Posto Pizzeria – Possibly Perfectly Prepared Pepperino Pizza, Perhaps Pricey Petite Portions

3.8/5 on the Foodie Foursome Index
4.4/5 on the Pizza Scale

Mike’s Review 

Let’s start with the best, the pizza. I have had many… MANY… pizzas, and I am not particularly hard to please when it comes to the toasty, cheesy, treat, however this pizza did stand out as being something special. I thought the value was there on the pizza and would come back just to try their variety of flavours.

Where it was lacking was on the appetizers, the “Tempura Squash Blossoms” was both tiny and confusing (at a cost of $12). The table spent a solid 6-8 minutes waiting for the appetizer to come… only to find that what we thought were table garnishes… was the appetizer. The bison cheeks on the contrary had the taste, and size, to count as an appetizer but came at a price of $28.

Posto (1) Posto (2)

If you are going to make the downtown to try this place I would suggest that you stick with the pizza. Pizza appetizer, pizza main, then finish with a pizza desert and you won’t be disappointed. The more we deviated from the pizza the more we found ourselves in a confusing world of varying portion sizes, varying cost, and varying tastes that do not work together to build a very convincing brand.

Jenna’s Review

Pizza. It is a dish loved by many and one that really resonates with my 1/4 of an Italian heritage. Posto had the feeling of a quaint hole in the wall. It takes a bit of searching to find it as you drive up but once you are in there it is pretty nice. The ambiance was modern and it had an open kitchen so you could see the chef’s throwing around the pizza dough like you see in movies, my only wish is that they were also singing “mamma mia pizzeria” while  doing it.

The appetizers and desert were both underwhelming. Portions were generally tiny and nothing was memorably good. That is all I will really say as I think Mike, Kelsey and Kade do a good job explaining this.

Now I don’t want to be “that person” but when I was in Italy and ate pizza in Florence, that was my 5/5. Thin crust and minimal toppings. I have to say that the Posto Pizzeria came pretty close to being as good. It did have thin crust that was not overcooked and the toppings added a lot of flavor rather than all just meshing into one taste. We ordered two from their menu and of the two I liked the “Prosciutto, Fiore di Latte, Arugula, Grana Padano with added Truffle Oil” the best. The guys liked the number four meat pizza best (naturally) but both were very good.

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Based on the pizza alone I would definitely go back. There were several other pizza options on the menu that were calling my name and I just don’t think I can let them down. If you are looking for good pizza or just really want to see them throw dough in the air, this is a place to keep on your list.

Kade & Kelsey’s Review

There is no better way to spend a Saturday night than eating pizza and sharing many laughs with Jenna and Mike from the Foodie Foursome. Who would have known that you can spend 3.5 hours eating pizza… this is particularly unusual for Kade and I as our dining usually only lasts an hour and consists of little talk and lots of eating.

The intimate restaurant instantly caught our attention when we walked inside. The open kitchen, the chefs kneading the fresh pizza dough in front of the wood fire oven, the coins imbedded into the tile floor, and the creative dishware really stood out to us and displayed some unique character.

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Posto has a fairly small menu; however, do not let the size deter you as there seemed to be options available for all ages and all appetites. To create a well-rounded review, the four of us had more than just pizza:

Appetizers: For appetizers, the four of us shared the Tempura Squash Blossoms and the Bison Cheek. The Tempura Squash Blossoms were the biggest disappointment as the tempura was almost non-existent… we felt very misled. The Bison Cheek on the other hand was tender, but well over priced.

Pizza: Posto’s pizzas were the highlight of the dinner for Kade and I. The crust was done to perfection and the toppings were delicious. Kade preferred pizza number Four (Sausage, Salami, Smoked Pancetta, Calabrese), while my favorite was Ten (Prosciutto, Fiore di Latte, Arugula, Grana Padano with added Truffle Oil). For anyone looking for some extra flavor, make sure to indulge in the truffle oil!

It is fair to say that these pizzas were some of the best we have had in a long time.

Dessert: Dessert turned out to be mediocre. It included seven different Italian samples served on unique plates for exceptional presentation. The samples were tasty treats, but very small. Being huge dessert fans, this left us only partially fulfilled and wanting more.

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Overall, the service was OK, the atmosphere was unique, and the pizza was immaculate. Both Kade and I would definitely recommend Posto for its pizza.

Overall Rating: 3.8/5

Teatro – What a Treat

4/5 on the Foodie Foursome Index
4.4/5 on the Fine Dining Scale

Mike’s Review 🍟🚫🎓💍🎩

Since Jenna and I started dating I have heard stories of Teatros, the grace of the serving staff, and luxury of the ambiance, and she sheer euphoria inducing food. Every meal we went on, every pho, every McDonald’s burger, I could see a faint glimmer in her eye comparing it to Teatros, and finally, I took her there….

I could immediately understand why it is a staple of Calgary culture, not a place I would want to frequent in sweat pants but still the staff was pleasant and polite despite my Wal*Mart cardigan I had on for the evening.

Once again, this is a place that favours Quality over Quantity so be mentally prepared for that. But, portion size aside the flavours were bright and unique. We had a new waitress so she didn’t have the menu quite memorized yet… Or the drinks… Or what the specials were… Or even where our table was seated at times…. But she was one of the nicest people I have ever met! Very kind with a smile on her face so we pardoned some of these dining faux pas.

Overall, being a small town boy living in the big city, I would frequent this place rarely for special events but I do hear they have a killer lunch menu!

Jenna’s Review 😍🌸🌟🌈🍸

Teatro’s is one of my favourite places because of it’s classy interior, beautiful high ceilings, and amazing food. When you step in you feel like royalty as they take your coat and escort you to a table. You also kind of feel like you are going into Gringott’s bank in Diagon Alley, which if you like HP as much as I do, is always a treat. It is an awesome place to go if you are heading to a show at the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts as it’s honestly a two minute walk away and would make for a very cultured night out.

