Bars/Lounges · Beer · Burgers · Cheap Eats · Comfort food · Fusion · Happy Hour · Pubs · Restaurants · Wings

Eat Crow Snack Bar – COVID-19 dine-in edition

On Monday evening, L and I checked out Eat Crow Snack Bar, a new restaurant that took over Brassiere Kensington. For this post, I’m going to play a piece by conductor Liang Zhang from the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. I know nothing about conductors, but according to my father, Zhang is the bee’s knees.

I ordered a Texas Paloma ($13) and L ordered a Lone Star beer (HH $5, regular $7.50). The dried grapefruit garnish was a pretty, decorative touch. The combination of Texan Paloma, Epsilon Reposado, Ketel One Grapefruit, Rose Vodka and grapefruit was surprisingly balanced and subtle. I was expecting a cocktail that was heavy on the tequila. L took a sip and mentioned that in our next visit, he would partake in a cocktail instead of his usual beer.

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The Spicy Chicken Wings ($8.50 w/ ranch dip) is a winner. If you are a wing connoisseur, you need to try these wings. The seasoning is mildly spicy and dry. The batter is thin and crisp, and so light the skin melted on my tongue. The chicken is good quality – plump with unblemished, silky white meat.

Each order comes with three pieces of chicken, and each wing is equivalent to three or four pub wings. I estimated I got about nine regular size wings worth of meat and skin. I would come back to Eat Crow just for the wings because it was that good.

Another must order dish is the Crow Burger ($6). The patty is thick and tender and explodes with juicy flavour. Though small in size, this burger is packed with so much meat, cheese and pickles, it was satiating. The Crow Burger rivals all the heavyweights in Calgary – Charbar, Clive Burger, and Burger 320.

The Magic Fries ($6) is also worth ordering again. Golden brown and perfectly munchy, these fries are delightfully addicting. I love the soft, mealy texture inside the crispy shell. Extra bonus – the portion is large enough to share.

I ordered my second and last cocktail of the night – the Humble Pie (HH $8.50). Made with Highroad Alberta vodka, sparkling wine, raspberry and lemon, this drink reminds me of the Framboise fortified wine from Elephant Island Orchard Wines. Not too sour or sweet, this cocktail is too easy to drink. I couldn’t taste the three ounces of booze, but I could sure feel it.

The Humble Pie cocktail came with a baby lemon tart. The custard is creamy and bright with a citrusy zing. The crust is brittle and buttery. The fresh mint and dehydrated strawberry garnish wasn’t just decorative but added to the flavour profile. I would order this cocktail again just for the lemon tart.

L and I shared the Crow Joe ($6). This is an incredibly messy slider. With every bite, an equivalent amount of the filling would drip down onto the plate. The sauce reminded me a little of Heinz beans.

The Handmade Pirogies ($10, $2 bacon) arrived supersized and fluffy. L enjoyed the sweet caramelized onions and smoky bits of bacon. I’m curious to know what my friend Sirosky would think, as his family makes their own pirogies

Eat Crow charges prices similar to El Furniture Warehouse, a restaurant that sells all dishes for $5.99 (plus extra for upgrades like bacon, cheese, and sauces). However, the food quality at Eat Crow is significantly higher and vastly tastier than El Furniture Warehouse. I’m keen to return to try some of the vegetarian dishes, as well as those delightful wings and the Crow burger.

Eat Crow Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Restaurants · Seafood · Special Occasion

Bar Von Der Fels

I took L to Bar Von Der Fels to celebrate his good news. In light of the provincial election, let’s listen to something presidential –  Lady Gaga “Government Hooker.

Though the bar is small, the seating feels more spacious than larger restaurants. I noticed that Bar Von Der Fels doesn’t jam its space with tables. I dislike it when restaurants pack the place so tight, it’s difficult for me to get up without exposing either my ass or crotch to the adjacent table. In New York, Kyoto and Tokyo, I found super tight quarters are the norm.

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I told L to ask for a beer recommendation. The staff at Bar Von Der Fels know their booze. L decided on Collective Arts ‘ransack the universe’ India pale ale ($10). The ale reminded him of Philip’s Electric Unicorn but better because it was lighter and simpler.

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I asked for a recommendation for a full-bodied wine. I tried three wines before I settled on an Italian red – Domodimonti Il Messia 2015 ($16). I found the wine plummy, silky, and light. Nothing in particular jumped out – it was just a well-balanced wine.

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L’s new favourite dish in Calgary is the Bread and Fresh Cheese ($7). The warm bread and cool cheese complimented each other. The buns were soft, heavy and fluffy. The cheese was light and cold, with a texture similar to whipped cream.

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We tried what is considered by some to be the finest cheese in the world – King of Cheeses ($15). Comte is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. The cheese has a nutty flavour and sweet aftertaste. Personally, I much preferred the fresh cheese over the prized comte.

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The Empire Provisions Salumi and Prosciutto ($9) was stunningly delicious. L and I couldn’t believe what we were tasting. Both meats were so flavourful. The thin slices melted from the heat of my finger. I’m a die hard Peasant Cheese customer, but after sampling these two meats, I need to shop at Empire Provisons.

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L ordered a can of OT Brewing Company’s ‘flagstick’ beer ($7). The ale was light and refreshing with tiny bubbles. This is the sort of beer that that you could crush all day long on a patio. L enjoyed it so much, he bought some the next day from Coop Liquor Store.

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I sampled two more wines before I settled on a French red –  Jean-Marc Burgaud Beaujolais Villages Les Vignes de Lantignie 2017 ($14). I found this wine interesting and I liked the juicy, mellow finish.

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L and I thought the Brussels Sprouts ($13) acted almost like a palate cleanser. The salad was light and sweet like a coleslaw, filled with soft slices of pear and crunchy bits of celery. The toasted pine nuts added an earthiness to the salad.

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Our last dish of the night was unreal. I could taste the BBQ flavour in the Smoked Bison Tartare ($22).  The tartare was so fresh it reminded me of sashimi.

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I savoured each potato chip. I don’t know what sort of oil was used, but it made the chip smell and taste incredible. When I held the chip against the candle, it looked like a piece of stained glass.

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I was enjoyed the evening so much, I indulged in one more glass – Roc’ Ambulle ($16). I like my bubbles and I like them French. I found this glass refreshing, a touch tart and not sweet.

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The Michelin guide covers 25 countries but not Canada. I told L that I have been to two Michelin star restaurants (Cafe China and Tim Ho Won), one Bib Gourmand restaurant (Kagari, Tokyo) and one Michelin Plate restaurant (Buvette, New York). I think if those restaurants made it on the list, so should Bar Von Der Fels and Shokunin.

Bar Von Der Fels Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dessert · Restaurants · Seafood · Special Occasion · Vegetarian

Ten Foot Henry – Birthday Dinner

Beep Beep insisted on treating L and I out for my birthday dinner. I’ve been wanting to check out Ten Foot Henry ever since Zoomhahaa recommended it to me. L has been twice for work-related events. I always threaten to tag along and get my own table close enough to annoy him. For this post, let’s listen to Divinyls “I Touch Myself”.

Before we left for dinner, L surprised us with a bottle of Pol Roger Vintage 2009. Our neighbour Mr. Sirsky had brought a bottle of Pol Roger (non-vintage) to share with us on New Year’s Eve. Mr. Sirsky told us to try the vintage version. I have to try both back to back for a proper comparison. What’s the difference between vintage and non-vintage? Vintage is made with grapes of one year’s harvest. Non-vintage champagne is a blend of different years’ harvest. Another interesting fact – Pol Rogers is one of the few family owned luxury champagne firms.

The crowd at Ten Foot Henry is young, thin and attractive. The room is dimly lit, filled with plants and cool cartoon wall drawings. The noise level is loud, not so much from the music but from the customers.

Our server Stephanie was lovely. This is an odd comment but she has a very positive vibe. She also provided good food and wine recommendations. I noticed that the excellent service we received was a team effort. Whenever I or Beep Beep would get up, our napkin would be refolded and our drinks attentively topped off. It has been a while since I experienced service at this level.

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L ordered a Last Best beer and Beep Beep and I shared half a bottle of Vinho Verde ($37). The first dish to arrive were the Tomatoes ($15). We were instructed to mash-up the tomatoes, fresh feta, and herb together and then spoon it on top of the grilled bread. That herb in the dish turned out to be cilantro, my arch nemesis. The feta melted with the tomatoes and reminded me of cream cheese.

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Zoomhaha told me to get the Marinated Beets ($13). I liked the combination of avocado and the crunchy, buttery pistachios. The beets were firm but still tender. L loved the taste of citrus and heat. The grapefruit added a refreshing twist to this dish. Again, there was cilantro, but it was easy enough to pick out.

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The Jerk Spice Cauliflower ($16) was my favourite of the three vegetable dishes. The cauliflower was roasted and had that charbroiled taste. The root chips were crunchy and sweet. L thought he could taste a bit of miso in the pineapple mayonnaise.

L was surprised he enjoyed the vegetable dishes as much as he did. I was impressed with the range of flavours and textures. I enjoyed the unusual combination of ingredients. I thought the vegetable dishes were well-thought out and interesting.

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I enjoyed the Spaghetti ($18). The noodles were covered in a bright lemony pesto. I could taste little crunchy bits in the sauce. As the pasta is rich,  I’d recommend sharing it.

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The star of the show was the Seared Pickerel ($25). The fish was fluffy, light and tender. The skin was crispy and crackly. The lovely white sauce paired well with the brussel sprout leaves. The addition of pickled grapes added an element of dryness. I’d go as far to say this is one of the best fish dishes I’ve eaten.

I mentioned to Beep Beep that all the vegetable dishes were good, but nothing could hold a candle to the pickerel. She responded that there is only so far you can go with vegetables.

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Ten Foot desserts should not be missed. We shared the Coconut Cake and Butterscotch Pudding.  Beep Beep asked Stephanie to put a candle in the cake for me.

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The coconut cake was light – similar to Angel food cake. I liked the sweet, creamy frosting with toasted coconut flakes. The cake was delicious, but it wasn’t nearly as spectacular as the butterscotch pudding. The taste of butterscotch was like an intensely flavoured creme brulee. The pudding was cool and custardy, topped with sponge toffee. I liked the flakes of salt, which balanced the sweetness of the dessert.

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Thank you Beep Beep for a wonderful birthday dinner. I’m looking forward to my next visit. Even L is on board. I give Ten Foot Henry two fat thumbs up and it makes it on my list of favourite restaurants in Calgary.