Calgary: Ironwood Grill surprise
We went to the Ironwood Stage and Grill last night. I guess it's a bar that's been around for years in Inglewood showcasing blues music. Apparently it has a new owner but I'm not sure if the chef is new as well.
Anyway, we went to see band from NB called Hot Toddy and figured we'd grab some bar food there, not expecting much at all. Well, what a nice surprise from the kitchen here.
My pulled pork sandwich with brie, fig, apple butter came on a perfectly toasted ciabatta bun (not mushy or rock hard). Coconut Crusted Chicken Breast Strips with Sweet Smoky Chile Glaze tasted freshly made with thinly sliced, homemade potato chips. Steak sandwich piled on onion ring and sliced portobello mushrooms.
Of note, my cream of asparagus soup with chicken was better than most "fine dining" places.
All came with choice of soup, salad or chips for about $12! If that's not a deal in Calgary, I don't know what is. Oh, AND our server was friendly, helpful and efficient. Imagine that!
Their calendar lists a "big band brunch" buffet every other Saturday for $29. I'm considering trying it out if the food there will be as good as this unexpected dinner stop. Anybody else tried it?
Wow am I glad to hear they have new owners and menu! I think the Ironwood for a music venue is AMAZING, the acoustics are just brilliant ... but my last meal there... maybe a year ago, was horrid! I ordered a chicken dish, and was overwhelmed by the side of mushy frozen veg! Since then we have been heading to Sugo for dinner then to the ironwood for music.. but with such a small venue, it's easy to miss out on a table if you don't arrive early. I am looking forward to giving the kitchen another chance to impress me.
The chef is most definitely new as well. working in inglewood, i used to go there all the time back when they first opened. Their slaw and mashed potatoes were excellent, not to mention the sandwiches. But then they started closing for lunch, and then closed altogether for a while!
With the new owners, the new menu, while different, is also pretty good. And they're finally back to being open for lunch. I've had the pulled pork sandwich, but found it a touch oily. The chicken strips are good, as you mentioned, as is the chicken wrap. The homemade chips are a nice touch, but the side salad is also a great option, with candied pecans and dried fruit thrown in the mix. I've also enjoyed their bowl of chili, fish and chips, and burger.
Definitely not a bad spot to have lunch during the week, or dinner before a nice roots or folk show. I just wish they'd turn their heat up sometimes during lunch. in the heart of winter, with only a few tables in the room and the big, drafty garage door in the front, it can get downright cold.