Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

can_i_try_some's Profile

Title Last Reply

Best Spots to score great Sausage in Winnipeg

I'll add Portage Meat & Sausage Deli on the north side of Portage @ Sherburn. Their wall of hanging sausages is breathtaking! My personal favourites include their andouille, pastrami, and in-house made bacon.

Great thread! I'm in Calgary now and I've got to say that Winnipeg's got it good when it comes to these old-school delis. I always load up on my deli meats whenever I come back to visit.

3 hour layover - enough time to grab something tasty?

Thanks for the kind suggestions! We heeded your collective advice and took the train over to Richmond.

Even with security and customs taking up nearly half our time, we made it to Richmond, had a quick dinner, even picked up some snacks, and made it back just in time for boarding.

Totally worth it.

3 hour layover - enough time to grab something tasty?

Hi west-coast chowhounders!

I have a 3 hour layover at Vancouver airport on a Tuesday (between 3 - 6pm) on the way to Calgary. Is this enough time to sneak out of the airport and grab some local fare?

I was thinking Japadog as one possible option. Where's the closest stand and would I have enough time to get there and back?

Any input/suggestions would be truly appreciated. Thanks!
Alberta CH'er.

good coffee far south YYC

I'll have to 2nd this suggestion for Cafe Crema. They rock a Slayer espresso machine and also use Fratello beans. They open @ 6 am.

Otherwise, the Chinook location of P&S is still your best bet for exceptional coffee. Take a different route than Macleod and traffic will be less of an issue.

Huevos Rancheros in Calgary?

hmmm.. neither could I. I wonder if it's a relatively new addition and the website just hasn't been updated.

I know for sure that they offer it; last couple of times I was there (within the past month), the servers were all wearing shirts that said, "We have huevos rancheros!"

Huevos Rancheros in Calgary?

Overeasy in the Breakfast District does them. I've never had them, but then again, I've never had anything short of fantastic when eating there either. I'd be willing to bet they do a respectable huevos rancheros.

Over Easy Breakfast
824 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3J6, CA

Sturdiest French Press Coffee Pot?

This is another recommendations for a Frieling. The most-respected coffee houses in my city use nothing but them, both because of their quality and their durability. So if durability is your main concern, then you don't have to worry: these things are work-horses. They'll also probably be less-expensive in the long run if you really go through the glass-presses as quickly as you say.

Yes, being stainless-steel means it will absorb a bit more heat than glass, but not as much as you'd think because of the vacuum-insulated walls. And really, it's not a big deal at all to swirl a bit of warm water inside before you brew. It takes about five seconds to do.

Actually, I usually just skip the pre-warming step: since coffee is best brewed a bit off the boiling point (between 195-205 F) I usually just pour the freshly boiled water straight into the Frieling. The walls bring down the temperature close to the desirable temperature range. And yes, I've measured with a thermometer.

I have Bodums as well, and they're just so... fragile-feeling. And believe me, they don't retain heat nearly as well as the Bodum. I once nearly scalded my hand trying while cleaning the inside of the Bodum a full 15-minutes after pouring my coffee.

Jan 15, 2011
can_i_try_some in Cookware

No. 6 cone-shape drip coffee filters -- Are they extinct?

Heck no! Check out

Simply one of the best coffee resources online. And the people that run the site are very passionate about coffee and super helpful.

Oct 18, 2010
can_i_try_some in Cookware

Favorite coffeehouse/cafe with wifi and why?

Really? I've never known of any baristas as meticulous as the folks @ P&S. So I doubt that it's sloppy brewing technique or even broken equipment.

Maybe it's more grit than grind that was at the bottom of your cup?

It's fairly commonly known that that's the main drawbacks of brewing with a French Press: you don't take your last gulp unless you don't mind a mouthful of grit. Otherwise, the French Press is one of the simplest and best ways of getting a great cup of coffee since it allows for adequate contact with the beans and allows the oils to pass through the mesh filter. Unfortunately, this also allows some of the finer grinds to pass through as well.

Personally, it's my favourite way of brewing coffee. I've been doing it for years, and I ALWAYS get a bit of grit in my cup. But well worth it, in my opinion. In fact, the Frieling Presses that they use at P&S are one of the better presses available. The only constructive criticism I can offer to the baristas is that they take the time to pour the coffee into the cup so that less of the grit gets transferred. Easier said than done when there's half a dozen people waiting for their coffee.

Next time, just don't take the last sip. The rest of the cup should still be excellent.

(P.S. Even the Clover leaves a bit of grit in your cup).

Yann Haute Patisserie in Mission, Calgary

Maybe we ran into you. Saturday morning business seemed to be pretty steady as we picked up some pastries.

Almond croissant... mmmmm.

Favorite coffeehouse/cafe with wifi and why?

For easily the best pure coffee shop in town, Phil & Sebastian, Marda Loop or Chinook. The Marda Loop may lack a bit in ambience, but the Chinook location is a lot cozier.

For a good blend of coffee, good music, alcohol, food, and lounging, then Kawa would fit the bill.

