10.07.2008

Calgary

Last month we were in Calgary on business, and had the opportunity to discover a few delicious meals along the way.

We started off downtown on our first night at Milestone’s. We had walked about looking for recommendations, and got a few for types of fare that don’t always appeal to us, so we set out to discover. It was a drizzly evening, very fall-esque at the end of summer; we wanted some place that seemed cozy and warm.

After walking all around we ended up across the street from our hotel at Milestone’s. It was cozy because we were inside, and chose a table in the bar right next to a “window wall” so we could watch the city-goers on their way home for the evening. We started off with Yummy Yam Fritters (good, but needed more) with Moroccan spice mayo and chipotle mayo, and Milestone’s famous hot spinach & artichoke dip – we always try to try this when it is on the menu at a restaurant. Then we progressed to Roasted Garlic Caesar salad (delicious), Roasted Corn & Potato Chowder (not what I expected, it was a tomato based broth, not cream, but good), and Bocconcini Garlic Bread (not what we expected in garlic bread with an olive tapenade and sundried tomatoes). The atmosphere was lovely, and on our first night in town it was nice to be able to be close to “home” when we were finished.

The next morning we stopped at the Avenue Diner, also downtown. We had discovered the Avenue Diner the evening before when we were looking for a dinner spot, although they are only open for breakfast and lunch. Avenue Diner is an upscale diner with an “urban eats” menu. We sat at the last table in the long, skinny diner right by the kitchen – which was great. I got to see the staff working in the kitchen as they prepared all the items for other diner. We ordered their traditional eggs with Yukon Gold potatoes, multigrain toast and your choice of smoked bacon, maple buffalo sausage or spicy Cappicolla – we choice the bacon and sausage and shared. I always like some salsa, or barbeque sauce in a pinch, on my scrambled eggs. They didn’t have either, but offered some roasted red pepper jelly. The chef combined a small amount of the jelly with my eggs, it was delicious!! The potatoes were great, the bread and homemade on-site jelly was wonderful, and we really enjoyed both the sausage and bacon.

As we enjoyed our meal, I saw some wonderful things coming out of the kitchen, including waffles and an amazing looking yogurt parfait with homemade granola, Greek style yogurt and berry compote.

I also noticed a few other things on the menu that looked mouthwatering, so I knew we needed to return before the end of our trip. We made it back on our last morning and had the burrito with scrambled eggs, refried beans, Yukon Gold had and the delicious homemade roasted red pepper jelly I had the other morning; and “The Ultimate” fried egg sandwich with smoked bacon, tomato, aged Cheddar cheese, basil and aioli. We shared; I started with the fried egg sandwich, my Honey started with the burrito. Both were delicious. The egg sandwich was warm and rich and creamy and delicious. The burrito was spicy and incredible. I was glad I started with the egg sandwich and moved to the spicy burrito. My Honey wished he had done the same, since the egg sandwich seemed a bit bland in comparison – but was not on its own.

We also found the Lion’s Den for breakfast one morning, which was right across from the Calgary Stampede fairgrounds. It had been there for a long time, and was still decorated from the 1970’s. They had a lot of stuff from the 1984 Winter Olympics, and the owner Rick had lots of stories to share. I honesty can’t remember what we had for breakfast – something very traditional, but obviously not earth shattering.

We also had burgers at one of the casinos one night, because my Honey wanted a buffalo burger. The burgers were great, and when asked if I wanted a bite of the buffalo burger and was told that it was more gamey than traditional beef that was it for me – no thanks!

So if you are ever in Calgary I HIGHLY recommend the Avenue Diner downtown for breakfast or lunch. I can’t wait until our next trip up there (when ever that might be…) to try the rest of their menu!!

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