Notable – Duly Noted

3.7/5 Foodie Foursome Index
3.5/5 on the Hip Eateries Scale

Ambiance: 3.9
Service: 4
Food: 3.8
Value: 3.2

Overall 3.7

Mike’s Review: ❤️🎯🐑➡️🍖

This was our second time at Notable, the first time was on our first date 2 years, 8 months, and 12 days ago where Jenna ordered only a salad to appear “lady like” on the date… Well now, the day has come, 2 years, 8 months and 12 days later that that lady has returned a woman to get a real “non-first date” taste of Notable. I was excited, scared, and a little nervous about how the night would go.

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The last 3 reviews all had a similar theme of the appies out shining the mains, and Notable continues this trend. The beef carpaccio and potato rolls were divine. We also got muscles and frites, but I am not a big muscles or frites fan so I left those to Jenna.

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I got the lamb, which has also been the theme of the last couple restaurants. As I sat here, 18 days later, trying to remember how the lamb was, I realized that it wasn’t that memorable. It was delicious, as is everything here is, but I can’t say much more than that as I had to get Jenna to remind me what I even had.

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All in all Notable is delicious and comfortable as always, however, if I had to choose between the two I would always prefer the Nash (their sister restaurant in Inglewood).

Jenna’s Review: 👌🏼👠🍺🏡💰

The first time I went to Notable was the second time that I had ever eaten in front of Mike. As a result I did what any nervous girl would have done, ordered the salad with tuna sashimi and acted like that was a super filling philly cheese steak while silently cursing my gender. Unfortunately the salad potion at Notable was of the fancy variety so it ended up being five leafs of lettuce with five medallions of tuna. So this time around I was excited to give Notable a real try and see what all the chatter was about.

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The interior is fairly chic and is what one would expect from a higher end restaurant with modern touches and an open kitchen so you don’t have to question whether or not actual people are cooking your food. We started off by sharing three appetizers, the elk carpaccio, the mussels and frites, and the crispy potato rolls (in order of my favourites). They were all quite tasty and dare I say the best part of the meal, except the frites were not really doing it for us. I also had a Kronenburg (a staple in my social drinking) or should I say most of a Kronenburg as the waitress wasn’t paying attention and filled the glass too full and spilt. She offered to get our lovely new friend a new glass of wine since the beer also spilled into the wine, but did not offer me a new beer, noted.

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The dinner was alright. I, like Mike and Naomi, got the lamb and it was alright. The lamb was not as tender as it could have been and it has an aromatic orange and spice flavour that reminded me of potpourri. The vegetables and barley risotto were a nice side but I don’t think I would go back and get the dish again. For dessert I enjoyed a chocolate tart with vanilla bean ice cream, it was good but I realized that I was in it for the crust and ice cream more than the chocolate itself.

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Overall I would say Notable was remarkable. Remarkable in the way that I would make a remark about it, and that remark would be “it was aight”. It was exactly what I had expected, a nice meal in a swanky hip atmosphere and so in that way it met my expectations. Also we had some super fun and super funny company (I want to host a chip party!) that made it spectacular.

However, the Nash (the other restarting by chef Noble) is something else and I would go there all day, every day. If you haven’t gone, stop what you are doing and go, you won’t be disappointed!!

Katie & Naomi’s Review: 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🤔💸❌🍚

Naomi: “I know you can overwhelmed and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?”

Katie: “I think you can at Notable.”

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So, we’d heard a lot about Notable, all positive, so we were very excited to try it ourselves. When, we walked in, our initial impression was positive – nice atmosphere, décor, pleasant service. Our server was prompt and got us excited about the specials. I (Naomi) was talking to her while she was pouring Jenna’s beer into her glass, and I am so exciting she forgot to watch what she was doing and spilled some beer into my wine carafe. She apologized and quickly brought more wine. I like to think I give good conversation!

We were all excited to try some tasty sounding appetizers! We chose the Elk Carpaccio and the Crispy Potato Rolls along with Jenna and Mike’s choice, Saltspring Island Mussels & Frites. When the appetizers arrived, it became apparent that the table was just too small. Glasses were moved precariously close to the edge of the table to make room for the three appetizers. Also, we were so close to our neighbour’s table that the server’s butt almost knocked the glasses over when he was attending to the other table. Needless to say, we were rather cramped.

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The appetizers were very tasty and were probably our favourite part of the meal, despite committing my (Katie’s) biggest restaurant pet peeve of not providing enough carrier (in this case, bread toasts) for the intended topping (Elk). I (Katie) would also like to note that the frites were not salted enough, even Jenna agreed.

For our mains, I (Katie) chose the Sterling Silver Flatiron Steak. The steak was served with roasted fingerling potatoes, carrots, and asparagus. Despite the fact my steak was overcooked L, it was still tender and delicious. Jenna even described it as “eating a cloud.” However, I was deeply upset that my potatoes were not salted. Let’s be honest here, potatoes don’t really taste like anything without seasoning and it is pretty basic restaurant stuff to season potatoes. I was kind of disappointed that such a high end restaurant would miss this. The other vegetables were just whelming and didn’t add much to the plate. Luckily, the service was very prompt and salt was brought out to me in no time.

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I (Naomi), like Mike and Jenna, chose the special – lamb. It was served with a barley risotto and vegetables. The lamb was prepared well but it didn’t wow me. I was hoping for delicious but Notable did not meet my expectations. I was surprised I really enjoyed the risotto as I am used to my barley mixed with hops and yeast… mmm beer.

For dessert, I (Katie), who doesn’t like cheesecake, chose the Stilton cheesecake with rhubarb compote. As a fan of blue cheese, I was excited to try this. It was actually a very tasty combination and I really enjoyed the rhubarb compote (even though there was not enough of it and I had to ask for more). After a while, the blue cheese did become a bit much and I only ended up eating half of it. My recommendation if you want to try this is to share it.

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I (Naomi) tried the crème brûlée for dessert. It was lovely but after having some of Katie’s rhubarb compote, I was jealous of the fruit flavour. Too bad I am not a fan of the Stilton cheese because I love cheesecake.

Overall, the meals were good, but just not really worth how much we paid for them. Neither of us felt like it lived up to the hype and neither of us think we’d return, unless somebody invited us to the restaurant and they were paying. Future dates, please take heed – take us somewhere else. We had a great time with Jenna and Mike (everybody should try to get on A Couple of Couples!) and that was really the best part of the evening. We had so many laughs, all very PG – right guys??😉

Emojis – We had a fun foursome, questionable why people like it so much, our money flying away, and not enough salt (pretend the bowl of rice is a bowl of salt, okay people).

The Weiner Schnitzel Haus – A Meaty Treat

4.1/5 Foodie Foursome Index

Food: 4.3
Service: 4.5
Ambiance:3.8
Value: 3.8
Overall: 4.1

4.0/5 on the German Scale

Mike’s Review: 😎👴🏻👵🏻🍘🇩🇪

I’m going to start this review different for a change, honestly, and say that it turns out I actually had no idea what wiener schnitzel was!

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I lived in Northern Switzerland for a year and got my weekly groceries in Germany and still I was under the impression that it was a type of sausage…. So when a large, clearly beaten and battered, steak sized chicken came out in front of me I had to play it cool with the waitress as I said “oh yes… My Wiener schnitzel… has arrived and looks as expected”

I liked this place, I liked the sound of German being spoken around me, and I liked being able to say “danke” to the waitress in my terrible accent, but most of all… As always… I liked the company!

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The appetizers were fantastically memorable, some mac n cheese and fresh pretzels, they were delicious! As far as the mains go they tasted, from the consensus of the table, as a wiener schnitzel should, and I guess that is all anyone can ask for. I think I may just prefer my food on the little more saucy side, perhaps as a result of my Dutch roots I feel compelled to put mayo on everything. If you are German, or like German food, or want to practice German, or want to try German food, this is a good place to do it!

Overall I think we will end up going back as Jenna really enjoyed this place and there were some additionals on the menu I wanted to try!

Jenna’s Review: 😀😁😄🙃😍

I just want to start off by saying, don’t believe Mike, don’t even read his review. Although if you got to my review you probably already read it but don’t believe him.

