Tasty Tom’s Bistro
9965 Whyte Avenue

Rating: ****
Signature Dish: Farmer’s Platter ($19)
Dinner & drinks for 2: $60

I was worried that, with the closing of the Mill, German dining on Whyte Avenue was a thing of the past. The Gasthaus zur Muhle was my go-to for solid Mitteleuropean cuisine.

Fortunately, I chanced upon Tasty Tom’s.

The building had been boarded up, but the 10-year-old spot had simply renovated to deliver the feel of an unpretentious Bavarian bistro. It was just like relaxing at Grandma’s house, amid the wonderful scents of grilled meat and homemade sauerkraut.

The prosaic menu offered some interesting, inexpensive burger and entrée options, but the special of the day took my fancy. I ordered the Farmer’s Platter ($19) with my coffee ($2). Our sweet-natured waitress told me that I wouldn’t need an appetizer.

The result was outstanding. I wolfed down the bratwurst immediately, and delighted in each bite of the lean, spiced sausage. My schnitzel was equally delicious, if a little overwhelming in size. I savoured the crisp exterior of the tender veal. The surprise was the smoked ham, which I ate with bites of mild sauerkraut and the occasional dip of mustard. Enchanting!

I stole a bite of my wife’s red pepper burger and pronounced it fantastic before I asked then to wrap up at least half of my food. Tasty Tom’s isn’t all about the flavour, despite its name: it delivers an experience that is sehr gut.

Dining out
Salad on campus
We just found out about a “gourmet salad experience” that opened on the University of Alberta campus. Often looked upon as a prelude to a main course, salad takes centre stage at The Greenhouse. Visit www.thegreenhousesalad.com and let us know what you think.

High italian
At a finely-appointed table on the main floor of the 1920s mansion off High Street, you can sample Violino’s exceptional Italian cuisine. Fresh pasta, spring lamb, seafood or a signature 40 oz T-Bone are yours to explore. Visit www.violinogastronomia.com.

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