calgary

Travelling with a six year old to a foreign land does not make us culinary adventurers. But considering our three foot co-traveller on our 32 hour whirlwind trip to Calgary, we did well.

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First up, a stop at Peter’s Drive In on the way into town. We were hungry, and drive in food fit the bill. Juicy burgers and a ridiculously huge mountain of crisp fries served in a large bag, consumed at a sunny picnic table in the middle of a parking lot. Very Happy Days like. What I love about this place is the customers are a cross-section of the entire city. Couples arriving in their Sunday best after Easter Mass, bikers and suburban types like me. Peter’s is an all-access greasy calorie-fest. (Note to Calgary readers: Is it Pete’s? Or Peter’s? Or Peters’ as it says on their website? Is there more than one Peter?).

Then, as a special treat, we unexpectedly ran into Andree from Are you gonna eat thatat the Calgary Zoo. I was so shocked to be recognized that I was rendered speechless. My husband laughed at me afterwards, never everhaving seen me without words before. So now Andree knows my secret:  I’m a hopeless dork. But it was great to meet her for a few stolen moments.  She is very lovely.
For dinner, I had stupidly promised Aaron pizza. On Easter Sunday. Believe me, this is not an easy order for one who swore off eating at chains restaurants for our trip. We drove to Inglewood Pizza, as mentioned often byDinner with Julie but it was sadly closed. I realized everything remotely Italian would be closed on Easter Sunday. So we stopped at the first pizza place on 17th avenue, and this ended up to be a colossal mistake. While I don’t have the heart to skewer a place, let’s just say that this pizza by the slice place was filthy, and the pizza was overcooked and tough. But Aaron happily clutched his burnt pizza slice all the way back to the hotel. Sometimes the standards slip for the kids.

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We always stay at the Sheraton Eau Claire because of the suites (having two rooms in a hotel when you are travelling with kids is a very good thing) and so I slipped across the street to Good Earth for early morning lattes. I don’t find their coffee especially strong, but with an extra shot, the latte is fine.

I was too lazy ass to walk the four blocks to Caffe Artigiano, which I sort of regret, but the wind and the hike at 7 am was too prohibitive.

Then we hauled ourselves over to Diner Deluxe for breakfast.

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I mean, look at that Salmon Eggs Benedict. It is a thing of beauty, all slathered in creamy Hollandaise sauce seasoned with lemon. And the hash browns have little gems of sweet potatoes in them. And the coffee is Kicking Horse, just like I use at home. In fact, the breakfast experience there was almost perfect (great with kids, fast service, attentive coffee pouring), save for our poor dishes were only lukewarm, which is actually our own bloody faults because we are too chicken to send them back like we should. Ignoring that one little detail, the place is very 1950’s homey, with efficient pleasant waitstaff and beautiful looking, if not piping hot, breakfasts.
Some time passed. We went to Kensington where I blew some money at Purr. This is not a food place or a cat place, but a clothing place. This was especially bad of me.
Our Diner Deluxe digested, and needing to be fortified before we hit the road, I did what wise travellers do and asked a local where a good sandwich place was. I was directed to Central Blends on 19th Street, north of Kensington. My better half refused to go in, citing a hunch that I’d be eating tofu and alfalfa sprouts. Sure enough, Central Blends does smell like incense, but my Turkey Sandwich was toasted on heavy dark bread, slathered in cranberry sauce and stuffed with real stuffing and real turkey. Not the fake pressed stuff.

I do not think Mike’s subsequent Quarter Pounder with Cheese purchased in Innisfail could hold a candle to that particular sandwich. My sandwich was a happy and healthy one and did not give me indigestion on the drive home like someone else’s lunch did.

Farewell Calgary. You fed us well.

Peter’s Drive-In
219 16 Avenue NE
Calgary, AB
(403) 277-2747

Good Earth Cafe
200 Barclay Parade SW
Calgary, AB
403-237-8684

Diner Deluxe
804 Edmonton Trail NE
Calgary, AB
(403) 276-5499

Central Blends
203 19 Street NW
Calgary, AB
(403) 670-5665

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