For very decent food, people-watching, lounging, or even studying, then Purple Perk would be the place. But their coffee is mediocre, at best.

Opening in Calgary?

You're going to enjoy it John. The van der Westen is gorgeous!

Note: No Clovers at this Phil & Sebastian - they'll have two at Marda Loop. They do have two Uber Boilers though that they'll be using for different brewing techniques.

From what I've been told, the Marzoccos they have in there at the moment are temporary; I didn't get a good look at them, so I don't know if they're the FB-80s.

I think they're still tinkering with their setup. I found the cappuccino to be too milky, especially for P&S, who tended to make them stronger than everyone else in Calgary. I think it's the new cappuccino-sized cups; they're a touch bigger than what I'd expect for a traditional cap. It was opening night, so I expect that it'll be back to form by the time I come back today.

I think this is going to be a great space for P&S. I love that they're right by an entrance for the folks who don't want to trek through the mall in the morning, but they still have some decent,quiet, seating space (with most seats with a good view of the Uber Boilers and the van der Westen!).

Good luck to P&S in their new space!

Where do you get fresh eggs in Calgary?

Another recommendations for Crossroads. My usual go-to guy is the farmer at the entrance by Chongo's (the one who also sells honey & kettle corn). Get the dark, free range eggs while they're still available. $7 for a flat of thirty.

Pho Thu The - CGY

I was actually in there while John Gilchrist was eating at the restaurant last Tuesday. After he had left, I asked the lady working the counter if she had recognized him (which wouldn't have been surprising, given Gilchrist's "unique," non-anonymous approach as a food critique). She said that she didn't even know who John Gilchrist was! When I explained to her who the man that just walked out of her restaurant was, she looked genuinely surprised.

As I told her we had finished eating, I didn't think she had anything to worry about. Nice to see I was right - Gilchrist's review was spot on. The pho is very good and the folks running the establishment are very warm and welcoming, and the service is very polite and competent.

One thing though - pho sate wasn't the most flavourful I've had in Calgary (Noodle King still tops my list for a killer sate). But I'll definitely be back for the pho and to try out other menu items.

Itza bakery

Stopped by for a couple pastries on my way back from a run on Saturday morning (balance is the key to life, n'est pas?) from the newest neighbourhood bakery.

I'm glad I did.

The almond croissants practically jumped out at me as soon as I walked in. Oh. my. goodness. So that's what's been missing in my life.

I also couldn't resist the royale. It's a chocolate mousse cake on a chocolate wafer. So light, yet rich and creamy. And such pure chocolate flavour!

The drip coffee is decent, made from Cafe Umbria beans out of Seattle. But with Kawa and Chiasso within a couple minutes walk, I'd sooner go there. Hopefully the pastries survive the walk without being prematurely consumed.

According to her sister, the owner, Victoria, used to work at Eiffel (RIP), and was co-owner of the well-liked Bistro 2210. So it should come as no surprise that the pastries at Itza Bakeshop are well-executed.

On my hit-list for my next visit are a couple of their quiches.

It's about two months too late - but welcome to the neighbourhood, Itza Bakeshop!

DeVille, Part 2

Snark away, John! hehehe.. I know you can't really help yourself. ;p

Okay, so perhaps the crepes bandwagon is now more of a cart. ;) But certainly creperies are more prevalent than they were even just a few years ago when you would have to go to the few places that served decent crepes. Now, you'd be hard-pressed to find a neighbourhood, or even a mall without a "creperie" of sorts. Heck, even Pacific Mall (aka T&T on 36 St NE) has a crepe place now!

DeVille, Part 2

hmm... I spoke with one of the people there a couple weeks ago. They told me that Paul had sold this location to the St. Germain group and they were in the process of re-branding. Perhaps they're jumping on the crepe bandwagon? I don't think that would be a bad thing, as long as they still have decent coffee.

I was also told that they've also switched over to Fratello beans, as DeVille held the license for Intelligentsia. A couple years ago, I would have despaired at this news, but thankfully, Fratello's upped their game in recent years.

Che ba mau (3 bean drink) in Calgary?

Try the food court in Pacific Place Mall (aka T&T on 36 st NE). There's a vietnamese sub place that makes the 3-bean-drink.

Don't be deterred by the cups they have under the glass counter - they're there purely for display. They'll make you a new drink when you order.

Pho Pasteur is also a great suggestion. I usually grab one there to accompany my banh mi from Thi Thi.

New DeVille Luxury Coffee location?

There's a private event there on Tuesday, Jan 26., so they can't be that far from opening to the public.

It's official - i'm in love...with my new Aeropress!

Okay - thanks for this link. His idea of inverting the Aeropress is genius!

I was disappointed in a batch of beans I had bought from a well respected local roaster (Phil & Sebastian in Calgary - you gotta try them!). I loved the coffee when I tried it from their Clover. Usually I can produce similar results, with some trial and error, on my Aeropress, but this coffee would always come out flat, no matter what I tried.

Then I tried the upside-down brewing method as outlined in your link - big difference. The inverted brew was a lot brighter and nuanced, thanks to more of the oils making it through the drip instead of being caught up in the grinds.

