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2012 Calgary food trucks.

Interesting openfile post on the dichotomy between the foodtruck scene and the old-school hotdog vendors, http://www.openfile.ca/calgary/story/...

I'm happy to see a shoutout in the article to Mr. Happy Day Fries, which can often be found at Southland and McLeod Canadian Tire. The Bulgarian nadenitzi there is easily my favorite street food in the city. The sausage is made here in town, has large pieces of fresh herbs running through the meat, and is damn delicious (though also pricy at $6 each). Their truck fries are also good.

Jul 24, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

2 Dinners, 1/2 a day to myself, first time in Winnipeg...some questions

Goog Special...


Can't believe I didn't try one when I lived in the area.

Jul 17, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces


We've ordered the scollops and grilled romain hearts pretty much every time we've been there. Buttery richness, charred earthyness...my wife's eyes turn into saucers by mere mention of the possibility of eating this dish.

I'm a big fan of the lamb sirloin, but I'm not fond of the spicy Boursin risotto it's currently paired with (and has made the rounds with some other protein/mains). It's tasty, but edges just a little to much into creamed/sauced rice rather than a true risotto.

I've had exceptional halibut there before, but I don't think it was the current pairing with tomato, olive and fava. I would, however, expect this to be excellent!

For lunch, the braised and rotisserie'ed brisket sandwich there is great.

In general, I'll echo josey124 and say that I expect pretty much anything you get there is going to be great. I'm a huge fan of this place. Thoughtful food, casual service, competitive prices. If you can, take a seat at the bar with a view of the wood grill.

[Edit: the braised brisket is still available on the lunch menu...YAY!]

Jun 29, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Fergus & Bix - Marda Loop - YYC

No need to apologize. Thoughtful review and a pleasure to read. (and I do like/try to use the short version/long version structure for short attention span folks)

Jun 20, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Grilled Shrimp-Boil Skewers

Actually TSQ75, if you put a par-boil on those potatoes first that could be downright delicious.

May 10, 2012
KcM in Recipes

Farewell, Foie Gras: I'm Not Sorry to See You Go

Wow! Hey foie defenders, until you can make your arguments without resorting to ad hominems or conspiratorial logical fallacies, your not going to win me over to your side. And John Birdsall, thanks. I may not agree with you %100, but this is exactly the type of writing I like to read on Chow. Keep it up.

May 10, 2012
KcM in Features

How to Roast a Marshmallow

Another great use for the marshmallow skin is as an impromptu shot glass. Pull the browned mallow off the uncooked inside, gently place in your mouth with the hole facing up/out. Tilt your head back and have a willing accomplice fill the mallow glass (currently held in your mouth) with butter ripple schnapps or Irish cream. And then drop the whole boozy, toasty, caramelized concoction into your mouth. Classy.

May 08, 2012
KcM in Features

2012 Calgary food trucks.

Grabbed the Steak Bite Fries from the Steakout truck outside of MEC today...meh...Let me know if the prime-rib sandwich is worth checking out, because based on what I had today, I don't think I'd hit this truck up again

10 bucks got me a take-out tray of fries (actually pretty damn good fries) covered with 6 or 7 chunks of pleasantly seasoned, but otherwise overcooked steak'ums, some shaved parm, and a side of garlic dip that could have very easily come out of a vat via Sysco.

The fries were far-and-away the best part, easily besting the batch I had from Alley Burger Truck last weekend. They were double dipped; soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside and joined by a couple of blackened, but still kinda sweet slivers of deep fried onion (these errant onions may have been a mistake, but they were tasty).

The steak'ums had a nice peppery rub on them and a pleasant crust, but every last one revealed a center that was grey from edge to edge. They weren't too chewy, and certainly weren't overcooked to the point of being tough, just overcooked to the point of making me wish I was eating something a little more rare.

The parm on the fries was nice enough, and the side of dip was improved by the addition of horseradish from one of the squeeze bottles. Apparently they'd had quite a busy day, so the only drink options were Coke Zero, orange juice or apple juice. I decided to pass on a drink.

The truck is new and clean and quite flashy; the graphic wrap matched the can of Coke Zero sitting on the counter. Some of the trucks I've seen immediately give you a sense of "personality", I don't get that with this one. That might be just me. Though I do wonder what came first, the recipes or the name?

* I posted this here, rather than the thread that The Gut linked to because that thread seems to be more focused on the socio-politcal side of the food truck scene thing.

May 06, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Kimchi in South Calgary?

Thanks Scary Bill.

I Checked out Wonderful Food Store this weekend and was able to pick up a nice big jar of kimchi, a couple of interesting looking chili pastes and some lovely long onions. It is TINY, but should be able to keep me in kimchi and chili paste until I can make it up to T&T or Arirang (which is great).

I had actually been down in that stip-mall area a couple months ago investigating reports of an Asian grocery store, but wandered into the Filipino store instead and figured I was out of luck.

May 06, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Best Italian food shop Calgary


Both Lina's and Scarpones usually have the cheese, spinach and ricotta, and mushroom varieties. It's not the same beast as a fresh tortellini, I wouldn't cook it up and toss it in a light sauce. However it holds up well to being par-boiled and added to my braised beef shank and kale soup (love the tangyness of the cheese ones for that) or even mixed with chopped spinach and alfredo and baked in the oven.

May 01, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Best Italian food shop Calgary

We tend to go to The Italian Store (Scarpones) first to load up on sliced meat and cheese, dried pasta, canned tomatoes, oils, and flats of fizzy drinks. Prices at Scarpones can't be beat; for example, bags of dried tortellini for soup are $3.99 at Lina's and $2.49 for the exact same thing at Scarpones, stopping there first is guaranteed to save me at least $3.75 every shopping trip (just don't ask how much gas we burned detouring over to the Deerfoot).

Now, after stocking up at Scarpones we usually stop at Lina's because it's just a more pleasant place to shop and grab something to eat. We'll get some bread, bulk nuts, tinned fish, some of their killer Sicilian cannoli, and a porchetta sandwich with extra roasted pepeprs (my mouth is watering just thinking about that sandwich).

Best of both worlds.

(Also, I am always amazed at the selection and prices at the Italian Center in Edmonton...though their cannoli can't hold a candle to Lina's).

Apr 30, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Chinese in Calgary

Great Thread and great replies. I to am a little overwhelmed by where to begin with the diversity of authentic Chinese cuisine, so I'll be watching the advice here with a watering mouth...

Likewise, this recipe for Ma Po Tofu (mapo dofou) has caught my attention on the Chow.com main page a couple of times: http://www.chow.com/recipes/29102-ma-...

From what I gather this is a pretty common Szechuan dish. Is this something I should be able to find at Szechuan Restaurant or Delicious Country? Does anyone have a recommendation?

Apr 29, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Kimchi in South Calgary?

Moved to the south end of the city and never seem to find the time to head up to the T&T. Does anyone know of a place to get kimchi, good miso, and any other delicious and/or interesting ingredients above and beyond what the Superstores carry, preferably south of Glenmore?

Apr 28, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

2012 Calgary food trucks.

Hit the Alley Burger truck today and enjoyed it. Got a small Alley Burger; pork patty with peri-peri aoli and cheese curds for $5. The aoli didn't bring a lot of flavor, but the pork was tasty and the cheese curds melted in a particularly delightful fashion. Also had the beef burger, though I don't remember it's special name. Beef was tasty, but if I'd realized how thin the patties were I'd probably have ordered a double. The addition of a fried egg and Spragg's bacon where nice though, so I'll definitely be back for another. Fries where fine, though I tend to like my "truck-fries" twice fried and a little on the over-cooked side. Boylan's sodas where a bit steep at $3, but they where ice cold, so we ended up going back for another Birch Beer.
Prices were generally good, food was tasty, staff were a hoot...these guys are my favorite of all the truck's we've tried so far.

Hit the Noodle Bus and Perogy Boyz at the Home Show a few months ago. Noodle Bus wasn't any different from any other Vietnamese place you'd find in town. Perogy Boyz was good, but I'm obligated to say that they don't hold a candle to my wife and mother-in-law's family recipe...(I would like to find them again and try some of the unique varieties though; duck and blueberry sounds interesting).

Apr 28, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

YYC Holy Smoke Bbq

Yeah, Calgary Farmer's Market.

I don't know if it's any more "authentic", but for my palette Big D's at the CFM is great.

Ribs have a sweeter sauce that gives the smoke something to bounce off, though they are a buck and a half each. (and they are a bit on the dry side too, though I suspect that comes comes with any ribs that are coming out of a heat-lamp/steam-tray...if you want juicy ribs you should probably put in the hours in front of the 'cue). Brisket is served sliced; juicy, smokey and with a nice crust. I also like their corn fritters over corn bread, and they make great fries. I found their hot-link a little dry, but I haven't had one at Holy Smoke to compare. Ambience is CFM (like it or loath it) and they're only open thurs-sun, but the flavor wins.

Apr 21, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Noble in Calgary?

Love sitting at the bar, have taken it over a table a couple of times. My wife and I had one particularly memorable evening sitting right on the end by the wood fired grill. We got to watch our meals bein prepared, chatted a bit with the grill chef (a petite woman who was absolutely manhandling the charcoal shovel and grill implements) and had a brief,but lovely chat with chef Noble. If you are a curious food fan I'd recomend doing this at least once.

Apr 21, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

YYC Holy Smoke Bbq

I've made a couple of trips to Holy Smoke on Manhattan in the last few weeks, but have not come away overly impressed. It's a great concept and hip place to get behind, but each of my visits have found the food overall pretty lacking.

The Good'ish
- Chicken sandwich was tasty. Happy to be eating the good parts of the bird (thighs) and the mayo sauce had a nice flavor. Slaw on the bun was a positive addition and the small sandwich, like all the sandwiches, represents a pretty good value.
- General ambiance and value is good as well. Friday afternoon Pilsner special warranted a return visit, and I could see really getting into the NASCAR footage on the tv's after a handful of the $3.50 cans. Prices are fair and while the sides aren't spectacular, you could put together a feed of sandwich, ribs, side and cornbread for under twenty bucks.

The not-so-good
- Chopped brisket. Dry and flavorless. Totally lacking in smoke flavor and chopped and pulled to such a degree I had to double check the sandwich to make sure I hadn't accidentally been given pulled pork. Compared to the slices of smokey, juicy, fatty brisket I've had at Big D's this was a total disappointment. I came back a couple days later and grabbed another to go just to see if I'd caught them on an off day, but the result was the same. :-(
- Ribs have a tasty enough rub, but are a bit dry and again largely lacking in smoke. The price is good at a buck a bone, but I'm not sure I'd want to pay much more for them. I won't wade into the "fall-off-the-bone" debate, and I'm not sure what would be considered the most "authentic", dry or sauced, but I find the dominant flavor with these to be the herb rub, not smoke or even sauce.
- Where's the smoke? I'm not saying I want to be bowled over by smoke flavor, but nothing that I've eaten here really seemed to carry enough flavor. I know up-thread people have noted that the once smokey dining room is now much less pungent. Perhaps they have toned things down, or are actually running their smokers a little less...I know on my last visit the pulled pork sandwich being prepared before my brisket and ribs was loaded into the steam tray from a big vacuum sealed bag.

It looks like this place has a certain amount of fans, and vibe-wise it seems like a great place to blow-off Friday afternoon at work for, but based on taste I'd rather grab grub from Big D's, pick up a sixer of Old Milwaukee tallboys and tailgate in a parking lot somewhere.

Apr 20, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Where do you get great eggs in Calgary??

Not sure where they source them from (and would be curious to find out if anyone knows) but our house seems to like Lina's best.

Apr 18, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Organic Canola/Vegetable Oil in Calgary

More specifically, looking to avoid Roundup Ready products.

I'm going to to pick up a 500ml bottle of the Highwood Crossing canola oil from Community Natural today, but was wondering if anyone knew of other products or places where I could find larger sizes or bulk product.

Apr 14, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

skin on hot dogs in YYC?

I'm not sure if the casings are natural, but the hot dogs from Hoven Farms at the Kingsland farmers market are wonderful, and have a nice "snappy" casing.

Apr 14, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Best Burger in Calgary?

I don't see it mentioned here, but I've had a very good burger at the Silver Sage booth at the CFM. The burger is on the pricy side, and the ambiance is well, the CFM (like it or love it) but the fries are great and the large burgers are very tasty.

I've also made some great burgers at home, what I like to call the CFM north row special.
- Silver Sage ground chuck
- Yum Bakery challah bun
- Blush Lane veggies
- Sylvan Star cheese (this particular one escapes me at the moment).

*burger below is the home-made version, not the booth version.

Apr 12, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

best pizza in calgary?

Hmmm, maybe not the "best" pizza in Calgary (as per the thread title) but since this seems to be the go-to pizza thread I'll leave this here...

Ordered two pies from Filos in the Deervalley shopping center (Canyon Meadows and Bow Bottom Trail) and was totally blown away by how decent they were. We weren't expecting much, but had a coupon for $10 off a $40 order so thought we would give it a try. Had a peperoni, mushroom and bacon and a Filos special (peperoni, ham, black olive, onion, green pepper, shrimp) and both were great. Nice chewy crust, not to thick and a rich earthy taste (not quite Sophie's level, but still good). Tomato sauce with some herb in it and not a crazy amount of toppings, but well balanced.

