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Pre-hockey game on the Red Mile, Calgary

Hi all, will be attending the Flames game on Jan. 2 and wondering if anybody could recommend a local wings 'n' beer type place for some pre-game eating. Near the Saddledome would be the best.

Thanks!

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  1. There's not a lot in the neighbourhood around the Dome (this is slowly changing with some utterly massive condo and office/retail projects underway, but for now, no); for wings 'n' beer the only place a short walk to the Dome I can think of is Ed's. However, if you're willing to extend your reckoning of "near," there are superb options further west. I just had my first meal at the Ship and Anchor on 17th between 4th and 5th and it's a great pub with great bar food; it's also not more than, say, a 15-minute walk to the Dome... maybe 20. If you want "walkable," I'd not head much west of 4th and not more than, say, 6 blocks north or south of 17th but I don't mind walking.

    Anyway, with those limits there are plenty of options: Original Joe's in Mission, Sal's on 17th, Bob the Fish... Oh, you can also check out places downtown and grab the C-Train to the Dome (get off at "Stampede/Victoria Park); this opens up lots more options; The Unicorn, James Joyce, Henry Viii. Don't bother with Flames Central (ironic, I know) if you want wings and beer.

    3 Replies
    1. re: John Manzo

      What about at the DOME, there are a few options, that way you can park, beat the crowds and be there for the start of the game.

      Duttons Lounge - opens 2 hours prior to each game.
      Avison Young Club that serves meals prior to each game. It is buffet style
      Saddleroom restaurant - open prior to the game

      1. re: John Manzo

        "Don't bother with Flames Central (ironic, I know) if you want wings and beer." Why do you say that? I've only been to Wildfire Grill, but I did see the bar menu (that you could only get on the OTHER side of the railing, can't understand why) and it had wings on it, I'm pretty sure. No wings at Wildfire Grill, so I didn't try them - are they any different from anywhere else?

        1. re: hsk

          Ah, see I had heard that the resto had nothing remotely like "bar food" but I didn't realise that there was a bar AND the Wildfire Grill. So maybe wings are on the offing there, sorry for implying otherwise.

      2. There is also the Drum and Monkey, a small pub on 12th Ave and 1st St. SW. Great food and 11 beers on tap.
        If you're not from Calgary and have to pick one place head to "The Ship" as John posted. Its the place to go for great beer, like 20 or more on tap and have awesome pub food and the best people watching on 17th. Its not your typical 9-5 "Earls" crowd. (its got a similar vibe as The Cambi in Gastown.) Its a great place to go after the game as well, if you find yourself elsewhere for dinner.

        4 Replies
        1. re: cdn

          Hop N Brew, too!! Same area, near 1st St and 12 Ave SW. A bit dodgy but it has a huge fan base, and a crowd not unlike the Ship.

          1. re: John Manzo

            John I am surprized to read that you just enjoyed your first meal at the Ship, surely not your first pint though? Skipping out of work early and hanging on the patio the first *warm* day in Feburary is like a right of passage for Calgarians. Ooooooo, I can hardly wait for patio weather!

            1. re: cdn

              First time, pint, the whole enchilada- I'd never been there before the smoking ban and just never made it after, until last week!

              1. re: cdn

                i'm surprised too John!!
                We like to do "runaway's" and go for lunch and not go back on those first patio days :)
                veggie wrap is the way to go! or fish & chips!! and they are so cheap too!

          2. Yardhouse is a bit of a walk, but I've had great wings there (they were almost turkey sized they were so big) and the beer is always very cold (a requirement). We also tried Ed's before the last game we went to and were impressed with the quality of the wings (fresh, not over or undercooked, and saucy) and the speed of the service (we were in and out in less than an hour, despite the fact that the place was really busy). I didn't really like the atmosphere though - it didn't have the pub-y feel I like (it had more of an old school restaurant vibe).

            1. For the record, we ended up at the Hose and Hound on 9th Ave. in Inglewood on the recommendation of a friend and it was quite good. On Wednesday it's only 25 cents per huge, juicy wing. Friendly, efficient service. Only downside I can think of is that of the many flavours available, some come up short: teryaki is pretty bland, and the same BBQ sauce, while tasty, gets re-used as "2 alarm" courtesy of some hot sauce added, and also as "Buffalo", courtesy of some parmesan cheese sprinkled liberally on top.

              We didn't try the special "greek" flavoured wings which, although not on the menu, are apparently a local favourite. We saw some go by on another platter and they looked to be covered in a white creamy sauce, maybe something like tzatziki.

              4 Replies
              1. re: egon61

                ...and you got to see a delectable win by the Flames. Sounds like a great night all around.

                1. re: egon61

                  Hose and hound is great, been around forever, although it's been years since I've been. It's a little far from the dome and transit isn't great either, just the one bus, I think - did you walk to the dome from there?

                  1. re: hsk

                    Our original plan was to leave the car at the pub and walk to the game, but we decided to take a cab since we weren't sure how long it would take. Turns out the cab ride from pub to dome was all of 2 minutes and cost just under 5 bucks. Afterwards, with no time constraints, we did walk from the Saddledome to the pub and it was only about 15 minutes. The key is to go down through the "back" (east) entrances. The "official" pub parking lot was full but we found space next door at the auto body shop. As you'd expect they have lots of room to park and their signs said "Reserved 7:00am to 5:00pm" so we figured that meant we were allowed to park there after hours.

                  2. re: egon61

                    I was at the Hose & Hound just before Christmas and I agree that the wings are meaty and fantastic. The waitress raved about the "greek" sauce, which isn't on the menu, so I gave it a try. The sauce turned out to be just ceasar salad dressing. The wings were still good, but I enjoyed them much more before I figured out the "secret" ingredient.