Restaurant and Gourmet in Red Deer
We moved to Red Deer a month ago from Switzerland, and have been trying to discover Red Deer's culinary secrets since (?). We couldn't find a lot. We know Calgary and Edmonton are not fare away.
What do the Red Deer'ians on the board recommend? Also, we love food shops.
Are there good gourmet or specialty stores (or butchers) we should know about?
We appreciate the help.
Petra and Chris
I have not eaten in Red Deer often, but it seems to me they are suffering (like many other growing cities) from a mass influx of chain restaurants (East Side Mario's, Tony Roma's, etc.)
That have been said, my favourite Mexican restaurant in Alberta is oddly enough in Red Deer. It is Called Las Palmeras, I'm pretty sure it is on Gaetz ave, at the top of the hill before you drop down into downtown.
I found out about it when it was written up by CBC Calgary Food critic John Gilchrist. Excellent, fresh, authentic Mexican food. Like Mr. Glichrist, my favorite dish is the Carnitas.
I also didn't mind Houlihan's Restaurant.
We've had some enjoyable Chinese food in Red Deer at China Ben, also at a restaurant in the strip mall behind The Superstore. I don't remember the name.
I haven't found much in the way of gourmet grocery items, but Save-On foods on the East Hill carries some really nice cheeses, though the selection varies and you can't always get that wonderful one you got last week. If you look around that store, you will find some delightful surprises--a terrific pickled hot eggplant by LaRosa foods, various Asian, Indian etc.sauces, and some good sausages.
Try Farmers Gate Meats on north on Gates. Some local ranchers got together and opened this small shop. They butcher in the back of the shop, and then flash freeze their excellent beef and pork, which they sell in largish boxes in the front. They have some fresh meat as well.
Beginning in May, and going through Thanksgiving, there will be a farmers market, not far from the Greyhound bus station, every Saturday morning. You can find some very good things--including organic and free range meat, chickens etc there as well. I also have been known to make the trek to Sunterra Market in Calgary (they have them in Edmonton too) for meat and quasi-gourmet food items.
I don't know if you are looking for good coffee beans, but City Roast on Ross Street, downtown, roasts beans on Saturday, and although the selection is limited, they do a good job. I've heard their deserts/muffins etc are good too, but I am not a desert eater.