I totally loved the Weiner Haus, ever since my trip to Europe I was intent on trying Weiner Schnitzel and I tell you, the schnitzel I had here was BETTER than the schnitzel I had in Vienna. But let’s rewind.

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The Weiner Haus doesn’t look like much, it’s a quaint little place that almost feels like a house instead of a restaurant, but it also makes you feel more at home than a restaurant would. The carpeted floors made it was very warm and inviting, like a favourite grandparents place. I also really liked all the plates and dishes that they had, they were very authentic and fit the theme nicely.

Now the food was insanely good. For drinks we enjoyed a smooth Stiegl Radler, which is light, fruity, crisp and great for when you have to drive later (am I right DD’s?!). To start off we had the Mac and Cheese, which is one of their most popular menu items, as well as the pretzel and smear. Both were great but the pretzel stole my heart, I mean the smear was smashing!

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Now the main course was a whole lotta delicious. I got the Alpen Schnitzel which was filled with air dried bacon, emmental cheese, and fresh mushrooms (wow). The schnitzel was breaded to perfection, not too much breading, not to little. Crispy but subtle and with a squeeze of lemon it was the flavour plethora your mouth has been asking for. To add to that it came with the best darn fries I have had in a long time. The fries were perfectly salted and cooked. I like my fries on the less crispy side and I was a big fan.

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We couldn’t manage to eat dessert to but I am sure it would have measured up to the rest of the meal, and the great company we had! I am just grateful Jackie and Morgan showed us the place, and if I have to go back without my beloved Mike, I have to do what I have to do.

Jackie & Morgan’s Review:

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In the interest of full disclosure, we love the Wiener Schnitzel Haus and have been eating here semi-regularly for the past few years. We each get the same thing every time and it’s consistently good. We really appreciate the overall feel of the restaurant, which is unpretentious and comfortable. Like a flight to Palm Springs, where the majority of the passengers are eligible for pre-boarding, the average age of the patrons trends towards the “early bird special” crowd; as old souls ourselves, we feel right at home!

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This was our first time eating here on a Tuesday night and we were surprised it wasn’t busy. On Friday and Saturday nights, the dozen or so tables are full and a reservation is highly recommended. However, on this Tuesday night, we had the place to ourselves after 7:30. Combined with the wonderful, attentive service, it made for the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a great double date with Jenna and Mike. (Speaking of which, we can’t wait to attend a games night!)

We started with the Austrian Mac and Cheese, which is perhaps the signature non-schnitzel item on the menu. Loaded with spätzle, Emmentaler cheese, bacon, onions and chives, we find it to be a perfectly satisfying comfort food. It can be a little greasy, but that’s not really a surprise when two of the main ingredients are bacon and cheese. The other appetizer we ordered – and a new one to us – was the Pretzel with house made Schmier. This one was met with mixed reviews. Jackie was a big fan, but Morgan was less enthusiastic. Since we usually just get one appetizer, we would likely stick to the mac and cheese. Another starter option (or a worthwhile side to your main) is the fries, which Morgan considers to be among the best in the city.

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For the main course, Jackie got the classic Wiener Schnitzel. It was exactly what she’s come to expect: a large plate of pounded out meat, breaded and fried to perfection. It comes with a lemon wedge on the side. According to a friend of ours living in Austria, the best way to order schnitzel is with a side of cranberry sauce, but Jackie’s never put that to the test and, for now, the lemon slice does the trick. This dish also comes with mixed Austrian salads – typically a potato salad, a lightly pickled and seasoned cucumber salad and a cabbage salad. Jackie finds the salads really flavorful and is always wishing the portion was a little bigger.

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As usual, Morgan went with the Zigeuner Schnitzel for his main. Unlike a classic breaded schnitzel, this is one of the non-breaded “grilled” options on the menu. Coated in a rich bell pepper sauce, the Zigeuner Schnitzel delivers just the right amount of spice. The Zigeuner Schnitzel comes with a side of fries or spätzle and you can’t go wrong either way. The restaurant’s previous menu states that the Zigeuner Schnitzel is made “gypsy style”. The first time we tried this dish, we’d been watching a season of Food Network Star where one contestant made everything he was challenged to do “pie style” (did anyone else see this show?) so the “gypsy style” description has always felt funny and familiar.

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Bottom Line: The Wiener Schntizel Haus is an especially appealing option if you live in the NW (Montgomery being not all that central) and don’t mind a quieter restaurant catering to an older crowd. For us, the vibe is just right. It’s comfortable and homey and the chill, crooner type music doesn’t drown out your conversation. The biggest downside is the price. For a restaurant in the suburbs, $14 for a 240ml Le Creuset dish of mac and cheese is expensive. Even without drinks, you can expect to spend $60+ on a dinner for two. For us though, the food, service, and overall feel of the restaurant make the price worth it and will keep us coming back!

Anju – Review for You!

4.1/5 Foodie Foursome Index

4/5 on the Fusion Scale

We thought it might be nice if we started sharing our breakdown used to come to our overall rating. So please enjoy!

Ambiance: 3.9
Service: 4.7
Food: 4.3
Value: 3.4

Overall 4.1

Mike’s Review:

I arrived at Anju first, and this was the first meal Jenna and I did not arrive together, so I took some time to survey the restaurant, it was a beautiful place. The interior was very cool and very large, that’s why I was a bit surprised when they sat me directly beside the only other couple in the restaurant… and not like near… like 10 inches beside. I found it a little strange but I myself am a huge Tetris fan, and I understand from a servers point of view the advantages. I was surprised yet again when the third party entered the restaurant (not Jenna unfortunately… I had been waiting for a bit already…) and the hostess sat them DIRECTLY beside me on the other side. Now we had a beautiful space, and only 5% of it was being utilized, however, thank god the newest party requested to move, perhaps because they were uncomfortable with me breathing in their face.

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Although the beginning was a bit rough, the server and food more than made up for the fact that I overheard the couple beside me breaking up. The tuna tacos were phenomenal and quickly followed by delicious sushi wraps. Jenna took me on the magnificient jouney through Korean drinks, as she use to have foreign exchange students stay at her house and received many gifts. The Kim Chi Ramen was good, but I am not a big soup fan, however, if you enjoy soup even the slightest it is a must try at Anju.

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Overall, it is understandable how Anju is one of Calgary’s favorite Korean infusion restaurants. Whether entertaining relative from out of town, or looking for that hip first date venue, Anju will deliver… although you may be sitting with more people than you came with.

Jenna’s Review:

I was very excited to try Anju as I had heard so much about it and also because it is the first fusion type cuisine that we have tried on the blog! It is located on 17th Avenue so you know you are in for a treat, plus it is Tapas style and you all know that Mike and I love nothing more than to be able to try multiple different things and call it a meal.

The ambiance inside was nice. It definitely has an upscale and modern vibe with dark colors and sleek textures, nothing to out of the ordinary.

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Now, we decided that we needed to try the Soju to drink because we worked hard and that was something you don’t see every day. Apparently Soju was the largest selling Korean liquor in 2014 (according to Wikipedia). The Soju is a distilled beverage containing ethanol and water. You can have it on it’s own or you can have it with aloe or the liquid yogurt. We of course tried it all three ways because how else my fellow readers would we be able to tell you the best combination. I personally liked the aloe best and the yogurt was a close second, but on it’s own…I think it is an acquired taste.

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For the food we all took a shot at picking some items to share. We ended up with the following dishes; the featured sushi roll, the spicy salmon tacos, the braised pig ears, the lemongrass gochujang brussels sprouts, the crispy prawn dumplings, the oxtail tortellini and kimchi ramen.

I have to say that I they brought everything out at a great pace that allowed us to enjoy the food as it was served. I really liked everything but was not a huge fan of the pig ears. But at least I tried them! The sauce on them was lovely but the ears themselves were fatty and rubbery and not quite my thing. The brussels sprouts were delightful and cooked really well as was the kimchi ramen.. I am on a bit of a ramen rampage so that may have only been me who was obsessed with it but if you like ramen you have to get it. Another winner was the spicy salmon tacos. Wow is all I can say about those. The oxtail ravioli was also delicious but it only came with 4 pieces so you don’t get much bang for your buck there.

