Mid-Priced Downtown Calgary Lunch
So a few of us UBC students working in Calgary for the summer are looking for a place to eat a decent, not too expensive lunch next week. The spot has to be downtown, not in the Beltline or further flung since we're walking from our offices. We're all open minds when it comes to food and are probably looking for most mains to be no more than say $25. I've looked online at Tribune, Murrietta's, Redwater, Opus, Buchanan's and a few others that all look interesting, but I wanted to hear what the board has to say about places like this. Also, on a side note, what are the prices like at Opus? The only other review I found on CH was by John Manzo and it was for a function where everything was comped. Their online menu doesn't have prices... unlike nearly every other restaurant with an online menu. What's the best for downtown eating without an expense account?
If you like Vietnemese soups, theres a good soup place (great Satay) in Chinatown called Sunny's (107 2 AVE SE), very reasonably priced but hard to get into during noon so you either have to take an early or late lunch.
Are buffets something you'd consider? I've had the lunch buffet at Sahara several times, most recently a couple of weeks ago and I loved everything- as well it's (1) big enough to accommodate large-ish groups and (2) not something you're already swimming in in Vancouver (it's Lebanese). It's something like $13.95pp.
Sahara is down by Buchanan's so not in the core per se but very easy to get to from much of DT.
tribune is always good, you could add blink and divino to that list as well. Opus recently changed hands so i'm not sure if there were changes in the kitchen. everywhere will be very busy with it being stampede week so reserve where you can.
I haven't been to the downtown Redwater, only the one by mcmahon stadium, it was terrible but i know people that love the original location in the south...
There are a few places that would work for me. When dining in the upper end, i usually prefer to eat at Divino. In the moderate end of the price spectrum, John mentioned Sahara already, which is a good choice for food. I would also recommend Jonas' for some good Hungarian food. At the lower end, i'd try Han's.
Out of the places you've mentioned already, Tribune and Murietta's are both ok in my books. In that range I would probably consider Blink as well.
We ended up going to Redwater today as I wasn't the one making the resos. I went in with fairly low expectations based on a few rather negative reviews I had seen about their other two locations in town. I was pleasantly surprised. Service was cheery though sometimes it was a tiny bit on the slow side, but it's Stampede. I wasn't concerned at all since everyone else was having longer, more leisurely lunches than us. All of us decided on a small lunch with a main and glass of wine each. Our food came quickly. I had a Spolumbo's spicy sausage pizza with caramelized onions and forest mushrooms. It was a thin whole wheat crust with adequate amounts of toppings. Quite tasty. The other two at the table ordered a bison burger and the day's feature sandwich which involved a Spolumbo's sausage on a baguette from Rise with a bourbon sauce of sorts and a warm potato salad. Both dishes went over well.
They have a decent wine list with a number of by-the-glass selections. I went with a Zinfandel (as did another at the table) which was quite tasty.
Overall, I was impressed with Redwater. It's nothing out of the ordinary, but we were served good food with friendly service at a pretty good price. I would not hesistate to go back... but when we have a UBC lunch again, I think I might push higher end... Divino would be nice.
Thanks for other recs. I'll have to check out Sunny someday but pho is my go-to meal when I eat out downtown so I wanted to avoid that for this particular lunch. Buffets aren't my favorite dining experiences (too many years in university/boarding school cafeterias), but I'll keep it in mind if somebody has a hankering for Lebanese. Cheers!