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Jun 13, 2007 06:22 PM

Calgary Steakhouse recommendation?

I will be visiting Calgary in a few weeks, and I would love to enjoy a top quality, well preparted Alberta Steak. Any recommendations, preferably downtown?


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    1. I second Caesar's. I'm not sure there's any other steakhouse that comes close. The consistency is amazing.

      1. Steakhouses are funny creatures.......usually great meat at all the big ones, but often abysmal sides, desserts, etc. Which is why I will recommend Vintage Chophouse over the others. Great steak and relatively OK everything else. I had a total pigout feast there recently on someone else's contra gift card and we left very happy. It doesn't have the goofy and outdated vibe of a "traditional"Alberta steak place. Unless that's part of their appeal, to some, it doesn't do much for me. Vintage has a much more contemporary, classy and urban feel to it. I recommend it.

        4 Replies
        1. I just ate at Vintage last night and I wasn't exactly impressed. The atmosphere was nice and the service was ok. But we each ordered a New York Strip Loin and when they came to the table I actually had to ask if what we were served was, indeed, NY strip loin. They were thick and small. It took some asking around before it was explained to be that these strip loins were "California cut" ... I was confused how the steaks could be both "New York" and "California cut" ... so I've been doing some research today and I'm still confused.

          Either way, I was not impressed with these steaks. I prefer my New York strip loins to be, well, new york strip loins. I don't know if these steaks were cut against the grain or whatever, but they were chewier than they should have been, and not as juicy and flavourful as they should have been. I really think they ought to say on the menu that the steaks are California cut.

          I had MUCH better steak at Chicago Chophouse.

          Chicago Chophouse
          604 8th Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1G5, CA

          1. re: existential_crisis

            California cut? Sounds like something they made up, along the same lines as a 'cowboy' steaks. LOL

            1. re: existential_crisis

              Apparently it's a strip loin cut lengthwise first and then cut into steaks so they are half as wide and twice as thick. I like my steaks rare so if they were serving say a 6oz NY steak I would probably prefer it. On a 12oz steak I'd probably prefer it the usual way.

              I agree they probably should have said, so you knew what you were getting, sort of like when people order 12oz filet med-well and they ask if it's ok butterflied so the rare steak guys don't have to wait so long.

              1. re: hsk

                I ordered my 10oz strip loin medium rare, which I find any able chef is capable of executing. My girlfriend ordered hers rare. Both steaks were cooked accordingly, but she was also not impressed with her steak. It simply wasn't juicy... her plate was dry after finishing - which seems strange for a rare steak.

                The menu at Earl's features "California Cut NY Strip Loin" steaks.... I wonder if this is actually a Calgary invention.

          2. you know, it's not where one would necessarily go for steak but....i really enjoyed the steak i had at murietta's last summer - it was delicious, a nice room, good wine selection and great cocktails...

            and i know it's not very chowhoundly but we also enjoy steak at the plain old keg downtown (desperately needs a reno but...)

            we've been going to vintage for lunch the past couple fridays but nobody ever orders steak - i enjoy the bar side and the food and service are always good - less guys in the white coats on the bar side... :)

            1. The Bear's Den carries what they term AAAA, which after some research i believe is Canada Prime. I've been once a few months after they opened, and thought it was only ok. But i was paying that time :)

              Downtown, many people like Caesars, it's sort of an institutional classic, but the meat is only ok. From my perspective, there isnt a whole lot of difference between Buchanans, Owls Nest, Caesars, and when it was still open, Hy's. They all serve good quality AAA, at slightly inflated prices.

              2 Replies
              1. re: yen

                Owl's Nest is no more, Yen. That space is becoming a Keg.

                Best steaks I've had in Calgary have been at River Cafe and at Brava, but I don't often order steak and have never been to a proper "steakhouse" here, well except Buchanan's and I got a burger there.