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I would definitely check out Anju again, especially if I am in one of my “I don’t know what I want to eat” moods since they have a nice variety of tapas to fulfill my needs. We had a ton of fun with Manisha and Rajen, it was laughs all night long! This is also really fun if you have people who like sharing as you can try more dishes in one sitting, or you can just go back a whole bunch, you do you.

Manisha & Rajen’s Review:

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Coming soon… They had some things to do. #latereview

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Flipp’n Burger – Nothing to flip out about

3.2/5 Foodie Foursome Index

2.5/5 on the Burger scale

Mike’s Review: 😦👏🏻🐣🐄🌿

I’m a burger man, but I may not be a Flipp’n burger man… I honestly thought their buns were from Safeway… Which could be possible because Safeway is right next door, can anyone confirm or deny this? I honestly think the burgers were good, but no better/more unique than any of the other 100’s of burger places in Calgary. I think this place survives off the local Kensington traffic where it is actually just most convenient for them.

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If you are looking for the (12) must try burgers in Calgary then I suggest working your way through this list with me!

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/calgary/12-of-the-best-burgers-in-calgary-1.1309253

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It should be noted though that there is a lot more to Flipp’n burgers then just their burgers. They offer fantastic vegan options and, as a business, they do support Calgary in various ways! I think maybe I am just missing the mark on this place but would be open to giving it another shot if someone had any suggestions?!

Jenna’s Review:

Now, I hate to be a “dark cloud” on this one, but I have to say that I really did not care for Flipp’n Burger. To be more direct, I very much disliked it. I feel bad giving a restaurant a bashing but I just honestly can’t think of a thing I really liked about it. The day has finally come for me to write a bad review, so here it is: Flipp’n burger was flipp’n terrible!

Let’s start off with the ambiance. The thing about flipp’n burger is that it really is not meant for a sit down dinner. It has very little seating and the seating that was there was quite cramped. The restaurant itself was supposed to be like a diner, and it was, but more like a dumpy, dingy, diner. There was a bunch of boxed recycling in view and I don’t know the last time the place had a good wipe down. The door was also not closing well so it kept hanging open leaving a cold breeze throughout the place. Overall it was blah.

Now I will admit that the service was pretty good. The gentleman was very patient as I tried to decide how to make my own Hawaiian inspired burger. I ordered the basic hamburger pattie with Swiss cheese and added pineapple, avocado, tomato, lettuce, teriyaki sauce and salsa. Now they throw the word fresh on all their communications, but honestly there was nothing fresh about it. The burger was super dry, the pineapple seemed old and dried out and the tomatoes were too ripe. The teriyaki sauce was not great and the bun was like a basic Safeway bun. I actually took the top half of my bun off because it was just not good.

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Then Mike and I had the poutine and deep fried pickles to share. These are both things that I adore but that I did not want more of after eating them here. The pickles spears were not very flavourful and to be honest I only had a couple of bites of the poutine and it was basic.

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I feel bad as I know this is one of the favourite places of our couple friends (sorry guys) but I want to note that their company was fantastic despite the god-awful food. Maybe it was because I didn’t have the black bean veggie patty, the one that I have heard raving reviews about, but I don’t know that I would go back to try it out.

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The score was mixed as I gave it a lower score while others scored it higher. So I guess you will have to try it for yourself and then come back here and leave a comment because I am really curious if it’s just me or not!

Matt and Whitney’s Review:

We live a few blocks away from Flipp’n Burgers, and have been there a few times for takeout orders. What we like about this place is that it’s a quick, tasty meal with lots of options whenever we are on the go and want to treat ourselves.

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When we met Mike and Jenna at the restaurant, we realized quickly that it’s actually quite a small space for a sit down meal for four people. We took two of the small circle tables and squeezed them together. As well, we hadn’t realized there is so much foot traffic in this place! It’s obviously meant to be a takeout restaurant as there was constantly a short line of people ordering food, sitting/standing in the small space, grabbing their food and heading out quickly. We also realized that because the space is in older building, the door would not close all of the way! This was such a pain on a cold day when there were people coming and going nonstop. The interior of Flipp’n Burger is an outdated version of a 50’s diner. We aren’t saying this as a negative observation. We like that this is a restaurant that doesn’t try to be a trendy, but has its own individual vibe in a neighborhood that is individual itself.

I (Whitney) had the black bean burger. I have this meal every time I go there and I’ve never been dissatisfied. I prefer this place over other burger spots because of the veggie options (black bean burger, organic vegan burger and falafel dog) and definitely because of the many toppings and sauces! I love that they have avocado and hummus and that I can have a totally different type of burger each time I go (There are slim pickin’s for vegetarians and burgers most of the time)!

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I (Matt) had a cheeseburger. The cheeseburger comes with cheddar, you can get a regular hamburger and add on swiss or goat cheese if you like. The burger is really good. Juicy, flavorful, and not very greasy. You don’t feel gross after finishing this burger, which is always a nice thing. It is a good size. The burger came on a white kaiser bun. It was nothing special, but complimented the burger nicely. When it comes to all the toppings and sauces, you get to choose. If you end up with a combination you don’t like, it’s kind of on you, not them. If that does happen, I would recommend trying again.

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We shared fried pickles and a strawberry milkshake. I don’t know what it is about these friend pickles, but they are consistently delicious. Ranch is the only dipping sauce that comes with the pickles. Some other options (maybe chipotle) would be great. The milkshake was delicious. It did not taste artificial, just ice cream and strawberries blended perfectly together.

In summary, the food is great. The interior could use some work.

 

 

Cassis – Pepé Le Pew would be proud

4.8/5 Foodie Foursome Index

4.8/5 on the French scale

Mike’s Review: 💏💏🎩🐮🐷

Where does one begin on Cassis? The fact that the owner is buzzing around taking orders? The pristine placement of products on the table from the French market next door? The heightened ambiance attributed primarily to the foreign films playing on the white wash wall? Or, like we start on most of our reviews, with appetizers.

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Everything from Cassis hit the spot! It is rare to find a place of such high class and quality food that I am still comfortable wearing my LuLu Lemon hoodie in. The service staff clearly knew their stuff, but rather than scoffing at our tables lack of French cuisine knowledge (not uncommon in the Calgary food scene) they guided us through the menu and explained it to us as if we were “les enfants”, which… Judging by the fact that I was playing the drums with my cutlery, was an accurate assumption.

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The food… The food… THE FOOD! Everything was amazing, once the owner helped explain how to eat it properly, and their home made bread alone was worth the trip.

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Since starting our blogging journey we have visited many places, but Cassis has earned its spot among places we will return to.

 

Jenna’s Review: 🗼⚜🇫🇷👀😶

Cassis was the perfect thing after going to Parc. It made me believe in the French again! But honestly, I loved Cassis from the moment I stepped in. It is a smaller place so it feels more intimate and quiet. It also had an old fashion black and white movie playing in the background which I found super neat and unique.

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Then there was the food. The menu was one page which I enjoy because I don’t like analysis paralysis trying to figure out what to eat. I got a Panache to drink which is Kronenburg beer mixed with lemonade. It was heavenly, it tastes like summer, like the summer of 69′. We chose three amazing appetizers including the beef tartar with egg yolk, capers, and homemade chips to scoop it up, the pork rillettes with mustard, pickles and bread, and the mind blowing ravioli. I think I speak for all the couples when I say the ravioli was phenomenal and one of the best things at Cassis. I don’t know what they put in it but they nailed it. We kept getting bread just to slurp up the sauce, like animals.

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For my main meal I had the beef stew (Daube Provençale) and it was lovely. At first the waiter said, “Its a large portion, it will really fill you up” and I thought to myself “He doesn’t know me at all”, but the richness with the beef and gnocchi and gravy and roasted vegetables as well as the deep flavour of the dish made it quite filling! I must commend him! Speaking of the service, we had a great waitress who was very attentive and another man (who we think was one of the owners) who made time to come to talk to our table and see how our experience was, which I found memorable and enjoyable.

