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Jun 20, 2008 12:41 PM

Rise Bakery & Café - Calgary

I've been looking forward to the opening of Rise since I saw signs in Bow Valley Square four months ago. I finally made the trip out there for lunch yesterday, about a week and a half after its opening.

Found next to the also newly opened Redwater Grille in Bow Valley Square, Rise Bakery & Café is strictly a counter business, offering fresh panini, baked sweets, and bread. I had the goat cheese and veggie panini and a chocolate sourdough bun.

The panini was perfectly grilled--beautiful grill marks, crisp crust, soft and yielding chestnut bread. The veggies themselves were not the best for a grilled panini--the lettuce got a bit limp, the fresh tomato only contributed to the wetness, and I'm not a fan of warm cucumber. To Rise's credit, the salesperson did warn me that the veggies would be soggy from grilling. Beautiful bread--I haven't had chestnut bread before and the almost cake-like texture was surprising and interesting. The walnut pesto was deliciously garlicky and smooth but the flavours got lost in the panini.

With bits of melt-y Bernard Callebaut chocolate and dried cherries, the chocolate sourdough bread is not like a traditional sourdough. The texture was similar to a less-rich brioche, like a challah. As with the pesto in the panini, the dried cherries were a nice touch but got lost in the chocolate onslaught. The chocolate flavour was rich and subtly sweet.

Most intriguing to me were the breads, including the aforementioned chestnut and the apple and rosemary flax. I'll definitely go back to try a loaf of those.

The space is small (as I mentioned, counter service only) but well-appointed. Beautiful wood shelves for the bread and large window into the kitchen make the space seem slightly more homey despite being in an office building.

In any case, I recommend going to try one of the panini or at least checking out the bread. Rise is located on the ground floor of Bow Valley Square, near the intersection of 6 Ave and 2 St SW.

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  1. Thanks for the info aktivistin - I love checking out new bakeries. I'm surprised they'd do a LTC combo on a panini...tomatoes do well under a broiler but aren't good company for bread til after it's toasted....and I don't know that I've ever had warm cucumber.

    I think I saw ads for Rise awhile back - they're part of the Vintage Group if I remember correctly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: maplesugar

      Thanks to aktivistin for the post. Just to confirm Rise actually offers sandwiches which guests have the option of having grilled or cold, not exclusively paninis. There are a few sandwiches which are not recommended grilled due to the water content of the veggies, the goat cheese and pesto being one of them. However, if guests do choose to have those items grilled they are only given a light press opposed to the full press given to the other sandwiches.

    2. Nice, thanks! Alluring pics on the website- shame no weekend hours tho :(

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. I stopped in for a look and purchased some multi grain bread.

          I must say it was the worst multi grain bread I have ever eaten.

          Won't be going back there again.


          2 Replies
            1. re: ccds

              I'm sure there's worse out there.

              I've had two loaves from Rise and both have been good- one was the apple-flax (I think that was the combo) which was very nice and the second was a half-sour loaf- it's not a demibaguette and not a boule, it's shaped like a football, what's that sort of loaf called? Anyway this was just superb. SUPERB. My partner and I sawed pieces off it when I brought it home and it was gone way too fast. Just one of the tastiest loaves of bread I've had. Ever.

              Rise is clearly built for the M-F downtown crowd given its hours and given the odd comportment of the store- it has windows but the storefront faces the mall (it's at Bow Valley Square, 1st level right inside the entrance off 6th Ave), and the loaves seem tailor made for carrying in a briefcase. I like that, actually, I don't like their not opening weekends (or just Saturdays- what about baking for Redwater on weekends??) but Rise is still definitely a good thing for this city. If you work DT give them a try.

            2. I bought a multi grain loaf and it had cumin it.

              Gave the bread an undesirable flavor

              I did send the bakery an email and they responded first that it had no cumin in it

              then I got another note a couple of hours later saying it did have cumin in it.

              They did do the right thing and asked that I drop by and they would give me another

              loaf that I could try no charge.

              It is out of the way for me to drop by so I will pass but I was pleased with the offer and

              shows good customer service.

              3 Replies
              1. re: ccds

                Good that they tried to make it right. Odd that there'd be cumin in a multigrain loaf; makes me wonder if someone confused cumin with a grain that looks similar.

                On another bakery related note... The COBS at Country Hills Town Centre is open :)

                1. re: maplesugar

                  I was thinking that, too. Perhaps they confused the cumin with fennel/anise seed? They look similar.

                  1. re: aktivistin

                    Exactly, and thanks I could picture it but couldn't remember the names. :)