Calgary Restaurant: Empanada Queen

The last time I had empanadas was in New York. The crispy crust and tender inner texture of the Venezuelan empanadas was deliciously unforgettable. Since then, I had been longing for it, but was never in close vicinity to any community that has empanadas as a traditional food.

This summer, I happened to stumble across Empanada Queen in the SE.

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Calgary Restaurant: Vendome Cafe

Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of restaurants opened early in the morning on weekends. When I said “early”, I mean 8 am. (Most restaurants in Calgary opens at around 10 or 11 am on Saturdays and Sundays). 2 weeks ago, before our trip to Banff, we were looking for places for a quick breakfast, but discovering that our favorite breakfast spots doesn’t open till a later time dashed our hopes. Only one place opens its door to early birds, Vendome Cafe.

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Calgary Restaurant: Beltliner

Earlier this year, a new diner, Beltliner opened up on 12th Ave SW, near Victoria Park. Delighted with the addition of a brunch spot in our neighborhood, Kev and I dropped by for brunch soon after its opening.

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Calgary Restaurant: ReGrub Burger Bar

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the block on 11 Ave SW between 5th and 6th st has completely revamped! I mean, restaurant-wise. Chefbar, Last Best, and now Regrub (burger spelled backward ;)).

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Calgary Restaurant: Lazy Loaf & Kettle Cafe & Bakery

Kev took me to Lazy Loaf & Kettle one day when we were studying together at the Foothills hospital. Apparently, it is the to-go place for hospital staff to grab a quick bite. It is literally just down the hill, 2 blocks away from Parkdale Park.

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This quiet, old-fashioned place offered down-to-earth bake goods and homemade bread. At one point, I thought I walked into my grandma’s house 😛

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Though the cafe was primarily occupied by loyal customers, it was a bit confusing for first-time visitor like me to figure out where and how to place my order. Here’s what you need to know: 1) look behind the cashier, the menu and daily (soup and salad) special would be written on the board; 2) if you’re ordering sandwich, pick up a paper form (see below), select your fillings and condiments; 3) pay and wait for your food!

sandwich order form

sandwich order form

Besides the all-time-available sandwiches, you can also find simple breakfast dishes like benny, or house-made lasagna here. Kev and I weren’t lucky enough to grab the last order of lasagna so we each got a sandwich instead.

One thing I needed to complain was that the wait time was way too long… It was during off-peak hours. We didn’t make a large order or order any complicated dish (unless you count making a sandwich a complex task). Nonetheless, we waited a good 20-minute for our meals. When we finally got our sandwiches, we were quite disappointed by the quality.

Kev ordered a whole Montreal smoked meat sandwich with a side of caesar salad.  The portion was generous, but the ingredients from the multigrain bread to the meat were pretty mediocre. The stale-tasting croutons made the experience even more unpleasant.

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whole Montreal smoked meat sandwich with Caesar salad

I also ordered a Montreal smoked meat sandwich, just like Kev, but mine was half order with a side of tomato soup. Moreover, I selected a slightly different condiment and threw in a lot more other veggies. One thing I liked was the combination of cheese and cranberry sauce, adding the perfect sweet and tart. The soup was standard, filled with carrots, zucchini, onions, peas, celery and tomato.

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I don’t remember the exact price of the sandwich, but I vaguely recalled it was slightly more expensive than Subway. Based on the fact that they make the bread from recipes handed down through generations and use only home-grown ingredients, I was expecting something more unique and tasty. Frustrated both by its food and customer service, I would not want to dine here again.
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Calgary Restaurant: Blue Star Diner

Our friend tried to bring us to here once on a weekend, but found out that it was at least a 40-min wait when we arrived. Not quite in the mood to wait that long, we gave up and went to another place to eat instead. One day, Kev had a day off on a weekday so we decided to take a trip to bridgeland and give this place another try. Lucky us- no wait at 11 am! images

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Calgary Restaurant: Charcut Roast House (Lunch)

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I wasn’t a fan of sandwiches despite having been living in North America for 6 years. Probably because I don’t like bread. But Charcut has changed my opinion towards sandwiches and has become one of our favourite restaurants in Calgary! Click to read more!