Now despite the filling meal I still made room for the two amazing desserts we ordered. There was the praline cream puff (Paris-Brest) and the pineapple cake trio (Trio à l’ananas) both which were to die for. But out of the two I would recommend the praline cream puff. As well, we got to try some incredible Ice Wine courtesy of the gentlemen that talked with us which was the perfect match. Me and Cat Lin loved it so much we took a picture so we could buy it from their little market beside them when we came next (it was closed by the time we left, but it looked so fun!).

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Overall, I loved everything. the food, the company, the atmosphere and the service. So in the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger “I’ll be back”.

Kev and Cathy’s Review:

http://fortwoplz.com

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Different from other French restaurants in the city, Cassis Bistro has a very homey, welcoming ambiance, serving up some of the most classic French dishes. The owner and servers were extremely friendly and helpful assisting us in selecting our meal of the evening. The dish that completely blew our minds was the ravioli, which was accentuated by the housemade spicy tomato coulis.

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The pork rillettes was an interesting introductory dish to French cuisine that paired nicely with baguette and grainy mustard, but tasted a little too greasy after a few bites. The beef tartare was wonderfully moist when mixed together with the yolk, but taste-wise, it was outshone by the ravioli. For the entrée, I loved my daube provencale, in which the beef was stewed to absolutely softness in red wine together with the chewy gnocchi. Kev enjoyed his steak frites which came in a hearty portion. The medium-rare beef was sliced in thin pieces and topped with light herby dressing to enhance the flavor of the meat. For dessert, we both preferred the paris-brest over trio a l’ananas. The pastry was so fresh, light and crispy – went perfectly well with heavenly smooth and creamy hazelnut cream.

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There’s nothing wrong with the pineapple dessert – it makes a refreshingly fruity summer treat, but the paris-brest just left us wanting more!

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Parc Bistro – Je ne sais quoi

3.2/5 Foodie Foursome Index

3.3/5 on the French scale

Mike’s Review: 😑😑😑😑😑

When asked what constitutes a 5 outta 5 for Jenna and I we often reminisce about the time in Paris when we stumbled upon a little French restaurant. Unfortunately, “Parc” did not bring result in Déjà vu.

I have never in my life not finished a meal, but I could not finish my white bean and pork cassoulet. Now granted, I didn’t know what a cassoulet is, but I trusted in the fact that I have found everything I ever ordered from a restaurant edible… But this dish was bland and cold, I could not even finish it… Even Jenna was amazed. The beauty of “A Couple of Couples” is my uncultured pallet can be challenged by our dining counterparts, which I believe Alana enjoyed the cassoulet.

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All other aspects of the meal were great, or so we may have been convince by our “KillGrave-esque” waiter. I must admit this was the best service I have ever received from any restaurant in Calgary and thoroughly enjoyed the times he was at the table. He would pull away just before he became too much… And leave you wanting more, and he would come just before the thought of more water crept from your subconscious to conscious thought.

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Overall, Parc delivered on many aspects… But I just could not get over the food…

Jenna’s Review: 🗼⚜🇫🇷👀😶

I’m going to be totally honest, and I am doing this for all 12 people reading the blog because I know how much they value the honesty. I didn’t really care for Parc Bistro. It’s not that they did anything wrong, but it just didn’t excite me. Maybe I didn’t pick the right dish or maybe I am becoming a restaurant snob, but I wouldn’t rave about it on the street.

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The ambiance was nice enough with the wood and the black and white tiled floor, but it was no Casbah. We started with the charcuterie platter and the olives. The charcuterie was standard and the olives were good but I mean how bad can you screw up olives, am I right? For my main I got a duck burger because you don’t hear of those every day, but it wasn’t that remarkable, not terrible but not terrific if you know what I mean. For dessert Mike got eggnog ice cream which I had one bite of then quit. A girl, quitting after one bite. Just think about that.

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Now it was not all bad, two things that I will give Parc credit for was their great Riesling wine and the superb service. Our server was friendly, fun, fast, and fantastic. 4 F bonus! He did remind me a little bit of Kilgrave (#JessicaJones) but I liked it. I just wanted to do whatever he told me. Quite the influence, I think I would have ordered fish if he told me to, and I am allergic to fish.

At the end of the day, I wouldn’t go back but it was great meeting Alanna and Nathan and spending the evening with them! That I would do again🙂

Alanna and Nathan’s Review:

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Nathan & I had previously dined at Parc Bistro last spring for his birthday. We had such a fantastic experience that I couldn’t say yes fast enough when Mike emailed me to suggest it for our dinner. Having lived in France twice, I gravitate to spots that replicate the fantastic cuisine of the country.

Parc is tucked in behind Tomkins Park, just off 17th avenue, in the space formerly occupied by Trattoria Borgo. Ironically, it’s the first non-Italian venture by Creative Restaurants, owners of Cibo, Bonterra, Scopa, & Posto. The decor is simple (& simply quite French). I love the subway tiles, black & white checkered floors, & photos from different regions around France. I also have grand plans to sit outside in the summer & enjoy the quintessential Parisian cafe experience without leaving Calgary.

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Mike & Jenna had had a few minutes to browse the menu before we arrived (late, sorry guys, we never account for parking!) & had ordered drinks already from our efficient server. I’m not sure if Mike is just really into Jessica Jones right now, but he certainly had us convinced of our servers likeness to Kilgrave. Every one of his suggestions sounded magical & we all had a hard time deciding on an entree. Starters were a little easier, although our server’s descriptions had me yearning for most of the appetizers too. Mike & Jenna suggested the cheese & charcuterie board to start, & we enthusiastically agreed to share. To say we love cheese would be an understatement – our wedding cake was literally three wheels of it. We also ordered olives to accompany it. Before either of those arrived, we were asked if we wanted bread service. Is that even a question? Nathan had joked that the whole reason he was so excited to go back to Parc was for the bread. Their sourdough is as close to perfect as I’ve experienced in Canada. We each topped ours with the butter, salt, & olive oil provided. Is that how it’s supposed to be done? I dunno, but I dig it.

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The cheese & charcuterie board that arrived next could have been a piece of artwork, it was so beautiful. & they did not skimp on the olives either. I think there were four varieties on a huge platter, definitely not your usual tiny serving here. I enjoyed all of the cheeses & charcuterie, but I think the most interesting was the blue. I’m used to that more crumbly style of blue you get with a Roquefort, but this one was a harder variety. Blue is by far Nathan’s favourite – the more pungent the better usually. This one wasn’t overpowering & paired well with the charcuterie. We both really liked it.

We finally managed to each choose an entree. Nathan went with the lamb burger & I went with cassoulet, a rich & hearty slow-cooked casserole with white beans & pork. Nathan’s burger was topped with arugula & what he described as a vinegary sauce. He said it was good, but the fries that came with it could have been crispier. I enjoyed my cassoulet too. The pork was a good mix of tender & crispy. The beans & sauce were exactly how I remember from visiting Toulouse. That said, I just don’t think I’m that into beans. Next time I’d probably go for mussels, steak frites, or a croque madame.

At this point, you probably could have rolled me out of there, I was so full (& I didn’t even finish my cassoulet!). I’m a sucker for creme brulee though, so I couldn’t resist sharing their white chocolate & vanilla bean version with Nathan. It did not disappoint!

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I thought the overall value at Parc was pretty great too. While it doesn’t make for an inexpensive night out, it was less than I would expect for the quality of both the food & service. I would definitely recommend Parc for a nice date night & I’m sure we’ll be back to sample more of their menu.

I couldn’t believe how late it was by the time we left – a true testament to how much fun Mike & Jenna both are. We thoroughly enjoyed their company, as I fully expected having met them a few times at Games YYC nights. It was nice to sit down & have more of a chance to chat though. I’m already looking forward to meeting up with them again sometime!

Banff Bonanza – 1 Weekend, 5 Restaurants

Better late than never right!? Below is a compilation of reviews done with one heck of a fun couple over a weekend in Banff. Mike has titles for the restaurants, the rest of us have ratings on each restaurant.

