A lighter dish for BBQ

BBQ season is definitely in full effect, at least at my place.

BBQ doesn’t have to be all pulled pork and ribs though, so on a nice March evening I put together a lighter dish. Jasmine rice, grilled baby bok choy, and marinated chicken skewers.

The chicken was marinated in coconut milk, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, lemongrass, hot chili pepper, and galangal. Everything was very tasty, take a peek.

Chicken skewers (photo - Dan Jones)


Bio: Dan Jones is a food, drink, and travel writer from Saint John. Follow him on Twitter: @danjjj


A few additions to the beverage menu

Pumphouse brewery logoWe’ve made a few additions to the beverage menu — beers to be specific.

Continuing our efforts to keep things close to home (as in, New Brunswick), we’ve added a few items from our friends at Pump House. They are:

  • Draft Blueberry Ale
  • Draft Fire Chief Red
  • Pump House’s original Root Beer Soda

These are joining what we already have on our beverage menu, which are:

  • Moosehead light
  • Pump House Red
  • Picaroons – Blonde, Stormy and Seasonal

We also have our sodas, iced drinks, waters, juices as well as milk, coffees and teas — all of which you can see on our menu (see the beverage menu link – it will bring up a .pdf file).

Our hope is that we’ve got all the bases covered for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. (Yes, we have wines too.)


Clear Caesars

Clear CaesarsLast night I put together an idea I had in my head for several days. I really wanted to make a clear Caesar cocktail so I set to the task with some inspiration from Jamie Oliver’s book, Jamie At Home. In that book he makes a tomato consommé. My recipe is as follows:

Yield: Approximately 1 litre of “tomato water”.

  • 15 or so tomatoes
  • 1/3 stalk of lemongrass
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 3 or 4 slivers of anchovies
  • juice of half a lime, the zest of the whole lime
  • juice of half a lemon, the zest of the whole lemon
  • Several squirts of Tabasco
  • Several squirts of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 ounces of clam juice
  • 2 chili peppers (or to taste)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • chopped parsley (small handful)

Food process everything but the parsley. Add parsley and the squeezed lime and lemon into the bowl of your processed tomato slurry. Wrap in tea towel and/or cheesecloth and let it drip into a bowl for several hours. Squeeze out remaining liquid near the end.

Rim a glass with celery salt, pour in some ice cubes, 1.5 ounces of good quality vodka, and pour in tomato water. Garnish and serve.


Bio: Dan Jones is a food, drink, and travel writer from Saint John. Follow him on Twitter: @danjjj


Cooking class at the Urban Deli

Italian Style Cabbage Rolls - image from tasteofhome.comWe’re going to try something a little different. We have a cooking class coming up on March 14th with ‘Chef Bob.’ That would be Saint John’s Bob McVicar and the date is for a Sunday, when we’re normally closed. And the subject of the class? Italian cabbage rolls.

This will be a ‘reserved seating only’ class with just sixteen (16) tickets available – enough to fill our communal table and to break into four groups of four. There is a cost — $12 – to help offset some of our costs. But we’ve tried to keep it as minimal as possible.

Participants will receive:

  • A delicious sample tasting of Bob’s cabbage rolls that you will be making prior to making your own
  • Tasting of Urban Deli’s Italian sausage (made in-house at the Deli)
  • Copy of Bob’s Italian Cabbage Roll recipe
  • Hands-on experience in making your own cabbage rolls
  • Portions of cabbage rolls to take home for your next dinner party or keep for yourself

Chef Bob - Bob McVicarWe’re pretty sure it will be a lot of fun. If you get thirsty, beverages will be available for purchase: beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks.

If you’re interested in what promises to be a tasty and entertaining afternoon, just give Liz a call at the Urban Deli: 652.3354.

The details once more time:

Cooking class at the Urban Deli – Italian cabbage rolls with Bob McVicar
Sunday, March 14, 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Cost: $12

We hope you can join us!


Uptown Saint John, opportunities and the future

If you were listening to CBC Radio One (91.3 FM) yesterday – Information Morning Saint John – you might have caught Liz, owner of the Urban Deli. She was in to talk about the Uptown, restaurants and what the future might hold. The CBC site puts it this way: “Owner and operator of the Urban Deli, Elizabeth Rowe, tells us about the development opportunites in the uptown.”

If you missed it, you catch the podcast here: The Future Of Development In Uptown Saint John.


An update on our Haiti relief effort

Through customer and staff support, the Urban Deli donated all the sales for our $2 and $3 Frites from three Saturdays in January (16th, 23rd, and 30th). We also had a donation jar on our counter so if anyone chose to do so, they could contribute as well.

We’ve managed to raise a little over $400 and are planning to get it over to the Canadian Red Cross today. We’re also going to see if there is a way to get the federal government to match it (which would make it an over $800 contribution). If what we understand is correct, the “matching dollars” program ends tomorrow. Our fingers are crossed that we’ll be able to get it matched by Ottawa.

The picture below is of two of our staff, Lianne and Ashely. Lianne is holding the fish bowl that was on the front counter where customers could donate and Ashley is holding some of our fries!

Lianne and Ashley of the Urban Deli holding donations for Haiti as well as ourfries!

We’ve been very quiet recently on the site and elsewhere (like Twitter). We’re hoping to change this very soon! One of the reasons for being less than active online is that we’re exploring a few changes. Basically, we’d like to put things up that aren’t necessarily Urban Deli related but related to food generally, Saint John and especially the Uptown.

We think if all we talk about is the Deli we would get very tiresome very soon — kind of like the guy at the party who only talks about himself. Of course, we still want to talk about the Deli, just  not exclusively.

In the meantime, thank you to everyone for the donations to our Haiti relief effort and please keep in mind the country’s problems aren’t going away anytime soon. You can donate anytime through organizations like Red Cross, World Vision and many others.


Upcoming townhall with FUSION Saint John

Yes, we’ve been a little slow out of the gate as far as the new year and our online activity goes but we haven’t been slow as far as the actual Urban Deli goes. We’ve been active!

One thing we wanted to make you aware of, if you aren’t already, is what is going on January 13th (next Wednesday). FUSION Saint John will be presenting a townhall as, “Leader of the Official Opposition David Alward talks to FUSION Saint John.” It’s an informational meeting running from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.

For more information or to RSVP, visit FUSION on their Facebook page.

We imagine it will be an interesting evening and we’re thrilled FUSION chose the Urban Deli to put this on. By the way, to keep up on all their upcoming events, you’ll find it all here on the FUSION Saint John site.