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

Klein & Harris

L won an award! To celebrate this special occasion, he took his parents and I to Klein & Harris Restaurant. For this post, let’s listen to “Whatta a Man by Salt ‘N’ Pepa.

Originally, L wanted to take his parents to Caesar’s Steakhouse. I convinced him to change the venue to Klein & Harris. He was initially worried his parents would be confused with a menu that wasn’t just meat and potatoes. Klein and Harris only uses Canadian produce, wines and spirits to create a ‘true North cuisine’.

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I first met Christina Mah – the co-owner of Klein & Harris – when she was the GM at Raw Bar. When she heard we were celebrating a special occasion, she sent over a complimentary round of prosecco with sumac and kiwi bitters. L’s teetotaler mother Loving Disapproval admired the pretty pink hue so much, she even took a sip. This is the sort of drink I adore – light, refreshing and bubbly.

mocktailWe arrived early enough to partake in happy hour drinks. L and his father Bobbino enjoyed an easy drinking beer – Philips Kolsh ($5.00). Loving Disapproval ordered a mocktail made with seasonal ingredients ($5.50). I found a new favourite white wine – Longhand Pinot Grigio 2017 ($9, HH $5). The regular price for a bottle is only $42, which is a wicked deal, particularly on Stephen Ave. The wine was pleasant, smooth and clean. I also tried a buttery, full-bodied glass of Chateau des Charmes Chardonnay 2017 Niagara on the Lake ($14.75, 7 ounce).

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For appetizers, we ordered Diver Scallops ($20), Mushroom Ravioli ($16), and Grilled Humboldt Squid ($18). For our mains, we ordered Alberta Lamb Loin ($26), Duck Breast ($26), and the Wednesday’s Coastal Feature ($25). I only ordered three appetizers and three mains because L had to leave early to prepare for the ceremony and I’m trying to eat smaller portions. If you have a regular appetite, I would highly recommend that each person order an appetizer and main.

Loving Disapproval thinks she’s allergic to peppers. As a result, the chef prepared all the dishes without peppers, and instead, put it on the side for us to enjoy. We really appreciate the extra effort, as that was a lot of  work for the chef to accommodate one guest while still allowing the rest of us to taste the dish as it was originally intended.

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The Diver scallops were cooked to perfection.  The outside was caramelized brown and the inside was silky smooth. These scallops were savoury from bacon and sweet from the apple nosh.

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The grilled Humboldt squid was overwhelmingly impressive.  Unless someone told me this was squid, I wouldn’t have known because the smooth, soft consistency was unlike any squid I have ever had.

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Loving Disapproval was enthralled with the mushroom ravioli. The filling was finely chopped, almost like a puree or a pate.  L is not a fan of mushrooms and he was impressed. The pasta itself was tender and delicate. The addition of the leeks, blistered tomatoes, greens and smoked Gouda made this dish quite substantial for an appetizer.

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The lamb loin was pink and juicy in the middle.  Like the Humboldt squid, I’ve never tasted lamb with such a succulent texture. The sauce of green tomato and rosemary relish was really tasty and a wonderful compliment to the mild flavour of the lamb.

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L enjoyed the Coastal Feature, a white fish. He said it reminded him of Scandinavian cuisine. He liked the pickled potatoes, the freshness of the flavours, and the crispness of the fish and lettuce.

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My favourite entree was the duck breast. The meat was thick, soft and satiny. I’m familiar with Chinese BBQ duck, which is more gamey, dry and has a rougher texture. At home, I’ve made duck breast twice before and it was so rubbery, I had to throw it out.

This was an eye-opening experience for me. I am astonished that scallops, squid, duck, and lamb can taste like this.  I credit executive chef James Waters’ technique and skill. Truly, he is a master with meats and seafood.

I think Klein and Harris offers some of the best value in Calgary. That’s saying a lot because I find my go to restaurants in the city are well-priced. This gem makes it on my list of favourite restaurants in Calgary. Hitting the Sauce gives Klein & Harris two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Klein & Harris Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Brunch · Chinatown · Chinese · New York · Patio · Restaurants · Special Occasion

New York – Bar 54, Ellen’s Stardust Diner and Cheong Fun Cart

Beep Beep wanted to have a drink at Bar 54. She mentioned the bar was overpriced and touristy, but she wanted to see the rooftop view of Chrysler Building and of lower Manhattan. We toasted to her birthday with an Aperol Spritzer ($26) and a Rosolio Spritz ($26). The spritzer tasted gross and reminded me of cough medicine. Pro-tip – stick to wine. We much preferred our glass of Rodney Strong Knights Valley ($19) over the cocktails. After midnight, we decided to call it a night.

We were about to enter the subway when a dirty looking man peeped through the gate and started babbling in a high-pitched baby voice: “Nooo? Yesss! Nooo? Yesss!” Before I could stop myself, I responded “Noooo.” Subway Guy looked excited and repeated “Yesss?” I sternly shook my head and said firmly “No!” Since we hadn’t entered through the gate, he assumed we were looking for another train. He said if we went up the stairs and to the left, the other train would be there. I didn’t like his eagerness and the fact he wanted to continue our ‘conversation’ so we pretended to exit. When I heard him take off, we returned to wait for our train. There was another guy there who there who half-heartedly muttered, “Noooo? Yesss!” We ignored him. For this post, let’s listen to Trouble by Pink.

A minute before our train arrived, Subway Guy came back and told his friend he couldn’t find us. I pulled my large black hood over my head. Beep Beep whispered, “Your disguise sucks. You are not fooling anyone.” She was right because Subway Guy spotted me and said something that is so obscene, I will not repeat it. I’ve already said too much. My father reads my blog. Knowing Ludwig, he will tell on me to my mother. I know I’m going to get a flurry of emails from Boss Lady telling me to quit creating drama and getting into trouble. Sorry ma, old habits die hard.

On the way home, Beep Beep really had to pee. She ran ahead and then would stop, crouch down with her knees pressed together and bellow “Nooo?” Then she turned around to face me and coo, “Yesss!” I doubled over with laughter and couldn’t breathe or walk until she stopped mimicking the Subway Guy. Omigod, we are so immature.

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The next morning, Beep Beep woke me up at 6:30 a.m. so we would to make it to Ellen’s Stardust Diner by 7:00 a.m. Ellen’s is known for its singing wait staff. Beep Beep ordered the Smoked Salmon Plate ($20). The cook forgot to put the cream cheese on the bagel. Our server was absent so she ate her bagel without any cream cheese.

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I wasn’t feeling well, so I ordered a ginger ale and a Fresh Fruit Cup ($9). I found the assortment of cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes and pineapple incredibly fresh and sweet. Beep Beep took a bite and said it was normal fruit, I was just hung over. I ordered a latte ($6.50) that tasted like it come out of a vending machine from the 90s. Beep Beep said I should have just drank her latte, because she didn’t like it either.

I enjoyed the confetti that fluttered down from the ceiling. Some of the wait staff differed in charisma, but I enjoyed listening to them sing. A staffer came come out and gave a long story about how hard the staff worked to both sing and bring your food, so donations for their singing classes would be appreciated. The suggested additional tip was $20 bucks.

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Before we left for the airport, we stopped by Union Square Farmer’s Market, Little Italy and Chinatown. Beep Beep wanted us to try the Cheong Fun Cart. After using Google maps, I found it. Beep Beep asked a waiting customer if this was the famous Cheong Fun Cart. I knew the lady Beep Beep asked had no clue. I looked up the cart on Yelp to confirm the pictures of the cart and location. The lady said no, we needed to go to a cart that was ten minutes away. I told Beep Beep this was the right cart and showed her the matching pictures I found.

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Beep Beep freaked out because there was only a small slit through the metal cart where the vendor’s face would pop out to ask you what you wanted. The elderly woman working there was tiny, and it looked like there was enough room for her and her husband. I requested two small cheong funs ($1.50), one with pork and the other with chicken and an egg (50 cents). I added green onions and requested no cilantro.

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Oh my goodness. If you are into the texture and subtle flavours of Chinese dim sum, you’ll love these silky pools of noodles. The noodles are made fresh for you, and it was everything I was craving. Steaming hot, soft with little specks of meat and sauce to give it the right amount of savoury, salty flavour. Next time I’d omit the egg as I found texture of the yolk too dry. I would also add hot sauce. Since Beep Beep and I were sharing, I didn’t add any.

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Cheong Fun Cart was one of our favourite eats in New York. When Beep Beep complained again about the work conditions, I informed her that the woman working in the cart was the owner, so it was her decision. If she wanted to unionize, she could. Besides, after only three days in the Big Apple, I too would want to be enclosed in a metal container to protect me from being spat on, hustled or spoken to in an indecent manner.

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Before we left for the airport, Beep Beep found me a Trader’s Joe store so I could stock up Everything But the Bagel seasoning and Mushroom & Company Multi-Purpose Umami Seasoning Blend . Happy 40th birthday Beep Beep! I had an amazing time with you.

Ellen's Stardust Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Happy Hour · Patio · Restaurants

Wine Bar Kensington – Baller Wine List

I’ve been to Wine Bar Kensington multiple of times – for my own stag, girls’ night, Sunday half price wine night, and impromptu meetings.  It’s a beloved bar for locals, particularly those who live in the hood. Which is why I’m surprised to see this is my first post for Wine Bar.

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On Monday, Wine Bar celebrated its 10th anniversary with DJ Jon Yumol, magnum wines and a half price baller wine list. I thought that was funny because a true baller can afford to pay full price, so by buying a half price bottle, I’m just a wanna be baller.

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That’s okay with me, because I’m perfectly secure in knowing I’m a small potato.  For this post, let’s listen to Puff Daddy – It’s all about the benjamins. Oh god, I can’t believe how bad the lyrics are:

Now, what y’all wanna do?
Wanna be ballers, shot callers, brawlers
Who be dippin’ in the Benz with the spoilers
On the low from the Jake in the Taurus
Tryin’ to get my hands on some Grants like Horace
Yeah, livin’ the raw deal
Three course meals: spaghetti, fettuccine, and veal
But still, everything’s real in the field

I would argue that spaghetti, fettuccine, and veal are not a three-course meal. A three-course meal consists of three parts served one after the other. What Puff Daddy is rapping about is having three mains as one meal.

Our server Tess offered excellent recommendations. Outside of Bar Von Der Fels, she’s the only other person in Calgary that can nail down what type of wine I like. I learned from Bar von der Fels that I like full-bodied wines. That’s what I told Tess I liked.

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The first and my favourite baller wine of night was Ehret Cabernet Sauvignon ($110, half price $55). Smooth, gentle weight on the tongue, and just enjoyable wine to sip away. Excellent.

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L did all the food ordering because I had a stomach ache and I wasn’t planning on eating. Of course he ordered the Meat + Cheese platter – the chef’s selection of five ($42). I tried the 12-month aged prosciutto and the flavour was fantastic. I couldn’t taste the white, fatty part of the meat like I do some prosciutto.

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The second wine we tried was Farina – Amarone della Valpolicella ($105, half price $52.50) This was L’s favourite wine. Tessa said it if we liked the first wine, we would enjoy this one even though it was different. Lighter than first bottle, silky and I thought it had a nice balance of acidity.

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The Spinach, Goats Feta and Beet Salad ($17) was well-seasoned. The dressing was sweet and tart. I really liked the addition of the olives and nuts.

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I ate most of the Coconut Curried Lentil Dip ($16.75) because L and Bottlenick thought it was too spicy. I can handle my spice so I loved this dish. The flatbread was warm and crisp but still soft inside. Scrumptious.

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The brussel sprouts was a standout dish. I was getting quite tipsy at this point and I stopped taking notes. I just know that anything that taste that good isn’t healthy for you. Best sprouts in the city. I was really impressed with the food.

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I spotted my old neighbour – I’ll call him Wine Wizard. It turns out Bottlenick went to one of Wine Wizard’s events. At this event, Bottlenick picked up three bottles of Il Rosso Degugnano Dei Barbi and gave me a bottle to try. I should have known that Bottlenick bought this from Wine Wizard. The Wine Wizard is super serious with his wines. He wears a special pair of glasses to better analyze his bottles. I tried on his glasses that night and it did enhance my ability to think more deeply about what I was drinking.

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I asked Wine Wizard what he would drink. He pointed at what he was drinking that night – a $200 dollar bottle. The small potato in me came out and I balked at him. He then pointed to another bottle – Sor Ugo Superiore Cab Sauv/Merlot/Franc ($110, half price $55). That’s better.

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I had to put my thinking cap on because Wine Wizard took back his glasses. I liked his pick but I couldn’t describe what I was tasting. I think it was beyond my vocabulary.

I had a lot of fun at Wine Bar’s anniversary party. It was a treat to try some truly delicious wines at a price that’s more akin to my lifestyle. Thanks for the enjoyable company L, Bottlenick and Wine Wizard.

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

Bars/Lounges · Patio · Restaurants

Earls on Stephen Ave

Soup received a $150 gift certificate to Earls. She and her partner Ottawa invited me, L, Soccer Mom, and McCartney out for drinks and food. In light of recent news, let’s listen to “Regulate” by Warren G and Nate Dogg.

Our table was next to the patio. We got the best of both words – a view of Stephen Ave, fresh air and spacious, comfortable seating. I preferred to sit inside, as I feel that people who sit on patios on Stephen Ave get stared at by passersby.

I won’t drink house wine. I can’t do it. Two weeks ago in Kyoto, I ordered a bottle of house wine. It was so nasty that I couldn’t choke it down. Last week, I was at Bank and Baron and my colleagues were drinking happy hour house wine. I went against my better judgment and had a glass too. It was vile. At Earls, I ordered a 9 ounce glass of Quails Gate Pinot Noir ($20.25). I thought it was full-bodied and juicy for a pinot. Delicious. I’d come back to Earls just for a nice glass of wine.

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Ottawa requested input from us and ordered for the table: Calamari ($14.25), Pan Wings ($13.75), Warm Spinach Dip ($13.75), Green Dragon Roll ($13.25), Garlic Fries ($6), Street Chicken Tacos ($11.75), and Yam Fries ($7.50). She tried to order the Hawaiian Coconut Prawns but the restaurant was out.

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I was surprised I liked the chicken taco so much, because I don’t normally enjoy tacos. The flour tortilla was crisp and held up to the saucy mixture of tender, slow roasted chicken, cilantro, salsa and cabbage. The taste of cilantro was subtle. The combination tasted fresh yet decadent, most likely due to the jalapeño crema and white cheddar. I thought it was odd that Earls named these ‘street tacos’ because street tacos are simple and pretty basic.

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yam fries
I liked the yam fries more than the garlic fries. I don’t normally like yam fries because I find the flavour taste fake. Earls make a batch that taste like it’s actually a yam and the fries were fat and crispy, just the way I like them.
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One of my favourite items was the Pan Wings. These aren’t on the menu but our server told us it’s her favourite because they are twice baked and spicy. The sauce was tangy and the skin was crisp. There was a lot of white meat on them bones. The celery was fresh too, sweet and crunchy.

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17th Ave · Beer · Happy Hour · Patio · Restaurants · Seafood

Las Canarias Spanish Paella and Tapas Bar

I’ve been meaning to try Las Canarias ever since I saw Gwendolyn Richard’s Instagram post (March 15, 2017). I knew it would take 40 minutes for the paella to cook, so I called the restaurant 20 minutes before we arrived to get the dish started. For this post, let’s listen to Siempre Me Quedara by Bebe.

Las Carnarias has a patio that’s conducive to my memories of eating in Barcelona and Madrid with Beep Beep. Sharing pitchers of sangria under the hot blue sky followed by small dishes of calamari, paella and garlic shrimp. I ordered a glass of sangria ($12) and L ordered a pint of lager ($7). His beer came in a tall frosted glass. My drink came in a huge goblet. The sangria was floral and fruity. If you don’t like sweet drinks, stick to the wine or beer.

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To start, we shared the Calamari ($15). The ringlets were large and tender. The exterior texture was dry and crumbly. Unlike some restaurants, this calamari wasn’t all batter. I quite liked flavour of the lemon aioli. I would order this dish again.

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We ordered the Mixta Paella ($36) – which contained seafood, chicken and beef. The paella arrived in a big, black cast iron pan filled with langostinos, clams, mussels and shrimp. I couldn’t detect the beef or chicken but I could really taste the shellfish and fish flecked throughout the rice. Other options for paella include: daily fish special; black rice with calamari and langostinos; chicken and chorizo; rabbit, chicken, fish and seafood; and a spinach, mushroom and chickpea version.

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I was impressed that none of the seafood was overcooked. The rice was firm and flavourful. I particuarly liked the tangy bits of tomatoes on the baked top layer of the rice. The mussels were plump and bursting with juice. I enjoyed the process of breaking into the long shell of the langostinos to get to the meat.

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J-Thug asked me how Las Carnarias compared to Ox and Angela. I get the sense he’s quite fond of the latter restaurant. Las Carnarias isn’t fancy but it’s not trying to be. The dishes here taste like they were made from a traditional recipe that has remained unchanged over the years. I thought the food was different and refreshing from the norm in Calgary. Don’t get me wrong. I like fusion restaurants and trendy ingredients, but sometimes I just want old world cuisine.

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I recommend you check out Las Carnarias for their daily specials. Happy hour is from Monday to Friday (3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.). Local craft beer is $5.50, highballs are $4.00 and all food menu items are 15% off. On Sunday, all paella and sangria is 20% off. On Monday and Tuesday, bottles of wine are half off. Steamed mussels are $10.00 and coconut shrimp is $8.00. On Wednesday, beer is on special and the calamari is only $11.00. On Thursday, you can get a three-course dinner and sangria for two people for $70.00.

Las Canarias Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Happy Hour · Patio · Restaurants · Special Occasion · Steakhouse

Murrieta’s West Coast Bar + Grill

My colleague Jo picked Murieta’s for her birthday lunch. For this post, let’s play something I listen to on the way to work to pump myself up for the day – Money, Money, Money by Abba.

The restaurant is beautiful. The large skylight filters in ample natural light, setting off the stonewalls. There’s a posh wine cabinet with a ladder at the back of the restaurant.

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Despite being a Monday in February, the restaurant was packed. Every single table was full, mostly of smug looking men in suits. Jo had to get back to work in an hour so we were impatient to order. Mindy saw her favourite server Vanessa and asked her if we could place our order with her instead of waiting for our designated server.

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I ordered the Cobb Salad ($16.00). Points for presentation. I liked how the herb dressing was lightly drizzled over the salad so I could enjoy the flavours of the individual components. The blue cheese was sharp and melted in my mouth. The farm egg was still soft in the middle, the yolk was bright orange.

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Mindy added a grilled chicken breast ($7.00) to her Cobb Salad. The salad was good enough on its own that you don’t need to add any additional protein. However, after after I saw Mindy’s salad, I wished I added a little something extra to mine as well.

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Jo and Gilchrist ordered a Steak Sandwich ($18.00). They requested medium and received well done steaks. Mindi told them to tell our server Stephanie. They were reluctant to but when Stephanie asked how the food was, I piped up and said the steaks were overdone. She asked if she could replace the two steaks. Since Jo had to get back to work in 15 minutes, she declined. Gilchrist also declined a new steak.

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Erika ordered the Tuna Poke Wrap ($18.00). The fries were very good. I ate Jo’s leftover fries when she had to leave.

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Legal ordered what I wanted – Lamb Meatball Spaghetti. This is what Miss Foodie eats when she dines here. Legal said it was delicious.

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Stephanie came over to inform Jo and Gilchrist that they would receive a complimentary dessert. Jo had to leave so Stephanie had her dessert packed up. We shared a delicious chocolate cake with cherry coulis.

On Fridays, Murrieta’s has live jazz. Stephanie suggested that we get there early in order to get a table, as it gets busy. When asked what was considered early, she said 8:30 p.m. Our table was impressed with the level of customer service at Murrieta’s. Stephanie was pleasant throughout our meal and handled our feedback like a pro. I’d be happy to revisit and try more of the food and wine.

Murrieta's West Coast Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Beer · Burgers · Patio · Pizza · Pubs · Restaurants

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 · 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

17th Ave · Bars/Lounges · Beer · Patio · Restaurants · Special Occasion

Pigeonhole – La Vien en rose

On Friday evening, L and dropped by Pigeonhole for some wine and cheese. I wasn’t aware that Pigeonhole offers 50% off all bottles of rosé from Monday to Friday, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm till close. I asked L if he would share a bottle with me. He said that rosé was too feminine for him but he would do it for me.

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I asked our server if she could recommend a wine that wasn’t sweet or dry. She picked two bottles for me to try – Raventos La Rosa 2015 (Pinot Noir/Garnacha/Xarel-lo, Penedes, Spain, $64) and Broc Cellars Love Rose 2016 (Valdiguie/Zinfandel, North Coast, California, $70). The La Rosa was an easy sipping, mild-mannered rosé. I preferred the Love Rose as I found it more interesting.

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I like Pigeonhole’s playlist. I wish I had asked our server who was the artist. The closest thing I could compare it to is Sophie Milman but without any lyrics. L and I sat by the patio, which meant we were afforded the street view and breeze, but sat in the comfort of the inside chairs. Let’s listen to La Vie En Rose so you can better imagine my dining experience.

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We picked three cheeses – one hard, one blue and one soft ($25). Oh my! The brie was creamy and mild, best with the apple butter, as the honey overpowered the cheese. The apple butter was more apple than butter, the texture was like pudding.

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The honey was incredible. I think we liked it more than the cheeses. The honey paired best with the blue and hard cheese. I didn’t think I would like the papadum, but it turned out to be the perfect vessel for the cheeses and home-made preserves because it lent a blank slate.

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We ordered two plates – Springs Peas with Foie Gras ($15) and Fava Beans ($11). The spring peas tasted like an early crop – it was light and fresh. The grapefruit wasn’t overpowering and binded all the ingredients together. The compressed foie gras had a clean taste and melted on your tongue. The pistachios lent a savoury crunch.

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I’m glad we ordered the fava beans as the sourdough bread helped to soaked up all that alcohol. L liked the addition of strawberries and said it was a nice summer dish.

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I’ve been to Pigeonhole three times and each time I’ve been impressed with the food and service. I’m keen to try the caviar and champagne soon. For date night, I can’t think of a better place to set the stage for romance. Pigeonhole makes it on Hitting the Sauce’s list of favourite places to eat in Calgary.

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