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Cochrane... anything to check out?

I tried a search but couldn't find anything.... does anyone have a favorite place, market, restaurant, bakery?

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  1. I've mentioned it here, but let me repeat that Java Jamboree, 312 5th Ave W (it's a strip mall) is an outstanding, outstanding coffeehouse. Best espresso machine in the industry (Synesso Cyncra), latte art, beans from Vivace in Seattle, wonderful, friendly owners.

    8 Replies
    1. re: John Manzo

      John..... I have become ADDICTED to the lattes at Java Jamboree....they are GOOD! Sometimes we go for a drive and end up in Cochrane..... just because. I always reward the minor w/ an ice cream cone from MacKay's and I could live on the lattes from JJ.

      1. re: Susanbnyc

        Susan- depending on where you live, you may be thrilled to know that Les and company at Java Jamboree have leased the space that used to be a stereo store across from Best Western on 8 St at about 13 Ave SW and will be opening a big new coffeehouse. Their plans are ambitious- it would be, in square footage, the largest coffeehouse in Calgary, but they also want to do a wine bar and maybe live jazz. They also intend to have the same top-drawer equipment and coffee as at JJ (made with another Synesso espresso machine) as well as Calgary's second Clover brewer (after Phil and Sebastian's). They are hoping to open around Sept 1. They are trying to decide on a name and Les is leaning towards something comprising the Polish word for coffee, which is "kawa."

        1. re: John Manzo

          In the old General Audio location eh?

          The Best Western used to have the best tranny karaoke parties. I'm not kidding,

          1. re: Shazam

            Midnight Cafe, better believe it, it wasn't that long ago.

            Yep, General Audio.

            1. re: John Manzo

              Java Jamboree? Agreed. Among the best espresso I have ever had and great snacks to boot.

              Check out their bottomless portafilter, too!

              1. re: nick_motown

                Ya know, I was just in Portland for a week and went to Stumptown every day (it's in the hotel), and they have two 3-group la marzocco mistrals there and FOUR Clovers- so that's about $80,000 in brewing equipment, not even counting 4 mazzer super jolly grinders and a regular fetco brewer... and they had not one naked portafilter. They just sort of shrugged when I asked why not- I like espresso from a naked PF; Phil and Sebastian ONLY have naked ones. Good to hear JJ goes that route too. But if my experience in Portland says anything the tide might be turning.

                1. re: nick_motown

                  If only for the drive, we've been going out to Cochrane, and Java Jamboree was the destination again last weekend. The espresso is great, I am a fan! They make a great cappuccino and latte as well, so I recommend checking them out. A word about their foodie offerings; you might want to pass unless you're particularly hungry. Don't get me wrong, they're not bad, just not great (or worth the $). Our group had a Brownie, Caramel Pecan Flan slice, Grilled Cheese (w/Havarti & Brie) ($4.50), Reuben Panini ($7.50), Bagel, and Strawberry Napoleon. The only one we would revisit would be the Flan. Mother was enamoured with the latte art "I've never seen such a thing", she says...

      2. Lord Finn has pretty good Fish & Chips and MacKay's has some wicked ice cream. As an added bonus, they're both within shouting distance from each other. :)

        4 Replies
          1. re: yen

            Blue Dog Cafe is probably the best restaurant in town.

            1. re: star33star

              The Blue Dog used to be the best place in town, but now it is not. The service is terrible.....and the food is so so. The chef left and started his own restaurant in town called Oliver Twist.

              1. re: chowhound64

                We went to the Blue Dog a couple of weeks ago after "trying" to get in next door at S&P (open sign was lit during "on" hours but door was locked and no one would answer). Anyway, I had often wondered about Blue Dog, so I took this for opportunity. I had Gumbo which was surprisingly good, not too spicy, and with fresh okra. The bottom layer of the dish was just a layer of white rice/wild rice. I guess it was to make the offering appear more significant. Hubby had the Louisiana Pie (or some such name). It was tasty, served very hot, but hubby thought I wouldn't be wild over it if only for the crust (commercial type where you can see the repeating machine imprints into the bottom). Indeed, the crust was wanting; could have been oh-so-much-better with a handmade crust. Blue Dog wouldn't be my first choice to repeat, but it was okay.

        1. Cochrane has great Greek food. The restaurant is called Omega and is right on Main Street, across from the Royal Bank. On Friday evenings, they have their special Kleftico (braised lamb) served with potatoes and vege. The dinner also comes with salad or soup. The lamb is so good. The meat falls off the bone. You have to make reservations and need to tell them you want the lamb special.

          1 Reply
          1. re: makan2

            I think Omega's gone. The business was up for sale and I went to Cochrane last Friday and it seems to have been replaced by something else.

          2. My wife and I had dinner at Saigon Garden. It's ostensibly a Vietnamese restaurant but the menu covers a bit more territory than a traditional Vietnamese restaurant.

            We started with the spring rolls. They were so-so.

            My wife had a Prawn Curry. It came beautifully presented with the curry in a bowl and the coconut rice wrapped in a banana leaf. She enjoyed it a lot.

            I had the Pad Thai with chicken. It was a large portion full of nicely flavored chicken. The noodles were very tasty and the sauce was nicely balanced. Good flavors and an ok spice level. There were a few vegetables in the Pad Thai, it could have used a few more but that's a small complaint.

            We really enjoyed our meal and would go back again.

            1. One of my favourite places in Cochrane is Bernie's Bavarian Bakery. Bernie bakes everything from scratch, and his bread is simply wonderful. It's hearty, healthy, and incredibly flavourful. He makes everything from flax and kingsgrain bread to linzertorte and fresh fruit pies with a kind of cookie-cake crust. There are often cream-cake desserts, wheat-free chocolate filled cookies, and spelt cookies. We used to go all the time before half my family found out they had celiac disease. I assume all of the baking is authentically Bavarian :), but more importantly, it's really delicious and healthy. Quite a number of health food stores in the city carry his products (e.g., Amaranth, Community, Sunnyside...). I think the bakery may be organic, actually.

              136 Railway Avenue Cochrane, AB - (403) 932-9066