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Ribelle: Early Bird Bargain

Would it be inappropriate to bring two pretty well-behaved kids (5 & 8) to Ribelle right when it opened? The general loudness makes me optimistic, but is this just not the kind of place for kids?

Nov 13, 2013
javelina in Greater Boston Area

Where to find great chilaquiles?

Just had them for breakfast at Antojitos Cafe in Waltham. They were delicious. They were served with eggs and black beans and either a mild red sauce or a spicier green sauce.

Nov 04, 2013
javelina in Greater Boston Area

Lunch at Bite Groceteria (YYC): Very Tasty and a Very Good Deal

Am I right in thinking you ordered a la carte? Maybe the good deal is only if you order one of the lunches on the menu that day: a main, two sides, and soup or salad for $13.50 (no drink included). Desserts also seemed reasonable: $2.25 for various tarts (e.g., lemon, vanilla with fruit) and $3.75 for a slice of cheesecake.
I agree that the grocery items themselves are expensive, especially the non-specialty items for specialty prices.

Feb 20, 2013
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Lunch at Bite Groceteria (YYC): Very Tasty and a Very Good Deal

Bite Groceteria moved a month or so ago to new, bigger digs (1023 9th Ave. SE), and one of the new things they now offer is lunch, at the back of their new space. It's cafeteria-style, with a changing menu of about 3-4 mains (fish, pasta, meat) and a bunch of sides. There's lot of tables you can sit at, and they're very good at clearing your dishes as you finish with them. I just went today and left thinking it was both very tasty and a Very Good Deal, something I do not often have occasion to think in Calgary.
I ordered pork shoulder main, 2 sides (veg medley and scalloped potatoes) and a salad (you could also order a soup instead). For $13.50, inclusive. The pork was a tiny bit dry but with a lovely smokey flavor, and the potatoes were top-notch. They prepare your salad to order: you can see the options and you just tell the salad guy what you want in it. My companion ordered the Wagyu burger, which came with one side (he got fries), for $13.50. He said it was a great burger.

It seems as if it's all homemade (from the salad dressings to the desserts). And it flips from a Very Good Deal to utter fabulousness if you happen to have one of the coupons they've been offering on various deal sites lately. We did. I feel great: full, happy stomach and almost-full wallet.

Feb 20, 2013
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Monki and Downtown Food YYC

A few friends and I went to downtownfood on Saturday night, and I agree with johnjohnson that its prices seem high for what if offers. We ordered the chef's tasting menu ($65/head) for a six-course tasting menu. Our server was very friendly but the friendliness quickly turned to apology for a couple of serious lapses by the kitchen: I like a leisurely dinner but there were quite long waits between courses (the dinner, all told, too over 3.5 hours long; I think it was less because they wanted us to have a leisurely meal and more because they were slammed even though the restaurant was only a third full). The waitress confessed to us that she was also trying to do some prep in the kitchen. Also, even though I had told the waitress that I didn't eat fish (although I do eat shellfish), one of our tasting menu courses was tuna, for which she apologized profusely but didn't offer to take back. I was hoping that we would get different things for our tasting menus so we could sample more of the menu, but the four of us all got the same courses, with the exception of the main dish, which we could specify. I had ordered the scallops as my main, and right before it was a lobster soup with. . .scallops.
Some of the food had lovely, subtle flavors (the lobster soup with its foreshadowing of scallops was particularly good), but I also felt that appearance might be more valued than taste: many of the dishes featured beautiful, expensive, tasteless edible flowers. Not a terrible meal by any means, but I left feeling dissatisfied and thinking about how much it had cost.

Jan 15, 2013
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Han's is back with its original owners

That news just made my week.

Oct 15, 2012
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Pomona's Pectin in YYC

Thank you for responding to my query. I just went by Community Natural Foods in Calgary and indeed they sell it.

Aug 14, 2012
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Pomona's Pectin in YYC

Thanks very much for checking. I looked online to see if they had it, but they didn't list it on their website.

