This last week has been a food fest. I met up with Zoomhahaa for oysters, L for pizza at Two House, Lululemon and Kournikova for beer, pizza, wine and dessert, and a takeout lunch of Chinese BBQ. Let’s listen to “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus for this post.
Zoomhahaa and I met up at Koto Sushi. Our server was friendly and didn’t make us feel bad for taking advantage of their wicked happy hour oyster special. West Coast oysters were only $1.25 each, and that is the deal of the year.
Zoomhahaa and I prefer West Coast oysters over East Coast because we like our oysters fat and creamy. In comparison, East Coast oysters are flatter and thinner in size, with briner, saltier notes.
We started with a dozen oysters each. Each oyster was shell-fragment-free, a major shucking feat, especially for happy hour. The sea morsels were milky and smelled like the ocean. We alternated between the green onion mignonette and eating the oysters with lemon and its natural juices. Paired with a cold Sapporo ($6) and a big glass of wine ($6), we both exclaimed there was no better way to spend an hour after work. We ordered a second dozen oysters each, and the last round was even better than the first. We left full and happy, and I swear, I was just one oyster away from gout.
The next night, I felt chipper after work, so I told L I was taking him out for pizza at Two House Brewery. We shared the Formaggi ($23) pizza. This pizza is so simple but so good. The cheeses paired well with the sweet drizzle of honey. We washed our supper with Yuzu Shio beer (12 oz, $6), a light, lemony beer.
I met Lululemon and Kournikova on Thursday at the Bear and Kilt on Stephen Avenue. Once you walk in, you feel like you are in ye olde Calgary. The whole setup is adorable, with old furniture and vintage memorabilia. We bumped into Christina, the co-owner of Klein & Harris, who rushed in to check something. Kournikova also knows Christina, and she mentioned she was heading to her restaurant for a late dinner with her husband.
Lululemon and I drank Wild Rose beers ($7.99) and personal pizzas ($14.99). Kournikova ordered Patron and soda ($14). For our second drink, Kournikova felt like wine, so we walked to Annabelle’s Bar across the street for another drink. There, we shared a bottle of sparkling rose. We met the manager, Simon, who knows Eric, the co-owner of Juice Imports. We chatted about the restaurant culture in Montreal and how getting wine from Pinard & Filles in Calgary was easier than in Quebec, where the winery is located.
Kournikova settled our tab and took off to meet her husband across the street for dinner. Lululemon ordered us beverages, as well as Whipped Ricotta ($15), Tiramisu ($12) and Crème Brulée ($12). I was so full from the pizza, but the tiramisu was so light and soft, it was too delightful not to devour. Lululemon took that photo below, in case you are wondering why there’s one good photo on the post. She told me not to fight for the bill, and she said it was such fierceness I backed down and said I would get the next one. When we finished, I called an Uber to take us home. The driver pretended to be outside but wasn’t and cancelled on me. Lululemon hailed us a taxi instead, and the next day on Good Friday, I slept off all the dessert and wine.
On Saturday, I went to Sun’s BBQ to pick up some duck and BBQ pork. After I made my purchases, I walked a block over to BBQ Express and picked up a two-meat-on-rice lunch combo ($11). I ordered soy sauce chicken and crispy pork. Two things stood out. First, the owner was so friendly and polite. Second, he was so generous with the meats he had to put a rubber band over the container so the food wouldn’t spill out.
When I got home, I hastily snapped a photo. Unfortunately, the angle of my image is awful, as it doesn’t show off the crispy skin. The pork was tender and cut well, so each slice of meat with crunchy skin was proportional and fit nicely in my mouth. There’s just something so winning about the combination of the plainness of the steamed rice in contrast to the rich, fatty crunch of the skin. The soy chicken was the show’s star, as the meat was plump and silky. The sauce on the chicken skin was light but flavourful, with a touch of sweetness. The food was so good I posted it on Calgary Food – FoodYYC.
Unfortunately, I received three unpleasant comments. One complainant doesn’t know how to use contractions. Another thinks anyone that has a cash only business is a thief, liar, or criminal. The third person tried to argue that I didn’t eat crispy pork, even though I said I did and you can see the crackling skin poking through. All I wanted to do was spread some good news about a cheap and cheerful eatery, but hey, it’s the Internet, and everyone has an opinion.
When I looked up the names of a couple haters, I recognized their writing style and realized they used to write nasty comments on my previous employer’s Facebook page. What a small world! I think I’ll stick to sharing my experiences on my blog, where it is a safe place to spread the word about delicious eats in Calgary.