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Gobstopper's Profile

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YYC - Hamburger bun help needed

Wildgrainz is making sublime hamburger buns for the season.
Quality of life + 1.

Jun 13, 2011
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Calgary sausage and biscuit gravy

I know it's not the same - but had a great Bison short ribs with a fresh biscuit at open range.

May 04, 2011
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Jelly Modern Doughnut - you have to try it

Finally! +1 "step aside cupcakes, and move along macaroons "

Thought we might miss this trend all together

Apr 20, 2011
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

San Francisco Report - Eating during the GDC

I'd agree - also about the definition of "mid range" - the service level is much higher as a general rule. The competition really helps as well - Vancouver had a similar "upper middle" range.

You guys have a great chow board here - it's too bad about all the itinerary requests - as there is plenty of information if you just dig in a bit.

Mar 05, 2011
Gobstopper in San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco Report - Eating during the GDC

My bad Robert - I went back over my notes and saw "Dave's" but it was actually Bob's (discovered by figuring out the address).

http://frieddoughho.com/bobs-donut-an...

There are lots of reviews / addresses around if you get the name right - apologies.

Mar 05, 2011
Gobstopper in San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco Report - Eating during the GDC

Michael Mina:
Chose to go with this restaurant - the other front runners were ethnic and I’m not sure I have the palate to reconcile the price point so far out of my own context (White calgarian). Ate solo at the bar and was very comfortable doing so. Staff was friendly and professional. Amuse of parsnip apple soup and mini grill cheese great. Appetizer lobster corndogs competent and flavourful. Quail with crispy (deep fried?) skin, a spicy reduction and pistachios - intellectual and beguiling. Pork shortribs fumbled onto my plate (ahh tableside service, maybe we can blame the height of the bar) reduction with peppery notes, dreamy polenta; was toothsome but in a nice way. Finale was apple/yogurt/crispy bits and I was stuffed. Ordered a fruitbomb wine and was nicely rewarded with a black cherry firecracker that meshed nicely. Two free small courses was a generous way to handle a solo diner. World class food - I would skip the corndogs in the future because I’m far more curious about the next thing that will appear on the menu. This kind of food is 25% more expensive in Calgary than SF. Wow.

Dave’s Donuts:
Popular ! two people got off the bus just to get a donut, and to get back on the next bus - that’s impressive. Grimy and disgusting bakery, had a cruller, was still slightly liquid on the inside. I applaud that they make donuts in house, but I’m not sure it should be elevated above other bakeries that do donuts (amongst other products)- some of the other types looked good though, but when she had to wave the bugs off of them, it was less appetizing.

Tartine:
Hike through Mission from the 16th street station - located in a more gentrified area with a nice neighbourhoodish feel. Got a croissant (still warm), a self serve cup of coffee (decent), a few of their smaller odds and ends. The odds and ends were: hazelnut / berry tart, oatmeal cookie, shortbread, brownie. These were great to mediocore in the same order. I don’t know why dry, dull brownies are sold by posh bakeries all over the world, but they are. The croissant was good but I’d say slightly on the wrong side of charred, and the folded layers within on the wrong side of mushy. I’ve had better.

Dynamo Donuts:
Spectacular. Toasted coconut donut that was mind blowing. Either they are shaving coconut and toasting it themselves, or they have a supplier of the highest quality. The much discussed bacon donut a mini version of pancakes and bacon and maple syrup; nostalgic, charming and did not feel punny at all. Spiced chocolate was everything tartine’s brownies were not, dense, rich and sublime. Represents everything the cupcake movement does not. Tragic we don’t have one of these in Calgary

The Rib Whip:
I was hoping to catch more gourmet food trucks but the convention I was at wasn’t very conducive to it. Had a brisket sandwich with a side of green beans and a water for a very reasonable 11 dollars. Generous, tender, smokey, not fatty - brilliant - tragically not busy - too many conference people chewing on the swill of Moscone. Sauce could use a bit more character but that’s more opinion than criticism.

TCHO:
Nice designs, like the verbosity of their labels, I think the 12-20 price point is a good value here.

Overall:
Great world class eating city - friendly and varied - generally good food and even the downtown core is not overly colonized by food chains. Many many many places left to explore. Hope to be back.

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TCHO
17 San Pier, Francisco, CA

Rib Whip
San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Mar 04, 2011
Gobstopper in San Francisco Bay Area

7 Things You Wanna Know About Waiters

Weak - agree with KaimukiMan - almost as bad as the RuBo stuff - last few months of CHOW generated "content" is all downhill

Feb 23, 2011
Gobstopper in Features

Great Regina Style Pizza

I like this description.

Dec 21, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

San Marzano Tomatoes in Calgary?

4 bucks at Bite

Dec 21, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Open Range - an attitude free review

He is a nice guy, but Dwayne Ennest (executive chef of Open Range) was the exec at River Cafe before Scott (and before Glenn Manzer)

Dec 07, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Calgary Suppliers of the good stuff...

Brilliant - thanks for the beef recommendations.

