Birmingham's Vodka and Ale House Food Review February 9, 2017 · 8 min. readWhile the thoughts and opinions are my own, this article was brought to you by a third party. Also, this article may contain affiliate links.
Although Regina celebrated its annual "Restaurant Week" last week, I missed it while I was travelling through the jungles and deserts of Mexico. Luckily for me, the wonderful culinary dishes of Regina's finest restaurants don't stop getting served just because "Restaurant Week" was over, so I didn't miss out on some quality local food. Only a few hours after landing back in Canada, I visited one of these local restaurants and had an excellent meal.
Or should I say, it visited me.
The day after arriving back home, I opened up my fridge only to discover it was empty, as were my cupboards. I could have made something quick like a Pizza Pop, but after a week of tortillas, burritos, guacamole and tequila, I wanted something a little richer and a little less microwaveable. I then asked Twitter what I should order for lunch, and immediately my brother-in-law tweeted me back and recommended Birmingham's Vodka and Ale House.
For those who follow me closely on Instagram, you'll remember about a month ago I had a mini-adventure in the East End trying to find Birmingham's. I drove around literally for hours trying to find it but eventually I gave up and went home hungry. I felt a little embarrassed and sad by that incident since I really like Birmingham's, so when my brother-in-law recommended it, I decided that would be the perfect place to order from. I hopped on SkipTheDishes, scrolled through their menu and tossed my order together. An hour later I got a text on my phone that my courier had arrived.
The first thing I ordered was some gluten-friendly V-Chips, which were just thinly sliced and fried potato skins.
Although I was pleasantly surprised to see a gluten-friendly option when it came to the V-Chips, I was a little leery before trying them. I've had a lot of gluten-friendly or gluten-free food over the past year that has either been sub-par or down right awful. I decided to take a chance with these, and I was impressed; they were crispy, crunchy and came in a mountain of chips that lasted me until the next day.
The only thing I would change when ordering these again would be to order more sauce. The dill sauce was delicious, but I found I still had about 70% of my chips left by the time I ran out of it. Thankfully, for only $1 more I could have ordered some extra dill dip. Judging by the amount of chips I had left over though, I think I should have added an extra two or three.
Make Your Own Pizza
(Pepperoni, Crumbled Italian Sausage, Bacon Strips and Feta Cheese)
Out of the three items I ordered, the pizza was probably my least favorite. I added the feta cheese for a touch of something different, so I attribute that to why an otherwise wonderfully sounding pizza was only alright. I still ate the whole thing, but I think if I ever ordered it again I'd omit the feta and go with a different type of cheese.
Pizza also has a tendency of being very greasy, so I was happy to discover this one wasn't. It also had a thinner crust, which allowed for more enjoyment of the toppings. I grew up believing the thicker the crust the better, but every time I try a quality thin crust pizza like this one, I am more and more impressed.
The title is pretty self-explanatory, but this was an order of 6 deep-fried Oreos and a side of chocolate sauce. You can either pour the sauce over the Oreos for a wonderfully chocolatey mess, or you can dip the cookies into the sauce instead. While the sauce is hot when they delivered it, I actually found it was better the next day after cooling it in the fridge. Either way, the deep-fried Oreos were delicious and is best enjoyed if you try not to think about how many calories they are.
All in all, this meal from Birmingham's was pretty good. The V-Chips were crunchy, the pizza was tasty and the deep-fried Oreos were, well, deep-fried Oreos. If I was to order this again, I would only change two things - I would get much more dill sauce and I'd remove the feta cheese from the pizza.
There are over 70 restaurants on SkipTheDishes in Regina, with everything from breakfast foods to tacos, steakhouses to vegetarian dishes and just about everything in between. I order from SkipTheDishes probably once a month and am never disappointed with them. Sometimes the wait for the food can be a little long, but they let you know the approximate wait time prior to order confirmation so there are no nasty surprises. You can even pick up your food instead of having it delivered, which is pretty neat!
Have you ever ordered from SkipTheDishes? For doing this review of a local restaurant, SkipTheDishes gave me a $50 + 10% discount code for one lucky reader. You can use this for any location on SkipTheDishes either in Regina, or in any of their additional 19 cities in Canada and the American Midwest. I'll be picking the winner similar to how I chose a winner for my TELUS contest last year. All you have to do to qualify is one of three things:
1. Comment on this article (1 chance at winning)
2. Subscribe to my newsletter (1 chance at winning)
3. Both subscribe and comment (3 chances at winning)
The contest will end next Thursday (February 16th) and I'll announce the winner the following Friday. This allows one lucky winner to kick off the Family Day Long Weekend with a free meal of their choice*!
