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Aug 15, 2006 11:59 PM

Calgary -- Reef n' Beef.... Dated or Classic?

Had dinner last week at the Reef n' Beef.

It's at 36th Street and Rundlehorn Drive NE - in a strip mall across from the Sunridge Superstore. It's the last place one might look for this type of food, but I thought it was great.

I have been to the lounge for lunch and after work many times for the $3.95 steak sandwhich ( The best lunch deal in NE Calgary IMO... and that includes Tiffin's and Pita Plus Donair), this was my first trip to the dining room.

Forget Doc Brown and a Flying DeLorean, if you desire a trip back to 1985, just step into this place.
The Decor... High, heavy chairs, carpet, brass fixtures.
The Menu ... Steaks, Prime Rib, Combos, Sole filet, escargot etc. The Wine list ... all the red wines just say the region, like St-Emilion or Cotes du Rhone... no mention of producer or vintage... the whites include classics such as Winzertanz, Hochtaler and Black Tower

I had a 10 oz Rib Steak w/ peppercorn sauce. Perfect medium rare, nice pepper crust, great sauce (as good as the Keg or Caesar's) It came with endless baskets of that classic 80's style garlic toast, bowl of soup (French onion, decent, but no melted cheese) choice of tossed or Caesar (go for the Caesar), choice of baked or stuffed potato (both great) and vegetables (good 'ol carrots and broccoli)

The price - $19.95!!! and that was not a special, that is the norm!
Kids meals are $3.50 (Cheaper than McD's!) and the bottle of decent St Emilion was $29.

Some will call it dated... I call it classic and a throwback to our visits to the Keg when I was a kid 20 years ago. At these prices... I will be back for sure.

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  1. A friend took me to reef and beef for the first time last fall - and i do have to say, i concur with your review. It was a good cut of steak, cooked perfectly, for a good price. The decor is crazy, but the food is really good value.

    The only uncomfortable part? We were the only non-caucasians in the entire joint. Based on the looks we got when we walked in, the "regulars" may not see a lot of us "ethnic" folk very often :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: yen

      I noticed that too... though I am caucasian so it wasn't uncomfortable. So strange... Rundle, and the NE in general is the most ethnically diverse quadrant in the city, wouldn't you agree?

      1. re: newJJD

        I would, which is why i found it so strange. My friend figured it's where the non-ethnic peoples hid from the incoming waves of ethnic diversity :) And they may have been there since 1980!

    2. LOL..have had a long day and so I thank you for the that wine list, especially the white, what no 2 L. Kressman nor 4 L. boxed Cellier D'Or aka "Garage Door"?

      All that "slagging" aside sounds if you know what you want you get good quality at a decent price. I do not often like to eat like this but there have been trips to Calgary where we have headed to Smuggler's where I would not usually go either.

      1. I'm going to second (third?) the original poster on this one; just got back from the Reef And Beef and I'm stuffed and happy.

        I grew up in the NE, but the last time I was there was probably 15 years ago, when I got my braces off. I was promised a dinner anywhere, and of course chose the Reef for their Long Dry Rib Dinner, which, if memory serves, was whole beef ribs done in the same style as you see dry rib appetizers.

        Unfortunately, tonight, we got there rather late, and our server apologetically noted that they were out of ribs. (And the soup of the day. And the prime rib.)

        Instead, I went with a 12 oz New York, which came with all the extras mentioned above (luckily, I got mushrooms instead of broccoli); the Caesar had a "classic Caesar" taste to it that all of the bland caesar salads you can get anywhere just don't have -- probably anchovies. Now if only they used actual Parmesan instead of the shaker stuff (that was what they used in the French Onion Soup, too.)

        A great meal, and the total cost was $21.95, which is a good value in my book.

        There were even two non-Caucasian patrons!

        1. has been under new management, and the food quality had actually improved! that's a pretty rare occurrence!

          1. Can it be both? I think it is classic *and* dated. Ha ha I love this place. My husband and I went there last year for our anniversary and I ordered syeak. Everything that went with it, (I got the stuffed potato...YUM!) as just perfect. We found it a treat for us, and thought it was expensive for us. It was almost $100 for both of us including a glass of wine for me (hubby designated driver). I know most people figure this is cheap, but we are a one income family, so it was expensive for us.
            I don't recall specifics, but I do recall we were not the only caucasion people there.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Godslamb

              Reef n' Beef doesn't seem "cheap" to me, and places like the keg and caesar's have very similar prices. even though the menu, service, and decor is totally dated at R&B, their food is quite outstanding. can't recommend this place enough!

              1. re: nonlinear

                No, I meant that most people figure $100 is cheap for a meal. Not to my husband and I. $100 for the meal is expensive to us. :) I love the Reef N' Beef too! We just can't go very often.

                1. re: Godslamb

                  $15 for 2 people is cheap... anyone who thinks $100 is cheap for 2 people is INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE. i'm not saying i'm not willing to drop wads of cash on a good dinner, but calling it cheap is another thing altogether LOL.

                  1. re: nonlinear

                    I agree nonlinear. $100. for dinner for 2 is crazy expensive in my world too.

                    1. re: Lotti

                      well to be fair, I don't think it's outrageously expensive either (assuming both people will have a few drinks etc.). I just don't think it's "cheap." "cheap" is donairs or pizza slices, not steak and lobster LOL.

                      1. re: nonlinear

                        Adding a "few drinks" would make a big difference - but Godslamb said she had "A glass of wine" and her husband had nothing to drink because he was driving - so the $100 was pretty much just the food bill - which is, as you said, "insane in the membrane" to call "cheap" in the world I live in. I wouldn't even consider $100 for a meal for 2 (without drinks) "reasonable" let alone "cheap". I am always amazed at how full restaurants are when we drive by and I gaze in wishfully - looks like there are a lot of people with a lot more money to spend than I have - but I am cheap and enjoy cooking at home - things taste really good when I think of all the money I'm saving. ;)

                        1. re: Lotti

                          I hear you Lotti. My bf and I are both students. I don't like him to spend a lot of money on our nights out. He barbeques some great steaks, and I pick up some lobster tails from Superstore and grill it with browned butter and garlic and grated Parmesan cheese with some seasoning. Then I pick up some wine and voila - a steak and seafood dinner! Lol.