Enjoy! We know we did 😁👫👫

Mike’s Review:

The Balkan – It’s all Greek to me
Wowzers, for me this is probably the closest thing to a 5 outta 5 I have ever eaten. Right up there with Briggs in my opinion. The lamb was fall off the bone, the waitress was sassy in a polite way, the ambiance left one feeling like they are joining homer on his odyssey, and the value was… well… considering it is Banff it did alright. The flaming cheese, and lamb shanks were amazing. I also had the pita which would have given “Opa!” A run for its money! This was also, one of the only times in my life, I ordered an entre AFTER we finished the appetizers, it was an extremely relaxed, divine, evening and we will be returning again!

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Banff Adventures Sleigh Ride – Sleigh Okay!
Sleigh bells ring… are you listening? – Most likely no one is listening, nestled just outside of Banff this is a little slice of paradise devoid of human tourists… but not TOO far away…
In the lane, snow is glistening – It most certainly was, but it did not seem to faze the horses as they plugged along, we even saw an elk herd!

A Beautiful sight – Banff Sleigh ride? Mountains? Phenomenal! My face was frozen in the mesmerized enchantment position, much like this :O

We’re happy tonight – I do not recommend sleigh rides as a suitable way of dealing with sadness, figure out what the cause is… and try to evaluation solutions… if no solutions are available try the sleigh ride

Walking in a winter wonderland – This should most certainly be on everyone’s list to do if you have not already… I have been to Banff many times and always missed out on this gem! Only once though….

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Eddie’s Burger Bar – These hills have fries
As far as burgers go, this place is one of the best. Don’t let the small, cramped, space deceive you… this place is worth the wait. They can even take your number and text you when a spot opens up. From poutine to burgers everything hit the spot. It was definitely not a fancy feast, but after hitting the slopes you would want to hit this place next!

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Korean Seoul Restaurant – We’re Seoul’d

We first walked into “Korean Seoul Restaurant” while trying to find the shortest distance from getting to the main street… to the back parkade. It had a lot of space… but we were the only ones in there, not unlike the offices in downtown Calgary now-a-days. I immediately made the mental note to return as I love two things… new food…. and short routes through parkades. The food was great (I had the beef tongue) but the real great experience was you cooked it all yourself at the table! It was so much fun to go at our own pace, and to our own liking. I found the beef tongue extremely tender and amazing but Jenna said she didn’t want to try the tongue… but if you ask me she was…. “Tongue in cheek” about it. If you do go, I suggest you try the more exotic stuff but they do have some delicious standards like chicken and beef.

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The Maple Leaf – I’d Tap That

Anyone who reads our blog… so my mother only and even then she skims it… knows that I am not a desert man. I must admit however that in Banff I was on a mission for something sweet, and the Maple Leaf hit the spot. We went only for desert and it sounded like there was a part going on in the upstairs (if you are looking for nightlife maybe check it out). The real highlight though was my staging of the below picture…. Which was the best part of the entire trip in my opinion….

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Tooloulou’s – Breakfast of Champions
Our last day before we left we hit up Tooloulou’s for some breakfast that may even give OEB a run for its money (I know, Calgary blasphemy). Despite the painfully slow service (I think this was just our waitress… the rest looked amazingly fast) this place was still one of my highlights. Smoked salmon, hash browns, coffee, pancakes, ham, bacon, this place had it all and everything was on point!

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Exploding Kittens – A Game of Chance
It wouldn’t be a review without a little plug for our Board Game Evening’s we run in YYC… what? You would like to go to one you say? Well check the Facebook group “Games YYC” here. The game exploding kittens reminded me a bit of “Cards against Humanity” in terms of content however plays much more like a game of chance. It does not take a mathematician to realize the optimal way to play the game is to collect cards and take more chance early on, however I could still see it being a fun drinking game. I do not think it will become a staple at our events as it gets boring quick, but you may see it around if we have a lot of requests.

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Jenna’s Review:

The Balkan (4.3/5)

I love Greek food, and I don’t think I realized how much until we went to the Balkan for our first meal of the weekend. The atmosphere was elegant and warm with beautiful Greek decorative touches around the restaurant including a stone sculpture at the front. I admit that apart from OPA! and the Broken Plate, I have not frequented many other Greek restaurants. This was mostly because I thought those places had some pretty good Greek.

However, I think it is safe to say that the Balkan was the best Greek restaurant that I have been to yet! Where do I even begin? First of all, I ordered a dirty martini because from time to time I like to feel like James bond. The martini was mixed to perfection and they gave me 4 olives! I am not talking those small dinky olives, I am talking the prime succulent green olives. We decided to order four appetizers to share so we could really get a flavor for the food. In order of my favorites we had the lamb ribs, the Greek meatballs with yogurt, the kalamari, and the saganaki with pita. All were exceptional but I didn’t love the saganaki, it had a slight licorice taste to it and just wasn’t quite cheesy enough for me.

For my main I figured that I shouldn’t stop a good thing so I ordered the Lamb Shank to continue my enjoyment from the lamb ribs. I was not disappointed. The lamb was so tender and oh so fall off the bone juicy I never wanted to stop eating it. The side of vegetables were good and the rice was just okay. I didn’t finish it and would have rather had extra vegetables as it was more just a bland filler. Our server was lovely and definitely made for a good experience. I mean c’mon, she put 4 olives in my martini. If you are in Banff for an anniversary I think this would be a great choice!

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Sleigh Ride (4/5) 

Do you like horses? Do you like beautiful mountain scenery? Do you like magical moments of giddy bliss? Do you like snow blowing in your face? Then the Banff Sleigh Ride is right for you!

In all seriousness though this was a great way to spend a morning in Banff. It was nice to get out in the fresh (albeit) cold air and learn about the mountains while gliding through the snow. You start at a beautiful wooden bard where they give you hot chocolate if you want it! Then they take you out with some blankets to start the ride. The view was beautiful and the tour guide was great about telling us stories of the mountains, their names, and how they came to be that way. We also saw some elk which was really neat, it was like a winter safari. It goes by quickly but what doesn’t when you are having fun?

An hour is long enough as it was pretty cold and there was some snow blowing towards us, but it was great at the end to be able to stand by the campfire and roast marshmallows and drink more hot chocolate. They also let you say hello to the horses which was a favourite for me. They are just so darn majestic! If you have never done one before I would highly suggest you try it out the next time you are in Banff!

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Eddie’s Burger Bar (4/5)

I have eaten a lot of burgers in my day, almost too many, almost so many that I never want to eat another burger, but Eddie’s Burger made me re-think my whole view on burgers. I had been here once before a long time ago and remember it being quite good. I just didn’t remember how good.

One of the hardest part is just picking a burger. Many of them are delightful looking and have their own flare to them. This time I opted to get the Red White and Blue with a side poutine. Now, if you don’t take anything else from my review, I just hope you remember this, GET THE RED WHITE AND BLUE BURGER. Seriously, it will blow you away. I am salivating as I write this just remembering it. You think I am kidding, I am not. I have been dreaming of this burger since I got it in Banff, and no other burger will do. How good could this burger be you ask? What is in it that changes lives? Let me tell you…

First you have your bun which is like some kind of god-sent butter bun that is as soft as a pillow. It melts in your mouth. If this is not enough it has a great beef patty with some siracha (red), mayo (white), blue cheese (blue), as well as some tomato, some lettuce, some bacon and love. That’s right love. On top of all this they also included a hot siracha wing on the top of the burger. I am salivating again. I couldn’t believe my tastebuds. The poutine also had a more beef gravy on it which I appreciate and a nice amount of authentic cheese curds, not just some grated mozzarella like some places do.

To sum this all up, I think it would suffice to say that I would be content if the only burgers I ate in Banff were from Eddie’s. They did it. Check them out.

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Seoul Korea (4.1/5)

When our fun fancy crew first stepped through this restaurant to get to our vehicle I knew that we had to try it. As soon as you walk in there are tables with their own hotpot in the middle as far as the eye can see. I have not tried a ton of Korean food in my life so I was excited to dine here and see what delicious things were in store. The ambiance wasn’t too out of this world but it was enough to get me intrigued.

The menu selection is quite authentic. They have all sorts of things that the average eater would probably not get, such as tripe and beef tongue (I did not try these). However, I did manage to still find myself ordering something familiar which was the dumplings as an appetizer and the bulgogi beef as my main. I don’t remember the last time I had such amazing beef, it was tender, juicy and in some kind of wonderful sauce. Not only did you get that, but they also gave us rice, side veggies and a big basket of lettuce. I still don’t know what that was for…

I quite enjoyed my experience here because it was something new! I am also quite a big fan of Asian cuisine so I enjoyed it quite a bit. I don’t know if I would recommend it to everyone but if you like Kimchi and you like cooking up a storm, give it a try!

