Bars/Lounges · Beer · Burgers · Happy Hour · Restaurants · Wings

Silver Point Pub – Wing Night

I’ve been planning small social meet and greets at local businesses. I picked Silver Point Pub in Silver Springs because the employee on the phone was so accommodating when I called to ask about reservations. In the past summer, a volunteer brought me here so he could use the washroom and ask for a glass of water. The server asked me if I wanted some water too. I didn’t want to be a bother but she ensured me she would be happy to do so. For this post, let’s listen to Gary Portnoy’s “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”.

We picked a Wednesday to host this get together, which happened to be wing night. The pub was packed and as a result, food came out a bit slowly. I didn’t mind as when the food did arrive, it was hot and fresh. I rather wait a bit and have the food properly prepared then sent out fast because it was premade.

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Kudos to our lone server Lea. She was around constantly to refill drinks and greet each new person that showed up at our tables. Due to our limited budget, my office hosted complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. I ordered two plates of nachos ($12.99), 15 plates of wings ($5) and a veggie platter ($9). I had to think of a nice way to tell people if they wanted booze, they were on their own. I decided with the following sentence – Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at the guest’s own expense.

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The wings were fresh out of the fryer, glistening and saucy. The teriyaki wings had a buttery aftertaste. The salt and pepper were the crowd’s favourite. One guest ordered the Ghost Hot wings. I stuck to the regular old hot wings.

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The nachos were generously topped with gooey cheese, hot peppers, green onions, tomatoes, and black olives. The topping ratio to chips was excellent. The cheese and chips stayed warm for a long time.

For 30 plus guests, the bill with a 20% gratuity was under $200. That worked out to about $6.00 a guest. I have two more events coming up. I hope I can get the budget close to what received at Silver Point Pub.

Silver Point Pub & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Brunch · Burgers · Comfort food · French · Happy Hour · Restaurants

Brasserie Kensington – Big Taste 2018

Asian Persuasion, Ay Caramba, Office Dad, Lam Jam and I had the most delicious lunch at Brasserie Kensington. For this post, let’s listen to a song I listen to rev me up for work – Bitch Better Have My Money by Rihanna.

We tumbled into a packed restaurant. We were seated near the window, which affords a street view of Kensington.

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The Big Taste of Calgary menu offers a stellar deal. For only $18 we had the choice of an appetizer, main and dessert:

Peasant Duck Broth Soup or Green Bean and Lentil Salad

Brasserie Grilled Gruyere & Raclette Cheese & Vegetable Sandwich, Brasserie Beef Bourguignon with Toasted Baguette, or Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Collard Green Coleslaw

Baked Alaska with Italian Meringue & House Made Coffee Ice Cream, Chocolate Waffles with White Chocolate Sauce & Confit Apple or Coconut Creme Brûlée.

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We all ordered the duck soup. Ay Caramba and I picked beef bourguignon for our mains. Office Dad, Asian Persuasion, and Office Dad ordered the chicken sandwich. Lam Jam asked for the raclette cheese and vegetable sandwich. When the chicken sandwich came to the table, our mouths dropped. This is what I imagine patrons are like at a strip club. I was drooling. That sandwich was just busting out with chicken. Lam Jam received the chicken sandwich instead of his racelette sandwich, but he remained quiet because after he saw the chicken sandwich, he also wanted a piece of that.

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I watched my coworkers as they bit into their sandwich, moaning with ecstasy as the juices dripped down onto their plate. I have to admit, I got food envy. That is, until I tried my own entree.

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Ay Caramba and I were over the moon with our beef bourguignon. That dark gravy sauce was incredible. The potato wedges were baked and then layered on top of the stew. The carrots were bright orange, the potatoes a mellow yellow. I asked Annika if she could pack my stew for me, as I didn’t want to overeat. It was a good thing I’m so fond of this stew. On the way back from work, I spilled the sauce in my work bag.

