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.

Screen Shot 2017-07-07 at 2.47.00 PM.png

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.

half order.jpg

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.

half sandwich

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 · Brunch · Pizza · Restaurants · Special Occasion

Bridgette Bar – Date Night

On the weekends, Bridgette Bar is normally booked solid until 9:00pm, which is around the time I like to be in bed to watch Cops. Despite trying, I haven’t been able to land a table for weeks. So on Wednesday night, when L and I decided have our weekly date night, we picked Bridgette Bar.

cool space

The interior of the restaurant is awesome. I like the brick walls.  The restaurant is spacious with high ceilings and lots of light. Unlike Toronto and Montreal, Calgary doesn’t have a lot of heritage type buildings. Bridgette decor reminds me a bit of Model Milk, Workshop and Charbar , both of which have a historic vibe.

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 10.44.21 AM

There are two beers on the menu I like – Tokyo Drift: IPA #3
(Last Best) and Electric Unicorn (Phillips). L and I ordered glasses of Electric Unicorn ($8.50), an easy drinking white IPA with a hint of sweetness.

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 10.43.57 AM.png

We started with an order of garlic bread with cheese curds ($7). The bread was more like a croissant and inside the flaky, fragile shell was a good amount of gooey warm cheese. The taste of garlic wasn’t overpowering.

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 10.43.49 AM.png

My favourite dish of the night was the grilled octopus ($13). Octopus done well is so delicious. The warm, tender chunks of octopus had a nice charred flavour to it. The fennel was a nice compliment to the orange slices and the tart sherry vinaigrette.
Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 10.44.13 AM

L and I shared the chicken sausage pizza ($20) with bacon, garlic béchamel, mushroom and jalapeno. The pizza was good. The crust had a nice crunch to it. The flavours of all the ingredients worked well together.

pizza.jpg

I like Bridgette Bar. It’s the sort of place you bring out-of-town guests or someone you’re trying to impress. I’ll have to return to try the pasta, fish, ribs and more of that octopus. The prices are reasonable. With four beers and all that food, our night out cost about $70.00. Without booze, our bill would have been forty bucks.

Bridgette Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Burgers · Pizza

Spot on Kitchen & Bar

My sister-in-law Turned and Dave frequent Spot on Kitchen & Bar as it’s a kid friendly restaurant. Their other option is Montana’s. They told me that kids eat free at Montana’s. I looked it up, and it’s not true that kids eat free. Kids under twelve eat free on their birthday. I’ll have to remember to tell them.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 7.17.23 PM

We started off with two pounds of wings (honey hot and honey roasted, $22.99) and a round of beers. My father-in-law Bobbino said it tasted like the wings were cooked previously and then reheated. I theorized that the wings were left sitting out for a good ten minutes. Some wings were meaty while others were scrawny. I liked the fried bits tossed on top of the wings. Whatever it was, it was a tasty, free add-on.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 7.17.31 PM

The poutine was lack lustre ($12.99). The fries were good and tasted like real potatoes, opposed to McCain-type fries. The cheese curds tasted like the real deal. However, the gravy was lumpy, cold and gelatinous.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 7.17.37 PM

We ordered two large pizzas and my brother-in-law Uncle Ben ordered the Chipotle Fried Avocado Burger with fries ($16.99). I tried a bite of his burger. I liked the crunchy batter of the avocado and the beef patty was delicious. Unlike the appetizers, the burger, fries and pizzas were served hot.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 7.17.57 PM

For pizzas, we ordered a large Karouzo Special ($25.99) and a large cheese pizza with Italian Spolumbo Sausage ($23.49). The special contained pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers and a layer of raw tomatoes. The crust was thick and crunchy. Loving Disapproval and I preferred the simplicity of the other pizza, with its thick layer of molten cheese and the richness of the sausage chunks.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 7.17.44 PM

No one at our table was happy with the service we received. It took a long time to order more beers, the food and then the bill. Our server didn’t remove our plates or napkins, leaving our table overflowing with dirty dishes. Turned and Dave said the service is usually good. I could see that the other servers and the hostess helping out were friendlier and customer-oriented. Luck of the draw I guess. Usually if I receive bad service, I’m reluctant to return. However, in this case, I’ll be back as Jack’s parents love Spot On’s kid-friendly environment.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 7.17.50 PM

View my food journey on Zomato!

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

17th Ave · Cheap Eats · Mexican

Tubby Dog

My sister-in-law Maggie spends quite a bit of time drinking beers and hanging out at Tubby Dog.  So, it was only natural for her to have her work going-away party there. Plus, she is friends with the owner.

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 4.24.47 PM.png

Inside and at night, it’s quite a cool place to hang out. Old school arcades line the walls.  A DJ played that night as well. I haven’t played an arcade game since I was in high school.

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 4.08.18 PM

L and I ordered two tacos each. One beef and one chicken ($3). Each taco came with two wrappers and a generous amount of meat. I think we got more meat than usual, as I heard the owner say to the person who was making our tacos to add extra, as we were friends of Maggie. Tee-hee. I felt special. Dressed with cilantro, the tacos were plain but filling.

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 4.49.27 PM

L ordered the Tubby Dog ($7). As you can tell it was a loaded dog, covered in cheese, homemade chili, onions and mustard with a whole load of warm bacon bits. The chili was tasty. I should have ordered the Sumo Dog, which had seaweed and wasabi mayonnaise, as I heard from someone else that it is delicious. However, I was too full from the tacos.

The staff were friendly and were quick to keep up with the steady stream of orders. Tubby Dog is a fun place to stop by for a hot dog and a beer. Next time I’m in, I’ll try the Sumo Dog. After I work up an appetite playing Pac Man.

Tubby Dog Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

View my food journey on Zomato!

Beer · Burgers · Chain Restaurants

Chilis Texas Grill – Airport Experience

The Fort McMurray airport is the only other place that’s worse than the Calgary airport in terms of food options. If I’m travelling solo, I bring my own food via Chuen May. Once, the customs agent actually said my dumplings and sticky rice from Chuen May smelled so good that everyone in security wanted to know what was in it. However, this time around I was travelling with my husband and he likes to do “trip shorteners”. Essentially, it is having a couple of beers before a flight, which seems to shorten the waiting time before we board.

wines

Chilis was our only option. I’ve eaten here before and I would avoid the burgers and buffalo chicken wraps. I do like the chicken lettuce wraps, but it is no longer on the menu. I ordered a glass of NK Mip Cellars Pinot Blanc ($12.99) while L ordered a beer. I thought it was annoying that there was no prices listed for beer ($8.00).

fries

We waited fifty minutes for our food to arrive. Our server came at the twenty-five minute mark to say that the kitchen was having issues with the tickets. We repeated our order and watched as another table asked for their food to go, as they had to board. At forty minutes, our server told us it shouldn’t be too much longer. When we received our food ten minutes later, I mentioned out loud that the fries were cold.

salad

Our server heard me and looked annoyed but didn’t say anything. Lucky for us, the Sante Fe Chicken Salad ($15.00) fared better. I don’t normally order salads at chain restaurants, but I saw someone else order it and it looked good.

sald best view

The portion was filling. The lettuce was fresh. The avocado was buttery and a generous amount. The chicken was juicy and subtly spiced. The crispy tortilla strips added a crunch. I also liked that the dressing was served on the side, as only a little was needed.

I guess being the only restaurant at the airport means you have a captive audience. Hopefully when the airport is renovated, there will more options. If you find yourself at the mercy of Chilis, I recommend ordering a salad with a side of patience.

View my food journey on Zomato!

Click to add a blog post for Chili's Texas Grill on Zomato