We went when there was an event being held so there was only a set menu to pick from. It was still very good, but going when you have a full pick of the menu would be best. I had the tuna tatar to start, the risotto for my main and the creme brûlée for dessert. I would definitely get the risotto again as it was quite nicely seasoned, the other two dishes to me were fairly standard.

One thing that we discovered is a must try is getting a fall inspired cocktail. Apparently you can ask to get an inspired cocktail for any season and the bartender will whip you up something nice. Good for all our fellow risk takers out there. I found that they were a bit too smokey for my liking but I seemed to be the only one, so 3/4 would recommend it!

You gotta come to this place at least once, if not just because, do it for a special occasion because it is the type of place that fits the bill for that sort of thing.

Matt & Eva’s Review

I’ve gone to Teatro a couple times for their express lunches which change weekly. They’re good value because you get three courses and are usually in and out within an hour. It just might be the best quality lunch you could have for $25!

The tuna starter was very fresh. I tried some of Matt’s beef (tartar?) which had a nice sauce. I had short rib as my main, the meat was tender and the flavor of the vegetable sides were a nice compliment. I was a bit thrown off by the (cilantro or parsley?) sauce on the short rib though. Jenna shared her risotto and I would go back just for that, and for dessert, the creme brulee. They added some unique spices and came with a side of cookies which really made this classic dessert stand out. I wanted to try Matt’s tiramisu but he ate it all and didn’t share with anyone, it was THAT good.

We requested the bartender to come up with some fall inspired cocktails with white spirits for our nightcap. He explained to us it would have to be a dark spirit in order to truly be a fall flavour, and no, there is nothing pumpkin. We trust him. He came up with two drinks, one with a warm flavour and a little sweet, the other was spicy and fruity. Both were a nice end to our meal.

Overall the service is good and the portions are just right. This place is known to cater to the crowd next door who see the orchestra but don’t be afraid to come in to experience the restaurant for yourself.

Starbelly – Calgary’s South just got a whole lot foodier

4.3/5 on the Foodie Foursome Index
4.6/5 on the South Scale

Mike’s Review:House buildingHouse with gardenHospitalGem stoneHouse building

As I drove down south to visit Starbelly I reflected my life, my roots growing up in Airdrie, my year working in Europe, and my inability to quickly decipher between left and right… Then, after all this reflecting I realized we were only halfway there… This place is SOUTH.

David’s review does the most justice to the ambiance, and an impeccable job describing if this restaurant is right for you, the reader, so I will put my downtown quibbles aside and focus on the food.

BACON!!!! I got two orders of the house bacon and frankly… Wish I made it three. The grilled cheese was also amazing, the bread and the Brie combined to make a symphony of flavour in my mouth. Jenna and I shared a risotto, which was the only thing on the menu that I found somewhat standard (contrary to Jenna).

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What the Dutch boy in me appreciated best was that we were being treated to downtown atmosphere, metropolitan courses, for a small town price. Also, I gotta admit I was super excited to play CodeNames after dinner! David and I are trying to launch a “Board Game Social Media Meet Up” in YYC and David, being a board game connoisseur keeps bringing amazing games I have never heard of!

Foodie Foursome
Starbelly taught us that the culinary scene can just begin when leaving the city limits.

Jenna’s Review:Fork and knifeManWomanGirlSparklesOffice building

Now I know what you are thinking, did I get highlights? Yes, yes I did. Thank you for noticing. I was super excited to meet David and Jennie as I am a huge board game lover myself who will play pretty much any game from Masterpiece to Battleship to Settlers of Catan. I was hoping that David would bring a board game to dinner too and he did not disappoint.

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Starbelly is in the South. Like really South, like so far South that you almost need a snack to tide you over on the 3 hour drive over there. But fortunately it was worth the drive. The newly built strip mall had lots of pristine buildings and chains but Starbelly definitely stood out. It is a large building with gorgeous high ceilings and the interior of an upscale downtown restaurant. With its super modern feel, neat light fixtures and wooden touches it made for a good view throughout dinner.

The food I’d say was rather enjoyable. They had a good selection but everything was more on the “fancy side”. Now I am a huge fancy fan, but I was curious as to what the children on the other side of the restaurant were eating.

We shared the Chicken Liver Patte, Starbelly Grilled Cheese and Bacon (a.k.a pork belly). All the appetizers were good but the Patte was the one I liked the most. It had so much flavor and spread like whipped cream onto the baguette. The grilled cheese was pretty straight forward as it was basically a cooked Brie and the Bacon was alright but a bit fatty and it had maple in it which I don’t love so I was not blown away.

Now the risotto, that was magical. I love risotto and let me say, Starbelly did it right. It was creamy, cooked to perfection and was topped with mushrooms and pure joy. I could eat that risotto every day. If you like risotto, run, not walk there now. Seriously.

Now I have to mention one of the best parts of the night, playing CodeNames at the table after dinner. It was a simple game, simple yet hugely fun and if you get a chance to come to board game night, I strongly suggest that you request to play. It makes you try and form connections between many different words to help you partner guess the right code! Jennie and I won the first round, and then David and Mike won the second but I gave them an extra point so…just saying.

If you want something a little different than the places you normally go, you should definitely check Starbelly out. You can really make a whole evening out of it. Make a road-trip play list, see the sights of the south or just make a 5 minute drive if you already live out there.

David & Jennie’s Review:

It was with great anticipation that my wife, Jennie, and I were cruising to meet Mike and Jenna, from A couple of couples, for dinner at Starbelly. When you have 3 kids, live in the ‘burbs, and cruise in a mini-van one becomes accustomed to seeing and eating at the same dining establishments that repeat themselves from one generic strip mall to the next. And who cares about parking or valet – chances are that you can park in the nearby Home Depot or Superstore parking lot.

Starbelly, unlike many restaurants within its postal code, was a name that we did not recognize and was advertised as being an “approachable version of a downtown-style atmosphere”. An upscale, posh restaurant that is only a 5 minute drive away from the baby sitter and kids? Ask me if we were pumped – Hell’s ya we were!

Starbelly’s ambiance immediately scrubbed our suburbian smell away and teleported us directly to date night – the kind we had years ago when my children were still sparkles in my eye and when we held hands across the table. Call the sitter – we might be an hour late.

Although advertised as an “inviting dining experience for families” (and we did see some families there), I disagree. I would reword their slogan to, “an inviting dining experience for parents, but leave the rest of the family at home.” For date night we had an amazing time! The food tickled our taste buds, bouncing from one rich pallet to the next. We melted into the ambiance like their amazing “Starbelly Grilled Cheese” and were given ample time to talk, eat, and enjoy the company were were with. It was a splendid dining experience that demanded our entire evening – it is not a dinner you can simply squeeze in between soccer and piano practice.

As for the rest of the family, the menu is far too exotic. Menu items such as “Chicken Liver”, “Mussels”, and “Risotto” are not ones that resonate well with a 5 year old. For date night you may want a long dining experience laden with exotic courses that are allowed to linger while you entertain thoughts of adding an extra room for the next baby you will be having in 9 months. But for family dinner – no. We want coloring books, food that the kids recognize, and we want to be out of there before my family become a discussion point for the other neighboring tables.

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The food was delicious. The Chicken Liver was amazing. I say this from a person who has lived in Paris for 2 years where copious amounts of fois gras were served. I also wake up every morning dreaming of the thick, maple bacon we had. I could go on about the food, but that is Mike and Jenna’s job. Instead – if you are looking for a great place to go for a date night that serves food and drink as rich and delicious as your life has become from all the wonders of suburbian living, then Starbelly’s would be an excellent place to do so. If you don’t live in the ‘burbs, it is worth the visit…but don’t stay too long or your fancy car may be replaced with a mini-van, and your poodle with 3 kids!


Model Milk – More Than Milk

4.2/5 on the Foodie Foursome Index
4.0/5 on the Fancy/Hip Scale

Mike’s Review

Model Milk and Model Citizen should serve as the Model for the new food scene in YYC. From beginning to end, every aspect of the experience feels tailored to fit the environment… now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it is perfect, but I am saying that all the details have been meticulously chosen to convey an overwhelming feeling of continuity in brand. The waiter’s snappy beard and one liner’s, the foods smoked taste and aesthetically pleasing presentation, and even the rooms dimly lit and brightly colored space built the brand that is Model Milk. This review has been a touch on the serious side for me, so I will also say the “gouda cheese puffs” sparked some interesting conversation on the discrepancies between “Cheese Puffs” and “Cheetos”, which believe me, as a “Cheese Puffs” man myself… the differences are AMPLE.

From service, environment, food, and value (our 4 point rating scale) Model Milk managed to meticulously, methodically, and miraculously maintain and match most of many major aspects that help make their restaurant unique.

Jenna’s Review

Now if you go to this restaurant don’t be fooled. Despite having the word milk in their name and a cow on the front door, there are no milkshakes, chocolate milk, or ice cream cones. What they do have however is some pretty awesome service and tasty food!

I have to take some space to say that our server was one of the nicest, most knowledgeable and timely servers that I have had in a while! He saved me from ordering a wine that was too dry for my pallet and even let me have a few tasters just to be sure. He was also completely honest about the menu, which was very refreshing. If you ever hear a waiter say “everything here is good” then you know they can’t be trusted.

If you are a picky eater this may not be the best place as they have some more unique menu items including bone marrow, rabbit meat and a variety of fishes. We had the brisket which was on special and it was pretty spectacular. It was tender and had a smoked Stampede BBQ flavor. They paired it with Hoisin sauce and lettuce leaves for wrapping which was a really great flavor combination. As a side it had warmed up buns which are basically happiness itself so it was safe to say I was a happy camper.

I would say that if you are looking for an adventurous place for a first date this would be a good place to do it. It is also a good place to really identify as a hipster.

Will and Nicole’s Review

The service was amazing! Our server was definitely one of the most knowledgeable servers we have had in a long time. He really knew the wine selection. By us describing what we were looking for or what we usually get, he was able to find a specific wine on the spot that we each thoroughly enjoyed. With all our different tastes and needs, this seemed like a great feat.

We felt the menu was a tad overwhelming. The menu did not have a large selection but with all the different dishes listed in front of you, we found it hard to find something that we recognized or familiarized with. Our server was also able to describe the special in amazing detail, making it sound so appetizing! This was the main reason we decided to get the brisket. The braised meat was falling apart before we dug in, and the idea of sharing the plate between each couple with bread and lettuce (something different that we would not have thought of) was awesome.

The ambiance was nice with a close intimate space; however, the music was on the louder side with a slightly interesting selection. We have nothing overly negative to say about the place and would definitely recommend it to anyone getting together with friends or looking for someplace to go on a date. Personally, we found that without being able to feel at home or in a place that we felt really comfortable in, we will not be going on a regular basis, but it is definitely a place we will try again on a special occasion. All in all, it was an experience that everyone should try.

Alloy – Us To take you on a Journey

4.4/5 on the Foodie Foursome Index
4.6/5 on the Fine Dining Scale
Alloy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mike’s Review: 💳👔🐷🍸🆒
Alloy – Govna! Originally we were both a little nervous meeting Ken and Crystal from Instagram… being that they operate a cross fit gym… and we just had ice cream for lunch… but it was an absolute pleasure!

Webster’s Dictionary defines “Alloy” as “a substance composed of two or more metals or of a metal and a nonmetal intimately united usually by being fused together and dissolving in each other when molten”… we can only assume the visionary behind the name was going for the alternate definition of “a compound, mixture, or union of different things”, and I gotta say, a lot of different things were being compounded here.

Right when you park you think to yourself, “Hmmmm, this is likely a place for a murder or diabolical plan to occur”. When you walk in you feel like you are on the set of “Mad Men”, compounding both style, class, and a subtle hint of fear. The combinations didn’t stop there! The flavor combinations were exceptional, tuna and cantaloupe, vanilla and duck, and olives and hummus! It was a non-stop flavor explosion.

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Now, everything about it was high on all fronts, however, to be fair to our readers, this is very much one of those “quality over quantity” places. We did the tasting menu and it was phenomenal but the price tag was also one of the more exceptional yet. Definitely worth a try, but I want to make sure our readers know what restaurant they are getting themselves into!

Alloy would be highly suggested as a classy date or a celebration of a historic event (anniversary, bonus, or kids moving out) but I would caution inviting all your friends for your birthday party, because they may hesitate in footing the bill for you. However, for our readers seeking some of Calgary’s classiest establishments, check this 4.4 gem out!

P.S. If you are out of hand towels at your house you can easily steal some from Alloy… the paper towels in the washroom… felt like the finest silk linens from Egypt.

Jenna’s Review: ☺️🌸💅🏼🎀👗Alloy-lujah
I have to say, if you want to go for some amazing ambiance, you need to go to Alloy. It doesn’t look like much from outside but inside is an oasis of cherry blossoms with pink and white accents. It lives and breaths elegance, so much so that even if the food was terrible, it would be worth it to sit inside and enjoy the view.

Luckily, the food is very good as well. It has the hoity-toity small portion with big flavour going for it, but even so you feel very satiated at the end. We did the chef’s tasting menu (something that we are starting to really enjoy wherever it is an option) so we could have the lay of the land. My personal favourites were the tomato salad with goat cheese, the pork belly and the main of lamb. All meats were cooked to perfection, a feat rarely mastered by the best of them.

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My girlish self really loved the whole experience because I felt like the Queen of England getting served with delicate food and friendly service. A great place to go for a date night, anniversary, or just whenever you want to dress up for a night. It was a really great time and I would definitely recommend to put it on your restaurant bucket list!

Ken and Crystals’s Experience/Review: New friends and a time to reminisce

New Friends

To say that our experience meeting Mike and Jenna was a pleasure would be an understatement. While for some committing to spend a couple of hours over dinner with two complete strangers might be a bit unsettling our experience was anything but. Our conversation flowed like we knew each other from before,  while remaining new and exciting. Thanks Mike and Jenna, It could not have been a nicer evening.

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A time to reminisce

When Crystal and I first started dating 8 years ago, Alloy was just opening. We found ourselves enjoying Alloy’s very comfortable atmosphere and soon made it our regular date night stop. As often happens in life we began to settle into a routine and soon didn’t find ourselves dining out as often anymore. So when the opportunity came up to join Mike and Jenna we jumped at the chance to try Alloy again.


To our surprise after 8 years the ambience remains comfortable and easy to settle into. Imagine our pleasure when after being seated our server was the same gentlemen that took care of us when we first started dining at Alloy. Jorge is a real professional making it so easy to seamlessly enjoy a carefree evening.


Our foursome took advantage of putting our dining choices in the hands of Chef Jonah Joffe. This proved to be a wise choice. The amuse-bouche was our favourite of the evening. Tuna Crudo with cantaloupe and green apple vinaigrette. Such a delicate flavour combination, a classic in the making! Throughout the evening Chef wowed us with a tasting menu spanning 8 courses. The vanilla scented apple glazed duck with Israeli couscous was definitely one for the memory books.

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While certainly not an inexpensive evening, when you add up all aspects of the experience value for dollar, this was one we will keep coming back to over and over. Sorry it took us so long to return, we won’t make that mistake again.

To juice, or not to juice…

Cru Juice
Juice Cleanse Scale: 4.2/5

Mike’s Review:

Having previously completed a 15 day juice cleanse, after jumping on the “Fat, Sick, and Nearly dead” train, I was excited to not have to go through the grueling process and juicing myself. The crew juice presentation is incredible, neatly packed boxes, numbered juices, and delicious recipes. Juicing yourself (assuming you already own the $300 dollar machine) will run you about $100 for 5 days, and about 3 hours a night prep work. The $200 for 3 days (18 juices) seems a bit steep by comparison… but I guess it depends how valuable your time is, mine is pretty much used on Netflix. I would say though, that at $11/Juice, I think next time I will just stop by Jugo Juice or Booster Juice and get their freshly pressed Juices at $7 each. It seems like a cheaper option that also saves me more time than juicing myself.

Overall, it was a good experience and definitely worth a try, either with Cru, Jugo Juice, or yourself. In the first (and potentially only) three days you will likely experience headaches due to the caffeine/sugar withdrawal. Overall though I have to say I was amazed with the amount of energy I had and was not even hungry, I honestly found it a struggle to finish all 6 juices some days. Below is a brief synopsis of my days in a journal format.

Day 1 –
10:00 – Oh man, this is going to be easy, this is going to be great! Jenna and I will get into shape
12:00 – Oh, lunch time! Hardly even noticed! Excited to try my jui… and it’s gone
15:00 – this isn’t so bad, almost quite easy once I stopped thinking about teen burgers
21:00 – SON OF A GUN, what I wouldn’t give for some nighttime nachos!

Day 2-
7:00 – oh man am I hungry, maybe some eggs, maybe some bacon? Why does my mouth taste like cilantro?… OH $h!T, I forgot I am on a cleanse
10:00 – Time is moving surprisingly slow not having meals to look forward too….
22:00 – All I want is bed this early…

Day 3-
7:00 – That was one of my most refreshing nights sleep yet! I feel great
8:00- *Bathroom Break*
8:30 – *Bathroom Break*
8:45 – *Bathroom Break*
9:00 – awkwardly talk with my supervisor about why I am taking so many bathroom breaks
9:15 – Refer my supervisor to CruJuice
17:00 – Make it home after a successful last day of juicing to watch “Narcos” on netflix, have you checked it out yet? Seriously do it, you won’t regret it…
22:08 – Finish writing my review and treat myself to my last Juice…

In the end, the most important thing about whichever juice cleanse you choose, is that you tell everyone you know that you are on it/doing one, because they need to know how hip and health conscious you are.


Jenna’s Review:

Now I am going to be honest with you, I didn’t know exactly what to expect with this juice cleanse. All I knew is I wanted to feel like a million bucks afterwards, and you know what I came pretty close!

I had a lot of the same reservations that I imagine most people have when contemplating a juice cleanse. Am I going to starve to death? Will I feel like crap? Am I being ripped off? Does this thing even work? However, I am happy to report that my experience with the 3-Day Cru juice cleanse was totally positive and I will likely do one again!

The first day was a little tough becuase I got a pretty bad headache (all the toxins coming out of my body as they should…plus a lack of caffeine) but the rest of the days I actually felt really amazing, more so than I have in a while. I felt energized and did not once feel really hungry or starving, even when I smelt some pretty amazing food. The juices themselves are actually really tasty too. If you are doing the deep cleanse it is a bit repetitive with the green juices but it was manageable and I did not feel compelled to stop as a result. The go-easy cleanse would be better for a first-timer as it has some more variety with more fruit juices and nut milks.

My favourites were definitely the “Bad Boy Brown” and the “Dirty Lemonade” but the green juices were really good too. Multiple co-workers who saw me drinking them said “That looks healthy” and my friend, they were right.

On day three I surpised myself because I actually felt so good that I wanted to be on the cleanse longer, but I knew that my love of food and dedication to the blog trumped that want. I strongly reccomend that you try it, three days is not long and you will be amazed at how good you feel.

A + for Cru Juice!

Mina’s Brazilian SteakHouse – Steak me home tonight

3.9/5 on the Foodie Foursome Index
4.1/5 on the Brazilian Scale
Minas Brazilian Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Mike’s Review: 💸🍗🍛🐟👅
“Are you sure this is it?” I asked Jenna pulling up to the 36 level condo complex on the Bow River, “Yes! Why do you keep asking?” she replied with her tensions rising… “because MAYBE I want to start the blog review with this dialogue” I responded… and thus my review began.

We walked into the dimly lit steakhouse allowing our eyes to adjust. One thing I immediately noticed, I know this is no reflection of the food and should not matter, but the servers were all from Brazil… something, once again, that should not matter but did lend an air of authenticity to the evening (we don’t want to step on dangerous sand here). It also helped when explaining the dishes and helping us to pronounce things! The salad bar was top notch, ceviche, salmon, curry, but both I and Beltline Bites (Aadil) knew those were fillers to stop us from enjoying the expensive Brazilian meats… and when they came… they came like the 2002 Brazilian world cup soccer team against Germany… (I had to wiki that)

We had entered Flavour country! lamb, ribs, pork, chicken, pork wrapped ribs, rib wrapped lamp, at one point I didn’t know what was wrapped with what and all that remained were bones stacked high on my plate. I liked the food, I loved the salad bar, I loved the décor, and I liked the service… but could it compete with Calgary’s growing food scene? Only time will tell… Eating the chicken heart also added a flair of adventure and made me feel like Ozzy Osbourne on stage, which is always a treat. A blemish on the evening was the cost, I didn’t feel like I gorged myself enough to warrant the $50 food tab (plus drinks) but then again they need to protect themselves against the cowboys of Calgary who get their monies worth.

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As an interesting side… I went into the washroom at the end of our Brazilian Food Journey, and I saw a man coming out of the stall with a full fancy traditional Brazilian cocktail in hand! What happened?!? What was he doing in there that required nourishment while performing?! The entire scenario just raised more questions than answers, but as I gave him a head nod… and he nodded back… we had a moment where I knew that I had witnessed something either amazing, or terrible.

Jenna’s Review: 🍢🍖🍢🍖😪
Mina’s meat bonanza! That it how I would describe the dinner. If you like protein then this is the place for you. If you are a vegetarian, I would still say you could make give it a try because they have a wonderful salad bar that one could easily fill up on that is quite tasty and has no meat involved! But realistically if you are vegetarian you miss out on the real experience which is a boundless carousel of meats… and a Brazilian BBQ probably should not be your first choice…

I really enjoyed it because I have always loved steak, chicken, pork, lamb, turkey you name it. It was fun having them bring the different varieties to your table to try. Being food bloggers of course I tried everything (including the not so memorable chicken heart) and my favorites included the chorizo sausage, the turkey wrapped bacon and the garlic butter steak. If you intend to go I would strongly suggest a light lunch or to actually go for the lunch and skip dinner because it really fills you up. I believe the phrase is “meat sweats”.

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I also tried the Brazilian soda “Guana” I believe while I was there and that was a refreshing treat in between all the mounds of meat. The ambiance was also quite bright and vibrant even though the lights were dim. My only complaint was that some of the meat, such as the lamb and one of the beefs, tasted somewhat like game meat, however that didn’t stop me from eating it so it wasn’t too bad. It isn’t a place you could go all the time but it would be an awesome place for a work lunch or a birthday. I definitely got my fill for a while now. Next up juice cleanse! Seriously though….

Aadil and Shaista’s Experience/Review:
Minas Brazilian Steakhouse is tucked away in the bottom of the Waterfront condo building and would probably be missed by most pedestrians that walk by.  Once you enter the space, a cheerful hostess greets you and your senses overload due to the colors adorning every wall.  It’s a funky open space with a “private” space at the back of the restaurant that could easily be used for larger parties.

Our waiter was friendly and attentive, giving us the full rundown on how things worked at Minas – help yourself to the salad/hot food bar and when you want the meaty feast to begin simply turn the Minas branded plastic triangle from red to green.  The four of us headed over to the salad bar to try a little bit of everything, little being the operative word as the star of the dinner tonight was supposed to be the meat.  The salad bar offered a good variety of dishes including a beet salad, cucumber & mango salad, field greens, fresh tomato & palm salad, coleslaw, smoked salmon, fresh ceviche and a big bowl of olives.  While the hot food bar offered items like black bean, pinto beans, beef stew, chicken stroganoff, fried fish, fried potatoes, fried polenta and rice.
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Worst Bite: The fried polenta was fried for too long which left it greasy and very difficult to eat.
Best Bite: The beet salad was simple and fantastic.  Tender beets, light vinaigrette and some fresh chopped herbs.
I know what you’re all thinking – enough with vegetable talk! So, let’s move to the meats.  Once we greenlit our table, the servers started offering us their tasty treats.  We indulged in some chicken wings, chorizo sausage, pork sausage, parmesan beef, top sirloin, beef short ribs, garlic steak, leg of lamb, pork ribs, bacon wrapped turkey and chicken hearts. Which was pretty much 11 of the 12 offerings on the night!
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Worst Bite: I have never been a fan of offal but decided to try the chicken hearts because bloggers must try everything! Let’s just say the only hearts I’ll be eating in the future are of the candied variety.
Best Bite: It’s a tie between the parmesan beef and the chorizo sausage, both very different and yet equally delicious.
Overall, the service at Minas is top notch, matching its warm and bright atmosphere, keeping things light and funky. However, the price is a bit steep, unless you have the appetite of a football player. Honestly, I don’t think Minas would be my first choice for another night out, however it’s worth giving it a try for all your carnivores, even if it’s for something a little different. My biggest beef (pun intended) with the meat selection is a lack of options outside of beef and pork.

Gohan Sushi – The only Restaurant in Town where Dinner’s On Them

2.9/5 on the Foodie Foursome Index
2.5/5 on the Sushi Scale
Gohan Sushi Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mike’s Review: 🍣🍙🍱🔛💁🏻

Nyotaimori Defined as “the Japanese practice of serving sashimi or sushi from the naked body” & “said to have its origins in the samurai period in Japan” (
Specious Defined asmisleading in appearance”
Spurious – Defined as “not being what it purports to be”
Gohan Sushi – Defines as “Spuriously Specious Nyotaimori”

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Don’t get me wrong, the experience of Nyotaimori in and of itself is a cool concept, but I would like to see it done in a more traditional Japanese sense, not with a DJ pounding out Justin Beiber back to back and a group of male new grads dropping business cards in the tip jar. It was an interesting experience, but my main complaint with this particular sushi place is that the sushi was not soy good. The real highlight was going home and having some DQ Frozen Ice-cream cake in our own traditional way.

Overall, here is my list of groups that may enjoy this experience,

  • Bachelor Parties
  • Bachelorette Parties
  • Samurai meetings to discuss how to deal with the Mongolian menace

Jenna’s Review: 🍤🍚🍘🍢😷
When I first heard about the whole Nyotaimori thing I thought people just have the weirdest idea’s. But I knew I would have to go, for the sake of the blog more than anything. To somewhat quote the great John Mayer, “Your body is a sushi land” would be the best way to describe the experience. Personally I felt somewhat uncomfortable for myself and the girl on the table. Was she cold? Did someone get rice on her? What if she had to sneeze? For myself, was she judging me for taking my 5th tuna roll? Was she?!

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It was neat because they kept bringing out new sushi rolls as well as other side dishes like chicken wings, deep fried lobster (I think that is what it was) edamame, and fried shrimp which gave a good variety, but unfortunately the sushi was just not great. It was an all-you-can-eat sort of deal and believe me I can eat my fair share of sushi, but I had no desire to consume my $60 worth. One highlight was that they carried one of my favourite brews, Kronenbourg Blanc, so for that they get a few brownie points.

Steve and Cheryl’s Experience/Review:
Some might say that the idea of eating sushi nyotaimori style (off of a human placemat) is “gross”, “demeaning”, or “gross”. But, don’t fret! The model was more “never-nude” than “actually nude”. Adorned by a floral bikini (gigantic, blossoming flowers), the model laid amongst a constantly changing selection of rolls, wings and other sushi-esq sides. Unfortunately, this was about as interesting as it got. When we walked through the door, we were greeted by dim, red lighting and top 40 music. We were then presented with a small side-plate each, with which to put our wasabi and ginger on. After being sat, we proceeded over to the buffet of sushi to grab a few rolls to start. As a side… Steve refused to be in the picture… a Sushi Party Pooper… but we found a suitable replacement.

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We went without side plates and napkins for most of our meal, stacking our chicken bones and shrimp tails on any empty space we could find. None of the rolls that we tried really stood out, and the wings resembled those that one might bake at home. There was even discussion that the rice on the sushi rolls was comparable to what you would find on the day-old rolls at Sobeys or Superstore. There was a DJ present for the event, but we were quite amused when we didn’t notice a change in the quality or style of the music after the DJ was done his set. On the plus side, they did bring us over a tasty sampling of a scallop dish, and the sushi was “all you can eat” for this particular event.

Gohan’s focus seemed to be more on the experience, than the food. Even then, the experience was overpriced ($60/pp), and sub-par.

The Cactus Club – and The Succulent Sexton (Succulent also being a cacti term and sexton being a group of six people)

4.5/5 on the Foodie Foursome Index
4.1/5 on the Fancy/Hip Scale
Click to add a blog post for Cactus Club Cafe on Zomato
Mike and Jenna’s Review: 🎉🇨🇦💗🌵🎶
The year was 1996, the air was clean (not BC smoke filled), militant Taliban forces had captured Kabul, interest rates were higher, Spice girls had their first #1 “Wannabe”, and everyone was talking about if Ross and Rachel were truly on a ‘break’ and the possible stipulations. Somewhere, lost in all that breaking news, was the fact that and two former discouraged Early’ Waiters (it’s true, wiki it started the Cactus Club Café in Calgary.

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I am ashamed to admit that I grouped the Cactus Club in with other big name franchises, but throughout the evening I was told the story of the original Cacti Club in Vancouver, and it’s rise (and plans) throughout Canada. When we heard about the $500 taster menu for 6, the Dutchman in me cringed (I one time walked out of Opa empty handed because they tried charging me $1 for extra tzatziki), however I left feeling like I had experienced something truly special. The appetizers were without a doubt the most phenomenal I have tried yet and deserve to be mentioned,

  1. Salmon & Prawn Ceviche – often times in my experience the ceviche is modified to curtail to a more North American audience, this stuff could have held its own right in Lima, Peru!
  2. Tuna Tataki – I don’t even like tuna… until this day, nuff said,
  3. Beef Carpaccio – Cut so thin (via freezing) that it melts on the plate, the piece (you assume is solid) can literally be spread on your bread
  4. Butternut Squash Ravioli – This is the sauce that the first Canadian won Iron chef with… a must try

The main dishes were also delicious but the appetizers were really what blew me away. I feel, given the high score, that we should mention where the Cactus Club LOST points (as this is quicker than listing everything they nailed)… their ambiance and environment leaves something to be desired, it was somewhat loud and felt a little crammed. The food was of such caliber that it could be served in Buckingham Palace, but instead I was looking at two people fighting over a grocery cart in the Coop parking lot, fear not however, because they are opening up a Downtown location and we are curious to see the ambiance in the new place!

We all left changed people,

  1. Natalie didn’t like fish, Now she’s been banned from RedLobster for jumping in their fish tanks
  2. Meagan didn’t like wine, Now her cart at Coop Liquor looks like she is holding a party… she is not
  3. Mike didn’t like deserts, Now he weighs 300 pounds and starts the meals with it… like an animal
  4. Jenna didn’t like mushrooms, Now she is collecting maneur (of what species she declines to answer) to start a summer batch on her deck
  5. Sean didn’t like Mike, but now he tolerates him

Overall, I would say that growing up in Calgary I mistakenly thought of Cactus Club as a high class franchise (none are actually franchised). I spoke to Jenna about my reservations when she wanted to try the tasting menu; I ended up eating my words, and one of the best meals I ever had in Calgary.

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P.S. Saying it’s the best I ever had in Calgary and it not being a perfect 5/5 may lead people to question “what is a 5 outta 5?”, which I have added to the “about us” category so people know more about the rating system

Sean and Natalie’s Review: 
The whole experience at Cactus was a bit of a surprise. The low lighting, leather booths and r&b hits lull you into thinking you know what’s coming. This is going to be a pretty standard, big-chain restaurant meal. It’s a good thing Managers Graham and Andrea were there to school me otherwise. Turns out, Cactus – while still a chain – really gets food. Conversing with Julianne and Rob, our chefs for the evening, really helps you understand how proud the staff is of every individual location. You could focus on the menu designed by Rob Feenie of Iron Chef, but Rob himself influences the menu of his location. Working together like a jazz quartet Rob and Julianne began to serve us a 6 course meal while Graham and Andrea took care of all the wine pairings.

I had heard about the Ravioli, using the same truffle oil based sauce Feenie used on the show. The all-star for me, however, was the Beef Carpaccio. It was proportioned beautifully; the meat was perfect and went nicely with the Pierre Ponnelle Gamay Noir. Honorable mentions go to the ceviche and tuna tataki. We ended the evening with key lime pie, a dish I always pass over because of its very bright flavor. This one, however, was creamier than I am use to, which is a good thing!

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We didn’t dare talk during the Beef Carpaccio and Ravioli, that was just… yum. The mains were great, the chicken breast oh so tender but she started to get pretty full by the time the beef rib arrived.

All in all, this is a great activity for a small birthday or group special occasion. It wasn’t just dinner, it was an entire evening. Well worth it. The décor may make you feel like it’s a chain, but the individuality is all in the food. For us the opening acts sort of stole the show from the main events. But in the end we knew Rob had shown up and dropped the proverbial mic. Well done Rob, well done.

Anthony and Megan’s Review:
There was nothing prickly about the Cactus Club experience. From the first dish of Salmon & Prawn Ceviche to the final Key Lime classic pie finisher we were satiated with refreshing flavours to make any man trek the desert (or drive Macleod).   In a desolate landscape baron of fine dining, where stock standard eateries seem to be the best you can get, the location is a little isolated but in this case the service and menu proved to be no mirage, the kitchen genies materialized delicious dishes absolutely worth seeking out.

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The Tasting Menu we experienced comprised 7 dishes and 5 thoughtfully selected wine pairings which more than amply quenched the thirst of these dusty camels. This guided menu experience was to our eyes great value, at $500 for six people, inclusive of supreme quality food and generous quantities of wine. This sherpa led culinary quest involves the kitchen tailoring the menu when you book to what you are looking for in a dining experience. They bring a personal touch with the head chef and manager coming to your table to answer any questions about the food and explain something of the ingredients’ origins and the thought behind the design of the flavours and textures. The staff’s unbridled enthusiasm for their creations is infectious and genuinely endearing.   This truly enjoyable escapist adventure was reminiscent for us of our favourite dining experience thus far in Calgary at Rouge Restaurant in Inglewood, where Anthony and I booked a romantic evening before we left to get married back in Australia. Rouge, of course rises to meet the expectations its reputation creates with its tasting menu however surprisingly this was comparable to the quality and personal experience at Cactus Club, for a lesser price tag.

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Cactus Club is an unexpected oasis of fine dining in a seeming predictably common Canadian restaurant chain. Do yourself a great favour and let yourself be surprised… rub the genie’s lamp, try the tasting menu and let the kitchen mystics wow you with an unpretentious and yet richly enjoyable culinary experience. Cactus Club will grant far more than just 3 wishes, with 7 delightful dishes, you will be pleasantly surprised but only if you know where to go with their menu. Cactus Club can be as featureless as eternal sand dunes if you don’t know what to select from their expansive menu, trust me, get a guide, let them uncover an oasis in the desert and show you to Aladdin’s Cave of delectable wonders.

Market – The Black (and White) Market

3.6/5 on the Foodie Foursome Index
3.7/5 on the Fancy/Hip Scale
Click to add a blog post for Market Restaurant on Zomato
Mike’s Review: 😌👭🎩🍖🐖
Entering Market I felt like we had walked into Cruella De Vil’s living room luckily she was my favourite Disney Protagonist… she just wanted a nice jacket… is that so wrong? IS THAT SO WRONG TO WANT A NICE JACKET?!… but I digress…

The evening started with sweaty palms and nervous jitters as we were about to meet “@Lapetitteshar”, of whom we are a big fan! We ordered the Gnocchi to start, and I gotta say… me likey the gnocchi, it was absolutely phenomenal, best I ever had! It was followed by a main course of pork belly, which I gotta say, if I wasn’t a fan of Porky Pig before… I definitely am now! It made up for it’s somewhat small portion by being accompanied by some of the best veggies I ever had! Typically, like most men, I eat only enough vegetables to trick Jenna into thinking I am healthy, but with these veggies, she didn’t even need to double check my plate!

Overall, I enjoyed Market, I really wanted to use the phrase, “Called ‘et’ because ‘et’ missed the mark”… but unfortunately for my love of wordplay… Market hit its mark…

Jenna’s Review: 🔳🔲👗👠🍗
After a dismal black monday, it was evident that this was the only Market performing well that day!

The interior is very modern and clean, the perfect setting to enjoy a nice meal. It definitely fits the hip eateries scale to a “T”. To start I had their homemade cream soda to sip on which tasted kind of like vanilla extract smells, phenomenal. The gnocchi appetizer was extra delightful because every other gnocchi I have tried is dense and heavy but these were like little clouds of cheesy heaven in my mouth.

For my main I tried the special of the night which was pork ribs and fries. For me it was good but not brilliant. Now, I am not the biggest pork fan, and I can’t tell you why I chose that as my main, but I think next time I would stick with the standard menu because Mike ordered the pork belly and I could not get enough of it, so it was on there for a reason.

I would love to go back and try some other dishes from the menu…or eat 5 pounds of gnocchi. Either would suffice.

Sharon and Corinne’s Experience/Review:
Apologies to Market that it took us this long to return. The last time we were here was when they first opened on 17th, and they’ve gone through some changes. Their patio always seems busy so we were very excited to come here for dinner and especially because it was to meet the famous couple of couples. Since the stock markets around the world are in bad shape, we’re glad that we invested in the “food” market. Market has a beautiful interior, full of character with the white tables and flooring providing a lovely contrast to the dark color setting of the bar area.  One memorable feature was the unique plant terrarium fixtures they had hanging above the bar.


Market offers a simple menu, and each item listed sounded so tasty that we all had a tough time deciding what to order. Pork belly? Chicken? Beef? Gah … sooo overwhelming!! We ended up ordering the special of the night…Baby Back Ribs, accompanied by vegetables and fries. When the dish arrived we were amazed at the presentation! Each dish had its own finesse. We was pleasantly surprised at how big my baby back ribs were. Jenna also got the ribs and Mike ordered the Pork Belly, which looked tiny compared to our dish, but still delicious-looking. Two girls out-eating a guy … haha. Sharon had to put her bib on since it was inevitable that she would get sauce on herself (which she did!). The fries were delicious and the aioli ketchup dip enhanced the taste that much more. The vegetables which formed the healthy part of the dish didn’t have much taste to them, but this was solved by coating them with some of the sauce from the ribs. The ribs themselves were a bit of a challenge. We found them a bit dry and hard to eat without using a knife. Expectations for the ribs were higher as we look for the meat to be tender so that it falls off the bone easily. The flavor was just average as well – the fries stole the spotlight in the Flavor category.

Corinne ordered the popular duck tacos.  Well-seasoned duck confit shredded on a some crispy mini crepes and topped with pickled strawberries, caramelized onions, and cilantro. The tacos were tasty but Corinne felt they were a little dry and the tacos could have used a bit more moisture via a sauce or salsa. The crepes themselves were an interesting concept for tacos, but they would have been tastier with some more seasoning. If you are a taco and duck fan, give these babies a try, as the meat was moist and well-seasoned and the crepes were a nice change of pace from tortillas.

Overall, we still enjoyed our experience here and I would say that the $28 price tag for ribs and $16 for tacos was well worth it. There are many more dishes we want try, so we will be back!

Rating: 3.35/5