The contest has ended, and the winner has been selected! Thank you everybody for entering!
What would you order from SkipTheDishes if you won the contest? Pizza, burgers, steak, wraps or something else? Let me know in the comments below!
*The discount code doesn't cover delivery fees, taxes or tips, and is only applicable for online payments. I ended up paying $11 for my meal because I used a similar code, which although isn't free, is pretty darn close!
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania shut its doors in 1970. A year later, in 1971, it would briefly reopen and house inmates from Holmesburg Prison after a devastating riot. After the prisoners were returned to Holmesburg, Eastern State would sit empty for over two decades. It would rot, decay and collapse. Trees and shrubs would grow into the structure and a clowder of cats would take residence. These hallowed halls would sit empty, the only noise being the chatter of startled birds and the trotter of feline paws.
The following decades would see various discussions of what to do with the building. Eventually, it was decided to preserve it and turn it into a tourist attraction. Although it officially opened for tours in 1994, attendants would have to sign a waiver and wear hardhats before entering until 2008. They had 10,000 visitors the opening year, a number of tourists not seen in the prison since 1858.
From 1829 to 1970, Eastern State Penitentiary underwent a variety of changes and transformations. This massive, sprawling, 11-acre complex was founded under the belief that solitary confinement was the cure needed to prevent criminals from committing future crimes. It was believed criminals who served in solitary confinement would turn to a higher power to reconcile with themselves for their crimes – hence feeling "penitent". To assist in this process, each cell was equipped with a slit window on the ceiling nicknamed "The Eye of God". It would be the only light source available to the inmate.
The Island of the Dolls is in Xochimilco, a borough south of Mexico City. While it would be faster to take a car from Mexico City to Xochimilco, the traffic is dense and the roads are very congested. Instead, if you're going there, I'd recommend taking metro, which is easy and the cheapest in the world. What you gain in comfort, however, you lose in speed, as the train ride takes about 2 hours.
Mexico City and Xochimilco both sit in the Valley of Mexico. Until about a millennium ago, the whole region around Mexico City was surrounded by a massive body of water. Over the centuries due to both climate change and interference by humans, most of this water has dried up, for the exception of Xochimilco. With networks of canals crisscrossing the borough, car transportation is difficult and water transportation is essential. I'm sure there were motorized boats somewhere in the waters of Xochimilco, but I never saw any. Instead, canoes and rafts are common on the water. However, the most popular vessel is a trajinera – a colourful gonadal-like boat that is pushed along the water with a wooden pole.
Xochimilco is known worldwide for their Floating Gardens market, which are essentially canoes floating down the canals, selling wares to tourists on trajineras. These include things like food, drinks, silver rings, trinkets, ponchos and sombreros. Occasionally other trajineras full of Mariachi bands will approach tourists and offer to play beside them on the water.
A few months ago I entered a contest for a trip for two to visit Philadelphia on Two Bad Tourists. Normally contests like this are limited to United States residents so when I saw this one was open to Canadians I jumped at the chance. I've never won something like this before, so I actually forgot about it until I got the emailing saying I had won. Two Bad Tourists then worked alongside Visit Philly to organise the trip for me and my mother to explore Philadelphia for three days. Visit Philly paid for our flights, hotels and gave us a VIP Pass to experience the city to our heart's content. It is thanks to them that this trip is possible.
Several movies and television shows have tried to capture the essence of Philadelphia over the years – from the boxing Blockbuster Rocky, to the paranormal thriller The Sixth Sense, to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and even Boy Meets World – but each described the city differently. There is no easy way to approach a city as dynamic as The City of Brotherly Love. With countless layers of art, history, religion and the paranormal, Philadelphia is a city unlike any other throughout the United States.
One thing that surprised me the most about Philadelphia was the history. The city was founded and designed by William Penn, who is also the state of Pennsylvania's namesake. Born in London, England in 1644 he lived through The Great Fire of 1666 and The Great Plague of London from 1665-1666. Both events shaped Penn's life so he designed the city to be strictly stone buildings (to stop fires from spreading) and to have plenty of space between the buildings (as to prevent illness from spreading). This led to the older areas of the city to have winding corridors between old stone walls.