Their Story:

“Plow & Harvest is proud to redefine the art of comfort food.  Each day our chefs prepare handcrafted dishes using refined techniques and culinary traditions, continuing to hand down the stories of our farming partners’ rich, Canadian heritage.

An expertly assembled and chef-driven menu centered on classics we all know and love – not fast-casual, but fresh-casual.  We focus on the total guest experience, where our Brand Ambassadors attend to every need of our guests, sharing even more about our unique, locally-sourced menu offerings and seasonal specials.

We value doing what’s best for the community, from supporting regional and national farmers, to providing a supportive and mentoring environment where our team can grow and prosper. “

This was a “Sneak a Peek” event where Plow & Harvest opened their doors to the public to get the buzz going about the restaurant.  The Grand Opening is August 16th.  There is a VIP Media event that will be happening on the 15th, which I was unfortunately unable to attend due to Fringe commitments.

I have had my eye on this restaurant concept for some time now.  I love the fact that they use as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.  I was very excited at the opportunity to be able to see and try the restaurant before the doors were officially opened.

Welcome
We were welcomed in a reception-style where our names were checked off a list and we were to seat ourselves.  We were given a menu at the door.  We arrived fairly early so we were easily able to find seating and browse the menu at leisure.  There weren’t many details given in the invitation so we just had to observe what was going on around us to get the gist of things.

Inside view of the menu

Inside view of the menu

Outside view of the menu.

Outside view of the menu.

As you can see by the menu selections there are some mouth-watering choices that are available.  I liked that there was no “crap” on the menu.  Even the soda is cane-sugar sweetened.

Non-pretentious seating.

Non-pretentious seating.

View from the right hand side of the front of house.

View from the right hand side of the front of house.

Our server explained the restaurant concept to us and took our drink orders.  I was happy to hear that they had some of my local micro-brewery favourites.

Now here is where the chaos came in… I am always one of the first people in the door when I really think I am going to like a new restaurant.  I eat out way too much.  I have learned through experience that when a restaurant is opening their doors, the patrons need to be patient.  There are always going to be bugs to iron out and there will often need to be a second visit when they have had a few days to get their feet underneath them.

P&H was very good at keeping their Twitter posts up to date and apologizing for the bumps in the road.  I heard a lot of complaining, and I saw the Chefs and the hosts personally coming out and speaking to to the guests to get feedback.

We were unfortunately sitting in an awkward place on the seating map and often got passed by for the sample food items that were being served.  What we were able to try was very tasty.

Baked Potato Soup Creamy potato soup topped with smoky bacon, sharp cheddar, sour cream and green onions.

Baked Potato Soup
Creamy potato soup topped with smoky bacon, sharp cheddar, sour cream and green onions.

Creamy it was!  This would be fantastic on a crisp Fall evening as a starter.

Hand Cut Plank Fries

Hand Cut Plank Fries

Our server explained to us that these are fried twice.  Once at a warm temperature and once at a hot temperature.  This makes them crispy on the outside and still tender on the inside.  Served with ketchup that I was surprised was from a bottle and not made in house.

Baked Mac-N-Cheese with bacon breadcrumbs.

Baked Mac-N-Cheese with bacon breadcrumbs.

They had me at Bacon!  This had a really smooth and creamy texture to it.  Nice and cheesy.  The bacon breadcrumbs were a great taste pairing.  I could have done without the green onions though – they were too strong and distracting from the taste.

Albacore Tuna Melt.  Pole-caught albacore tuna salad, lemon herb creme fraiche, melted sharp cheddar, and roasted tomatoes on toasted whole grain bun.

Albacore Tuna Melt.
Pole-caught albacore tuna salad, lemon herb creme fraiche, melted sharp cheddar, and roasted tomatoes on toasted whole grain bun.

Our server warned us that it was a very lemony taste experience with this item.  It was lemony, but very good.  The samples were all presented on white buns.  This item would rock with the whole grain bun in the full portion size.

Vegan Deviled Eggless Salad. A picnic favourite made with tofu, veganaise, P&H pickles, lettuce and tomato on toasted gluten-free bread.

Vegan Deviled Eggless Salad.
A picnic favourite made with tofu, veganaise, P&H pickles, lettuce and tomato on toasted gluten-free bread.

This was my least favourite experience of the night.  One of the hosts had noticed that I had not finished it and asked for feedback.  Please note; it is still a work in progress.   It was very bland, even with the pickles.  It just needed something to give it a bit more flavour.  I suggested roasted sweet peppers.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich. P&H original recipe fried chicken breast topped with Dijon mustard slaw, pickled red onions, and jalapenos.  Served on artisan bread.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich.
P&H original recipe fried chicken breast topped with Dijon mustard slaw, pickled red onions, and jalapenos. Served on artisan bread.

As you can see, mine wasn’t so pretty, but this was the star of the show for the evening that everyone was rightly raving about.  The chicken was crispy and tender.  The jalapenos gave the taste experience a pleasant after-burn.   Again, this was not the bread that was intended.  The full plate experience would be an even better one.

The Buttermilk Fried Chicken is also available as a “Big Plate” served with an additional side and artisan bread.

So, congratulations to Plow & Harvest on opening a new restaurant here in Edmonton.  I am sure you will take the feedback from last night and run with it as I suspect.  What my fiance and I were able to try, we really enjoyed and will be back in a few weeks to try again.  Thanks for the invitation!

If you like comfort food, please support local farmers and give Plow & Harvest a taste.

**Do you use Twitter?  Follow me @yegfoodie

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