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Behind the Gates; #tasteofEIA Edmonton International Airport

Have you ever wondered longingly what lies behind the security gates at the Edmonton International Airport?  Wonder no more…

I need to tell you, I am not a flier.  I’m not scared to fly, in fact, I love it!  Sadly, my stomach does not. I have always wondered what existed for the passengers on the other side.

On the other side of the security gates lies shopping and supping nirvana.  Technically, because it is deemed “International” soil, normal Alberta rules do not apply.  The restaurants are licensed to serve alcohol 24/7, how cool is that?

I was fortunate enough to be invited with two other Social Media personalities; Sharon Yeo and Mack Male to experience one of a series of visits to #tasteofEIA.  Please keep you eyes on that hashtag to see the further adventures of other bloggers and social media people from #YEG visiting more of the businesses behind the gates.  In fact, check out the options HERE.

Our gracious hosts at EIA have almost convinced me that I need to book a flight, just so I can try some of the very unique culinary options that reside only in the Edmonton International.  They are trying to do the same with international passengers and convince them to start the vacation before the flight.  They have a great rewards program; monthly discounts for parking, shopping and dining.

Our first stop for our appetizers was Houston Avenue Bar & Grill.  What is so unique about Houston?  It is the only location in Western Canada, right here in our airport.  Not in Calgary.  Not in Vancouver.

The view from Houston’s is very pretty.  You can watch the planes land and take off.  They have a “patio” section just outside of the restaurant seating area that is not really outside, but it is more open than the inside of the restaurant.  The inside is also very open and inviting.

Houston’s is known out East for its “Sterling Silver Premium Beef”, which consists of only the top 12% of all grain-fed beef cattle.  They have a “fresh is best” attitude when it comes to their menu.  The menu is nicely balanced and varied for any discerning palate.

Houston’s is licensed 24 hours.  You can enjoy one of the creative and refreshing cocktails with your breakfast to calm your nerves before your flight.  The breakfast menu is served from 0600 to 1000 daily.

We were treated to the Beef Sliders, Crab Cakes and Warm Goat Cheese.

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Our Servers were all very helpful and friendly.  The three dishes chosen for us were some of the most popular that the resto has to offer.

The Beef sliders were really good.  They manage to pack the big burger taste into a small bite.  The sweet potato fries aren’t as good as Dadeo makes, but they are a nice partner for the sliders.

The Crab Cakes were also very good as far as taste was concerned.  The outside was nicely crispy.  The inner texture was very smooth, almost pate-like.  I wasn’t a fan of the texture, I like my crab cakes a little more chunky.

The Warm Goat Cheese was my winner out of the three.  The texture and the blend of flavours was perfect.  It was a little difficult to share.  The crostini could have been a bit smaller. The large pieces of spinach made it difficult to portion the goat cheese onto the crostini.  I would definitely like to experience another one of these!

Our next stop was the Belgian Beer Café for our main courses.

Edmonton is proudly the Belgian Beer Cafe’s first location in Canada.  The second is coming soon and will be located in the Calgary Airport.  There are 70 locations world wide.

The Belgian Beer Café has a wonderful Belgian Beer menu.  What a great place to take your beer lover to for dinner!  The menu also has some of the traditional Belgian food items like waffles and the Mussels and chips.

The venue is furnished with millwork from the 1930s that has been imported from Belgium.  It has lovely antiques decorating the space throughout.  The Café is right next to the living wall which is beautiful to look at while you enjoy your meal.

I just had to try the Belgian Chicken and Waffles.

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I was unfortunately disappointed with my selection.  Both the waffle and the chicken were over-cooked making them really dry.

Mack seemed to have the best experience with his choice of mussels.  They looked and smelled wonderful.

Our next stop on our journey was for dessert at Cookies by George.  We got a really great run through on the company by Faye, who has been with the company for many years.

Cookies by George is actually 32 years old.  15 of those years, the head office has been in Edmonton. They have 11 locations in total.  This location is unique because it is the only one in an airport, and they are doing a trial with soft ice cream.

All of the cookies are hand made in small batches.  They are packaged with recycled paper products printed with vegetable based ink.

Cookies by George is very aware of allergens and will make sure that if you have  a nut allergy, or are a celiac, that they have options available for you.

It’s not just about cookies either, there are a premium line of teas and espresso based drinks as well as Italian Sodas, ice cream sundaes, granola bars and cake (to name a few!)

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Cookies by George makes a lot of great gift options as well.  They have an online ordering system that enables them to ship worldwide.  Personally, I would like these a lot better than donuts at a presentation!

Faye spoiled us and we were able to try the sundaes.  These are completely decadent and I hope that they hit the rest of the Cookies by George locations soon! She also sent us home with a granola bar (I will never eat another store bought again!) and a selection of cookies to try.  They were all soft and delicious.

Sadly, that was the end of our evening.  We all got to leave with a new perspective and full bellies.

Consider going early for your next flight and trying out one of the many options that the Edmonton International has to offer!

#CookiesbyGeorge #flyEIA #Houston #BelgianBeerCafe #tasteofEIA

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