Cheap Eats · Fast Food · Korean

Chicken Omnibus

L and I visited our adorable nephew in Bowness. After a successful playdate, we decided to order dinner from Chicken Omnibus. I’m glad we checked it out, as this is our new favourite place for Korean-style fried chicken. For this post, let’s listen to “Do You Believe in Magic” by The Loving’ Spoonful.

I noticed K-Pop music playing in the background when we entered the restaurant. The interior is bright and colourful. While we waited to order, we looked at the pictures on the menu, which described each item in detail. We ordered the Dak Gang Jeong Combo ($12.99), Chicken Combo ($12.99), and Onion Rings ($5.50).

Our combos came with a pop and a sauce. We each asked for the sauce on the side because we planned on eating our food at home and didn’t want the chicken to become soggy. But after seeing some of the food come out of the kitchen, I told L we would eat at the restaurant.

This small mom-and-pop operation cooks everything fresh. Our food arrived at our table within ten minutes, so hot I burned the roof of my mouth.

The portions are generous. The double-battered fries were piled high on our basket. The coating on the potatoes reminded me of Costco fries. The onion rings looked like it was the frozen type, but it was still good. The batter was thin and melted in your mouth. We dipped our onion rings in the spicy aioli, ranch, and a sweet, spicy sauce.

The star of the show is the chicken. My pieces were juicy and meaty. The chicken tasted real, unlike the congealed stuff KFC sells and superior to the texture and flavour of Popeye’s. The batter was light, crusty, and so well seasoned that I didn’t need any of the sauces. The plumpness of Omnibus’s chicken reminds me of Church’s and LA Chicken in Richmond, BC, but with a crunchier, tastier batter.

L liked my chicken over his Dak Gang Jeong (sweet, crispy boneless chicken). I tried his nugget-like meat, and I also preferred my order of regular bone-in chicken.

L said the food tasted authentic, and Omnibus reminded him of the local places he would frequent in Korea. Omnibus isn’t a chain, and the chef was so genuinely friendly it made me want to return. I heard two customers exclaim this was the best chicken they ever ate. I saw another customer digging into a plate overflowing with katsu (breaded chicken cutlet) that looked delicious.

The next time I have a cheat meal, I’m getting the fried chicken again or perhaps a chicken burger. Hitting the Sauce gives Omnibus two phat thumbs up.

Cheap Eats · Pizza · Restaurants

Red Swan Pizza

L was too busy this weekend to indulge my banh mi fantasies. Instead, we picked up a pizza from Red Swan in Bowness. For this post, let’s listen to “Crimson and Clover” by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts.

Veggie Girl and Uncle B raved about the pizza at Red Swan, specifically the Three Cheese Pizza (Large $19.95, thin crust option). L wanted a meat pizza but I insisted we try the pizza Veggie Girl recommended. He eventually agreed, which surprised me. Whenever I try to get him to eat something meatless, he looks at me like I’m trying to poison him.

Pro tip – if you don’t eat the pizza immediately, reheat it in the oven. Some pizzas tasted as good or even better when cold. This is not one of them.

One of the best things about this pizza is the crust. I love the light and crunchy texture of the bread. The toasted sesame seeds on the crust added a buttery nuttiness.

The tomato sauce was tangy, and it tasted like there was coriander or some other fragrant spice or herb. The toppings aren’t heavy-handed like a Spiros or Hanni’s pizza. The amount of tomato sauce, feta, cheddar and mozzarella to crust was about 1:1. Personally, I enjoyed the simplicity of the three-cheese pizza. This was a nice change from the Greek-style pizza I normally eat.

We each ate three slices and we were full. The next day, L microwaved the last two slices of pizza and mentioned it reheated well. If I lived in the neighbourhood, I would definitely order again.

Pro tip – Red Swan offers free local delivery (some conditions apply), pick up specials and combo deals. They even make vegan, cauliflower and gluten-friendly pizzas. Give them a try – for the price, you can’t go wrong.

Comfort food · Restaurants

Leopold’s Tavern – Bowness

Veggie Girl turned 32! For her birthday, she wanted to have drinks at Leopold’s Tavern in Bowness. She picked this pub because it’s blocks away from her house and she had a hankering for a mushroom poutine. Veggie Girl said as a vegetarian, it’s difficult to find a good poutine and Leopold’s version is particularly pleasing to her palate.

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I dig the music here. That night we listened to Arkells, Franz Ferdinand and The Strumbellas. For this post, let’s listen to Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. L told me about this new dancing robotic dog. Pretty cool.

Pints of craft beer set you back $8 bucks. Uncle Ben thought that was pricey. I think eight dollars is the norm in Calgary and I’m grateful it wasn’t Bud. I had a pint of Tokyo Drift and then an hour later, I had a strong craving for wine. Leopold’s serves up Barefoot ($10). I was torn. In the end, my craving won. When I complained to Veggie Girl about Leopold’s wine selection, she said Beringer is available, but it’s not on the menu. More of the same.

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Veggie Girl’s friend Scope showed us his new breathalyzer from Costco. After two drinks in two hours, I was impaired. Good thing I wasn’t driving.

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In the third and final hour, I ordered an Erdinger, which was my preferred drink of the night. Unfortunately, after two sips, I was tipsy so I gave my beer to Uncle Ben. Waste not, want not. Besides, we’re family.

L ordered a Smoked Meat Sandwich ($16.50) and upgraded the regular fries to yam. The Montreal smoked meat was stacked high. Each thinly slice of meat was juicy and flavorful. The sandwich was an easy 5 out of 5. I can’t remember eating a tastier smoked meat sandwich. The yam fries were overcooked and over salted. The crisper fries tasted bitter.

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Uncle Ben ordered a BLT ($15.50) with fries. The bacon is thick cut and stacked high. His fries were too salty as well. Uncle Ben said it was his third time ordering a BLT at Leopold’s since it opened. He would give the BLT two thumbs up, but his other hand was preoccupied holding the plate.

I ordered a mushroom burger with mushroom poutine ($16.50 +$4.00 upgrade). I thought I ordered a vegetarian burger so I was surprised to bite into a beef patty. The burger was loaded with warm mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese, lettuce, pickles and red onion. Yummy. Reminded me of A&W mozza burger, but in a comfort food way. The mushroom poutine is made with vegetarian and gluten-free gravy. My fries were not overly salted like L’s and Uncle Ben’s. The side poutine was heavy on the gravy. The cheese curds were chunky and still cool. One of the better poutines in Calgary.

Turned and Dave shared a Pulled Pork Poutine ($17.50). They enjoyed every bite. Leopold’s is pretty generous with portions. Just look at all that meat and cheese. Dave ordered Veggie Girl a shot – a Muff Diver. Veggie Girl has a small mouth so it was hard for her to find the shot glass in all that whipped cream.

L and I arrived at 6:05 p.m. and we left by 9:00 p.m. The rest of the gang stayed until closing, at 2:00 a.m. I have a feeling that my in-laws are quite fond of Leopold’s Tavern. Hitting the Sauce gives up a big fat thumb up for the tasty comfort food, friendly service and warm vibes.

Leopold's Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cheap Eats · Pubs · Restaurants · Wings

Hexters Pub

I organized a second event for my boss at Hexters Pub. We picked a Thursday, which happen to coincide with cheap wing night and karaoke (after 9:00 p.m.). For this post, let’s listen to Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin, as we heard a customer do an excellent rendition.

We sat by the front of the restaurant. We enjoyed the occasional cool breeze blowing in from an open window. The pub itself is spacious and clean. Hexters put together two long tables for our 28 people guests. For work events, we aren’t allowed to pay for guests’ alcoholic beverages. We paid for non-alcoholic beverages, a vegetable platter ($15), two order of deep-fried mozzarella sticks ($10.99), and between 150-170 wings (35 cents each).

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To accommodate the crowd, I ordered the more pedestrian flavours – salt and pepper, buffalo, and honey garlic. The wings came out hot and crispy. I noticed wings that came out near the end of the night looked plumper.

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The batter on the mozza sticks was light. The cheese was stringy and warm. The vegetable platter consisted of sliced tomatoes, celery, carrots, mushrooms, peppers and a huge bowl of dip. Our server Maureen did a great job looking after our crew. At the end of the night, she asked everyone at our table if we wanted to take the leftover vegetables home.

I accompanied my in-law Veggie Girl when she went outside to smoke. She got into a conversation with another customer who was also smoking. I’ll call this person Scrappy. Scrappy said the nearby Chicago Pizza was her go-to for late night eats. She said the pizza is great, service is good and the staff recognize her number. I joked that I should call and say I’m her to get the same service. Scrappy said that wouldn’t happen as I would need to call from her phone. I said no problem, we would mug her and take her phone. She drew her arms into a fight posture and said, “Go the f$#! ahead. I’m a Bownesian.” I scurried back into the safety of the restaurant but I overheard Veggie Girl tell Scrappy that she too, was from Bowness. I saw from the corner of my eye Scrappy gave Veggie Girl a nod of approval.

I like Hexters for wings, karaoke and a reminder that I should get to know a stranger more intimately before joking about a potential theft. Price-wise, our office came under budget. For 28 people, our bill with a 20% tip was $162. One person skipped out on his beer tab, so I had to cover that out of my own pocket.

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

Burgers

Angel’s Drive In

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EA Supreme and I were in Bowness Park for a community event. I had heard a lot of positive comments about the food at Angel’s Drive In, which is a couple of blocks away from the park. EA Supreme said she’s been coming to Angel’s for over a decade. My boss Tread Lightly has an obsession with the mushroom burger. He informed me that he’s eaten at Angel’s at least a thousand times.

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One thing you should know about Angel’s is that it isn’t fast food. Bugers are cooked to order, so it does take time. The clientele is a mix of 50 plus and hipsters. When I sat outside on the picnic bench, I watched a steady stream of cars and customers passing through the parking lot.

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I ordered a mushroom burger ($5.50) with onion rings, battered mushrooms ($5) and a chocolate banana milkshake ($5). The onion rings and mushrooms were covered in a delicious crunchy batter. Careful of the hot juice of the mushrooms, these babies were juicy. I really enjoyed the side of ranch sauce for my onion rings and mushrooms, way better than ketchup.

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The mushroom burger was yummy. The bun was big and soft. The 100% beef patty was covered in homemade mushroom sauce and plenty of thinly sliced mushrooms. I liked how the white cream sauce would ooze out from the bun.

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The milkshake was velvety smooth. The addition of the fresh fruit gave it a mellow sweetness. I noticed that the ice-cream didn’t melt right away and held its original consistency the length of time it took me to drink it.

I’m already salivating thinking of my next meal at Angel’s. Next, I want to try the mozzarella burger, fries, breakfast dishes and of course, those onion rings and deep-fried mushrooms.

View my food journey on Zomato!

Angel's Drive In Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato