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korean market

It's late, but if someone's searching, the strip mall at 10 Ave and Centre St S is now a construction site; part of the Mustard Seed housing project.

Dec 05, 2011
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Calgary Food Festival..

I hit Taste today.

Yay to Nubian Express for a delicious "African Chicken and Rice". Googling indicates that the chef is Nigerian, and is planning on opening a restaurant. The chicken was tender if a little overcooked, the rice was absolutely delicious, and they threw in a plantain slice, which was more banana-ey than I remember plantain, but was still a very nice accompaniment.

Meh to Salsita Roja for the ceviche; the flavour was pretty good, but there was essentially no fish in it whatsoever; put the price up a couple of tickets if you need to. Still, I probably deserved it for getting Peruvian food from Salvadorans. (The pupusas looked good but tiny.) I'm just happy that there seems to exist a Salvadoran joint in town, even if it is waaay south.

Aug 14, 2010
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

English breakfast in Calgary?

I had something approximating full English at the Drum & Monkey two weeks ago; 1st St and 11th Ave SW. IIRC, everything but the blood pudding but adding a big heap of hash browns, $8.99.

Pity the soccer game didn't exactly live up to the full English expectations.

Jun 27, 2010
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

YYC Yeee-Haaa!!!

1886 Cafe would work well for breakfast.

Palomino is the other place that leaps to mind; the food's not always the greatest, but it strikes me as the version of what everybody thinks a Calgary bar should be like.

May 16, 2010
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Fresh Pita Bread YYC

Not sure 100% that Falafel King uses them, but if they started with S, it's probably Shamsane. Much larger, and also thinner and softer than Byblos; more like the ones I had in the Middle East. Their website is but it's of limited assistance. The little grocer/video store in the ground floor of Bromley Square (10th Ave SW between Centre & 1st) has them; delivery dates were Tuesday and Friday, but I haven't bought any lately.

Mar 27, 2010
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Good sandwiches in Calgary

This may not be entirely up your alley, but Smokee Lee, in the shack at 6th Ave and 4th St SW does a smoked beef panini called the Mikey. She smokes her own Alberta beef, and the sandwich also includes onions and some sort of a mustardy sauce. I actually like it better than her Montreal Smoked Meat, and the MSM is awesome. It's a takeout joint, so choose your weather carefully. Hmm... it's been a couple of months; I need to revisit soon.

Feb 14, 2010
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Halal buffets in Calgary

For downtown lunch, Ganga (200 block 8th Ave SW) is halal Pakistani/Indian, and not too bad, with loads of desserts. (I took Arabic once a couple of years ago, and "halal" is the only word I recognise.)

I'd assume Sahara is halal as well; haven't been there in a while, but my coworkers were there recently (shortly before Ramadan) and really enjoyed it. They do a Lebanese lunch buffet, which is a great way to do mezze for only one or two people.

Sep 14, 2009
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Guasacaca in Calgary?

You should ask at Brasil With S, which is a local Brazilian store.

It's on 57th Ave just E of Macleod Trail. Unassuming sort of place; I stumbled in there a while back, but the only product I bought was a Guaraná Antarctica. Their product selection wasn't humongous; like 50% standard convenience store, 50% Brazilian stuff, about as much as, say Matroshka on 14th St carries Russian stuff. I didn't see guasacaca on their online product list (which includes lingerie; God bless Brazilians), but it might have a different name, or something.

Jul 22, 2009
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Fireside Pizza, Stephen Ave, Calgary

Had this just before Stampede, and was thinking of posting. I thought the pizza was decent; the toppings outshone the crust, which was a little... parbaked, I guess. Not as awesome as fresh dough pizza is, for sure. Pretty good about sums the experience up. But it's quick, and dining on Stephen Ave is so great with nice weather like this.

What I really like is the expansion of the food cart scene; there's a kebab trailer too, and you mentioned the lemon smasher. (I thought the combo idea was brilliant, actually.) I've seen more hot dog vendors (or maybe some have just relocated) this year, and having been to Portland, I most appreciate folks who are selling something other than street meat.

(Although I watched the Dragon's Den video, and, well, entrepreneurial buzzwords always leave a creepy sensation in my stomach.)

Jul 22, 2009
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Grab and Go Lunch - DT Calgary

miss.foodie, get out of my head! Those are three I would suggest, although I'd note Smokee Lee's and Thi Thi (Chinatown, at least) tend to get longish lineups. Probably not with weather like we're having now, though.

A & A has been hit-and-miss for me lately; the chicken went south for a while, but it's now back up to snuff, but the last couple of times I went, the small is now an actual smallish serving of food. The prices haven't changed though, so I'd put Falafel King as a better deal.