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The desserts were phenomenal. The exterior of the baked Alaskan was warm and rich. The homemade coffee ice cream was cool and creamy. The layer of cake on the bottom tasted so good I ate every crumb.

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Ay Caramba picked a coconut brulee. Office Dad picked the chocolate waffles. Usually in a group, you have that one person that poo poos everything. In this group, it’s usually  Office Dad. Everyone was happy. A Christmas miracle in March.

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Brasserie Kensington makes it on Hitting the Sauce’s list of best restaurants in Calgary. I want to return for happy hour and dinner. If you can still manage to wrangle a reservation for Big Taste, do it.

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Brasserie Kensington Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Brunch · Burgers · Restaurants · Vancouver/Richmond

Richmond – White Spot – Part Deux

I asked my father Ludwig where he wanted to go for breakfast. White Spot he responded, without a moment’s hesitation. However, he stressed that we were not to eat at the location inside Richmond Centre. Though I didn’t ask him why, he proceeded to inform me the reason. First, let’s put on some music. As my father stands firm when he makes a decision, let’s listen to Johnny Cash I Won’t Back Down.

Here’s the story. My father went to the White Spot located inside Richmond Centre. He noticed that there was all new staff. He emphasized that he did not recognize any of the employees. He ordered his usual – fish and chips with extra lemon. When his food arrived, the fish was so poorly cooked he didn’t eat it. It was not just the fish that tasted poorly. The fries were little shards of dried up potato and the coleslaw was not fresh. When the server came to clear his dish, she asked him if he wanted to pack up the leftovers. Ludwig responded, “I’ve been coming to the White Spot since I was a young boy. When I attended UBC,  I would drop by at the Broadway location after my classes. This was in the 60s. Since then, I have eaten at numerous White Spots all over the province so I am well aware of what the food should taste like. I am now 76 years old. I have to say this was the worst meal I have ever eaten at a White Spot.” The server said she could take $8.00 off the bill. Ludwig said that was a nice gesture but he would never return.

To sum up Ludwig’s story succinctly, he will now only eat at 5880 Number 3 Road, not the one at 6551 Number 3 RD. I wanted to cut some calories so I didn’t order my own plate. My vegetarian father ordered Nat’s Hearty Breakfast ($13.49). He picked scrambled eggs, three sausages, smash brown potatoes, and two pancakes with diabetic maple syrup.

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My father weighs 124 pounds and he’s 5 foot seven. Yet he ate everything on his plate and ordered another refill for the potatoes. I don’t know where he packs it away. And why didn’t I get his metabolism? I did eat half a pancake and half a sausage. It was pretty tasty. The pancake was light and fluffy. The sausage was juicy and tasty, not like the tiny tasteless ones you get at Safeway. Ludwig disagreed with my observation and he said it wasn’t that much food as he had given me a pancake and a sausage.

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L ordered the Breakfast Quesadilla ($14.99) and shared it with me. This is a breakfast I can get behind. Two crisp tortillas were filled with mushrooms, fresh spinach, three cheeses, green onions, scrambled eggs, and chorizo sausage. The filling wasn’t uniformly hot, the cheese and spinach were warm but the eggs were colder. The cilantro in the sour cream was quite subtle so I enjoyed it.

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I’m all White Spotted out. Next!

White Spot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Brunch · Burgers · Happy Hour · Pizza · Pubs · Restaurants

Jamesons Irish Pub

I had a team meeting at Jamesons in Brentwood. I didn’t really want to go on a Friday afternoon but that’s not very team-oriented to say to my boss! At this time of the year, things get a little crazy at the office. So let’s play some appropriate music…

Happy hour entails $5 glasses of house wine and 12 ounce glasses of beer. I was pleased to see Shock Top on the list of draft beers. We ordered a party platter ($33) which consisted of calamari, sausage, dumplings, wings, riblets and vegetables. I wanted hot wings but Rascal and Ayecaramba are wimps when it comes to spice. Tread Lightly asked for hot sauce on the side, cuz he’s a problem solver.  For the riblets, the consensus minus my opinion was Greek-style seasoning. I thought it was a bit odd that the platter came on a baking sheet. I noticed the nachos arrived on a baking sheet as well.

