Recently, a lunch was had at Allium Restaurant to honour my birthday. It instead turned into an occasion to celebrate the birth of a most wondrous creation—a Fried Chicken Sandwich. Picture it. Crunchy and fantastically moist chicken topped with crispy bacon, a savoury cheddar spread, a slathering of hot honey, crunchy parmesan-kale salad, all held together by two warm and chewy waffles. Choruses of “Oohs,” “Aahs” and “Mmms” were heard, my birthday was almost forgotten and more napkins were requested.
After having left the restaurant and struggling to unlock the secrets to this delicious wonder, I reached out to the restaurant as well as to the Chef who produced this masterpiece. What I received in return was stone-cold silence. Rude? Annoying? Smart? It seems that Allium was hell-bent on keeping the secret to their mystical sandwich on the down-low. And, who can blame them? The sandwich is innovative, dramatic and tummy pleasing. And, it was the best thing I ate this month.
My favourite pies are coconut cream pie (I was always more into Mary Ann than Ginger) and banoffee. My friend Ev still makes the best banofee pie I’ve ever tasted but I’ve found one that’s a close second. It’s at Alium Restaurant in Ottawa on Holland Street.
Wikipedia says that banoffee pie is an English pastry-based dessert made from bananas, cream, toffee from boiled condensed milk, served either on a pastry base or one made from crumbled biscuits and butter. I define banoffee as pure yummy goodness!
According to Wikipedia, credit for the cake’s invention is claimed by Val Hargreaves at The Hungry Monk restaurant in Jevington, East Sussex. They developed the dessert in 1972, having been inspired by an American dish known as “Blum’s Coffee Toffee Pie,” which consisted of smooth toffee topped with coffee-flavoured whipped cream. The recipe was later adapted to instead use the type of soft caramel toffee created by boiling a can of condensed milk, adding a layer of bananas. They called the dish “Banoffi” and it was an immediate success, proving so popular with their customers that they “couldn’t take it off” the menu.
You may want to try making the pie yourself. Here’s a crazy good banoffee pie recipe from Paula Dean.