Aug 12, 2012
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Pomona's Pectin in YYC

A question for the home preservers in YYC: do you know if there is anywhere in the Calgary area that carries the brand Pomona's Pectin? Apparently, it's a pectin that does not need sugar to gel. It was highly recommended by a stone fruit grower I was talking to.

Thanks very much.

Aug 11, 2012
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Oro Azul--YYC

This restaurant's been mentioned on another thread, but I thought it deserved one of its own, now that it's open. It's located at 3725 Memorial Drive SE, Calgary. I believe it's open on weekdays from 11-8 p.m., and they were also running a breakfast buffet today, so I'm sure they opened earlier. Not sure of the weekend hours.

They don't have a full menu yet; when I asked, they said they wanted to start slow and hope to have one in the next week or so. So far, they have tacos (beef, pork, steak, tongue, and perhaps one or two others) and tamales (pork, chicken, and vegetarian,the last of which contains potatoes, carrots, and poblano chilies). The tacos--and they might be a bit smaller than the ones they served at Las Tortillas--only one tortilla under them rather than the two I remember--were very good, like the ones I used to get at Las Tortillas, although the beef taco was too salty, which was probably just a fluke that day. They went up a bit in price to $3.75/per taco. The tamales are $4.75. But one thing they do now, or at least did for us yesterday, was give us a plate of tortilla chips and pico de gallo while we waited for the tacos. They also have a liquor license, and we saw a range of liquors on the counter, from beer to Scotch to Tequila.

The restaurant itself is cheerful and nicely laid out although you can see the bones of the ex-fast food place I believe it was.

A really nice lunch even with the limited menu, although not quite the deal it used to be. Then again, it's much more comfortable than the single table at Las Tortillas.

Jul 20, 2012
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Help with Han's Replacement-YYC

Now that Han's is closed, I don't know where to go for great Chinese dinners in Calgary (I do know some good dim sum places). It doesn't have to be Taiwanese, just delicious. Hole-in-the-walls welcome.

Apr 06, 2012
javelina in Prairie Provinces

frozen pearl onions--yyc

Does anyone know where to buy pre-peeled frozen pearl onions in Calgary? (I have a great recipe for beef burgundy that asks for them). I've found fresh in some stores but am having a hard time finding frozen.

Thanks very much.

Mar 05, 2012
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Unfortunate Experience at Trattoria D'Italia (YYC)

I bought a groupon to try La Trattoria D'Italia, on Edmonton Trl in the NE. My overall impression was that the food was bland and overcooked: Caesar salad lacked garlic and I think had those pre-grated parmesan crumbs on it; the shrimp dish (more on that below) was tough; the tortellini stuffed with veal and cheese was, well, inoffensive.
But the kicker was this: I had ordered the shrimp as an appetizer. When I ordered I distinctly remember saying "We'd like to start with this" and then I pointed to the item on the menu. No appetizer arrived, and I thought "fine, we have enough food anyway." But when the entrees came, out came a third entree, a shrimp dish. When I said I had ordered it as an appetizer, the waiter said it wouldn't matter, we had a groupon anyway. It wasn't even on the horizon of possibility that he would take it back (or, as we learned, deduct it from our bill). I didn't make a fuss at the time, but I have since e-mailed them to let them know what happened but have not heard back from them.
The food in and of itself didn't leave much of a taste at all; the service transformed it into a bad one. Have other people had similar experiences to mine?

Dec 14, 2011
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Calgary CSA Ratings

Hello,
I just saw this thread on the Boston thread and thought that it would be useful to import it. I just joined a CSA this summer--Oxyoke Farm--but was thinking of switching to another next summer, perhaps Eagle Creek Farms, which seems to have better variety (I get their e-mails), more choice, and just plain more in the weekly box. Oxyoke's offerings have been getting a bit bigger the last two weeks, but they still don't seem quite worth the money I'm paying ($500/summer), although it depends how many more weeks it will last. The variety has also been only so-so: lots and lots of chard and kale (which I like, but still). I know we don't live in CA, but I do believe other CSAs have offered things like herbs and tomatoes at this point. I'd give Oxyoke a 3/5, although the summer's not over yet. What have others' experiences with different CSAs been?

Aug 31, 2011
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Calgary-Heartland Cafe Raspberry Vanilla Muffins

Yes, I tried making these, too, from the Heartland cookbook, and they weren't great, definitely not like the ones I had had at Heartland. I had the same experience with the mouhammara from Aida's: found a recipe on the web that was apparently from the owner but didn't end up tasting much like the actual restaurant dish. Maybe they want to keep their secrets.

Aug 23, 2011
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Italian in YYC

Went to Rea's last night for the first time. First of all, the service was terrific. We had a very kind waiter who was lovely with our kids (gave them coloring books and kept, good-humoredly, picking up what my daughter was dropping on the floor). The food was good: the pizza from the kid's menu was tasty as was my husband's carbonara. My dish had a nice sauce (rose), but the chicken itself tasted as if it wasn't the freshest, not rancid by any means but a little musty. But, overall, a nice experience, and we'll go back. Thanks for the rec!

Jul 21, 2011
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Fresh shiitake mushrooms in YYC?

Thanks for all the responses. I ended getting them at the NW Superstore (must have been blind not to have noticed them before). Pretty expensive: @$3/2.5 oz. Next time I'll pursue one of the more cost-effective options.

Jul 16, 2011
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Fresh shiitake mushrooms in YYC?

Anyone know where to pick some up? I can't recall seeing them at Superstore. Would T & T have some?

Thanks very much!

Jul 15, 2011
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Italian in YYC

Thanks for all the great suggestions so far: I can't wait to try them. And it's just fine if any of these restaurants don't serve pizza.

Jul 12, 2011
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Italian in YYC

I've lived here a few years now and realize I hardly out go out for Italian food, despite how much I like it. I was wondering what people's favorite Italian restaurants are. I'm thinking about casual, not-too-expensive (i.e., not Capo) places that you can go to on a weekday night. They might serve pizza but they should also have meat and pasta dishes, too. Went to Chianti's once and didn't love it at all, despite the reasonable prices.

Jul 11, 2011
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Car-less in Clayton

Thanks very much for all the suggestions so far--it's great to know of some places within walking distance and some areas to to go when I have more time.

Apr 03, 2011
javelina in Great Plains

Car-less in Clayton

I'll be attending a conference at the Sheraton Clayton next week and heard Clayton is a good foodie destination. I have a few recs for dinner places (Remy's, Pomme, Portabella (which I see also does lunch)), but I was wondering if you could point me to some breakfast and lunch places for a lone diner within walking distance (or an easy public transportation ride) from the hotel. Should I narrow it down more? I love ethnic food and don't care about atmosphere at all--it's all about the food. I'm also quite happy to pick up some good meats and cheeses or take-out and have a picnic in my hotel room. Thanks for your help!

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Pomme Restaurant
40 N Central Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63105

Portabella Restaurant
15 North Central, Clayton, MO 63105

Apr 02, 2011
javelina in Great Plains

Mexican food in Calgary

If you do and you find it good, it might be nice to post it in a new thread. A new, decent Mexican place in Calgary deserves it.

Mar 21, 2011
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Han's (Cgy): Handover complete

I went this past Friday just at 5 to eat dinner at Han's, and it was shuttered with no sign indicating what was going on or if there were new hours (I checked in again at 5:45 and it was still shuttered). I'm growing concerned that Han's might be out of commission. Has anyone eaten there recently?

Mar 21, 2011
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Bulk Barn Opening Soon in Calgary

The new Bulk Barn Calgary outpost is now open (as of March 17). I just called and they said this was their first day. Hooray!

Mar 17, 2011
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Q Haute Cuisine-Calgary

Just went here for lunch (had a dealfind coupon: $35 for $70 worth of food) and will definitely be coming back. They have a great deal going on, even apart from the coupon (and it looks like it's fairly long-term, too): $15 for a two-course lunch and $20 for a three course lunch. I had the daily "veloute," a potato-leek soup. It was the weakest part of the lunch, not bad but not remarkable. The lamb entree I had, which was tender and very flavorful, and the lemon tart, were both very good. My husband had a fabulous Israeli cous cous salad, mushroom risotto with duck sausage and truffle oil (this might have been the best dish of them all) and yummy chocolate ice cream sandwich with caramelized bananas. Considering all the mediocre lunches I've had for $20, this is an amazing find. It has a formal atmosphere, but it's not snooty, with a great view of the river. There were hardly any people when we went (1:30 on a Friday afternoon). That's a shame.

Jan 14, 2011
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Mid-week,mid-priced restaurants in YYC

Yes, I know ethnic food is a way to have cheaper and often excellent meals, but that's what I'm after: really excellent meals. So let's add Han's (which seems to be keeping up its standards even with the change in owners). What other--out of all the Asian and Middle-Eastern, etc. restaurants in Calgary--are truly terrific, in people's opinions?

Sep 22, 2010
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Mid-week,mid-priced restaurants in YYC

What are the good, not-high-end places you go to for dinner? The kind of place where you might decide to go mid-week and often, where the food is always prepared with care, but the bill won't break the bank?

I've been going to Aida's restaurant a fair bit lately and thinking how much I enjoy it: carefully-prepared food, reasonably-priced. So I have begun compiling a list in my head of other such restaurants. Can you think of other restaurants that offer consistely good food with most entrees in the $15-20 range? I think Dairy Lane, with their new dinner menu and food-made-with-care, might also qualify.

So let me start a list:
Aida's Mediterranean Bistro
Dairy Lane

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Aida's Mediterranean Bistro
2208 4 St SW, Calgary, AB T2S, CA

Dairy Lane Cafe
319 19 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 2J2, CA

Sep 22, 2010
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Q Haute Cuisine-Calgary

Dealfind Calgary is offering a coupon today (Aug. 26) for Q Haute Cuisine: $25 for $50 worth of food and drinks (good only for dinner). I've seen some scattered comments about Q Haute, but I was wondering if anyone had been there recently. How much did your meal run? Is it as good as, say, Petite or other high-end restaurants that get a lot of mention on this board (Rush, Muse, etc.)?

Thanks!

Aug 26, 2010
javelina in Prairie Provinces

Bistro Alma-Calgary

This restaurant is part of the newly-opened Hotel Alma, on the U of C campus. The good: the room itself is stylish in a "mod" kind of way. The mediocre: the food. I've been there twice now ( it's possible I've just had bad luck with the entrees). The first time I had soup and salad. Dishes/flatware very neat in a design-y sort of way; soup had a decent flavor but was pretty thin; salad was fine but unremarkable. Both portions tiny, which made the $12 cost seem high. And the meager slice of grilled bread that came with it seemed as if it had been grilled hours before. The second time I ate there I had the Vietnamese sub whose meat tasted a little musty. In addition to the mustiness was the overwhelming sweetness of the thing. A one-note pony (not counting the off taste). Maybe they realized that and offered a weird little side of manzanilla olive and gherkin pickles with it.
Little things about the menu signal a similar off-noteness or at least old-fashionedness, despite the stylish pretensions: e.g., the salad with "garden fresh" veggies. Shouldn't this just be assumed? It's the difference between "garden fresh" as a vague adjective and actually locally-sourced ingredients.
Someone told me the restaurant is run by Chartwells, the concern that caters most university functions. If true, it makes sense: the food has that corporate feel, lacking in "garden fresh" ideas and technique. I wonder if other chowhounds have eaten here and what they thought.

Aug 09, 2010
javelina in Prairie Provinces