Texan moving to Calgary or Where are my tortillas?
Hi Chow People! Well, I am marying a wonderful Canadian lady next week and will be making the long move from Austin, TX to Calgary, AB. We will be living in SE Calgary, just off of 17 Ave SE. Being a foodie in training, I am rather excited about the dining options in that area. Perusing some of the posts out there, I see that there might actually be some decent tacos al pastor in the neighborhood which makes me very happy. However, I know I will not be able to find my beloved breakfast tacos, so I will have to do those at home. The question is, is there any grocery or bakery in the area that makes tortillas? I can learn to make my own, but if someone else makes them, that will be even better.
A couple of other non-tortilla related questions:
1. Any advice on meat markets/butcher shops in the area?
2. Any thoughts on pizza? There is a place right next to the Screech and Schooner that looks interesting, as does the Screech itself....
Any other advice, recommendations, suggestions of great places would be most appreciated.
Wow, why did you decide to live in Calgary and not Austin? Austin's supposed to be so weird and amazing. I moved up from the St. Louis area to Winnipeg in late 2005, and the Canadians always wonder why my guy didn't just move down to Missouri. I wonder about it, too, in the winter.
I don't know what your prospect for Mexican food is in Calgary, but in Winnipeg, it's pretty sparse. Same for good deep dish pizza. But Calgary's a lot bigger than Winnipeg, so hopefully you'll be able to find some places you like. Best of luck!
Well, there are a number of reasons for the move. Austin is not nearly as "cool and weird" as it once was. It is turning into Dallas/Houston more and more every day. It's still a great place, but a lot of the little local places are closing and being replaced by chains and trendy, overpriced boutique watering holes and restauraunts. We have also set a record for most 100 degree days this summer and we have a LOT of Summer left. I know winter will be a challenge, but think I will survive, maybe.
Wow, did this thread ever get derailed!
Anyway, atxguy welcome to Calgary! I'm not an expert in Mexican food but I gather Calgary and by the sounds of it most of Canada is a bit of a wasteland...hopefully things will improve on that front. Having said that, there are plenty of other cuisines (Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, East Indian etc) in this town that are well represented and you won't be bored.
Unfortunately, I not very familiar with your neck of the woods and so I will defer to other Calgary hounds to make suggestions.
I will say, however, that you are just East of a very interesting neigbourhood called Inglewood and it has plenty of fine eating establishments including, Spolumbos, Rouge and Capo.
Swans is excellent. Burgers are very underrated.
Anyway, while i love Austin, as Hart put it, there are some well represented cuisines in Calgary. Definitely be making your own tex-mex. And don't even bother dreaming of any Q that resembles anything in Austin, Lockhart, Luling, etc..
The area you are moving into has a lot of ethnic diversity. Vietnamese, Chinese, Jamaican, Indian, and some Latin American places as well. Pho Dau Bo, Green Grotto, Baba Ka Dhaba, La Casa Latina, and a multitude of others. You'll enjoy exploring.
For butchers, i have no personal experience in the area. There are some halal butchers. Usually their quality is quite good. Your closest good butcher is probably Second to None in Mission.
Pizza is a whole other story - probably as many decent ones as terrible ones. You'll have to experiment and get back to us :)
There is a Tom's House of Pizza down there, but i find their thin crust to be overpriced and mediocre.
Anyway, welcome to Calgary. Look forward to hearing more reports from that part of town.
Welcome to Calgary. I moved here from Austin 4 years ago. The Mexican scene is dismal though there are a few okay places. The short list is: La Casa Latina in Forest Lawn & El Sombrero on 17th. Both are pretty okay.
My husband and I make breakfast tacos every weekend. At least they're easy to make at home.....don't get me started on the bbq situation. :)
You will have fun living near 17Ave SE (aka "International Ave") there are a lot of very interesting stores and restaurants there including some Latin American places, Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Indian and Pakistani, Lebanese etc. A good intro here:
I like the tortillas (and salsas) at the Calgary Farmers Market: Tres Marias it's worth getting out there.
My fav Mexican/Latin American places in town (and as everyone here will tell you, Calgary ain't Texas when it comes to this kind of food, but still...) are:
Mi Tierra Tu Taqueria in the South West
Rincon Latino (Latin American food including dishes from Ecuador, Venezuela as well as Mexico) in the South East but a bit of a drive from your locale
More about Mexican/Latin American goodies at El Bombazo on 17Ave SE and Boca Loca Mexican food store on Northmount:
Pizza is a completely different and controversial issue, in my opinion the best in town by far is Il Centro (which is in the south but a ways from International Ave), and I have grown to appreciate Pulcinella (Napoli-style). Check out these threads among others:
Unfortunately I don't know the butchers in your area, my local butcher is Heaslip's Venture Meats just off Macleod Trail (organic beef and buffalo and such), again SE but a ways from International Ave.
Try Boca Loca (11th St. or Northmount Drive) for chiles, etc. There's a tortilla maker at the Calgary Farmers Market and plenty of tortillas at the grocery stores...you probably never actually went to the tortilla factory with your little plastic tub anyway, did you? The hardest thing is trying to get chiles that are hot enough and with enough flavor to satisfy the Hatch-lover, but there's great heat in some of the east Indian and Ethiopian food around town.
You are close to Illichmann's Sausage shop which is European Specialty Store.
They do custom cutting, sausage making and they have a small little German grocery section. Check themout at www.illichmannsausage.com. They are located 1840 36 st SE.
We just bought some salami slices and sausages there and I remembered your post. It's a family owned and operated store for many years.