Bars/Lounges · Beer · Comfort food · Pubs · Restaurants · Wings

Pazzer’s Saskatchewan Pub

My sister-in-law Veggie Girl turned 31! L and I joined her and the rest of my in-laws at Pazzer’s in Montgomery. Both Veggie Girl and my in-laws are from the Prairies, so it seemed fitting we dine at Pazzer’s, a bar outfitted in Saskatchewan memorabilia. Let’s listen to Tegan and Sara as the twins are from Calgary.  For a Vancouverite, that’s a good enough connection to Saskatchewan.

If you aren’t observant or from good old Saskatchewan, you wouldn’t even notice the Prairie references. The bar is small, basic and tidy. I’ve only been to Regina for a weekend, but I know from my in-laws that anyone from Saskatchewan is inherently a good person. Whenever I compliment Veggie Girl to my mother-in-law, she explains, “Well, you know, she’s from Saskatchewan.”

For the table, we shared a dozen of the Pazzer’s Perogies ($12.00). The homemade, hand pinched potato and cheddar were some of the best perogies I’ve consumed. There was loads of creamy filling, the dough was light and toothsome. The onions were perfectly sautéed, sweet and slightly smoky. I would order this again.

Veggie Girl ordered the Nachos for You ($12.00). The corn tortillas were layered with black olives, jalapeños, green onions, tomatoes and shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese. The nachos were tasty, but not in the same league as the perogies or wings.

Bobbino ordered Weyburn Wings ($10) in honey garlic sauce and salt and pepper seasoning. I was impressed – the wings were meaty, hot, crunchy and served with carrots and dip. The meat was white and not discoloured. Best price in Calgary – I don’t know any pub that sells a quality basket of wings for only ten bucks.

L ordered the Battleford Brisket ($13.00). The whiskey braised brisket looked skimpy compared to the bun ratio. But when I took a bite, I realized it was plenty, as the carmelized onions, Swiss cheese and horseradish added a lot of saucy flavor to the sandwich.

Bobbino’s Steak Sandwich ($11.00) looked pretty average to me. However, the steak was Alberta beef sirloin and for the price, it can’t be beat. Uncle Ben ordered the Clubhouse ($11.00). The sandwich looked pretty good to me, piled high with ingredients.

G-Mah ordered the Perogies, Cabbage Rolls, Kolbasa ($15.00). I didn’t try a bite but it was so good she cleaned her plate. The grilled sausage was split into two, it looked tantalizing with the grill marks.

I would like to make Pazzer’s a regular spot for wings and perogies. The fish and chips are next on my hit list. Hitting the Sauce gives this Saskatchewan Pub two fat thumbs up.

Pazzer's Saskatchewan Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Pizza · Pubs · Restaurants · Wings

Last Straw Ale House

As of late, I’ve been up in the community of Tuscany. It’s a beautiful community but man, the pickings for restaurants are scarce.  My buddy thinks Tuscany is the perfect community to raise their children but it’s no centre of the universe urban oasis for DINKS  like me. Let’s listen to something city’ish. For the record, I’m no fan of the show Sex and the City.

Last month, I was in for a blue cheese salad ($14.00). The salad was fine, something I could make at home. The portion was filling for a satisfying lunch.

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Last week, I met up with my husband and my buddy Baron for wing night. On Wednesdays, wings are 39 cents. We ordered pints of Grasshopper, salt and pepper, Buffalo, Jerk wings and fries with mayo.

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Service was efficient and friendly. Despite it being a busy night, we received prompt service.

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For 39 cents, you can’t complain. The wings were hot and crisp. The chicken itself was bruised with blue and black discolouration. Graphic and kind of made me want to become a vegetarian.

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The fries were crunchy and fresh from the fryer, but over salted to the point I had to rub some of the salt off with my napkin. However, that didn’t stop me from eating most of the fries.

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If I met Baron here again, I’d return for beers and unsalted fries. As the service was good, I would give this pub another chance. I hear the pizza is tasty.

The Last Straw Ale House 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

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

Pizza · Pubs · Restaurants · Seafood

Blowers & Grafton

It was one of the weeks. By Friday, I wanted to get out of the house and blow off some steam. L suggested we try somewhere new. I’ve been meaning to try out Blowers & Grafton for some time now. Below is song by Wintersleep, which was playing the night I checked out this east coast style pub.

L ordered a bottle of Hoppy Buoy ($7) and I picked a pint of Alexander Keith’s ($7). When in Halifax, right? We ordered a small OG Halifax Donair ($10) and Clams & Chips ($18). I also wanted to try the lobster rolls, but that would have been way too much food for us.

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The east coast bar clams were spot on. Chunky morsels lightly dusted in corn flour and fried so the clams were still meaty and had a nice chew to it. The homemade fries and house made tartar sauce were good. The fries were crispy and with the skin on. The tartar sauce wasn’t the generic type that I’ve become accustomed to in Calgary.  I would order this dish again.

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If you’ve never had a Halifax donair before, you’ll be surprised by the sweetness and simple toppings. The donair contained a stack of thinly sliced beef, topped with diced tomatoes and raw onions. The sweet sauce dripped down onto the plate and accumulated into a sauce pool. L ended up asking for a knife and fork due to the juices soaking the pita wrap and his hands.

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Our server was friendly and always around if we needed something. She asked if we felt like dessert and I requested two blueberry gunts. L corrected me and said a grunt and a gunt are two different things. Our server said not to worry as she understood what I meant.

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The blueberry grunt was only $1.50 and it’s absolutely delicious. It’s a hybrid between a gourmet version of a Tim Horton’s crueller and those little doughnuts you get at the Stampede. The grunt was warm, the inside light and puffy. That sauce… oh wow. Sweet but not overly, and studded with blueberries.

If you haven’t checked Blowers & Grafton out, go! I plan to return to try the lobster rolls, pizza and more blueberry grunts. Hitting the Sauce gives Blowers and Grafton two fat thumbs up.

Blowers and Grafton 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

Beer · Patio · Pubs · Sandwiches

Wild Rose Brewery – Birthday Bash

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My brother-in-law Dave turned 40! To celebrate his birthday, we went to the Wild Rose Brewery. With all the on-going construction in the area, it was a little confusing to find the brewery. Drive on the gravel path slowly and just follow the signs.

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Dave’s brother ordered the Nachos ($17.95), which came in a heaping pile. The tortilla chips were covered with tomatoes, green onions, banana peppers, jalapenos, and olives. There was an ample sheet of  cheddar and mozzarella layered on top of all the chips. It took six hungry people to polish off the plate.

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I shared the Pulled Alberta Brisket Sandwich ($16.95) with a side of bacon mashed potatoes and gravy with my husband. The server was kind enough to split the burger and potatoes onto two plates. I was interested in trying the Wild Vietnamese Sub, but for $16 bucks, my inner Chinese came out and I couldn’t do it. I can eat a delicious sub for $5.50 at Thi Thi or Trung Nguyen anytime I want on the weekdays.

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Service was awesome. We were allowed to bring in a birthday cake and we weren’t charged for using their plates and utensils. Bills were split up without even asking and our beers were always refilled.

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Wild Rose Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Ship & Anchor – Preconcert pit stop

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Bars/Lounges · Beer · Burgers · 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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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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