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The Maple Leaf (2/5)

To start off, I should mention that we only came to The Maple Leaf for dessert, so please note that this rating does not reflect the restaurant as a whole. After a big ol’ Korean meal I was looking for something sweet and tasty to finish the night. There were multiple desserts but the one that stood out to me was the raspberry peach crumble with vanilla ice cream, I mean how good does that sound? I will tell you, so good that I chose to forego the cheesecake and the Crème Brule which are some personal favorites. I got myself all jazzed up for this delicious mountain of dessert joy but all that jazz was deflated like a soufflé when it actually got to the table.

The desert wasn’t like the crumble I was expecting. I thought there was going to be whole peaches and muddled raspberries in an almost pie/crumble like form with the ice cream melting beside it. What I got was sickly sweet raspberry jam it felt like with barley any peach flavor and crunchy hard crumble on top that was flavorless. Needless to say I was a bit disappointed. If I ever went back I would definitely try a different desert, or maybe just go for the food.

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Tooloulou’s (3/5)

Now here is the thing about Tooloulou’s. I know it could have done better if I had ordered something a little less adventurous, and if the service had been better. The service, if I am being honest, was pretty atrocious. I haven’t dealt with that bad of service in a while.

What made it so bad was a mix of the fact that there were multiple empty tables that could have seated people and then been cleaned, but 2 of the workers instead of stepping in to help clean these tables just looked at them from the back of the room and let the one waitress struggle with the rest. Also, even when the tables were clean, they wouldn’t let us sit until the table was set. And then when we asked not to be seated by the door, they still tried to seat us by the door and ignored our request for a table in the back. If this was not enough, our waitress was super slow and when we ordered our food she felt the need to tell us that the plates were really big and that we were order a lot of food, over and over again.

Aside from all that, the atmosphere was fun an eclectic. The place had so many neat decorations as well as a crazy tray of hot sauces from all over the world for you to try at your leisure! The food was really good generally speaking but I ordered the crab and asparagus omelet. I should have known that it was not going to be authentic crab, but canned crab with no added spice or flavor so it ended up tasting fishy. I did have some bites of the others food though and it was quite good. If I went back it would have been breakfast poutine all the way. Regrets, regrets.

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Overall it was a great weekend with some scrumptious meals, great company and new experience. Until next time Banff!

Madeline & Jordan’s Review:

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The Balkan (Madeline – 4/5 & Jordan – 4/5)

Our first stop on this weekend of indulgence, was The Balkan. A modern yet rustic Greek restaurant, in the heart of Banff, featuring family recipes straight out of Yiayia Joanna Karlos’ kitchen. By the time we drove to Banff, we were famished! Resulting in us ordering four appetizers to share: kalamari, Greek meatballs with yogurt, saganaki with pita, and paithakia (lamb ribs), all of which took no time at all to reach our table. Warm greek dinner rolls were also brought to us with a herb olive oil. The appetizers were fairly substantial portions! The meatballs and lamb ribs each came with six on a plate, enough for each of us and then some, both of which were delicious. The saganaki was perfectly salty served with freshly made pita, but what stole the spotlight was the kalamari. The batter was light, yet crisp, and the squid tasted fresh (not rubbery) considering we were in the Rocky Mountains.

After demolishing the appetizers, and by that I mean we didn’t leave a single morsel on the plate, it was time for the main courses. Madeline ordered the grilled chicken Hercules sword, which was served with their housemade pita, Greek salad, roasted potatoes, and rice pilaf. The chicken was moist, potatoes seasoned well, and rice was flavourful. I could have done with less salad on the plate, as the onions were a little over powering, but a dish I would order again. Jordan ordered the classic Greek donair pita which came with mixed vegetables, rice pilaf and lemon roasted potatoes. The pita was incredibly filling that it was difficult to eat much more than that, especially after the appetizers. The raspberry mojito was a refreshing drink on the side, which was well balanced in profile.

Despite the fact we were chatting until 10:30pm, there were still people eating in the restaurant; an indication that the locals enjoy the place. While the food, and service were above par, the price per person felt a little steep for an appetizer and an entree each. However, you’re going to pay for what you get, and there wasn’t a single negative thing about that experience.


Banff Adventures Sleigh Ride (Madeline – 3.5/5 & Jordan – 3.5/5)

The next day, we were off for a sleigh ride in the mountains. The Warner Barns are located just off the main drag, making it a convenient location to find. Upon our arrival, we checked in after making our reservation online ahead of time a few days prior, and signed our life away. While we waited for our pick up time, we sat inside where you could grab a cup of coffee and a wool blanket to keep warm on the 45 minute ride.

Our ride started on time, and despite the fact it was rather cold out that day, the sleigh was full! Each sleigh holds about 20 people. As a foursome, we were able to sit together in a row while we gazed up at the rocky peaks, listening to our guide explain which mountain was which along with the background of how they got their names. Along the ride, we encountered a rather large herd of elk who were sitting in the snow, eating grass, giving us the perfect picture opportunity. If you are thinking about going on one of these sleigh rides, just be prepared for the weather and bundle up. Sunglasses, would have been ideal to bring as the sun reflecting off the glistening snow was almost blinding.

After the ride came to an end, you can take a moment to pet the horses and take pictures, then warm up by the outdoor fire pit with hot chocolate and roast your own marshmallows, which was definitely needed. For $32/person this was a fun tourist excursion to do in the winter, but there wasn’t necessarily anything special about it. If you have done a sleigh ride before, don’t expect this one to be radically different.

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Eddie’s Burger Bar (Madeline – 5/5 & Jordan – 5/5)

The ideal pub food is found at Eddie’s Burger Bar, and everyone seems to know it! Due to the limited space, there was a waitlist the whole time we were there. Upon arriving they took our name and number, and would text us when our table was ready. So we hopped into a bar down the street to grab a quick coffee and Bailey’s to warm up. It only took about 15 minutes for them to text us that the table was ready.

Poutine, wings, salad, hot dogs, burgers, beer, and a milkshake bar are served at this happening local spot, which reminds us of a modern diner. If you want, you can even create your own burger! Choose as many toppings as you want, from an elk or bison patty, to a fried egg, jalapeno cheese, onion rings, and pretzel buns. On top of all that, you can have a poutine on the side. Choose from a long list of beers or go for the Eddie’s Famous Trashcan (long island mix, blue curaço, and a full can of red bull)…many of which are hanging from the ceiling. Your meal is served to you in typical diner fashion on paper in a wire basket, which really accentuates the quirky bar.

Madeline opted for the Spicy Big Bird Burger had a ground chicken patty, lettuce, goat cheese, bacon, sautéed onions, pesto, tomato, drenched in sriracha on a brioche bun and a side of sweet potato fries (which you are not charged extra for BTW). If you like spicy food, I highly recommend ordering this! If not…steer clear. I put hot sauce on everything and even this was hot for me, but in the best way possible. Originally I thought the ‘patty’ would be a typical grilled chicken breast in place of a patty, but it is actually ground chicken formed into a patty – something you don’t see often. It was moist, and cooked perfectly. Even though I love spice, it was hard to taste any other components on the burger besides the sriracha. I know all the other toppings were there because I could see them, but hard to taste them nonetheless. Jordan ordered the Eddie Classic burger but substituted the beef patty for bison, and it was topped with cheddar, bacon, onion, pickle, lettuce, tomato, and Eddie sauce on a brioche bun with a poutine on the side. The burger was excellent with the bison patty, and the poutine it made for a very filling meal. We would definitely stop by this quaint joint again given the opportunity as the service and the food are well worth their value.

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Korean Soul Restaurant (Madeline – 2.5/5 & Jordan – 4/5)

The restaurant was pretty empty with the exception of a few tables. The place may have been run by a Korean family, which was an indicator that the food would be pretty authentic. We ordered tea and as an appetizer, we shared a plate of fried gyoza; fresh, hot, and crisp when it arrived to the table. The waiter brought over all the fixings (kimchi, spicy cabbage, sauces, etc.) and the hot plate, which is placed in the middle of the table on top of a burner to cook your selection of protein. It definitely made for a unique experience to cook your own food right at the table top.