I don't think we'll be dining in at Filos any time soon (though I did see that they have a vintage table-top Arkanoid video game unit in the corner) but this will likely be our new go-to for take-out.

Apr 06, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Ginger Beer in Calgary?

I'm not sure if they've increased their distribution, or if I'm just noticing it now after drinking it in Manchester, but I've started to see Crabbies (alcoholic ginger beer) at a lot of standard liquor stores in the city recently. (A Liquor Depot down in my neck of the woods, Deer Run, and the Crowfoot Liquor in Douglass Glen).

Mar 18, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

best pizza in calgary?

We just discovered Jon's Pizza last night and are very happy to have it in the area.

Ducked into the tiny storefront and chatted with who I assumed was 'Ms. Jon's' at the desk, supper friendly. I told her I read about them online and she noted that they were 5th place on Urban Spoons, but she hadn't heard of Yelp before (where I found them, 4 1/2 stars over 3 reviews). Ordered a large deluxe with spinach added. Pie was ready in about 35 minutes (on a Friday at 6:00 pm!) and then whisked home (along with an order of salt and pepper wings from Saigon Royal next door!).

Pizza was very, very good. This isn't traditional or artisan style pizza, but a well done Western or Vern's style (pub style or Greek style?) with a better balance of toppings than Vern's. Meat was pretty standard ham and pepperoni, but the veggies (fresh spinach, mushrooms, onion, peppers and tomato) elevated the pie, and the cheese was top notch. And, as good as the pizza was last night, this morning it was DYNAMITE. Brought up to heat cheese side down in a skillet, then as the cheese softened and crisped flipped over to crisp up the bottom! It was like a stew or soup that just gets better the next day.

*Also, bit of a derail, but I'm loving this little strip mall with Jon's, Saigon Royal (killer Thai pho, spotless dining room, and phenomenally friendly service), and what I am assuming is the only fresh bakery/esso gas station in the city. A hidden gem.

Feb 18, 2012
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Good Coffee Beans? - Downtown Core YYC

Another vote for P&S. No sense shipping Vancouver beans from Calgary to Victoria.

Dec 09, 2011
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Garlic! Garlic! Garlic?

There is lots of local Hardneck garlic in the stores and farmer's markets these days if you look for it. I've found beautiful tasting, slightly purple papered hardneck garlic (a variety or sub-species with the stiff stem coming up between the cloves, best suited for growing in cooler climates) at the Kingsland Farmer's market, Superstore (August harvest brand I think, grown in Ontario), and just today at Lina's Italian Market...(all in Calgary).

Oct 23, 2011
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Chowhound Board Challenge! Fantastic meals under $8!

terrific x2...That looks lovely!

Oct 07, 2011
KcM in Prairie Provinces

Best gluten-free breakfast in Calgary?

We don't host celiac family enough to know of a good gluten free pancake joint, but I can report that we've done both Diner Deluxe and Cora with no problems.

Diner Deluxe
804 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3J6, CA

Sep 19, 2011
KcM in Prairie Provinces

YYC - Recommendations for supper near Chinook mall?

I'd had a couple underwhelming meals at Globefish in Kensington, so I wasn't expecting much at the Globefish in the mall, but I've been there 4-5 times now since we've moved to the south end of town and I've left super happy every time. Granted, I don't know if I'm just negotiating the menu a little better, or if living in the sushi doldrums of Bonavista has made me thankful for any decent sushi I can get.

I find the Izakaya items fill the post-work beer and something fried craving. While the nigri is nicely cut and always fresh. The creative rolls aren't always the best value, but the "special" rolls on the front of the menu can sometimes be a nice find. A couple months ago they featured a special roll wrapped in soy paper, draped in toro and finished with some yuzu mayo that was a textural and flavour triumph.

Plus, it's easy to wander back into the mall after supper to grab a P&S before heading home or to a movie.

Aug 15, 2011
KcM in Prairie Provinces

The new Calgary Farmers' Market at Blackfoot Centre will open tomorrow

I'm not going to get drawn into an argument about semantics or someone's personal axe to grind (on either side).

I'll echo olderwiser's sentiment...Vote with your pocket book!
Shop with your conscious.
Support whoever you think to be sustainable/local/affordable/whatever.

But try to bring something to the conversation here other than just "that place sucks...I'm too authentic to shop there...all they sell is factory food...or, they're the best thing since sliced bread"...

So, where do you go for community supported agriculture in/around Calgary?
From the sounds of things, I'll have to check out the Millarville this summer. What else am I missing?

May 28, 2011
KcM in Prairie Provinces