I'm never going back to the conventional method.

For the coffee lovers out there - do yourself a favour and pick one up. It's well worth it.

Dec 15, 2009
can_i_try_some in Cookware

Canmore - wedding

Nothing as of yet. I'm hoping that the buyer will give the space another chance as a restaurant - it's a nice space at a great location.

Canmore - wedding

Unfortunately, Quarry's now closed. The owners sold it a few months ago.

Crazyweed is a great idea. But 20 people may be too small of a group if you were thinking of having the entire restaurant for the entire evening. I suppose they could portion off a section of the restaurant for your party. I was there this past weekend and both the service and food were excellent as usual.

Honeycomb in Calgary

Golden Lane Honey at the Calgary Farmer's Market should have some. They're more or less across from Phil & Sebastian's.

Or you can try their website: - they carry it there for sure: 0.40lbs for $8.

Thanks for reminding me. I'd been meaning to pick some up myself for a similar pairing.

Gaggia espresso maker has broken down

*facepalm*... for some reason I read that as 3/4, or 3 quarters of a year :p

I thought it was a weird way of saying 9 months. lol.

In that case, returning it after that long may be pushing it. But as monku suggested, it looks like they've had luck doing this in the past, so it may still be worth giving your Costco a call.

Nov 22, 2009
can_i_try_some in Cookware

Gaggia espresso maker has broken down

Just to add to Joe's comment: You don't even need the original receipt if you purchased it with a Costco credit card. They'll just look up your history and voila!

And if you do have the receipt, returning will be a simple process. You've only had it for less than a year, so there really shouldn't be any problems, even if you wanted a full refund.

I strongly suggest you go with this option, since repairing it will cost you quite a bit.

Nov 21, 2009
can_i_try_some in Cookware

Shopping for a dutch oven...

Great advice! Now if only I can find one that'll ship cross-border to Canada. Customs fees might make it tricky for me though.

Nov 18, 2009
can_i_try_some in Cookware

Shopping for a dutch oven...

Lucky you :) Looks like you got one of the good ones. Like I said above, I've read dozens of good testimonials about this DO.

I really wanted mine to hold up as well. After all the reviews I read, I had high hopes for my Mario Batali DO. And I felt so clever too, thinking I had scored a great bargain (it was only $54.99 CAD!!!) for a quality product.

I purchased mine at Costco, so I'm wondering whether the stock they had was produced specifically for them - they certainly have the buying power to warrant their own production lot. It was made in China, so it's not a huge surprise to find inconsistencies in quality.

Just an FYI to my fellow Canadian CH'ers: If you can't make it down to the US, I've seen Le Creuset factory-seconds at Winners (Canadian version of Marshall's/TJ Maxx). I can't recall the prices, but they were certainly much lower than retail. I've also seen the Mario Batali DO there for $60, but Caveat Emptor (see above).

Nov 18, 2009
can_i_try_some in Cookware

Shopping for a dutch oven...

It was a great piece before it started to crack. But dutch ovens aren't supposed to be babied. I mean, these things are supposed to last decades, even with daily use. Luckily, I was able to return it to Costco today - I love their warranty service!

Maybe mine came from a bad batch. I recall having to sort through the pallet of MB dutch ovens to find one with where the enamel wasn't flawed. I probably should have taken that as a sign.

However, don't worry too much. If your dutch oven hasn't shown any signs of cracking, then yours may have been made better. I've read dozens of positive reviews of the MB oven, which is why I purchased it in the first place. Hope you continue to have better luck.

Nov 17, 2009
can_i_try_some in Cookware

Shopping for a dutch oven...

I hate to say it, but I wouldn't recommend the Mario Batali dutch oven. If you asked me a few months ago, I would have raved about it. Since then, however, it's developed fractures in the enamel on the inside cooking surface. There are also a some small pits on the inside that wasn't there a few months ago. I like to think that I know how to properly use cast iron (enameled or not) and I've never subjected it to any sort of severe thermal shock (only a little liquid for deglazing). Plus, I've only used a wooden cooking spoon and handled it with respect.

Here's my post about it:
It's actually gotten a bit worse since then. Some members said that this is normal; I disagree. Quality enameled cast iron should NOT crack and pit within six months of purchase. The next step would be chipping, which I suspect will happen in another few months if I continue using it.

I'm going to go and bite the bullet now - sort of - and do as others have recommended: go LC or Staub, but at a store like TJ Maxx. There's no way I can afford to pay full retail for just one pot, as awesome as it may be.

As an alternative, I may try the Kirkland Signature dutch oven at Costco. So far, it's received great reviews and is very reasonably priced. But I'm concerned that it'll turn out the same way as my MB, so I'll be searching for an LC or Staub first.

A side question for other members regarding LC: Are their seconds found in stores like TJ Maxx still covered under their lifetime warranty?

Nov 17, 2009
can_i_try_some in Cookware

breakfast in Calgary

Only $18?!? I had been there before, but someone else picked up the tab, so I wasn't sure how much it came to. I've paid much more and gotten much less. I guess I know where I'm going next Sunday.