4 day old poppy seed rolls wrapped in saranwrap = perversion

An Eclair at Letruwe is still twice the price of one at Eclair de Lune.. I mean, let the guy feed his family - 1.45 is practically superstore price...

As far as Canada Prime and Costco meat... I agree you are getting the best price on the best stuff available to the chains - but everything about that cow is pretty disagreeable and what I'm talking about by pedigree is the feed lot, carcass processing, hormone/antibiotic stuff...

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Eclair de Lune
1049 40 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2K 0G2, CA

Dec 06, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Open Range - an attitude free review

I’ve been 3 times in the last month or so - A group of 5 including a toddler, a 2 person table in the lounge, and a 2 person table in the dining room. After moving out of the neighbourhood a few years ago, we had only drifted back to Diner Deluxe because it was a good, baby friendly pace for dinner. That hasn’t changed, but the menu looks a little tired (we were chronic for quite some time). Some positive reviews here pointed me to Open Range.

Round 1: Nice time, baby chair already in place at the table. Early reservation, so quiet restaurant, though a party of 12 or so trickled in on the other side of the dining room. Menu gave impression that side dishes needed to be ordered with some of the grill entrees (waiter did correct us, but momentum and desire carried a few dishes) - so we ended up with a pile of food. Great food - upgraded braised lamb shank (compared to Diner Deluxe) with a marvelous biscuit! (yay biscuits). I had a feature dish that was flintstonian in scale - a new york strip (quite good) and some pork ribs (flavourful but a bit toothsome). Further everything came with a nice version of the vej sides (golden beets, broccolini) as well as some starch (potato or rice pilaf). This made our yam fries a bit of an excess, but the bambino was happy with them. No corkage Wednesday meant 4+1 dined for 125ish plus tip.

Round 2: Lounge - a pair of bison burgers (off the menu and the feature). Fritters to start (!!savoury cruller like interiors - delicious!!). This time in the lounge, full house, funny crowd - proximity ala downtown, but crowd a bit more outbackish. Nice bun on the burger, bison a touch dry but mediated by healthy slice of fois gras.

Round 3: Dining room - great server - started with a bullet proof portugese red wine and corn fritters (would eat these daily if possible). Braised bison (better than the lamb, same happy biscuit). Extremely generous portion with cheesy corn grits beneath happy ribs, lean, tender. Waiter paired South African red - (nicely chosen). Had to run to Flames game or would have gone for third course.

So - cheap prices (in context), big portions and a nice River Cafe bend to the place (former executive chef of River Cafe). For a 1.5 on the dollar increment over Diner Deluxe - vastly upgraded food - but portions and flavour to make converts out of the Chain restaurant crowd. They are nailing the sides and doing talented straight ahead food.

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Open Range Steaks Chops
1114 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3K4, CA

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

Dec 06, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Calgary Suppliers of the good stuff...

As I cook more and more and more at home, and less dining out - I've been prowling for either better stuff at better prices than the Currie Barracks offers, or deeper, darker black magic. I thought I'd share my current hit list in the hope of hearing more of everyone elses.

The Good:

Bite. Bite Grocerteria. Somehow the best things come here. Somehow the prices are really good. A one time flock of pheasants for less per than the frozen Dirty Willy bricks hanging out in a few of the butchers. Brassica mustard for 3 bucks a jar less than Bon Ton Market. 00 flour, when many of the Italian markets have none. I lucked into a side of milk fed pork - wowed house guests for less than 10 bucks a portion. The single smoked pincher creek pork chops are the easiest, bestest, cheapest pig dinner available.

Eclaire De Lune / Wildegrainz: The two best bakeries that slay the competition on price.

Sunnyside Natural Market: Staples, consistent produce supply - would rather pick my own instead of get the nasty box delivery. Nice staff, some good brands. I'm not sure these guys are better than any of the other organic/community/planet O locations.

The Bad:
Crossroads farmers market - for the most part, filled with slave camp produce, perverted euro bakers and lambs that have been tossed into band saws. Regina’s is the lone light for me here for local pork.

I mistook Blush Lane to be more then it was - and made the horrific drive in hopes of finding utopia - like sunnyside, it is just another organic food mart.

Lady Bug - Tales of Lady Bugs’ foreign work force alleged ill treatment are disheartening.

The Ugly:

Hyped one night a week farmer’s market in a parking lot scenarios. Little trays of stuff, with the bad stuff on the bottom, price fixing and the usual suspects making the rounds. Little or no discount considering the zero overhead. I personally am totally disinterested at prospect of haggling. Vapor during the winter months.

The Unknown?
I still seek beef. Cheaper than Second to None but better than Costco. Willing to buy frozen in some volume (not quite halves/quarters). Enjoyed some success with Master Meats but would’nt mind a cow with a better pedigree...

Dec 04, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

WildeGrainz

Just enjoyed some Market Spice Tea shortbread - and an update on the bread - the Sprouted Grain bread is possibly the most satisfying winter loaf I've ever had. Nice.

Dec 02, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Los Chilitos

They have a coupon on Groupon, isn't that indicator enough??

Dec 01, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Tuscan Kale YYC

Just had some this weekend from sunnyside market as "Black Chard"
It was in pretty good shape.

Nov 23, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Groupons- good or bad for businesses? [moved from Prairie Provinces board]

Great article Sirdinealot

Not surprised that dinner at restaurants providing deep discounts isn't turning out to be as good as expected....

Nov 23, 2010
Gobstopper in Not About Food

Gaspor pork in Calgary

Nice thing to look for!
I bought a side of it from BITE in inglewood.
Truly wicked
Special order only I believe.
Makes phenom crackling.

Nov 17, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Best Corn Side Dish!

Polenta, with full kernels in it, parmesan, jalepenos - set it in a sheet pan, cut portions, reheat in oven.

Nov 10, 2010
Gobstopper in Home Cooking

Calgary Groupons: Anyone use them?

Food at stagewest is really really good - I totally recant - I'm gonna sign up so I can get my hands on some of that good eats and entertainment.

Oct 29, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Calgary Groupons: Anyone use them?

We signed up and signed off - It sucks - If you want to eat freezer burned appetizers at restaurants that are in the death spiral, it works pretty good.

The coupon you want is the one you never see, and if it did show up, it would be gone before you got it. i.e. Tasting menu at CAPO for 49 dollars

Oct 28, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Anybody ever been to the italian restaurant attached to the gas station on Kensington near crowchild?

This place is so epic - I've gotten dragged there with work a few times.
Cubed carrots and bell peppers sauteed in ... wait for it.... milk!
The feature board should get plugged into twitter - updates would be like " #LaVienna "Cucumbers, jumbo shrimp and salsa in a famous cream sauce"

Oct 28, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Roasting Chicken in YYC

Good point Richmond - I roasted two of those fine birds last night to good reviews. ~10 bucks each, in good shape.

Oct 18, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Looking for kid friendly restaurants in YYC, help!

River Cafe would be good pre 6pm reservation - also have a park nearby with swings etc if they need a proper break - believe me this is a big improvement over walking around a parking lot.

We have a very easy time at Diner Deluxe with our 18 month old - but sounds like you want an upgrade (and their food is in a downward spiral)
Divino would be a no, not sure if the rest of the CRMR family would be the same.

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

Oct 18, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

6 reasons why Kensington Wine Bar is my favourite place right now - YYC

Despite my deep love of River Cafe and Divino - what is working so well for me at Winebar is alleviating the pressure of "the right entree" choice and enjoying so much variety for a price point that is close to 40% less.

As new parents the atmosphere is nicely adult and the pace of dinner quicker - sitting at the kitchen bar - I feel less dependent on waitrons for the quality of my meal - another huge plus (and I'm not someone who has difficulty with waitrons) - It just lessens their participation in the success of the meal - they are appropriately wine focussed.

Finally - the small size limits the kitchen staff, which in turn benefits the food's consistency.

I can't wait till the brassierie upstairs opens - the Chef/Owner Cam said it would be half roasted chickens and such with big bottles of belgian beer. I'm going to need a bib. Plus proper weekend brunch, which, hopefully we can bring the bambino for.

Oct 18, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

6 reasons why Kensington Wine Bar is my favourite place right now - YYC

1. Five glasses of wine and seven dishes of food was 125 before tip

2. Marlin wrapped in prosciutto, Cornbeef “popper”, Soy Honey glazed pork belly*
*one night, three of seven (or more) features

3. On one side of the drink menu, chenin blanc/ russian valley pinot, on the other, big happy import bottles of beer

4. Chocolate truffle ice cream.

5. Satisfy your ravioli craving (of seasonal denomination) without blowing your entree wad.

6. I haven’t touched on the cheese, charcuterie, atmosphere, table time or any of the stupendous regular menu items (the lardons in the mussels are the size of croutons).

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Winebar Kensington
1131 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary, AB T2N, CA

Oct 15, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

WildeGrainz

I agree - the croissants are made of thicker sheets of dough - cooked to perfection - I feel like cookie monster with a deck of cards made of butter. This place is stupid good and their prices coexist with reality.

Oct 15, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

WildeGrainz

Super awesome

Gibassier - lemon, sugar rolled bun with vanilla.
The Crabapple tarts are gone but were unreal.
Pretzels coming next.
The bread is pricey but good
The buns are excellent and a bargain

Inglewood baking got better with the demise of nectar - it gets even better with the arrival of these ladies.

http://www.wildegrainz.com/

Oct 12, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Roasting Chicken in YYC

"I like Hutterite chickens too which you can get certain Co-op stores in the city. However, not organic but I bet pretty close to."

This is not true - Hutterite farming is in no way organic, biodynamic or animal friendly - Though they try and give that impression, and I believed it for years.

Oct 12, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces

Where to find pork belly in Calgary?

You can get fresh pork belly from Regina's in the Crossroads/Inglewood farmers market, but you should special order it - I believe they slaughter twice a week.

Sep 09, 2010
Gobstopper in Prairie Provinces