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2012 Calgary food trucks.

I popped over to the Costume Shoppe on Blackfoot Trail to check out their 'garage sale' today. Mighty Skillet was parked outside and I decided to grab some lunch.

They had a version of poutine - handcut wedge fries, cheese curds, soft basted eggs, topped with hollandaise. I requested without bacon and with one egg only.

The combo of everything was delicious, although the fries were a bit salty. There were some green onions scattered as well. The portion size was huge. Cost $8. I finished perhaps half.. It was something to try but I'm not sure that I would get it again. I would however eat at this food truck again, perhaps the crepes next time.

They serve variations of breakfast all days - bennies, crepes etc... but also a burger.

Jun 22, 2012
whats_that in Prairie Provinces

Fergus & Bix - Marda Loop - YYC

oh that is a tad disappointing, I didn't note the size of the pints when I glanced at the selection. Not quite as inexpensive as I had thought. The few ounce difference probably won't be a dealbreaker for me however.

Jun 21, 2012
whats_that in Prairie Provinces

Fergus & Bix - Marda Loop - YYC

Thanks! Still tho, there is something to be said about being succinct. ;)

Jun 21, 2012
whats_that in Prairie Provinces

YYC - 4th Spot

Another spot that I had no idea existed! Met up with a couple friends here last night and would probably go back just to try the pizza, or maybe to meet up with friends that are in the area.

They had a narrow patio section that was full of people enjoying a rare sunny early evening - so we sat inside.

The service was friendly and quick. Between 3 of us, we split a half priced bottle of wine. I didn't choose, some sort of Pinot Noir for $20. Later the server mentioned that they have Granville Island on tap, so I would suspect that they have other options beyond this. I am always happy to have availability of some interesting and tasty beers.

The vegetarian options on the menu were pretty limited at first glance, but it was nice to see that they had symbols beside dishes for veg, or gluten free. They will modify some dishes for you (ie mac and cheese with sausage)

I went with the 'When mushroom met ravioli' for $15.99. (Sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, toasted almonds & truffle oil) The pasta was cooked to a nice consistency and the filling was actually rather delicious, which surprised me as often ravioli are fairly tame and tend to be more about the sauce. It was a large portion size and came with a reasonable amount of shaved parmesan on top. (I think it would improve the dish to have it scattered over more of the dish, microplane style). The truffle oil was good, perhaps a bit less would have been appreciated, although it wasn't swimming in it. What I didn't finish was eaten by my friends!! (Who both had their own meals, and didn't even finish them).

I wish I would have noticed the separate pizza menu (it was the same size as the wine list) as I likely would have tried one. I'm intrigued that they are maintaining the recipe from the previous establishment that was in the space before. (Started in 1967!) Must be a good pizza!

The server mentioned that they have a wine club (shut down for summer) and sometimes have scotch tasting or beer tasting events. They have a largeish private room in the back that they let out without a rental fee - your group just has to order off the regular menu.

Jun 21, 2012
whats_that in Prairie Provinces

Fergus & Bix - Marda Loop - YYC

oops - I'll try to control myself next round. A wee bit wordy ;) Sorry folks!

Jun 20, 2012
whats_that in Prairie Provinces

Fergus & Bix - Marda Loop - YYC

I have a friend in the city from Toronto this week. She's staying close to Marda Loop and we decided to head out for some late night eats yesterday. (She's a huge Miami Heat fan, so that put us about 10 p.m. departure)

I'm not often in Marda Loop, although I have met friends for brunch there on occasion, so I was not quite sure what we would find. Especially as late night in Calgary can be a difficult endeavor sometimes. The first open place we wandered across was Fergus & Bix.

The short of things - the service was excellent, it was loud, I was surprised to find the menu was akin to a restaurant instead of a pub, super impressed by the varieties of beer on tap, the food was good and I especially enjoyed the beet salad although felt the beets could have been roasted longer. Half priced bottles of wine on a Tuesday was a win! I will go back and try a few of their microbrews for $5.50 a pint.

The long:

On a Tuesday night, the place was near capacity. We checked to ensure the kitchen was open and took our table. The hostess tried to sway us to sit at the bar, (which many had chosen to do that night) but gave us a choice and we ended up at a tall table in the row next to the bar, with a padded banquet. The decor is of the typical dark, wood, 'modern' pub varietal. The lighting is dim, and it was quite loud.

We sort of expected to find a pub menu, with nachos and the like, but were pleased to find that the kitchen was serving a full menu that had quite the range. A real variety with some interesting looking dishes. I was also impressed to see that they have an excellent selection of beer on tap. No Canadian here, instead they offer AB/BC microbrews, including Brew Brothers, Fernie, Granville, Howe Sound etc... The server informed us that Tuesdays are half priced bottles of wine.

We were indecisive and decided to share some dishes and a bottle of New Zealand sauvignon blanc for $20. We got the Caprese Flatbread for $18, the Farmer's Roasted Beet Salad for $13, and my friend ordered a portion of the Seared Ahi Tuna for $13.

The service was cheery and attentive without being obtrusive. The server wandered past and topped our wine glasses as the night went on, and left us to linger in the emptying restaurant after we paid our bill so that we could finish our glasses of wine.

The flatbread (fresh arugula, marinated portabello mushrooms, artichoke hearts, sliced provolone, fresh roma tomatoes, and bocconcini with basil and olive oil) was round and had maybe 6 or 7 rather large pieces of pizza. The ingredients were scattered nicely with a large fresh basil leaf on each slice. I thought it was good, but I'm not that much of a fan of thicker type crusts and would have preferred it thinner. We took half of this home with us.

The roasted beet salad (fresh arugula and mixed greens, fennel, walnuts, fried goat cheese, with roasted farmer’s beets and sweet pear vinaigrette) was excellent and they didn't skimp on the goat cheese, which was presented in a fourish inch round on top of the salad. It was dressed lightly and not doused. I thought the beets could have been roasted longer, but that's just a quibble. I think this could be quite satisfying on its own as a meal.

My friend was impressed with the tuna, which was fresh and seared nicely. Served with wasabi and a five spice dipping sauce. It may actually have been soya sauce, but I'm going off of the menu.

I will very likely head back and check out this bar again. As a vegetarian I got the impression that they are amenable to modifying their menu items and that would leave you with a promising range of dishes to try out. This is rare for a pub!

Price point there are a lot of dishes in the $13-18 mark, with some higher priced dishes such as fish or steak. Judging based on our dishes, I think they might execute them well. I noted that the beer list is extremely reasonable. A lot of pints for around the $5.50 mark. (This alone will bring me back, as I usually imbibe beer rather than wine when I am out).

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Fergus & Bix
http://fergusandbix.com/
2018 33 Ave SW, Calgary, AB , CA

Jun 20, 2012
whats_that in Prairie Provinces

2012 Calgary food trucks.

Today there were a couple new (to us) trucks parked close to the office. Looking out the windows, there was nary a line before noon so we beelined out to have a look.

My coworkers opted for the 3 day old greek truck (sorry didn't get the name). They gave it a 7/10 for the pork wrap and would place it second out of all the trucks they've eaten at. (They both like Red Diner and Alley Burger) They got their food almost immediately.

I went for The Cranky Chef. A yellow truck with two friendly staff. I paid cash but saw a debit machine there as well.

I waited only a couple minutes to receive a hot take-out container of their gnocchi in vodka sauce, topped with fontina & gruyere cheese. $10. The serving size was large; what I expect you would get in a restaurant, and they did not skimp on cheese. The consistency of the gnocchi was very light, which surprised me. Good work! I'm not the hugest fan of vodka sauces, but it was rich and decent. I'm unsure if I would buy this again, but I would go back and try their ratatouille or another dish.

The BEST part was the freshly deep fried apple chocolate beignet dusted in icing sugar. $2.50. It was not greasy - the apple ring was thickly cut. Oh so good.

This truck also has a breakfast menu that caught my eye. I could see myself going for potato pancakes, or their very delicious sounding french toast.

http://crankychefyyc.com/

Jun 19, 2012
whats_that in Prairie Provinces

2012 Calgary food trucks.

To be fair, my sample size with food trucks thus far has been fairly small as I am vegetarian. This leaves out most trucks (Vietnamese truck, Alley Burger etc... have no veg options, and I don't expect them to have to) My experiences haven't really sold me on the whole concept however. Seems like a really long wait, for a smaller meal... I would be more likely to go to a restaurant instead.

1. The Cheezy Biz
I ordered their basic grilled cheese (3 cheese) with pickles ($7) as this was their only vegetarian option & I didn't feel like modifying as they seemed a bit out of sorts. It took us 20 minutes to order, and a long 35ish minutes to receive our sandwiches. When I finally received it, I'm not sure why I was surprised to find a small, cheesy grilled cheese...much like I'd make at home. It was crisp, the cheese was mostly melted, the pickles inside were not prominent. I know good cheese is expensive, but the $7 exceeds what I would pay for this when you factor in even a marginal wait. The other sandwiches did look more adventurous...kimchee? Might be great! If there were no line, I may try to modify one of their sandwiches, but I would not likely wait.
I did notice that they had two flat-tops, but were using one for soup. I thought they should have fired up both with sandwiches to increase (double) their output and decrease wait times. Perhaps get a crockpot going to serve soup out of?

2. Naaco Truck
Made the 10 minute trek over to this truck to try out their Vegetarian Bhaji (chickpea fritters) for $7.50. There was a decently long line, but it was nice out and there was the promise of an iced chai just at the front of the line for only $3.50. The menu on the truck looked interesting, with a few items crossed off. I waited 25 minutes, only to overhear them tell a lady 5 people in front of me that they were out of the chickpea option. This was frustrating as it is their only vegetarian option, and they hadn't bothered to cross it off the truck. Needless to say, I left the line and will hope better for another day.

3. Steakout Truck
Parmesan fries. Again, the only veg item and so not good for you, but I had to try them. What I received was a freshly fried big container (about 6" x 4") mounded full of crispy fries & a generous smattering of oh so delicious parmesan crisps. They had a decent selection of condiments at the cart. I was happy to find that the fries weren't greasy at all.... I ate the entire box with a friend, walking back to the office. I think they were $4, which I thought was a killer deal.

Jun 18, 2012
whats_that in Prairie Provinces

Calgary CSA Ratings

Thought I'd update in this thread as it was one of the starting places for me when I was considering CSAs this year.

Eagle Creek was already sold out by the time we were inquiring in March, and after looking at sites we settled on Sundance Fields.

They are a small family farm, and this year being their second CSA, I take it that we will be experiencing the learning curve a bit along with them. We like that their updates are quite earnest, and lucked out in that the pick-up time and location are not too out of the way for us. (Although sometimes it is a bit of a race for me to get there from downtown on weeks my boyfriend can't swing by).

The half share was quite reasonable with no field hours requested or required. ($375) I am vegetarian but it seemed excessive to get a full share for my boyfriend and myself.

Just recently they decided to offer egg shares, chicken/pork shares, as well as beef through their neighbour. This concerned us a bit as we wondered if they might not be stretching things a bit...but I'm no farmer, so I guess we'll see. We did buy into the egg share, $65, which gives us a dozen eggs every 2 weeks. Perfect for us. The cost is fairly comparable to buying free-range, organic from the stores (which really have sketchy guidelines) and this way we know we are supporting local. The eggs are on the small side and the yolks have been getting darker and tastier since the first batch.

I'll update about our produce baskets as the season goes along. Would be interested to hear from others as well, as it is always nice to compare.

http://www.sundancefields.com/

Jun 17, 2012
whats_that in Prairie Provinces