Optimistically Cautious

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Calgary Food Sojourn

    I've timed an upcoming weekend in Calgary in order to take advantage of their Dine-Out week (which runs March 10-16). But with some research, I've found that high-priced dinners aren't the only thing that our southern neighbour has to offer:

    • The establishment to visit at the top of my list isn't actually a restaurant. I have heard nothing but good things about Phil & Sebastian Coffee, one of the vendors at the Calgary Farmer's Market. From absolutely glowing media reviews to a near cult following on the Chowhound boards, it seems Phil & Sebastian's has raised the coffee bar in Cowtown. I would like to try their French-pressed brewed coffee firsthand, and determine if expensive brewing equipment (in this case, a $10,000 Clover machine) really does make a difference.

    • For dinner, I've been cross-referencing the Dine-Out Calgary website with a few other sources, including FFWD's "Best of" list from 2007 and of course, deferring to the experts on Chowhound. While the menus at JAROblue, Metropolitan Grill, and the River Cafe don't really appeal to me, they do seem to be the names that I see repeated quite a bit. Out of them all, Q Haute Cuisine seems to be the winner (and reservations can conveniently be made via OpenTable too!).

    • I had an absolutely fabulous brunch experience at Diner Deluxe last year, and am hoping to find something equally as great. Avenue Diner didn't live up to my expectations, but I have three other viable candidates that I have to choose from: Galaxie Diner, Belmont Diner, and the Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus. Nellie's, which consistently appears on FFWD's "Best of" list, also seems to attract a branding of being overrated. Perhaps I will have the opportunity to judge for myself in the future.
    On the topic of Calgary, the newly released My Favourite Cheap Eats: Calgary, Banff, Canmore, Foothills and beyond by food writer John Gilchrist focuses on lunches and dinners priced under $15 and $20, respectively, offered at independent eateries. Edmonton could definitely use such a publication.

    Any other restaurant or dining suggestions from those familiar with Calgary's food scene?

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    2 Comments:

    Blogger Andrea said...

    Try Hatam Kabob House on 1115 Edmonton Trail NE. I THINK that's the restaurant my Iranian friend took me 2 years ago. It was my first time eating Persian food, and I've loved it since. Too bad Edmonton doesn't have any good ones....or does it??? Tell me if you know of any!

    March 8, 2008 at 5:33 PM  
    Blogger Sharon said...

    Thanks for the suggestion! As for Persian food in general, I haven't tried it, but if I hear of any rumblings in Edmonton, I will let you know.

    March 9, 2008 at 10:03 PM  

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