girlwithafork's Profile

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CHARCUT (CALGARY)

For those who enjoy the tip-to-tail (or gum-to-bum) ethos of eating ethically raised animals, thoughtfully prepared, this is nirvana. The non-critter menu items are equally as good. Loved the flexibility of ordering wine by 2oz, 5oz or by the bottle.

Very refreshing that they didn't hire supermodels as staff simply because they were ... well ... supermodels. A server is much, much more attractive when they are competent, well-trained, well-versed on the menu and being authentically themselves. In our case, this means Cheryl V. (ask for her)

We're going back to steal one of the cow paintings when they are not looking .........

Calgary Chefs on the move to SAIT?

Looks like SAIT is already giving back. Scott Pohorelic of River Cafe is being succeeded by his protege, Andrew Winfield, a SAIT graduate.

http://www.river-cafe.com/blog_view.p...

Bakeries in Calgary?

There is a new bakery opening in Inglewood in late July, launched by a couple of SAIT Baking and Pastry Arts instructors. www.wildegrainz.com

Alloy in Calgary

We celebrated an early Valentine's on the 11th, not the 14th so the "can't judge" comments wouldn't apply to us.

Regardless ..... did Alloy or anyone else lower their prices on Valentine's Day? Didn't think so. As consumers, why do you expect less on certain days?

Alloy in Calgary

I'm not getting it. If this is one of the best we've got in Calgary, well then ...........

A host who takes our coats, then tries to seat us with them still over her arm. A server who visits six separate times for a hello, to bring menus, to bring drink/wine menus, to take a drink order, to come back and recite specials, to bring drinks. (so much for Valentine's romance) She couldn't speak to the wine list as far as recommendations go. Tinny music emanating from the cheapest of speakers and echoing around a room devoid of sound absorbing materials. Table bases that clanged every time you moved your feet. The food was tasty enough but why was my steak way at the bottom of a high-rimmed soup plate? (The chef should make himself one, then sit down in cocktail dress to try and eat it. While he/she is at it, try walking into the restaurant on sloped, unshoveled ice & snow wearing heels)

All of this without any visible evidence of a manager running the show.

200 smackers with just a few glasses of wine? I don't think so. Demand better Calgary. Or vote with your feet as we shall.

choklat

Agreed. Their website echoes your sentiment.

Blue Water Cafe

We had a memorable meal at Blue Water a few months ago. My suggestion? Ask to speak with Chef Frank Pabst (very personable) and put yourselves in his capable and talented hands. We just asked him to send us food. Good chefs love that.

Gotta say I'm not sure why they chose to call it a "Cafe". It's a full-on restaurant in every sense.

Kona Beer in Calgary?

Damn. I swear I bought it somewhere in Alberta, but can't remember where. It'll come to me, oh, about 2am tomorrow. I know I bought it here because I remember that they put a Hawaiian word under each cap (mahalo, ono, wahine, kane, etc) so you can learn a new language while you get blitzed.

Il Giardino's got me confused

I think we've got two threads transmogified into one here. Let me try.

Umberto's - 1380 Hornby Street, Vancouver (it's yellow, and some know it as the "yellow house")
Il Giardino - 1382 Hornby Street, Vancouver

Both of these are Umberto Menghi restaurants along with Il Caminetto and Trattoria di Umberto in Whistler. He also has a cooking school in Tuscany called Villa Delia. He used to have another 7-8 restaurants in Vancouver too.

Il Giardino - 344, 17th Avenue SW, Calgary. No relation to Umberto Menghi's restaurants.

Buchanan's ... disappointing.

This is one of those places I've been meaning to go to for awhile after hearing many good things, mainly about their burgers. So we went recently.

It was a Friday night about 7pm but we risked it and showed up without reservations. As it turned out there were only three other tables the whole time we were there. And nobody in the bar. For some inexplicable reason we were seated right beside the draughty door to the patio, in a server traffic corridor at the corner of the service bar. Worst table in the house. Strange. Eventually we asked to be moved to a booth as the tiny, cane chairs were uncomfortable - and we are not big people. They obliged us quickly and with smiles.

We ordered burgers. Many places are grinding their own, quality meat these days so Buchanan's can't claim originality on that front and these ones left a lot to be desired. Good tasting patties but the whole sandwich was of a very small circumference and piled very high. The result? Very difficult to eat without trashing the table. That's personal. Maybe that's a sign of a good burger? (a Frenchman once told me that a tablecloth after a great meal should resemble bed sheets after a great night of lovemaking) The bun was cold and a little stale. The "secret sauce" was 1000 Island minus the chopped egg. The coleslaw was nothing more than shredded cabbage without any dressing at all. And the 'fries' were just a mistake best described as five slabs of potato fried until mostly black and absolutely saturated with fryer oil. For $19 per burger we expected more and it left us wishing we had chosen a different downtown restaurant that night. Hey, it was just a burger but done right, a burger can be marvellous haute cuisine too.

Maybe all of this had something to do with them doing such little business on a Friday night, or maybe the stars were just out of alignment for us that night.

The Calgary Farmer's Market

And bike lanes/racks.
And competition (aka better pricing)

Cheap meals in Banff or Lake Louise?

The Chateau Deli at your hotel will do you a nice picnic lunch in a day-pack (@ Fairmont pricing, of course).

For breakfast, check out Bill Peyto's at the Lake Louise Alpine Hostel down the hill (3k?) They do a good, solid, inexpensive breakfast. Kid friendly too. Tough to beat the daily buffet in the Poppy Brasserie at the Chateau, though.

En route from Kelowna, and not really breakfast food (except in my world) the "D" Dutchman Dairy on the right as you are leaving Sicamous has awesome ice cream. And your kids can check out the calf barn. They sell cheese too.

good eats on UBC campus?

Wander over to Green College across the street from the Chan Centre and enjoy a great meal at a great price in a great setting. The Green College Dining Society runs their own non-profit operation, mostly to avoid UBC Food Services grub and the associated union-ism. Check www.gcdining.ca. You should call ahead.

Best kept secret on campus ... or even Vancouver.

O-O-O Oh It's Open

Yep. Me too. I stuck a fork in it the other night, and it's done.

Just went in for a burger at the bar. The place was very quiet and when I asked if a hockey game could be put on one of the tv's (what else would they be for?) there was some audible grumbling about not wanting to from a bartender. Guess they prefer the slides of famous world cities on all five screens. They are pretty nice photos.

The burger was fine. Condiments had to be asked for. Cutlery and a napkin had to be asked for (why roll-ups in such a nice place?) The two barely 18 bartenders were far more concerned about discussing who deserved to go home first.

No management floor-presence or otherwise visible leadership. I'm pretty low-key and un-demanding, but my very basic, bottom-line criteria of an establishment is this ..... It has to matter to them that I'm there.

It didn't.

Nitrate Free Bacon- what's the difference?

Wow. Lots of info here.

I'll abstain from the evil/not-evil nitrate/nitrite debate. All I know is that sodium nitrite is a for-sure, instant migraine trigger for my husband and another friend. I suspect it might be for others out there too.

Nov 28, 2008
girlwithafork in General Topics

Good eats in Sooke?

I'll second Point No Point. Relaxed, casual, unpretentious cuisine with binoculars on each table so you can spot the whales swimming by below. Great views of the mountains on Washington's Olympic Peninsula (if it's not socked-in and raining) Save a half hour for a stroll down to the beach.

Invermere/Windermere Eats

Don't forget breakfast. The Blue Dog on the main drag in Invermere = breakfast burrito washed down by bottomless Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw coffee.

Hiking/Dining Day Trip to Lake Louise area

Here are three options, Sadie, in keeping with an olympic year .....

Bronze (easier/cheaper) - Lake Agnes above the Chateau is short but steep (7km round trip) with rewarding views. Back in Lake Louise, Bill Peyto's Cafe at the Alpine Centre will refuel you for a pittance. Laggan's Mountain Bakery and Deli in the little strip mall would also work.

Silver (more strenuous/mid-priced food) - Plain of 6 Glaciers Teahouse followed by lunch at Legends Restaurant in the Lake Louise Inn. If quantity matters, the Lodge of Ten Peaks at the ski hill does a decent lunch buffet. (this is also your best chance of spotting a real live grizz or two from a safe spot)

Gold (steep terrain and prices) - Fairview Mountain is a spectacular grunt. Once at the top you can see forever if you can contain your vertigo. Then lunch at the Poppy Brasserie in the Chateau Lake Louise one vertical mile below you.

Running late? Looking for a very special place for dinner? Check out the Baker Creek Bistro on the 1A on the way back to Banff.

Enjoy!

The Tomahawk

Yukon breakfast. Dare you to try and finish all of it!

Waterton Lakes suggestions

Ah ... a weekend in Waterton (with a little April snow in the forecast!)

Any suggestions for chow while there, or on the journey? I realize they are not quite into tourist season yet.

Thanks much!

In search of butcher in Calgary

Checked out Second To None recently on CH advice. Definitely great meat. Passionate service and great people. $49.00 for two ribeye steaks? You can't put a price on health but that's a lot to swallow, even for organic, hormone free food. Back to Bon Ton we go ...........

Chinese Delivery in Marda Loop/Killinary Area

Is anyone aware of any Chinese Delivery in the Marda Loop area touting itself as msg-free? Love the food, hate the migraines.

Sweetgrass Market YYC

And such is life in Canada. You may have noticed our short growing season? Granville Island is no different right now. Aside from some well-stored BC apples and hydroponic peppers and cukes, it all comes from way, way south all winter long. Maybe "farmer" is not the best word to use.

What do you recommend in Kelowna and/or Nelson?

Include Fresco, whatever you do. You will thank me.

Gastropod - Vancouver

Did Gastropod recently. (kinda sounds like a medical procedure, no? maybe a small digital device to listen to your digestive noises? ... I digress) Very nice. Food porn, but if you are into that there's some very clever stuff going on there. Some sous-vide practices. Always interesting tastes, textures, colours. Restaurant food for both sides of the brain. The menu lists 3, 5 and 8 course tasting menus but all items also show a la carte prices. Friendly, adept service. It's one of those places you could probably just close your menu, trust the chef to send out what he wants, and have a great time. That's rare.

Overheard the next table asking their server about the foie gras demonstrators right outside the floor to ceiling front windows. There is one, tiny piece of foie gras terrine on one, solitary appetizer. Plus the restaurant supports the Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise program. Seems a little unfair. Especially since the chef has invited the protesters in for coffee to discuss their concerns. They refused. As a non-Vancouverite I gotta ask ... is this foie gras demonstration thing common or are they just picking on G-Pod?

Anyhoots .... liked it lots. Do y'all like to dine like this?