Couple of developments on and off Stephen Ave (Cgy)
Today was brisk but sunny and beautiful so I took the opportunity to walk downtown, checking out the progress on the shocking number of office and residential developments en route but there is also restaurant stuff to note.
The Conga Room has either changed hands or re-branded- I cannot clearly read its sign but it looks like "Latina" or some such thing, and a very welcome note on its door says it's non-smoking as of Dec 1- this seems like a mini-trend, places going non-smoking in advance of the smoking ban next month- this place, Metropolitan on 17th (though not on Stephen Ave), Opus on 8, Dakota Bar and Grill, are all nonsmoking now. I can only assume that the menu is like Conga's but couldn't read it.
The space that has seen to much turnover by AGC (the one that was the sushi place, then Chinese, then Vietnamese), on the south side of Stephen, had been covered with (among other coverings) a sign that said "SECRET." Well, the covers are off but windows still papered over with a plea for job applicants, and a development permit notice in the window- and it will be called VOTIVE. Interestingly Catholic name there, maybe my dream of a place that sells nouvelle communion wafers.
Another place with tons of turnover has turned over again- in Chinatown, in City Centre (the "mall" on Centre St, west side, that has a little food court and two of my fave Chinese places, Double Greeting and Han's) there is a resto space on the street side that never seems to have much luck keeping tenants. It's now "Chong King Hot Pot" or something close to that. Hot Pot- hmmmm. Sounds worth checking out.
I stopped for another perfect, Vancouver-quality cappuccino at Bumpy's on my walk home and discovered, apropos of a discussion earlier on here, that they also have what are perhaps the most sinfully amazing "muffins" I've ever tasted- appropriate called "OMG Muffins" (which also makes me think of that Kelly video- "Omigod, shoes" and thus makes me chuckle), they are small but dense chocolate and, I think, cheesecake, and they are killer. KILL-ER.
Mmmmm hot pot. My mouth waters at the thought. If you go, make sure to leave room for drinking the soup at the end.
Also, if they have different choices of soups and pots that can be split in the middle, make sure to get a couple of different soup flavours to enhance the experience. (Or two different pots of soup if you have enough people at the table....)
"nouvelle communion wafers"
Still haven't checked out Bumpy's, but cheesecake muffins sound good. The world needs to stop lining up at Crave and start giving their money to the better bakeries in the city.
Stephen Avenue sounds like the perfect location for a clone of the Susur Lee posh chinese. However, they never seem to do well, and as much as Stephen Avenue is becoming a great culinary street, I think we have a few reno's to go before the bermuda triangle spots finally vanish.