My Favorite Places To Eat In (and around!) Calgary

Happy Friday, everyone! Is it just me or do ‘short’ weeks seem infinitely longer? Ah well, I’m wearing stretchy pants at work and plan on scarfing homemade pizza for dinner so today can just do me a favor and whizz on by (well, at least up until 5pm!)

I decided I wanted to share some of my favorite places to eat in and around Calgary. Many of you aren’t remotely near Calgary (i.e.: ‘Murica) but I’mma do it anyways 🙂

Craft- They have the most selection of beer on tap and their food is local. And good. Sitting at the bar is nice as most barstaff are friendly. However, the atmosphere (say, on a Friday night) mostly consists of middle-aged groups and socializing is near impossible. Socializing meaning: single people trying to pick up other single people. Me- I don’t have that problem (Insert: husband).

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National- (One location is directly next door to Craft–and has a downstairs bowling alley!- and the other is on 17th Ave.) They also have a nice selection of beer, with a pretty unique TV display of what’s currently available (think: airport arrival/departure screens). The food is also pretty good and the layout consists of several long, solid picnic-like tables. This makes for good socializing.

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Brewster’s– Their food is consistantly good. There is never a mishap with an order or with service. Since they brew their own beer on site, we have noticed that the taste can vary from visit to visit, but then we know it’s authentic! We love that they have a location super close to our house, too.

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Kinjo– really good sushi. The place is always buzzing and the servers are quick and cheery. It’s also a great bang-for-your-buck type place. I especially like that you can see the food being prepared. And the nice man always gives me chocolate before we leave.

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Grizzly Paw– FAVORITE place to go in Canmore. Their food is amazing, the patio is an EXCELLENT spot to view the nearby mountains/people/dog watch, and their beer is one of my favorites ever. I only wished I lived in Canmore (Cough, cough, JO I’M JEALOUS OF YOU) so I could frequent the place more often. PS: They took their fried pickles off their menu, but we asked a server and he said you can still order them. BEST FRIED PICKLES EVER. Especially with their beer.

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Wild Flour- A great little bakery/cafe in Banff. Their food is fresh and healthy and the vibe is pretty chill. It’s always crowded in there with all sorts of people. Bathrooms aren’t labeled ‘men’ and ‘women,’ but rather ‘Humans” (or was it Homo Sapiens? Either way, I always get a good chuckle).  I’ve only ever ordered sandwiches and wraps, but I’m determined to get a brownie next time.

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Saltlik- NOTE: There are 2 Saltlik’s- one in Calgary and one in Banff. No offense Calgary location, but you ain’t got NOTHING on the Banff spot. The cocktail menu is pretty delicious (I’ve had everything on it) and their food is PHENOM. I always order the filet mignon with a side of asparagus (or broccoli) and scalloped potatoes. Best place to splurge ever.

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Calgary Farmer’s Market-  I love me some local goodies. And this place isn’t your typical tent/parking lot market. It’s an actual building that runs year round, Thurs-Sun. They have all sorts of products: meats, produce, dairy, GF, exotic, baked goods, florists, etc. etc. etc. I think my favorite part- besides all the free samples- is the ‘food court’. They have so many vendors that offer a variety of yummy things that you can sit and enjoy. Unless you go on Sunday afternoon, you’ll most likely be entertained with shrieking children and frazzled parents.

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The Rock-  Good pizza. It’s a chain restaurant from the states, but they still make a mean pizza that doesn’t feel ‘chain-y.’ From our experience, the staff is so-so and we’ve recently resorted to taking home our order.

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Anejo- some amazeballs margaritas. Cool vibe. Great food. Down side: $14 for guacamole made with only two avocados. Another downside: margaritas are small. Upside: they play movies via projector up on the brick wall, and there’s a cool upstairs space. And lots of tequila. Definitely get the tacos. In all varieties.

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Una- PIZZA NOM NOM NOM. I have heard from several people that this place was amahhhhhhhzing and they were right. The food is fantastic and the service is great. The restaurant is tiny and narrow, so it can make for some awkward seating (we were put up at the counter by the prep stations, just in front of the bathrooms). Nothing a bottle of wine can’t fix! Another bonus: since they don’t take resos, they take your phone number and suggest hitting the bar next door (National!) to wait for a table. Not a bad way to spend your waiting time.

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I know I’m probably missing a few, but these are the front runners (in my opinion).

Winesday Wednesday 12/18

Yes yes yes, it’s Winesday Wednesday!
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As I mentioned earlier in the week, I’m a crappy blogger, so I really haven’t given myself the time to actually sit down and write out these posts (as short as they are, they actually do take a while to put together! You should probably send me a gift for that.)
 
But let’s forget the past. I’m here now so everyone relax.
PS: it’s the holiday season and I know plenty of you are indulging in holiday temptations- one of which should include alcohol. SO HERE’S YOUR ASSIGNMENT. It’s so freaking easy. Send me a pic of a holiday drink you or someone you know has had! I want to see your eggnogs, your hot toddies, your cranberry martinis, bailey’s, EVERYTHING. That way, when I’m bored after opening all my wonderful presents next Wednesday, I’ll be able to throw a festive post together for your holiday reading pleasure.
 
Or not.
 
But please do.
 
OK, so what do we have to share this week. How about the submissions I received and never published? Yep.
 
Keith emailed: Last time we had this, I focussed on the stopper. This time the bottle showing a bit of dust. Down at the bottom you get a hint of the deep amber colour this wine has. It went very, very well with a roast chicken dinner, stuffing, baked spuds, and the salad you see. Sort of a modified waldorf, with a honey dressing and pickled ginger as one of the ingredients.  I’m drinking the wine while contemplating the wine order to phone in tomorrow. Such a soft and gentle wine this time, whereas the last pinot grigio was a fruity wine with a bit of a bite to it. Maybe an affectionado would say we’ve left it too long, but then, I don’t really care what the wine snobs say.
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Then there’s these babies:
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Oh yeah, and my parents got us this thing for Christmas.
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I used it for the first time last weekend when I opened a bottle of Cinnamon Mead (more on that) and the thing works amazing! Of course, it took me a few tries to get it right, but now that I know how to operate it, I’m a pro. Calgarians: invite me to parties and I can entertain your guests with my bottle opening skills.
 
Booze we’ve sampled lately:
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Village Brewery Gardener Ale- where the ingredients are locally grown/sourced. Pretty sweet! It’s similar to an IPA (which aren’t on the top of Tyler and my list) and it was pretty tasty. I think even more so knowing where it came from!
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Fallentimber Meadery- we picked up a bottle of cinnamon mead after having a sample at the local liquor store. It was actually pretty tasty and I LOVE me a local vendor! The guy turned out to be the owner of the place and he invited us out to the property to take a tour of how they brew/harvest honey. Not keen on bees, but definitely keen on mead. We’re going. 
Samuel Smith’s Cider– super sweet, but very light and yummy.
Grizzly Paw Winter Cranberry Ale– more like a porter! It was a very dark beer and had a rich, deep flavor. 
The Tin Brewery Chocolate Cherry Porter- the taste lived up to it’s name!
Whistler Brewing Company Chai Maple Ale- OOOOOOOOMYGOD. So deliciously lovely I want to drink it all the days of the week. It’s seasonal though, so that’s sad 😦
 
PS: Friday is national sangria day. I think I can do my part and indulge in a glass or two….can you??

Things of Late

Ahh, I wish I could have this past weekend back and relive it over and over. It was great weather, good company, and yummy food!

Thursday evening, I had plans to meet up with my friend Mackenzie at Color Me Mine. I thought it would be a great activity- and finally one that didn’t involve beer with the two of us. But, as soon as we got there, we noticed that the prices were sky-high! We hightailed it out of there and where do you guess we ended up……………a bar.

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I was kind of bummed that we didn’t end up with any pottery- since I was really hoping on painting a pretty sweet cake stand. Ah well.

Friday I took the puppies to the park for a good chunk of the afternoon. They got lots of play time in with other pups and Layla got in a few swims.

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We had hot dogs for dinner. And beer. Delicious grapefruit beer. It tastes best with a shot of vodka in it. Don’t question the madness- just try it!

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And the puppies helped man the BBQ with Tyler.

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Saturday, we went to Canmore to visit our favorite brew pub and to walk around for a few hours. It’s always such a delicious experience when we go to Grizzly Paw!

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Tyler ordered the deep fried pickles and fish and chips and I got the veggie panini.

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To top off a wonderful afternoon, we had ribs for dinner! They are seriously so good that I almost eat myself into a coma every time Tyler makes them. So worth it though.

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We also started watching Weeds. Yup, I’m addicted to that show. I am seriously loving Netflix with all this binge watching I can do. 

Sunday we met up with our friends Crystie and Greg at the Sun and Salsa Festival. Tyler and I went last year and it was so damn HOT. This year was a lot better temperature wise, but it was still crowded as hell. Yuck.

We stopped at one of the restaurants within Kensington (Pulcinella) for pizza and it was so good I seriously could have eaten two. 

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Lots of stuff was on the agenda today, but I want to get in a couple episodes of Weeds before bed tonight. Catch ya later!

What’s your favorite new-to-you show?