While it may be obvious, Sunterra does a really good selection of sandwiches, and they're ready to go. The Banker's Hall location does the "Combo" sandwich, a three slice of bread monster, with a couple of meats, lots of veg and even a nice chutney on it. Prices were jacked up in the fall, but it's still $6ish.

Dec 18, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Anyone been to the Stampede Casino venues?

Went to one of the places shortly after it opened. Don't know the name; it's pretty much straight across the casino floor from the entrance; it served upscale-ified pub food.

Pretty entirely forgettable. Dismal service, passable if overpriced food. Not planning on going back.

Calgary,Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club?

As far as the location, are you kidding? Firstly, this is still Calgary. Secondly, Palomino's literally next door to a police station*.

Anyways, I hit Palomino on a fairly regular basis for weekday lunches. It gets busy, but the servers are actually quite good. The decor is one half try-hard, one half funky.

The 'cue isn't competitive with the southern US, but I've found it respectable and consistent -- that said, these days I usually get the gargantuan cheesesteak, and in my few opportunities to get really good barbecue, the only accompaniment I need for with the meat is a fork. I second the garlic fries, as well.

My summary is that I'll go there if I need barbecue, whereas when I need, say, Mexican, I just do without.

* There's a trial period for a police office based out of the Centre Street LRT platform, the block over from Palomino. It's not just 9-to-5, either.

Oct 30, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Mad Craving, Calgary

Phil of Phil's Ice Cream is Asian, and he has a number of flavours that are geared towards that market; red bean for sure, but sweet corn wouldn't surprise me. If he does make it, rest assured it's awesome -- the guy knows how to make good ice cream. There used to be two Phil's; one on Northmount Drive and one on 17th Ave. The latter is now Red Mile, but it probably still has the same ice cream -- the last time I talked to Phil, he was doing more of the production side of the equation, rather than the scooping. I've also seen the ice cream in small containers in shops in Chinatown; the one I remember is the bakery in Dragon City Mall (main floor, next to the bubble tea place). T&T is also worth a try.

Oct 22, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Where can I find the best donairs chicken or beef in AB?

Jimmy actually recently sold the one in Rocky Mountain Plaza. (The entrance is midblock on 6 ave, 'twixt Macleod and 1st E for those looking.) The new owners are friends of Jimmy, and, I've been told, have pledged to maintain the same chicken, which is good, because it's absolutely delicious. There are now actual legit tables and chairs instead of the glass bar thingies that looked good, but were totally impractical for sitting at and eating on.

I still may prefer Tazza to A&A, but the latter is more convenient. Falafel King's chicken isn't as good, although it's still worthy of a meal, and the overall sandwich has a better mix of toppings IMHO.

Oct 15, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Best cheap eats downtown - YYC

I concur -- the best values are in Chinatown; had a nice lunch at MBA on Tuesday that was around $10, which is pretty good these days. Thi Thi, Pho Pasteur Saigon, the board faves all apply here.

On Stephen Avenue, of the various pubs and casual places, the lowest price is Henry VIII across the street from the Bay, but the food isn't anything spectacular. The new Original Joe's (just past Centre, in a great space that used to be Fantino) isn't much more expensive, and I prefer the food. (I also prefer it to Milestone's.)

Elsewhere, I rely on Smokee Lee's, the Montreal smoked meat shack at 6th Ave & 4th St. Lebanese stuff; I'm currently swinging the way of Falafel King, but I waver back to A&A at times. Sunterra is actually pretty reliable for quality/value --a nice sandwich isn't much more than $5. (The best deal is the Combo Sandwich, which I think is only available at Banker's Hall; it's a three-slice monster with all kinds of goodies, including ham and turkey, but the same price as the others.)

Depending on your definition of eats, there's a number of decent food court places these days, too; Thai Express in the mall, as well as Koryo at 5th Ave Place and in Gulf Canada are both reliable and not preposterous. Speaking of Korean, Matsarang (which John turned me on to) is excellent value for money.

With the exceptions of Henry's and OJoes, I believe the rest of the places I mentioned will give you change back from a $10.

Taking Portland Home

I should have been clearer; it's just a stopover in Seattle before a later flight back to Calgary; the only thing I could pick up in Sea-Tac would be Ivar's clam chowder.

Jun 18, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Pacific Northwest

Taking Portland Home

Yeah, I wound up heading out there for dinner tonight, and there's no question -- Tuesday afternoon is now devoted to getting empanadas from Pambiche. Guava, I think.

Had a wonderful meal, as well - the plato Cubano, with Moros y Cristianos; delicious. And Tres leches for dessert; man, I can barely move now. Portland's been treating me very well food-wise; everything is delicious and relatively good value. I envy you guys!

Jun 18, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Pacific Northwest

Taking Portland Home

Hi, PDXers!

