4.3/5 on the Foodie Foursome Index
4.3/5 on the Spanish Scale (comparable to the Mexican scale)
Mike’s Review: 🍷🍗🍖🐑😍
As we made our way up to Royal oak, land of soccer mom’s in lulu lemons and the Johnsons’ trying to keep up with the Jones’ I was not expecting much from the little Las Canaries inbetween Smash Burger and BMO… Maybe just expecting to get my banking on after?
The calamari was amazing (some of the best I ever had) and was on special for $6.99! I had the slow cooked lamb shank (Cordero a la riojana) and let’s just say… Mary had a little lamb… It’s meat was soft as dough… And Michael ate it ALL. From the ambiance, to the service, this place sure to make a splash. While talking to the owner we discovered they just recently opened, so we better give them a warm Calgary welcome!
If you are prepared to make the voyage to the land or Royal Oak Trees, Las Canarias has everything it takes to not only compete, but surpass, some of the restaurants currently on 17th… And their competition is lucky they are not… Yet…
Jenna’s Review: 😍💗👅😘💐
Wowzers. That’s the word that comes to my mind when I think of our dining experience at Las Canarias. From the outside you would never know the little paradise that is within this unique and amazing restaurant. As soon as you walk in the door it is as if you have stepped onto a little outdoor patio In Spain. The decor was quite lavish with flowers and vines all around you giving you all the joys of being outside with all if the benefits of being inside.
It’s no surprise that the food and drinks were equally incredible. The sangria was delightful with hints of cinnamon and the calamari was to die for. Fluffy yet crispy. The beef lentil stew tapas dish we ordered was just as scrumptious. For my main I got the chicken stuffed with ham and cream cheese. It was good but a bit dry and was nothing in comparison to the lamb or duck. If I could do it again I would have ordered one of those dishes cause they were done so well. To top everything off the chef made one of his famous desert drinks that he makes for every table. It was a mint and sambuka and it was utter perfection.
So a long story short I went in empty and left with a full heart and a equally full stomach. I plan to come back, but next time on a Friday for the live Spanish guitar and to try the famous seafood paella. Keep it up!
Ben and Travis’s Experience/Review:
Nestled between a burger joint and a French-Canadian national bank, the Las Cararias Spanish Restaurant & Tapas in Royal Oak was indeed an escape to exquisite serenity, culinary delight and outstanding service. Since March 2015, this hidden gem has offered the curious neighborhood connoisseurs with dishes having both European and Spanish influence.
Travis and I, along with our hosts Jenna and Mike, decided to survey Las Cararias last week to satisfy appetites. First, the waitress suggested a liter of ice cold traditional Spanish Sangria. It was a sweet blend of wine, chopped fruit, and a splash of brandy mixed to pure perfection. Then she brought us an appetizing plate of Calamar Rebozado ($6.95), adorned with spring greens and garlic aioli. The outer batter was crunchy and brought with it a deep fried to taste. The inside was both tender and delicious. We also tried the restaurant’s signature Ropa vieja Las Canaria (pre-meal tapas with brown bread). The spread was made of red beans and tiny Latino cherry peppers. It was my least favorite of the evening’s dishes, however, least favorite still managed to get gobbled up entirely!
My main course was poached chicken breasts stuffed with herbed cream cheese and Serrano ham ($23.95). The two (somewhat minuscule) breasts were soft and juicy. The cream cheese mixture highlighted its smooth and delicious qualities. The accompanied fresh slices of garden zucchini and carrot were a bit over cooked for my personal taste. I also liked the presentation of the fried scalloped potato slices, topped with a soft butter sauce.
Next to me, Travis was eating a rather huge serving of grilled Duck leg confit ($19) with a delicious sauce, potatoes and vegetables. I had a bite of his well-prepared duck, and it was euphoric in taste and texture! It did not taste gamy like its French or Asian counterparts. I decided I must try this in its entirety when I revisit this oasis once again.
For dessert, the owner had us sample his special, hand crafted, mint flavored slushie treat (made popular around the Canary Islands… or so we were told). I couldn’t help but to order a second round for all of us.
Floral, tender, and orgasmic! Full dinner with duck, veggies, and mash potatoes for only $18! A little hidden oasis in Cowtown! Finding the garden of Eden may be illusive, but visiting Las Cararias was indeed one step closer to its Spanish/Moroccan counterpart!
Las Canarias is muy bien!