Jordan selected the bulgogi beef along with Jenna, and therefore their protein was brought out and cooked together which they then split. The serving size of the beef was substantial, and the sauce it was marinated in was full of flavour and really made the dish. The sauce was a great addition to the white rice, which Jordan thought it desperately needed. Madeline had the chicken, which has to be cooked last for food contamination reasons (I believe), but at that point after having watched everyone cook their food and already eating, all I wanted to do was eat it because I had been waiting so long yet it was not finished cooking. The sauce on the chicken was flavourful but overall thought that the meal was pretty average. Chicken and rice, with a few veggies isn’t exactly something to sing from the mountain tops.

For the price per person ($32) I did not think the value of the meal was there and did not feel satisfyingly full – I wanted more. But that left us with room for dessert….

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The Maple Leaf (Madeline – 3/5 & Jordan – 3/5)

After dinner, we decided dessert and a warm drink were just what we needed to cap off the night. We stumbled into The Maple Leaf Lounge, a very Canadian themed place with vaulted ceilings, wood accents, stones walls, oversized arm chairs, snowshoe/ski decorations, and log cabin atmosphere. A little disappointed in the slow service, as we were just there for dessert. I wasn’t offered a refill on my coffee and food was nothing to boast about either.

Madeline ordered the s’mores cheese cake which was the flavour of cheesecake that night, but not what I had envisioned a s’mores cheesecake to be. The marshmallows were raw on top, but I was anticipating them torched to get that fire roasted taste, and was drizzled with an overly sweet raspberry sauce. A flavour combination that I don’t think worked together. Jordan got the triple chocolate mousse cake which tasted pretty much like you would expect chocolate cake layered with chocolate mousse to be. That being said, it was served with a side of vanilla ice cream and you could immediately tell that it was homemade by the flecks of vanilla bean scattered through the smooth cream. While it satisfied our sweet tooth, I wouldn’t be in a rush to return for dessert.

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Tooloulou’s (Madeline – 5/5 & Jordan – 4.5/5)

This Cajun Creole inspired joint did not disappoint! It’s a super cozy atmosphere with fun decorations covering the walls and lobsters hanging from the ceilings, you would almost forget you’re in the mountains. The menu is extensive! I’m talking if you went to this restaurant every weekend and ordered something new every time, it would take your years to try every dish on the menu. And that’s just breakfast! They also serve lunch and dinner, with menus just as long and full of variety. For breakfast, take your pick from pancakes, french toast, waffles, crepes, omelets, eggs benny, breakfast skillets, oatmeal, breakfast sandwiches, hash, grits, vegetarian options, and any side you can think of! There is literally something for everyone on this menu as there are flavor combinations/variations of every dish. Pair your meal with freshly squeezed orange juice or a cup of joe, and it’s the perfect meal.

Their freshly made warm, fluffy, yet dense, buttermilk biscuits are definitely worth the wait. The portions are grand, and our waitress even ‘warned’ us about that fact, but we each ordered something on the side regardless. What can I say? We like to eat, and we love breakfast food. Madeline ordered the New Orleans’s Breakfast Skillet which had a little bit of everything: two eggs, two sausages, Canadian back bacon, grilled tomato, skillet potatoes, a pancake and buttermilk biscuit. I ate every single last bite…practically licked my plate clean. The pancake was fluffy, and that biscuit was heaven with a side of butter and jam. Jordan opted for the Breakfast Poutine: skillet potatoes topped with bacon, grilled onion, scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese curds and hollandaise sauce served with a buttermilk biscuit plus ordered a side of sausage. The plate was huge, but could have used a little more hollandaise. Can you ever have too much hollandaise? And what’s a meal without hot sauce!? Sample from over 100 different hot sauces they have available on their open shelf.

If you’re looking for fresh homemade food, at a great price, be sure to make a pit stop and check out this authentic eatery…but certainly don’t forget your appetite! Given the chance, we would go back to this place in a heartbeat hands down and would make a trip to Banff solely to visit this spot again!

Whitehall – we wish we could have enjoyed it with Steven Avery #FreeAvery

4.2/5 Foodie Foursome Index

3.8/5 on the hip eateries scale

Mike’s Review:

When Jess asked us to pick the restaurant from the pre-approved list… Whitehall caught my eye. Something about the “Modern British” paradox was delightfully enticing to me and my British roots.

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The service was absolutely impeccable! we have entered many restaurants in YYC our blogging journey, and I must admit I have gotten accustomed, and event enjoy, the scoffs and judgemental tones from the high class diners as we enter restaurants in our polos and joe fresh shoes, however Whitehall does the impossible…. Treats all their patrons equally, something becoming increasingly more rare in this city. The politeness and customer service was not unnoticed!

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The food also hit the spot, anything with cheese or meat in this place and you cannot go wrong. My average pallet was taken on an above average journey through old classics with a modern twist. My pork was delightful and, having tried Jenna’s duck, it was equally tender and delicious.

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My favourite part of the evening was when we were discussing “Making a Murderer” and as our waiter was dropping off the entres he just whispered “Free Avery”.

Overall the atmosphere and service set the restaurant apart in my mind and it makes a lovely little edition to the Bridgland food scene!

Jenna’s Review:

Whitehall was something else. It certainly was white, the whole interior was bright, clean and crisp. I will admit it’s one of the fancier restaurants that we have visited in a while, and I felt quite ritzy being there.

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It had a small but tasteful menu which I appreciate since I I am small and tasteful. Our dinner companions were great sports and joined us in ordering three appetizers. Together we enjoyed the cheese soufflé, the elk tartare, and my personal favorite of the pate. For dinner I enjoyed the duck which was surprisingly tender and surprisingly flavourless. It came with a side of marmalade potatoes and honestly the potatoes were better than the duck in my personal opinion. I think I wasn’t anticipating it to have such a fatty texture but I believe that is the way it was meant to be served so don’t take my word for it.

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For desserts Mike and I shared the cheesecake and Jess and Scott share the ice Wine cake. Just and Scott were the winners as their dessert reigned supreme, ours quite literally was cheesecake, it tasted like full cheese. Overall I liked everything except the main course and if I would have picked the face wine cake I would’ve been happier. Our server however was excellent, he really made it a great experience. He was knowledgeable about the menu, attentive, friendly, and entertaining. The ambience was really great too. It felt very elegant whilst homey and it wasn’t too loud.

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Regardless of the restaurant our company was phenomenal and we had a great time and shared some good laughs. It was a real pleasure getting to meet Jess and Scott and if you have some time check out her blog cooking in my genes!

Scott and Jess’ Review:

http://www.cookinginmygenes.com

My husband Scott and I had briefly met Mike & Jenna at one of their Games Nights

https://www.facebook.com/groups/GamesYYC/

BUT we were really looking forward to enjoying a meal together!

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We walked into Whitehall and were immediately impressed by the bright space and lovely decor. We spent time chatting and mulling over the menu, all while enjoying the lovely ‘cheese biscuits’ which were presented in this sweet, little vintage biscuit tin to our table. To start we shared a couple of the appetizers, trying the Bison Tartar, Cheese Souffle & the Pate. The Cheese Souffle was light, perfect cheese flavour and pure cheesy-goodness, it was my personal favourite. The Pate was super smooth and full of flavour, which we spread onto lightly toasted brioche bread. Next, we enjoyed our main courses – Scott had the Duck (as did Jenna) and I tried the Cod. The Duck was very well-prepared, it was extremely tender and the marmalade potatoes were the perfect accompaniment. My plate was a perfectly cooked piece of Cod over a bed of carrots with curry sauce – it was divine and the cozy flavours of the curry paired beautifully with the Cod.

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Our last course was dessert (of COURSE!) where Mike/Jenna shared the ‘cheesecake’ and Scott and I tried the ‘ice wine.’ All of us tried (and agreed) that the ‘ice wine’ dessert was a real winner – a lovely sponge cake, accompanied by honey ice cream and the showcase about this dessert what I like to call the ‘ice wine snow.’ It was like they turned ice wine into snow crystals – UNREAL. And to top off dessert, our server brought us a few house-made chocolate to go with our coffee. The chocolates were melt-in-your mouth and so delightful that we tried to bribe our server for more.

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Overall, the service was excellent and we had a real blast with Mike and Jenna, sharing a lot of laughs and stories. Whitehall delivered huge on atmosphere which rounded out the evening and we look forward to round two with Mike & Jenna!

 

Blue Star Diner – the classy B.S.D

3.7/5 on the Foodie Foursome Scale

3.5/5 on the Hip Eatery Scale 

Mike’s Review:🐏💸🍷👯👫

Blue Star Diner, Purple Peak, Yellow Door, Red’s Diner, Green Chili. What do all these places have in common other than making Calgary one of the most prideful cities in Canada? They all left me wanting something more. More taste, more service, more food, more hash browns and more toilet paper respectively.

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Focusing on Blue Star, the evening started with the excited anticipation of meeting our fellow bloggers, friends, and dare we say “siblings”, the Sangria Sisters. To say we were hungry was an understatement, and to say the restaurant was full was an overstatement. We walked in to join the two other people in the venue and awaited our counterparts.

The restaurant was hip in the way that all too many are nowadays. However, it differentiated itself by the fact that our waitress didn’t have a beard. It felt cozy and warm, and would make a good quiet place for a first date with somebody you actually have plans to talk to.

I was excited for Blue Star food. From what I heard it was a “must-try” in Bridgeland, if nothing else for the fries. I must admit that their lamb burger tasted a bit blaaaaaaaaahhhhhnnnd. Maybe it was all the hype, or maybe it is all the adventurous blogging, but it just didn’t feel all that special.

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At $45 per person (total including tip), I found it hard to find the value in this seek and find-esq atmosphere. But that being said the service was phenomenal and the company was divine.

It should also be noted that this is one of the largest discrepancies between couples ratings on a restaurant we have ever had. Jenna and I giving Blue Star a 3.1 and the Sangria Sisters giving Blue Star a 4.3. Maybe I am just an angry drunk whereas they are happier.

Jenna’s Review:🌟🍔😒🍽💙

It was a real treat to go out with the two Sangria Sisters for our first review together! If you are wondering, “Are they as much fun as they are in their blog?”, the answer would be absolutely! We went to BSD, and I don’t mean Bermuda Shorts Day. Blue Star Diner is a petite little place with a modern feel and fun menu. Their wall of wine was also quite appealing.

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We let the sisters pick out a nice white wine for our dinner and they did not disappoint. The Sauvignon Blanc was really nice, light, and had a great fruity aftertaste. We also shared some guacamole which may have honestly been my favourite part of the meal. It was perfectly salted, light and almost fluffy, with feta if you can believe it! The homemade, perfectly salted tortilla chips were a perfect match as well. Basically, if you go, get that, unless you are deathly allergic to avacado’s, then I’ll understand if you pass.

As a Dairy Lane lover I was excited to see what they had in store for dinner. There was such a great selection it was hard to choose, but I ended up going with their lamb burger. Again, their fries were perfectly salted, the ratio was just on point, they really know what they are doing. The burger itself was a bit dry and tasteless for me. I have a major obsession with the lamb burger at Thompson’s and I just don’t know if any other burger will ever be enough. So I just pictured the Thompson’s burger while I was with the BSD burger, it had to be done.

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For dessert, me and Laurie took the lead and ordered the salted caramel pumpkin cheesecake and the gingerbread cake with eggnog ice cream. If I am being honest, and I always am, neither were particularly life altering. I would say the gingerbread cake was better but really, both were just a piece of cake if you know what I mean.

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Overall, the night was fun ,the food was okay and I think if I went back it would be to try their breakfast which I have heard nothing but raving reviews for. Until next time Blue Star.

Sangria Sisters Review:

http://sangriasisters.ca

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In our rush to meet Mike and Jenna, we blew right past the Blue Star Diner…twice. The restaurant is unassuming from the outside, but quaint and cozy on the inside. Just like a diner should be. Located in the heart of Bridgeland, it was a perfect spot to meet up with A Couple Of Couples for our very first review.

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We’ll start with the wine, because that’s what kind of girls we are. We enjoyed a bottle of Blue Mountain Sauvignon Blanc from the Okanogan. It was fruity and sweet, just like us. The guacamole was embellished with feta cheese and smoked paprika pumpkin seeds, and served with homemade corn chips. It was absolutely delicious!

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Val’s Review:

After a debaucherous holiday season, I was in the mood for a lighter dish. I ordered the Pollo Maco, aka chicken taco. The chipotle chicken breast was nicely seasoned. Large wedges of avocado added to the freshness. As a cheese lover, I would have liked more queso fresco cheese to feed my addiction. The meal would have been more flavourful if it came with a side dish of salsa verde for dipping. The salad was crisp and sweet, although a tad overdressed.

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Lori’s Review:

The Blue Star Diner is renowned for its burgers, so when in Rome… I ordered the Dairy Lane burger sans pickled onions, and added peppered gouda cheese. To differ from Mike and Jenna, I chose the yam fries. The crunchy sweetness worked in harmony with the coarse salt flakes. The burger was cooked to perfection. Crispy on the edges while remaining juicy throughout. It’s a good sized patty but I managed to power through, leaving some fries for the table. I might be biased ‘cause I skipped lunch and was getting hangry, but my meal did the job and went the extra mile.

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Dessert was warmed gingerbread cake with eggnog ice cream, and a salted caramel pumpkin cheesecake. The cheesecake was more like a mousse, which threw Jenna and Lori off. Mike thought he was doing us a favour by scooping off the salted caramel topping, but when heard our audible gasps, he plopped it back on. Val was the only one who didn’t want dessert, and the only one who liked them both.

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The server was pleasant and checked in often, as we were so busy chatting it took us over an hour to order. Our portion of the bill came to $36 each, without gratuity. Not too shabby for an excellent evening out. Thanks to Mike and Jenna for initiating an instant friendship!

Gordo’s – You Wanna Pizza Me?

3.2/5 Foodie Foursome Index
3.6/5 on the Pizza Scale

Mike’s Review: 💃🏻🍕🏡🇲🇽😊

I don’t know who this “Gordo” is, I have often drove by his shop on centre street… Curious… skeptical…. & scared…. Maybe it was the name, maybe it was the lack of seating, maybe it was the way I found myself slightly attracted to their cartoon logo… Regardless of the reason, something took us 1 year of living beside the shop to actually try the shop, and now I feel like we just wasted those years!

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Gordo’s pizza is something to try. It is tough to differentiate oneself in the pizza scene, but Gordo’s does it through a combination of unique topping (roast beef? Whaaaa?) and tasty crust. My mom use to tell me to eat my crust because that is the best part, for years I scoffed at this obscene notion but it just may be the case for Gordo’s.

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Corner of McKnight and Centre street, give it a shot!

Also interestingly enough they were our first follower in Twitter! Thanks Gordon

Jenna’s Review: 🍕😐😐😐😐

Gordo’s was alright in an average okay sort of way. It was just sorta like a yeah, okay, been there done that, sure, whatever, huh. Due to mikes love of pizza I have tried a bunch of different kinds over the years. I feel like the pizza here would do in a pinch but couldn’t beat out places like Posto or Una for me.

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The all meat pizza (The Buckaneer) was pretty decent and I just didn’t know how to feel about the roast beef one. It just missed the mark for me, I feel like roast beef should stick to sandwiches and stop trying to be something it’s not. One credit I will grant them is that the crust was the perfect thickness without being too thick and perfectly cooked. I give them an ordinary, standard, normal, typical, regular thumbs up! 👍

Nicole and Will’s Review:

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The pizza, amazing and delicious. The crust was great, not a large amount of grease, generous amount of toppings. Great place for take out pizza, especially on those cozy date night evenings where you eat and watch your favourite movie or when you are getting together with friends for a fun evening. The all meat pizza was delicious as expected and there was not too much of a salty flavour. The Gordo’s special was not as expected, but still great. Overall a great eating experience.

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