ISO Pie in Calgary
So here's the scoop. I've just discovered that in October, my GF and I will not be near each other for her birthday. Seeing as she loves pie, I was planning on surprising her with a few homemade pies along with her present. Unfortunately, not being in the same city for birthday weekend has thrown a kink in the plan. I may still be able to bring her a pie, but we have decided to move the celebrations half way between each other (Calgary); and I'm asking for your recommendations on pie.
We should be in town for the entire Saturday, as we purchased Feist tickets for the evening, and I would like to hit up some pie in the afternoon. Now I suppose it can be a place where we grab lunch and then some pie, but I would like to go somewhere to sit and just enjoy a few slices. She loves every kind of fruit pie, and I think taking her out for an "amazing, highly recommend" slice would just be wonderful.
I realize this is a few months ahead of schedule, but I would like to get things organized and maybe even run by a few places next time I'm in town.
Thanks in advance!
Just wanted to put a cap on this request I made a while back.
I drove into Calgary on Friday, arrived around noon, and with my GF still in her ATA conference decided to meet up with past coworker of mine at IKEA. With a limited time to eat and catch up, she recommended Avocado in the attached parking lot. Decent little place, although not really what I expected from Fresh Mex…I somehow always picture a fresh salsa bar and lots of goodies. Menu was pretty basic, 2 soups, 2 salads, classic burrito or signature burritos. We both ordered the Chicken Fiesta Salad, although I asked for dressing on the side which turned out to be a good decision. Salad was good, a little skimpy on the beans and corn; not a bad place, but not something I would try again soon.
Supper was up in the air until the last minute as a group of teachers couldn’t decide on anything; my GF suggested we just grab something to eat. Based on our location, Coast Plaza and Conference Center and the chow board here, we flipped a coin between Zipang and Pho Dau Bo. Now I’ve been secretly craving the Sate at PDB for some time thanks in part to the delicious pictures foodsopher posted on their blog and was more than excited after it won the toss. I didn’t write down the address, but new it was on International Ave, so it took a bit of time to find it – there are A LOT of pho places in Calgary. Noticed right away it was a clean and open atmosphere, not something I feel is always a sure thing at pho places, and we had very prompt service. We decided to split on order of spring rolls, while my GF got the Bun Thit Nuong (grilled pork) and I ordered a regular beef sate. Whether it was the months of waiting to try the sate or what, but it was easily the most delicious bowl of sate I’ve ever eaten. I could go on about this forever…now if only someone could explain the differences I hear about in sate (some are creamier?). Either way, PDB had set the bar for me. The Bun was also delicious with great fresh vegetables, although could have done without the spring rolls which suffered from a tough wrapper.
Saturday morning, I was invited by many at the conference to sneak a quick breakfast from the conference. Nothing to write home about and surprising to find such an unhealthy cross section of food for teachers. Hearing the teachers discussing food after the conference, it seemed that all of the breakfast, lunch, and dinners options were quite unhealthy. Interesting, but another topic all together; I scooped a small section of cartoon scrambled eggs and a piece of the “one” orange sliced up and headed out to stay occupied for the morning. I made my way over to the CFM, my first visit, and headed straight for a large Americano at Phil and Sebastian’s. It was a great treat and went well with my sampling of fruit pies at Simple Simons. Hoping I could narrow one down for the birthday dessert proved to be a daunting and delicious task. After a quick walk around, I grabbed an apple and headed back out to do some errands. Oh first time in CFM, nice little place.
Lunch was at Subway, I know I know; where I was pleasantly surprised to see two new bread options (9 grain wheat, and 9 grain honey wheat). I ordered a 6” double meat turkey breast on 9 grain wheat and found it hit the spot. Simple and efficient! With my GF leaving the conference early, and her “unofficial” birthday underway, we headed back to the CFM for Pie. Pie is a necessity for my GF on her birthday, and while I originally planned to hit Home Quarter in Cochrane, I was worried about time restrictions before supper. She was blown away by the assortment of 4” pies and after sampling a few, she picked the strawberry/rhubarb and I leaned towards the blueberry. Both were delicious and the only down side from the birthday girl seemed to be her desire for warm pies. We finished it off by ordering a chocolate fantasy and yet another, although this time iced, Americano from Phil and Sebastian’s.
I reserved a table at Sugo for supper. A place I was really excited to try for her birthday, as it seemed to have a good level of intimacy from the reviews and quality fresh food. We decided to try two appetizers; the mussels and clams in a spicy tomato sauce – which were lovely albeit a little plain, and also by the recommendation of our server, the roasted pear, prosciutto and blue cheese pizza. The pizza was a great mix of salty and sweet, but being a blue cheese fan I could have used more, my GF on the other hand said it was amazing. For supper she ordered the “pan seared duck breast with Sicilian sweet & sour sauce” and I had the “seared rare 7 spice encrusted Ahi tuna with a lemon simple syrup”. Both plates were done extremely well, taste was spot on and we were both really pleased with the seasonal vegetables that accompanied. I enjoyed some wine, but felt almost sad after tasting my GF’s delicious espresso martini…those things could cause some trouble, so GOOD. Great first experience at Sugo with regards to food and service, but we both received an iffy welcome and weird vibe when paying from a one gentleman.
Sunday morning turned out to be a wash, as my GF became sick during the Feist concert, which was a bummer. I was hoping to try Galaxie Diner out. We needed to part ways soon enough anyways, so after picking her up some ginger ale and crackers for her drive, I went back…yes that’s right back, to Pho Dau Bo for the chicken sate. There is no pho available where I’m working right now, Rocky Mountain House, and with our experience on Friday I knew I had to have some breakfast pho. The soup was just as tasty, and the shredded chicken was good. I did notice there seemed to be a lot less of it compared with the beef version. The waitress remembered me, even without my Oiler Jersey on, and even asked where my GF was. Great service, definitely a destination for me now when I’m in Calgary.
Great weekend all in all, minus my GF getting sick. PDB = awesome, Sugo was perfect for a birthday, a surprise to be found at Subway, and my first and second coffees from the CFM mixed with lots of pie!
Thanks for everyone’s continued reviews and postings as they make planning a weekend like this that much better.
Thanks for the update raidar! (I had been wondering whatever happened to the guy looking for pie heh) Next time you're in Calgary check out Mise en Place. They sell their pies frozen but I imagine if you were to pick it up it'd thaw on the drive home and be ready to put in the oven. We recently had their "mixed berry" pie and it was deeeelicious - like eating the berries fresh, but all warm and comfy...wrong word maybe but you get the idea...added bonus - the pie plates are reusable :)
miseenplace.ca - in Lakeview just off the southern end of Crowchild trail (past CFM) across the strip mall from another fave - Lakeview Bakery.
I'm just glad someone enjoyed my post..I couldn't believe how much I wrote when I was finished. I definitely think everyone who enjoys Pho should head over to PDB. Such a great experience for me in Calgary.
As well thanks for the pie update. The more suggestions the merrier, as not only are they good for a birthday, but really any special occasion my GF and I get to spend together! And on my way to see her, I could always grab a frozen pie. Perfect!
Thank you for the suggestions, and yes tarts would be an option. I realize that fruit isn't exactly coming in by the bushel in October, but I just wanted to give myself a good head start on making the birthday fabulous. Deserts in general have always been a nice indulgence for us, as we normally skip that section of the meal.
Any other suggestions..maybe for must have deserts in general then (as I still plan on baking a pie) would be appreciated.
John - That tart sounds off the wall.
Sarah - Lilyfield Cakes looks amazing! I'm going to see if they would deliver to the hotel on a Saturday.
Again, this isn't a pie suggestion, but Lilyfield Cakes in Winnipeg make the most delicious and decadently packaged cakes on the continent. They regularly sell to the high end hotels in New York, Los Angeles and also a lot of big names in Hollywood! Check them out www.lilyfieldcakes.com
This is not really a "go out for pie" suggestion--a friend of mine sells small batches of fresh fruit pies that she makes out of her home (delicious pies, some have called them the best they've ever had) for about $14/pie. If you're interested, I can find out if she can make a couple of pies.
Or, another suggestion: I quite enjoy the pies from Jack Horner in the Calgary Farmer's Market. And if she likes tarts, too, Nectar Desserts and DeVille have excellent tarts. (DeVille's are supplied by St. Germain.)