Breakfast for Dinner

How could something as good as Huevos Rancheros be bad for you? Well it must be, because this recipe claims to be ‘Good for You’ Huevos Rancheros. I’m guessing that is because it calls for low fat sour cream, doesn’t have any meat products in it, and no part of it is fried. Despite the lack of calories it is yummy and was dished up by the only hope Calgary has for Tex Mex, the ever so fine, Valerie. This is a Rachel Ray magazine find, created by The Liz Pearson. I’m going to look up more of her recipes and try them, because this one was so great. Inexpensive, easy to make, healthy, and delicious this dish gets a Dish it again! And again…

Valerie’s tip: Instead of plain old sour cream dish it up with some of the chipotle lime sour cream (brilliant!).

If you have made this recipe for Huevos Rancheros share your rating using the stars below Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Towa proves that bigger is not better

Towa Sushi
2116 – 4 Street SW
Calgary, Alberta T2S 1W7
(403) 245-8585

 

This place was supposed to be my beacon of hope for Calgary sushi, after much online and word of mouth research I thought I had found a Montreal style sushi place in cow town. I have long given up on the hope of finding Vancouver quality sushi here. But Towa did not deliver, instead it was expensive, the service was slow, the pieces were way too big (pet peeve of mine), and flavour was..um…not there either. The sushi does look pretty though, but beauty isn’t high on my sushi priority list. I understand this rating will not be popular in the Calgary crowd, because it does come highly recommended around the city, but Calgary is landlocked, and Towa gets a just ok borderline not ok from me.

 

If you have been to Towa Sushi share your rating using the stars below Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (2 votes, average: 2.00 out of 5)
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Adults only…I love events that come with adult ratings

 

In its 17th year Winefest was a big hit. Calgary dolled up in its finest gear. Snakeskin shoes, pleather pants, beadazzled jeans, and big hair to venture out to the Stampede grounds and try some of the world’s finest wines. The highlights for me were the stop at the Springbank Cheese booth and the Rosa Regale 2007. When it comes to me and wine, well I love to drink it, but I’m by no means even remotely knowledgeable. I’ve resolved to try and learn a bit more and get to know more about what I like, so this event is in line with that goal. The Rosa Regale is not the finest wine in the world, but I quite enjoyed it, and am looking forward to buying a bottle. The Ex Nihilo’s “Rolling Stones Satisfaction” was surprisingly good, and according to my notes I also enjoyed Arbosto Bianco 2006 (Fratelli Urciuolo, Italy), and really enjoyed Beaujolais Villages 2006 (Louis Latour, France). But an ounce at a time I was getting kind of drunk, so my notes are actually quite amusing. It made for a fun evening with friends so I will look to go to similar events in the future.


If you have been to Winefest share your rating using the stars below Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (3 votes, average: 4.33 out of 5)
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Duck, Duck, Goose…

Farm
1006 – 17 Avenue SW Calgary
403.245.2276

 

It is true that in general I don’t have a very high opinion of Calgary cuisine, but in this case when cosmopolitan meets the country, Farm rises like cream. Start with a cheese plate or a mixture of cheese and meat (if you mix those metaphors…lol). Locally sourced ingredients primarily in the meat category, and French Canadiana shows up a lot of in the cheese category. The salads, which make a great main course, are delicious and the one I enjoyed included succulent duck. The atmosphere doesn’t feel like any farm I’ve been to, but it is quaint and well appointed. The wine was delicious, although I can’t remember what it was (since then I’m trying to be more careful about remembering my wines). It was here that the question of whether or not Bison is kosher came up, here that my luggage was returned to my by Air Canada, after four days of being lost, and here that I had my first exploration into eating meat in restaurants since I was a young’n. Farm hasn’t come to my mind since eating there, but I will return again. I’m going to rate it a Very Ok to Very Good. I’ve also noticed they have cheese fondue Sunday nights. I’m not sure I shuld risk it here, but I’m giving it some thought…

 

If you have been to Farm share your rating using the stars below Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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A Liberal Prime Minister shout out in Cowtown?!

Laurier Lounge
1111 7th Avenue SW, Calgary
403.228.3771

 

The menu has a delicious look about it. However, the fondue doesn’t hold a candle to Quebec classics. The menu claims to be “urban cuisine”…Does anyone know what that means? Because it certainly isn’t defined in wikipedia yet. They brought me a real beef burger rather than the Portobello one I ordered, but they do get major props for dividing our two main courses so we could easily share. The self proclaimed best burger in Calgary, was indeed very delicious (sans cheese for me). I’ve got no idea if it is the best, because my experience with burgers in restaurants is limited. The stool seats with no backs were a bit uncomfortable. The wine was delicious, although I forget what it was. So will I go back again? Only if someone else picks it and I’m being polite.

 

If you have been to the Laurier Lounge share your rating using the stars below Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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When Starbucks feels too much like Disney go for the comforts of Artigiano…

Caffè Artigiano
Locations in Vancouver, and 1 in Calgary

 

Grab a book and lounge around over a pot of tea or meet a friend and catch up at this Italian style coffee house open since 2002 in Vancouver. The premiere location is attached the Marriott Pinnacle (best hotel service I’ve ever experienced), where I used to “live” and is also how I was introduced to this coffee shop gem. But now that I actually live in Vancouver I’m fortunate to have one just down the street from me. I like the Artigiano vibe, and I also love the lemon ricotta muffins made with cornmeal. While I rarely drink coffee (only for reasons of caffeine induced insomnia) I must say the coffee here is yummy. They also have a great selection of tea, and I’m not sure if they do this in all their locations, but I know in some places they serve it up in a great little tea pot with all the fixings (although I take my tea straight up). The food in general is only so so, I’ve eaten it before when I’m hungry, but their Panini doesn’t meet my Montreal standards, which is why it only gets a “Very Good”, otherwise it would get a “Great”. Although they do have a few yummy items like the aforementioned ricotta lemon muffins!

If you have been to Caffe Artigiano share your rating using the stars below Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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Noodle this…

Sha Lin Noodle House
548 W Broadway, Vancouver
604.873.1816

 

This restaurant was a tip from a long lost friend… and as a recommendation it was right on the mark with 3 stars from Frommers, and when you mention the name around Vancouver everyone seems to know it. Cut noodles, pushed noodles, pulled noodles, all types of noodles! The order…two 37’s with pulled noodles, one number 121 selected from 190 options with multiple permutations provide you with a seemingly limitless number of options for this small restaurant. The location is in one of my favourite Vancouver neighbourhoods, close to the BestBuy, my favourite Starbucks, my orthopedic surgeon, Wholefoods, and the City Square Mall (where the cookshop is).These noodles are the best I’ve ever had, but I did order a dish with a broth that was not ideal for a gwai low (in my case gwai por), especially one who has just started eating meat out in restaurants, so next time I go I’m going to order a broth or sauce that is a bit more mainstream. The servings are huge, the prices are cheap, and you get to see your noodles made to order right in front of you. For me this is definitely not a first date place, because I want to save this one to impress people I really care about, and save it for myself on a rainy day.

If you have been to Sha Lin Noodle House share your rating using the stars below Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (2 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
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Tasty Tijuana Tilapia Tacos!

 

So I’d call these Tasty Tijuana Tilapia Tacos, but the creator of this recipe calls them Grilled Fish Tacos with Chipotle-Lime Dressing (click the link to find the recipe). This meal was dished up by the divine Valerie. With a craving for fish tacos and an eye for a good recipe she tracked this one down on allrecipes.com and whipped it up. These fish tacos will leave you dreaming of more. Make sure to use authentic corn tortillas if you can and also to taste the dressing as you are making it to ensure sure it isn’t too hot. A bit of planning ahead is necessary as you have to marinate the fish, so if you’re anything like this dinner’s architect you may have to squeeze in a few minutes for making the marinade after your 5am run and before your 7 am meeting!! But the great news is after a really long day with the marinating fish sitting in the fridge it is a meal from prep to table in about 20 minutes. The price point is good, it is a Quick ‘n Easy, and it is sooo yummy. This gets a Dish it! again, and again.

 If you’ve dished up these tacos share your rating using the stars below Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Wander over to the Gypsy

The Gypsy
817- 1 St SW, Calgary
403.263.5869

 

A quaint little bistro whose name suits its appearance and ambiance. The menu isn’t too ambitious (avoiding one of the classic Calgary pitfalls), and has a range of selections from meat, to fish, to pastas. The service staff was prompt and courteous, albeit not that polished. I had the lamb special which was so yummy, and my companion enjoyed one of the pasta dishes. I’ve heard they have a great lunch, so I may go back and try it someday. Prices moderate (normal for Calgary). I’m going to give it a Very Okay rating, not quite sure why, but not feeling the very good on this one – I may revise when I go back again.

If you have been to Gypsy share your rating using the stars below Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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Try something Nu…

Nu
1661 Granville Street, Vancouver
604.646.4668

 

Farm to table, casual cuisine is their moto, and I have long been a fan of Nu. Growing up on water, I know that having a view from your dining room also usually comes at a sacrifice to food quality. Think of some of Vancouver’s finest restaurants, West, Bishops, Tojo’s and countless others, none have views. What they have is remarkable food. However, since Nu is casual cuisine it seems to get away with great views, and solid food. And this week’s brunch was just that – solid. They started our meal with a treat from the kitchen which was chocolate chaud, and a small scone. I surprised everyone by loving the chocolate chaud! I ordered the fajita wrap served with scrambled eggs. The scrambled eggs had smoked tofu in them that was delicious. It tasted like smoked cheese and it had such a great texture. The house made salsa was yummy with fresh cilantro, and my friends had equally satisfying experiences. The prices are reasonable, the atmosphere and mood is good, the drinks are great, and the view and location are also in its favour. On Sunday’s they even have a jazz brunch. And while this time it was brunch, I’ve also been for special occasion lunches and dinners and had good experiences – both with the food and my companions. The food is not remarkable, but it is reliably good, so I’m giving it overall a Very Good. Nu is owned by the same folks as “C” and “Raincity Grill”. I’m not a big fan of “C”, but definitely give Raincity Grill a try as well.

 

If you have been to Nu share your rating using the stars below Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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