I'm in Portland for a week, and I'm wondering if you guys can help me solve a problem regarding taking some food home. It's a little tricky, but here's my situation. I'm in town until next Tuesday, and I need food at a potluck Wednesday night. My time/space envelope is somewhat limited -- I finish a conference at PSU around lunchtime (so 2 PM by the time lunch is done) and fly to Seattle on the 7:00 (so 5:30 or so to PDX), I don't have a car, and I'm a little on the cheap side around taxis, given the high quality of public transport around here.

Whatever I take needs to:
- Pass through security (always a roll of the dice, but certainly no soups or fluid products)
- be relatively compact, since I've got a pretty full set of luggage already. If it's something that can be deformed (e.g. a bag of chips), that would help for packing.
- Survive the rigors of air travel, as well as transit and so on.
- Spend 10 hours unrefrigerated, total
- Be served cold or room temperature, with little in the way of utensils.
- Serve 8 or so, but as part of a potluck party (so

The potluck is my Spanish class' final night, so something Latin would be nice (especially Cuban, since I'm doing a presentation on Cuba). It doesn't need to be local, and, let's face it, it's an adult education language class, so it doesn't need to be super-foodie.

Sounds like Pambiche is the clear choice, but I don't really have an idea of what travel from there to the airport is like. Similarly, I read the dessert menu, but can't figure out what (if anything) might make sense -- the dessert salsa seems nice, but is it packed in a way that would trigger security? The polvorones seem enticing, but doesn't the name come from how easily crushed they are?

But that's just one idea -- I hope you guys have alternates. Thanks.

PS: First meal so far was the Italian Sub at Tribute's; admirable mix of cold cuts and veg, but it seemed a little bread-heavy.

Jun 17, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Pacific Northwest

Balut eggs in Calgary?

Allow me to assure all y'all, it's worse than that. I had about 1/3 of a balut in Edmonton (a friend scarfed the first 2/3, which had all the crunchy bits, so I had to make do with leftovers). Quite probably the least pleasant experience I've had, in a long and storied dining career. Worse than the sea cucumber, even. Don't eat sea cucumber, by the way.

Jun 11, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Han's-tastic! (YYC)

No; I didn't see that on the menu. Sounds great, though. We wound up with the four basic food groups -- shrimp, chicken, pork and beef. The shrimps, IIRC, were just called stir fried shrimp, and they came in a sauce that was slightly evocative of a sweet and sour, but more umami. The sauce was okay, but the shrimp were really plump. The chicken was the Palace style, which was deliciously spicy.

The tea was okay; not great, but I was just glad to eat somewhere with a teapot I could pour from without spilling.

Han's-tastic! (YYC)

Just a quick note to thank the various Chowhounders (John, yen, alau2, and others I think) who have pointed to Han's in the past as a top pick for Chinese in Calgary. After hearing all the raves, I finally rounded up four coworkers and made the trek there for lunch today.

Absolutely astounding food; so flavourful. The best Chinese meal I've had in ages. The #5 sliced garlic pork on soya sauce was the consensus group pick, but everything was great. Due to a communication error, we wound up with one wrong dish -- beef instead of green beans -- but we just ate it anyways, and it was as delicious as the other three.

The prices are up in the five months since this blog post - but hey, it's downtown Calgary. Five of us shared four dishes plus rice and tea for $65.

For those unfamiliar, it's located in the City Plaza strip mall, which currently also has a Thai Tai of all things, on the SW corner of Centre St. and 3rd Ave; it's hidden in the mall, has only 8 tables and is cash only. Worth the hunt, but it fills up at lunch.

Thanks, gang!

Calgary Patio Restaurant Scene

The patio at the Marriott is indeed Traders. It's big and sunny, but way corporate. I've been there for lunch a few times; the most notable item is the DIY salad station, which is pretty nice -- it has a wide variety of the various foodie staples (a selection of vinegars, baby greens, Raincoast crisps, etc.) You get one skewer of protein (salmon, chicken, shrimp IIRC) with. Assuming you're early -- arrive late, and you take what you can get. The price? SIXTEEN goddamn dollars. Needless to say, the only times I've been here, someone else has picked up the tab.

In previous years, The Bear and Kilt next door to the Joyce have opened up their own patio, the typical Stephen Ave. fenced-off tables & chairs. As I've said before, better food for less money. Other Stephen Ave. lunch patios off the top of my head (in addition to what John mentioned) include Blink, Divino, Rose Garden (both tables of it), King Henry VII or whatever (across from the Bay), Juan's, and the Unicorn. Some of them are only open at lunch on weekdays, I think, and if you go to a patio for a restaurant that's 50 feet, a door and a flight of stairs away, you get the service you get. Of course, weekday lunches the service is always a little hard to come by. All of the ones on the north side of the street (east of 2nd, at least) get plenty of sun, in my experience. Protection from sudden thundershowers like today's, well...

May 30, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Philly hound coming to Calgary

Sorry, folks. Didn't want to set off a firestorm on urban transportation -- for what it's worth, I live downtown and don't own a car -- I just wanted to note that while (I'm sure) there's excellent Vietnamese at Pacific Place, for someone who's staying and likely working/sightseeing downtown, it may not be worth half an hour each way on transit, nor the $20 on cab fare just for a slightly better (if that) bowl of phở than can be found for a 10 minute walk.

Mostly it was inspired by my own experience wandering for an hour in January '07 around Orient Heights in Boston looking for a seafood joint that, in retrospect, wasn't worth the walk.

May 21, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Philly hound coming to Calgary

I agree with John and FF, with a caveat -- If you're staying downtown and don't have a car, getting out to the suburbs can sometimes be a little challenging. For Vietnamese downtown, my favourite is Pho Pasteur Saigon, on 1st St SE between Riverfront and 3rd Ave. Right next door is Banh Mi Thi Thi, which is (if I recall) more-or-less the board's consensus pick for Vietnamese subs -- a good choice for a sunny day.

My Thai pick is always Rose Garden right on Stephen Ave, which does a decent (if way busy) lunch buffet, and is really nicer at night. The Tom Yum soup gets me every time.

Southwest Asia is Asian too, in my book -- Calgary has dozens of Lebanese shawarma and falafel joints; I'd recommend Tazza in Bridgeland. Sahara is downtown and sit-down; I enjoyed the one time I ate there -- if only I worked closer...

May 20, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Cajun/Creole in YYC

Booker's is okay, but not outstanding. It's certainly not super-authentic, but it's about the best in town. A lot like Palomino or Big T's for BBQ -- the food's okay, but it's the best of the type you'll find 'round these parts. Deliberately-run-down dining room, pretty good (but completely informal) service. Right across from the Cecil, so it's a shady neighbourhood.

I concur with John. Not that hard to cook yourself. There was a pretty recent thread on Andouille sausage, and you can buy file powder at Community Natural Foods in the jar bulk-herb section; it's filed under Sassafras, which it is.

If you aren't handy at all in the kitchen, Safeway carries (in the rice and beans section) Zatarain's products, sort of a Cajun hamburger helper -- cook some meat in a skillet, empty the box in, add water, cover and eat 20 minutes later. I'd put it on par with Booker's, actually.

When you do make Cajun (because everybody should); let me give you some hard-earned advice. No matter what you do, don't try to figure out how your roux is going by dipping a finger in, because it's literally boiling oil, only thicker, thanks to the flour. I learned this three weeks ago, and the skin's mostly grown back. Luckily, it's my left pinky.

Calgary: local specialties, must-try dishes?

I'm a big fan of the beef dip at the Bear and Kilt, in particular.

Apr 21, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Andouille Sausage

No line on andouille sausage, but I was thrilled to find file powder (the traditional winter thickener for gumbo) at Community Natural Foods, in the jarred bulk herbs section. (It's filed under "s" for "sassafras leaves".) I was less thrilled to burn my pinky while making a roux for my gumbo.

Apr 21, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Gaucho Ltd. Vs Bolero

If you need Brazilian supplies, there is a Brazilian shop on Macleod Trail, one block north of Chinook Centre, on the east side.
Googling indicates 5802 Macleod Trail SW. "Brasil With An S".

They're a convenience store sort of thing, but heavy on the Brazilian merchandise. I wandered in there once for a Guarana, but that was probably six months ago now.

inexpensive dinner in Calgary

Just a heads up on Jonas', I went there for lunch today, craving paprikash, and they're closed until the 27th. So they will be open next Friday, but you may not be able to make a reservation until almost the last minute. Also, the decor is a little home(l)y, which may or may not matter to you.

(The plan C we wound up with, for the record, was the Kabuli Grill, a new chain fast-food Indian place; they had a pleasant mango and black pepper potato dish, but the butter chicken was awful and the rest of the food was pretty bland and unappealing. Thai Express and Koryo are far better as far as the new Canadian-based Asian fast food chains.)

Another option in Kensington that's non-Asian is Marathon, an excellent Ethiopian place -- although the service is slow.

Mar 21, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces

Calgary - South Downtown Eats?

In addition to the name, where exactly is this empanada place? I did a search of the area tonight, and 11th/1st W has Vicious Circle, the shady strip mall, the Manhattan lofts and TransAlta. 11t/1st E has Cohos/Cantos, two gas stations and the big hole for Keystone.

I'm really looking forward to an empanada joint somewhere. Don't get my hopes up, man!

Mar 13, 2008
ByeByeBaby in Prairie Provinces