I’ve been on a classical history kick lately and finished Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
One of the cornerstones of stoic philosophy, Meditations gives the reader a personal insight and intimate knowledge into the mind of a man who ruled the world.
Perhaps what makes the book so compelling is the fact that his words still ring true, nearly two thousand years after he put his thoughts to paper.
He talks of mortality.
Of braving the harsh, uncaring universe around you.
And of being good, for no other reason but the fact that you should.
Although he was arguably a god amongst men, he wrote of the insignificance of a single person. Nothing but a speck of dust floating upon the cosmic aether, dwarfed by the space around him, as well as the immensity of time before him and behind him.
Through this insignificance, he found meaning.
And what I took away from this is that I should really write another blog post.
The restaurant is located close to the heart of downtown Edmonton, and is tucked away under a nondescript, generic office building.
The interior is bright, spacious, walnut-toned minimalism.
Service during the bustling lunch hour was fast and efficient. Despite some initial confusion (and sloppy logistics) regarding the lunch special, our food came out in a blisteringly fast 10 minutes. The wait staff was knowledgeable and unobtrusive, while still providing quality service.
I had the brisket sandwich and frites, while R ordered the fish special, which happened to be some sort of multi-species monstrosity with aioli and a side salad.
The sandwich was on a simultaneously crisp and chewy bun and was heaped with grainy dijon, smoked brisket and sauerkraut. To be honest, there wasn’t much to screw up here. Meat, combined with sauerkraut, mustard and bread has been around for a while, but I’m happy to report that they didn’t screw it up. The brisket was tender, the dijon was grainy, and the sauerkraut was… sauer.
The fries were golden, light and crunchy, and came with truffled aioli.
Now if you’ve read my previous entries, you would know that I’m generally not a fan of glorified mayonnaise with fries (or truffles for that matter), but The Marc definitely knows what they’re doing.
Although I suspect a chemically synthesized truffle seasoning, the sauce was fragrant and only a little bit greasy.
The fish cakes were another story…
First of all, canned corn and slivers of fennel does not constitute a “relish” as they advertised.
More importantly, the fish cakes were made of a questionable combination of salmon and/or tuna. The croquette was dry, and the smear of sauce beneath the fish didn’t do much to help.
They were described as:
“Edible, but tasted like a canned tuna patty made by someone’s coked-out, overworked mother as an after school snack”
Not exactly inspiring.
A sad wilted salad took up the rest of the plate.
We had the beignets for dessert, and found them wonderfully fresh, piping hot, and covered with sugar.
More of a creampuff sans-cream than a fritter, they came with dulce de leche and crème anglaise for dipping.
I personally found the caramel sauce a bit on the sweet side, but the crème anglaise was perfect so no complaints from me.
- Fast and unobtrusive service, great for lunch
- Solid sandwich and frites game
- Tasteful decor and brightly lit restaurant
- Ran out of non-fish specials by noon
- Somewhat stagnant menu
- Why the fuck do restaurants think it’s a good idea to mix different species of fish?
- This guy:
But seriously, I’ve never had a problem with sanitation at The Marc and this is most likely a critter that flew in from outside and didn’t get electrocuted. 10 hours later and I’m not projectile vomiting, so I think it’s safe to say that the kitchen is relatively fly-free.
Oh, and it took me 10 minutes or so to get a picture of that fly.
The things I do…