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.

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17th Ave · Beer · Cheap Eats · Patio · Pizza · Pubs

Ship & Anchor – Preconcert pit stop

poster

I find that people either love or hate the Ship & Anchor. Personally, I’m a fan of the Ship. The food is good pub grub and a bargain (in Calgary). No matter what you wear, I’ll bet you aren’t underdressed, unless perhaps you try to go in your birthday suit.

drink

That night, L bought us tickets to see the Foo Fighters. We met up with his two friends, recent immigrants from Labrador. The night before, I was so frustrated that I couldn’t eat solid foods due to stomach bug, I had a glass of wine. Guess what? Turns out though solids irk my health, a little booze is good for me. So while everyone was chowing down on delicious food, I indulged in a can of Sofia Blanc de Blancs, a sparkling wine by Francis Coppola Winery ($8.95). The can reminded me of Red Bull.

butter chicken

I told L’s friends that the Ship Burger w/ the works ($10.95) or the Butter Chicken ($11.50) were solid picks. Zee ordered the butter chicken, and boy did it look good. I could smell the curry from across the table. The heaping portion of chicken and basalti rice came with naan bread too. I could see nice chunks of tomatoes, peas and onions. Z gave two thumbs up for the curry, which he said was hot, flavourful and spicy.

Ship burger w: salad

The Ship burger with the works comes with super crispy bacon and oozes with cheddar cheese. The grass fed beef patty was thick and charbroiled. The Kaiser bun was proportional to the patty and toppings: tomatoes, pickles, onions and mushrooms. However, the mushrooms would have been better sandwiched next to the patty and produce versus against just the patty and bun, as it made the bread soggy. My advice to L’s friend M would be to eat faster, so the bun doesn’t have time to get soft.

ship and fries

It was very interesting to post about food when you can’t eat it. The experience left me feeling angry and frustrated. However, little sips of my drink calmed my nerves down a bit. Hopefully I’ll be back to eating solids in no time. When I get better, I want to try NU Burger and Sushi Bar and the Redheads Bagel Cafe for their Japanese food.

straw

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Bars/Lounges · Beer · Burgers · Chain Restaurants · Pubs

Craft Beer Market

L and I met our friends N and R for drinks. R picked Big Rock, which didn’t impress us much with its lackluster flatbread and mediocre wine. For the next venue, I chose Craft Beer Market, as the trainer at my gym raved about the food at the Calgary location.

We sat outside on the patio, overlooking the park which overlooked the water. N ordered the Harvest Graden Sandwich ($15) L ordered the Baja Fish Tacos ($16.00), and I ordered the Craft T.L.T. ($17).

I tried a bite of N’s vegetarian sandwich. The distinctive taste and texture of sprouts was evident. The sandwich was too large for N to finish and according to her, not good enough for her to take home.

I loved my tuna sandwich. The cool slices tuna was a generous size, which was proportional to the thick, still warm slices of toasted focaccia. I really appreciated the layers of fresh, chilled vegetables: pea shoots, avocado, tomato and cucumber. The spinach salad was nice as well, lightly dressed and speckled with walnuts, strawberries, and feta.

tuna ahi

L and R polished off their dishes and said it was tasty. I enjoyed Craft T.L.T. so much, I’m going to venture to the Calgary location when I return home. Hitting the Sauce doesn’t normally like chain restaurants, but Craft is the exception.

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Burgers · Pubs

Palomino Smokehouse

If my brothers visit me in Calgary, I would take them to the Palomino. There aren’t many places in Vancouver that serve up so many meatalicious dishes in a delightful western style saloon.

palominobeers

My coworkers and I started off with a round of beers. I usually stick to Mill Street Organic ($7) while my friends prefer to drink Thirsty Beaver ($7). Palomino also makes a wicked Caesar, with a big crunchy pickle and a slice of bacon.

wings

My friends ordered the Carolina BBQ Wings ($12) which can be ordered battered or grilled. They also shared a huge plate of garlic fries ($7.00), which were better than the same fries that came with my burger. While my fries were small, cold little end bits, the fries on the appetizer plate were longer and fresh out of the fryer.

My buddy also ordered Smoked and Rub Ribs ($12) and BBQ Nachos ($17). All the appetizers looked good and received rave reviews around the table. I declined as I wanted to focus on my favourite dish, the Palomino Cheeseburger ($14).

nachos

The fresh ground chuck patty was large, thick and juicy. The produce was chilled, the bun grilled. Each bite was a contrasting mixture of soft meat, crisp bacon, warm apple smoked cheese, tomato, pickles and lettuce.

garlic fries

I ordered a side of soup and garlic fries with aioli. I would dip my fries in aiola and then stick the raw pieces of garlic on it. My breath was so bad, even my dog wouldn’t come near me when I returned home. Just the sandwich and fries let me stuffed until the next morning. The Bacon and Chicken soup was creamy, rich and heavy in the meat department.

I’ve eaten most of all the items at the Palomino: brisket; chicken; ribs; pulled pork; salads; appetizers; and catfish. I have to say that my favourite dishes include garlic fries, poutine, wings, and of course, the cheeseburgers.

Service 99 out of a 100 times is fantastic. The most recent visit was not the usual standard. The server had a special talent for complaining that made me want to stick pins into my head rather than listen to her. After a day of work, all I want to do is chill out. However, her good looks saved her from a corresponding tip, as my single and looking friend enthusiastically wanted to tip well.

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