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My favourite items were the sausages and calamari. The sausage was grilled on the outside, the interior was juicy and flavourful. The batter on the calamari was light and the squid was tender. The gyoza was better than what you get at Safeway but about the equivalent of what you find at T&T Supermarket. The riblets were dry as were the wings.

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Tread Lightly ordered ham flatbread ($11.99) that looked tasty. I wasn’t hungry enough to try it but it looked good with its layer of gooey cheese and crunchy thin crust.

Overall, Jamesons is a good university pub. The restaurant itself is nicer looking than your average pub, with lots of natural light and new furniture and fixtures. Add in happy hour pricing, and it would be a regular hangout for me if I lived nearby.

Jamesons Irish Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomatoon

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Burgers · Patio · Pizza · Pubs · Restaurants

Tudor Rose – Sunday Happy Hour

Last Sunday, Chris, Barbie and I went door knocking with Ward 3 candidate Jyoti Gondek.  When we were finished, she told she was taking us out for food to celebrate a new milestone – 7, 500 doors! Since Jyoti’s number one priority is to ensure the needs of ward 3 communities are not overlooked, I’m going to play the song ‘Uprising’ by Muse.

We went to her favourite local pub –  Tudor Rose. On Sunday afternoon, Tudor Rose offers an appetizer special – two for one appetizers. We each picked a dish – Crispy Calamari ($12), Stuffed Yorkies ($13), Pub Wings ($13) and Basil Meatballs.

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I tried everything but the stuffed yorkies as Chris was famished and he could use the calories more than I. These babies looked glorious – nicely brown, puffed up and filled with beef and soaked in dark gravy. I tried the horseradish dip and that had a nice bite to it.

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I enjoyed the super-sized beef meatballs. I liked the sprinkle of feta cheese and the tangy tomato sauce. The beef was tender and I could tell the basil inside the meatball was fresh. When I ate this I imagined a little elderly Italian woman in the back of Tudor Rose making homemade meatballs by hand. I have a wild imagination.

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The wings were hot and crispy. I appreciated the garnish of fresh vegetables – celery, carrots and bell peppers. The wings were meaty and moist. I’ve been told not to use the word ‘moist’ because people find the adjective gross.  I could use the word juicy but I don’t find chicken juicy. Chicken doesn’t squirt juices out like a nice steak. I stand by the word moist.

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The calamari was a non-typical version. The squid came in squiggly ringlets. The exterior  of the squid had more of a crumb texture than the battered type you get at Paros Souvla. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the non-creamy dip, but it was good and probably a lot healthier. The calamari was tasty on its own so that it didn’t need anything other than a squirt of lemon.

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The municipal election is coming soon… October 16, 2017. If you plan to vote, check out the City of Calgary’s election website and learn where you can vote and more about the candidates in each ward.

Tudor Rose Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Brunch · Burgers · Dessert · Happy Hour · Restaurants · Seafood

Cactus Club – Yelp Elite Event

I write reviews on Yelp solely to get invited to their ‘elite’ parties. Most recently, I attended a Taste of Cactus Club. Holy smokes – their management team (Elim, Jim, Curtis and Kurt) can throw down. We were so spoiled, I felt like a rock star. For this post, I think Guns N’ Roses ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ would be most appropriate.

 

When I arrived, I was handed a flute of Blue Mountain Brut that was refilled continuously throughout the night. Our two tables were on the patio section. I lucked out and sat with social Yelpers Stephanie M, Jen L, Nadia, Jen 2 and Diane. Bottles of chilled sparkling and mineral water sat in champagne buckets nearby and were used to replenish our water glasses as we feasted the night away.

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Elim gave us an orientation for the night as we opened our goodie bags. We all received a $50 gift Cactus Club certificate, a Cactus bandana, custom-made chocolates flavoured after each of their desserts and a choose your own adventure booklet that we used to for our ‘Taste of Cactus’ event.

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I opened my book to read my first food adventure. “No good story ever started with a salad, and this is going to be a great one. So, tell us, when having a cocktail, do you prefer a sophisticated slush, or is your cocktail refreshing and on the rocks?” Stephanie M influenced my choice by telling me how much she loves gin. I picked option two – a summer sipper on the rocks.

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The “Summer Smash” cocktail consisted of gin, cucumber, Thai basil, lime and soda. This is the sort of drink that goes down way too easy. Light, refreshing and herbal. I was off to a great start! The slush – a Frose- looked really good too – a blend of rose wine, strawberries, elderflower, vodka and lemon. I want to try it next time.

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For our appetizer, I was given the option of a tuna tataki or a tuna stack. I wanted something creamy so I chose the tuna stack, which consisted of ocean wise albacore, citrus vinaigrette, nori, sesame, avocado and wonton chips. I requested no cilantro. This was a tasty and healthy way to start off our meal. I made sure to mix the dressing and all the ingredients up well before stacking it on my crunchy wonton chips.

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For our entrees, we were asked if a) is it beer and bar foods all day every day b) If you say you’re a meat and potatoes kind of person c) Do you prefer delicious food that’s fresh and healthy? I asked myself, “Who am I”? I thought of how tight my clothes were becoming and picked c. Thankfully, it was indeed delicious. If all vegetarian food tasted like Cactus Club’s ‘Modern Bowl’, I’d become one.

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The modern bowl was a colourful array of ingredients – tabbouleh, grilled avocado, pineapple salsa, roasted cauliflower and broccoli, tomatoes, cucumber, fancy greens, jasmine rice, and the most magically delicious ingredient – miso carrot ginger sauce. You mix up all the ingredients to get a filling and tasty dish. The pineapple salsa elevated this dish by adding a tropical, sophisticated flavour profile. You can also get salmon or chicken instead of avocado. My bowl was paired a glass of Adobe Reserva Sauvignon Blanc.

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I liked the modern bowl even more than the double-crossed pineapple hoisin short rib dish, which Jen L and Nadine gave me to try. The short rib was slow cooked for five hours, the pineapple ginger glaze and shiitake mushrooms gave it that extra edge over all other short ribs I’ve consumed.

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Cactus Club’s marketing maven – Elim – couldn’t finish her chicken tacos and fries. Even though I was so full, both Jen L and I couldn’t resist finishing of Elim’s sea salted fries. These fries put McDonald’s to shame. This was a perfect balance of crispy exterior and a soft mealy potato texture in the inside.

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My new friends and I turned to the last chapter of our food adventure. “Now for the million dollar decision… dessert. Which movie title best describes you? “Confessions of a Chocoholic” or “Life of Pi(e)?”.

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Turns out it’s a crime to have to choose between desserts, so they treated us to a little taste of both. My favourite of the two was the caramel chocolate mousse. I enjoyed the sweet, warm foam and the crunchy toffee. The key lime pie was good too, tart from their use of 25 key limes in every pie.

I arrived at 4:30 p.m. and I left around 8:00 p.m. I was having such a good time I didn’t even realize how long I was there. I dig the energy and vibe at Cactus. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun. I’m looking forward to using my gift certificate to try their other lifestyle dishes, like the rain coast greens, the ceviche and the modern bowl again because it was that good. Hitting the Sauce gives Cactus Club Cafe two fat thumbs up.

Cactus Club Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Burgers · Patio · Pizza · Pubs · Restaurants · Wings

Canadian Brewhouse

Last Sunday, Barbie and I went door knocking with Ward 3 city councillor candidate Jyoti Gondek. We finished by the late afternoon. Jyoti decided to treat her volunteers to some wings and beer at The Canadian Brewhouse in Country Hills. I’ll never say no to wings.

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This place was busy, considering it wasn’t lunch or close enough to dinner time. We sat upstairs in the patio. Man – I am getting old. There was a group of baby faced adults that were hooting and hollering. The noise actually hurt my ears. We walked as far away as possible and sat where we could hear ourselves talk. For this posting, I’m playing the Golden Girls’ theme song because I’m turning into a cranky old woman.

I drank a pint of Blue Moon beer ($7.99) and later a glass of buttery Chardonnay. We ordered a pound of hot and BBQ wings ($12.99). Each pound contained about eight wings.

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I liked that the wings were large and meaty, with no blue bruised meat. The meat was juicy too. Each basket came with carrots, celery, cucumber and ranch, which me feel a little bit better about eating delicious deep-fried skin.

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If The Canadian Brewhouse can pump out wings that tasty, I’m keen to come again to try some other dishes. I noticed most people ordering salads and entrees. Thanks Jyoti for treating us. Our turn next time.

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The Canadian Brewhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Brunch · Burgers · Happy Hour · Restaurants

Local Public Eatery – Stampede 2017 Series

For this post, I’m going country. Let’s go!

Don’t wantcha for the weekend, don’t wantcha for a night
I’m only interested if I can have you for life, yeah
Uh, I know I sound serious; and baby, I am
You’re a fine piece of real estate, and I’m gonna get me some land

It’s pretty square at my office year-round, but during Stampede the whole office loosens up. My colleague Aycaramba and I use up our extra lieu time to enjoy the merrier mood. On Thursday, Downtown Calgary hosted the first pancake flip of the Calgary Stampede. We ate pancakes with whip cream and berries, savoured each bite of our sausage and washed it all down with orange juice and Starbucks coffee.

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We went back to the office to work and headed out again for lunch. Aycaramba has never worked downtown. During Stampede, the whole core comes to life. We sailed by the patios at Milestones, Catch, The James Joyce, Original Joe’s, The Unicorn until we came to the Local Public Eatery. This spot is the best for Stampede vibes because it’s filled with locals and not tourists.

As we were not returning to work, we indulged in a couple of beers. I picked a refreshing, easy gulping beverage – Shock Top. This was a fruity wheat ale with a sweet aftertaste. For $5.50, it’s also a wicked deal on Stephen Ave.

The patio was packed and every time a server walked by with hot wings, I started to salivate. Aycaramba and I shared the Tuna Club Sandwich with truffle fries ($17, + $2 for upgrade). Our server was awesome and didn’t rush us out. She also split our food and bill. I wish I asked her name to give her props. She’s a petite brunette that was working the corner of the patio by the door.

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The tuna club was delicious. Packed between toasted bread was a cool piece of seared tuna, crispy smoked bacon, melted cheese and ample slices of avocado and tomatoes. I liked that each bite of my sandwich contained some tuna. The yam fries had this decadent truffle lemon mayonnaise with parmesan cheese. My half portion was perfect. I was left full but not stuffed.

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The crowd was fun and friendly. We chatted with the other people at our communal table. The oil and gas guy sitting next to Aycaramba picked her up and asked if she was free during Stampede to have a liquid lunch with him or (after he watched her expression) a coffee. I watched Oil & Gas drink from stemless wine glasses with a liquid that was filled to the top. I asked what he and his friends were drinking. Oil and Gas responded it was white wine. Puzzled, I asked why it was filled to the top. His friend said it was because they ordered doubles. Aycaramba!

For people-watching and food, Local is my new favourite hangout. I’m already planning on returning for lunch next week. Hitting the Sauce gives Local two fat thumbs up! Yahoo!

Local Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Burgers · Happy Hour · Patio · Pizza · Restaurants

Spot On Kitchen – Kid-friendly Pub

I met my in-laws at Spot on Kitchen for happy hour on Friday. My sister-in-law Turned loves this place because of the high-chairs, colouring sheets and range of toys to amuse her toddler Jack. The covered patio is nice – it gets lot of light and the deck is decorated with Japanese maple trees and planter baskets.

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My sister-in-law Turned tied up her dog Sam outside the patio. Sam, who I like to call Sam the Scam because of his cunning ways, wedged himself under the patio wall and crawled inside. Turned tried to squeeze Sam out, but got tired and said Sam could stay. Our server apologetically informed her dogs are not allowed on the patio. Can you guess what I`m going to play for this post? Baha Men – Who let the dogs out.

Turned untied Sam’s leash and had her partner Dave lifted him over the wall. I just sat there silently judging, thankful it wasn’t my dog that misbehaved. Turned should bring Sam to Vin Room’s dog-friendly patio.

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Happy hour runs from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Drink specials include $4.00 glasses of wine, $6 pints (which isn’t advertised) and $4.00 nibbles. I enjoyed my pint of Belgian Moon as it was bubbly and the wedge of orange was fresh and juicy. I hate it when I get flat beer and dried up garnishes.

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We ordered boneless chicken bites, kettle chip style nachos with pulled pork and onions and fries. We ordered avocado on the chips too but I think the kitchen forgot to put it on. I prefer kettle chips over tortilla chips any day. The potato chips make for a lighter dish and the delicate flavour of chips didn’t overpower the ingredients, so I could taste more of the toppings. This whole dish was only six bucks. Four dollars for the kettle chips and a dollar for every additional topping.

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The chicken bites were better than I expected. The chicken was tender and it was served hot, with the same sauce options as the wings. The chicken bites tasted like wings but without the crispy skin (which is the best part). For four dollars, it was a good deal.

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Spot On Kitchen & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Brunch · Burgers · Happy Hour · Patio · Pizza · Restaurants · Seafood · Special Occasion

Charbar – Rooftop Patio

It was my colleague’s Aycarama birthday on Wednesday. I wanted to book a table on a patio in the downtown core. My first choice was Charbar but I thought that there was no way I could get a table for eight. I called National and the hostess was rude and unhelpful. I contacted Cactus Club and the male hostess was snotty but a bit more helpful. Finally, I phoned Charbar and I was relieved to speak to someone who actually sounded like they wanted us to visit. The hostess told me she thought I had a good chance of getting a table if I came at 3:30pm. When I got to Charbar at 3:15 pm, the same hostess that was so lovely on the phone chatted pleasantly with us as our table was prepared upstairs. The service from there on continued to be excellent.

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Charbar offers happy hour from Monday to Friday between 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Pints of Steam Whistle, cava, rioja, vinho verde, and cave de rasteau rosé were only $5.00. The view was free but it is probably valued at five million.

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What I really liked about the happy hour menu was there was an actual selection to choose from (if you like wine). Also, those same wines can be found on the regular menu, meaning you aren’t given a cheap wine that is just served during happy hour.

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I told Aycarama to try the Rooftop Burger ($16) as I think it’s one of the best I’ve eaten. Made with Alberta beef, it’s a gooey mess of provolone cheese, sauce, ripe tomato, shredded lettuce, all squished between a soft brioche bun. I tried a potato wedge and while it was good, the regular fries served at the restaurant are better.

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I ordered the Napa cabbage salad sprouted lentils, mixed with avocado, crunchy seeds, mint and doused in citrus ($17). I should have ordered the smaller size and added chicken, but live and learn. I like this salad for all the different textures and because the mint in it is so refreshing. For a salad, it was a delicious as it could possibly be. However, I did stare at Aycarama’s burger the entire time she ate it, which was probably uncomfortable for her. She’s also a slow eater, so I was eyeing it for a good hour.

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My office mates and I really enjoyed our time at Charbar. The view is stunning, the service was spectacular and the food and wine was awesome. I have to bring my husband here for date night. This place is a gem. Hitting the Sauce gives Charbar two fat thumbs up and it makes it on my list of favourite places to eat in Calgary.

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Charbar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato