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

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.

I’ve actually never tried General Tso Chicken ($10) before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The batter was sweet and sticky. This dish, as well as everything else we ordered, arrived piping hot and immaculately presented.

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 · Patio · Restaurants

Earls on Stephen Ave

Soup received a $150 gift certificate to Earls. She and her partner Ottawa invited me, L, Soccer Mom, and McCartney out for drinks and food. In light of recent news, let’s listen to “Regulate” by Warren G and Nate Dogg.

Our table was next to the patio. We got the best of both words – a view of Stephen Ave, fresh air and spacious, comfortable seating. I preferred to sit inside, as I feel that people who sit on patios on Stephen Ave get stared at by passersby.

I won’t drink house wine. I can’t do it. Two weeks ago in Kyoto, I ordered a bottle of house wine. It was so nasty that I couldn’t choke it down. Last week, I was at Bank and Baron and my colleagues were drinking happy hour house wine. I went against my better judgment and had a glass too. It was vile. At Earls, I ordered a 9 ounce glass of Quails Gate Pinot Noir ($20.25). I thought it was full-bodied and juicy for a pinot. Delicious. I’d come back to Earls just for a nice glass of wine.

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Ottawa requested input from us and ordered for the table: Calamari ($14.25), Pan Wings ($13.75), Warm Spinach Dip ($13.75), Green Dragon Roll ($13.25), Garlic Fries ($6), Street Chicken Tacos ($11.75), and Yam Fries ($7.50). She tried to order the Hawaiian Coconut Prawns but the restaurant was out.

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I was surprised I liked the chicken taco so much, because I don’t normally enjoy tacos. The flour tortilla was crisp and held up to the saucy mixture of tender, slow roasted chicken, cilantro, salsa and cabbage. The taste of cilantro was subtle. The combination tasted fresh yet decadent, most likely due to the jalapeño crema and white cheddar. I thought it was odd that Earls named these ‘street tacos’ because street tacos are simple and pretty basic.

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I liked the yam fries more than the garlic fries. I don’t normally like yam fries because I find the flavour taste fake. Earls make a batch that taste like it’s actually a yam and the fries were fat and crispy, just the way I like them.
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One of my favourite items was the Pan Wings. These aren’t on the menu but our server told us it’s her favourite because they are twice baked and spicy. The sauce was tangy and the skin was crisp. There was a lot of white meat on them bones. The celery was fresh too, sweet and crunchy.

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Bars/Lounges · Beer · Burgers · Happy Hour · Restaurants

Silver Point Pub – Wing Night

I’ve been planning small social meet and greets at local businesses. I picked Silver Point Pub in Silver Springs because the employee on the phone was so accommodating when I called to ask about reservations. In the past summer, a volunteer brought me here so he could use the washroom and ask for a glass of water. The server asked me if I wanted some water too. I didn’t want to be a bother but she ensured me she would be happy to do so. For this post, let’s listen to Gary Portnoy’s Where Everybody Knows Your Name.

We picked a Wednesday to host this get together, which happened to be wing night. The pub was packed and as a result, food came out a bit slowly. I didn’t mind as when the food did arrive, it was hot and fresh. I rather wait a bit and have the food properly prepared then sent out fast because it was premade.

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Kudos to our lone server Lea. She was around constantly to refill drinks and greet each new person that showed up at our tables. Due to our limited budget, my office hosted complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. I ordered two plates of nachos ($12.99), 15 plates of wings ($5) and a veggie platter ($9). I had to think of a nice way to tell people if they wanted booze, they were on their own. I decided with the following sentence – Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at the guest’s own expense.

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The wings were fresh out of the fryer, glistening and saucy. The teriyaki wings had a buttery aftertaste. The salt and pepper were the crowd’s favourite. One guest ordered the Ghost Hot wings. I stuck to the regular old hot wings.

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The nachos were generously topped with gooey cheese, hot peppers, green onions, tomatoes, and black olives. The topping ratio to chips was excellent. The cheese and chips stayed warm for a long time.

For 30 plus guests, the bill with a 20% gratuity was under $200. That worked out to about $6.00 a guest. I have two more events coming up. I hope I can get the budget close to what received at Silver Point Pub.

Silver Point Pub & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

17th Ave · Beer · Happy Hour · Pubs · Restaurants

Home and Away

Last night I saw a post on Instagram of these incredible looking wings. On Tuesdays, Home and Away offers half price wings and $4.00 beers from Calgary. L didn’t have any fight in him when he came home and nodded in agreement when I suggested we go out.

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For this post, let’s listen to Beastie Boys You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Party. You’ll see why shortly.

We both ordered glasses of Banded Peak’s Plainsbreaker. This is a wicked deal for $4.00. At Banded Peak’s brewery, we pay $10.00 for a big can. I find the Plainsbreaker fresh, crisp, and not too hoppy or bitter.

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The feature wing of the night was Sushi Roll (hh $7, regular $14.50). The wings themselves tasted like good quality chicken – ample amounts of tender white meat. The wings were crispy and sweet from the ginger soy glaze. I smeared my wings with the avocado puree and topped it with a piece of cold fried sushi rice, cucumber and nori. L said the combination of ingredients tasted odd together because of the sweetness of the chicken and the avocado. I thought it was interesting and enjoyed it for what it was – something novel and fun.

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About this time, a couple next to us started to fight. Apparently the female told the male it was rude when he pointed to the TV screen. He took offence to this and told her off. He then brought us into the conversation. “Look, I’m pointing at him and he doesn’t care. It’s not a big deal.” L did care. It was uncomfortable and awkward to be pointed at while they fought. The volume and angry tone in his voice started to give me a headache. Before he took off he sarcastically wished her a happy birthday. What a gent! Five minutes later he came back and started to loudly argue with her again. I told L we were moving tables.

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We ordered a second beer and shared a Cubano with fries ($16.50). What a disappointment. The sandwich lacked a crunchy exterior and a warm gooey middle. The bread was cold and doughy, similar to but not as good as the cheese breadsticks I use to get in elementary school. The sandwich was supposed to include country ham, braised pork, aioli, mustard, cheese curds and home pickles. I saw home pickles and tasted an extremely salty pulled pork. I didn’t taste any cheese curds, ham or aioli. The meat and the bread itself was a really small portion. We did get a generous amount of fries.

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I liked our server Melissa – she was informative and competent. I recommend Home and Away for wings and beer on Tuesdays. The restaurant is a big space so it is ideal for large groups.

Home & Away, Calgary Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Pubs · Restaurants · Vancouver/Richmond

Vancouver – St. Augustine’s

Our last night in Vancouver. Beep Beep, L and I returned to her house at 5:00 p.m. to get ready for our dinner reservations at Raisu. Beep Beep has been after me for a while to try Raisu’s deluxe chirashi, premium tonkatsu, sea urchin and snow crab udon soup. However, it was not in the cards. Her partner Mars was exhausted. He looked after their daughter Me Ah since 2:00 p.m. and he didn’t have his usual nap. He was so tired that he said he didn’t want to go to Raisu. I cancelled our reservations, had a drink with Beep Beep and made plans to visit L’s friend Moody and my cousin, Cuz. For this post, let’s listen to Ray Charles Hit the Road Jack.

We met Mood at his favourite watering hole – St. Augustine’s. This is the sort of place I would have frequented in my undergrad. It’s fun, lively and there are lot of local beers. Service was attentive and friendly – kudos to the two Asian female staff that looked after us throughout the night.

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We ordered a Sweet Fennel Pizza ($15). There was nothing wrong with this pie. Thin crust, with ample roasted garlic, basil and enough pork sausage to get a piece every few bites. I liked the tang of the tomato sauce and the taste of Asiago cheese was prominent.

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After we finished our pizza, L told me that Cuz was at the door. Even with my contacts, my eyesight is not the best. I waved enthusiastically to Cuz. L and Moody howled. The guy wasn’t Asian and when I looked up close, he didn’t look a thing like my cousin. His dark hair turned out to be a toque.

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When my cousin did come, we ordered wings. As it was wing night, a plate cost only $6.50. Cuz ordered teriyaki and I ordered hot wings. I received more wings than him but his were meatier.

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L ordered yam fries ($8.50). The fries were crunchy and sweet, and looked like it was double battered. The smoked garlic aioli was pungent, in a good way. I thought the amount of fries was skimpy for the price.

For a casual night out, I like St. Augustine’s. Just an FYI – while there are over 50 rotating beers, there was only one wheat beer offered.

St. Augustine's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

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.

Loving Disapproval 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 · Burgers · Patio · Pizza · Pubs · Restaurants

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

Beer · Burgers · Cheap Eats · Pubs

Moose McGuire’s – Wing Night

Based on the Zomato reviews, it looks like students are pickier than I am when it comes to pubs. I have always like Moose McGuire’s when I was a student and lived nearby. In particular, I liked the wings and burgers, which I think are better than the nearby pubs (Kilkenny Irish Pub, The Den, Last Defence, and Jamesons). After a late work meeting last week, I was able to rekindle my love for Moose McGuire’s.

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L and I happen to visit during wing night. Kudos to our young server Ashley W. I’m not usually impressed with service at a pub because often the environment is chaotic and it hard to get anyone’s attention. However, Ashley was personable, helpful and did things she didn’t have to, like split our burger when she found out we were sharing and ensuring we sure we had enough napkins for the wings.

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For 35 cents each, these wings are awesome. We ordered wings with hot sauce. L thought he could taste a little cumin in the sauce. The wings were meaty, crispy and tangy with a spicy heat. I would have just eaten a basket on my own and been full.

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The cheese and bacon burger tasted like a Whopper from Burger King. That’s a compliment not an insult. The bun was different and didn’t taste like a generic type you get from a bag at Safeway. The bacon was crunchy, the lettuce and tomato cold and refreshing against the juicy beef patty. The fries are nothing to get excited about, but it was served hot and crispy and I didn’t get the tiny,  brown crispy pieces that remind me of the leftover stuff in a fryer.

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L and I left full and pleased with our bill. We both agreed that we need to start dropping by more often for wing night. When we do, I doubt we’ll venture past our standard order of a burger and wings.

View my food journey on Zomato!

Moose McGuire's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato