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Nov 21, 2008 09:20 AM

Calgary--do I have a challenge for you!


The ladies at my TOPS group go every year for a Christmas dinner, and this year I'm in charge of finding the place. In the past, they have been to the Olive Garden, Reef N' Beef, Dalton's (in Greenwood Inn)...that's all I am sure of. I would like to find a place for us to go that they haven't been to before as a group. Here are the requirements:

1. Close to Forest Lawn, because that's where our group meets. I would say anywhere up to 32 Ave NE, Inglewood, 52nd Street NE and SE, but no farther than whatever avenue that is that goes by the Road King Truck Stop.

2. Price around $10-$20 a plate (and this is where I'm having the most difficulty). They said around $15 a plate.

3. Pleasant atmosphere, fairly quiet, and able to accomodate a group of about 12-14.

I have suggested Colors Cafe in the Sheraton, and that's on the table, but they want me to find a few more possibilities. The cuisine needs to be mostly Western (not ethnic) to accomodate everyone.

Please help! This is turning out to be much more difficult than I thought it would be!

PS--I need suggestions by Tuesday, November 25 if possible.

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  1. There is a Japanese place on 32 Av. Can't remember the name off the top of my head. It is really good. I could figure out the name, if you like. How about the Portuguese place in Little Saigon. El Bombazo is good ( on 17 Av ). But then, I just re-read your post and you said 'no ethnic'. Too bad. What about those places kitty corner to the Sheraton? In Inglewood, they might like Jacqueline's. I think I would check out Jacqueline Suzanne in Inglewood.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sarah galvin

      Thanks for your response! I know--ethnic places would open up a whole new range of possibilities, but they want stuff like chicken, steak, fish, etc.

      Kitty corner to the Sheraton? You mean like Tony Roma's, Earl's, etc? I know they've been to Perkins before. They might find Earl's and Joey's a bit expensive, but I could suggest it.

      I love Jacqueline Suzanne's, but I'm afraid it might also be too expensive. I'll see if I can find the menu online (I think I did once before) to check out the prices.

      Edit: I just looked up Jacqueline Suzanne's, and their pastas are reasonable, but their entrees are quite expensive for our needs. I know at least one of the ladies doesn't want pasta.

      You see why I'm having a problem?

      1. re: Lainey1978

        Yes, Joey's etc. Do you think they would be too pricey? I'm sure you could arrange a fixed menu at Jacqueline's in your price range. Ask if they can meet the criteria. I bet they can.

        1. re: Lainey1978

          You may want to go east on 32nd from the Sheraton and try Chianti's, it fit's the no ethnic and I think the price point. They're pasta heavy but they also have some lighter dishes and imho miles better than the Olive Garden... Sun-Tues they have cheap pasta nights for $6.99. Chianti's: 2805 32 Av NE (in front of Michael's) 403-291-2707

          HTH :)

          1. re: maplesugar

            Thank you! Yes, my husband also just suggested Chianti's earlier this evening. I can't believe I didn't think of it!

            Thanks to both of you! I will also check with Jacqueline Suzanne's to see if there's anything they can do.

      2. I would suggest either Atlas Pizza or Mr. Schnapps in that area. Atlas has much more than pizza, including affordable steak, chicken, pasta, etc. Mr. Schnapps has a fantastic Chicken Souvlaki platter as well as standard western fare. Both are owned by Greeks, both would satisfy your Reef n' Beef fans, and both are far superior to Chianti. They also satisfy your price point, which is difficult.

        Atlas Pizza & Sports Bar
        6060 Memorial Dr NE, Calgary, AB T2A, CA

        4 Replies
        1. re: feuerzeug

          no ones mentioned it, and it might be pure evil, and kind of bland, but cheasecake cafe is right there in sunridge by the mall. It should cover all of your requirements foodwise.. and they used to have something called cheesequake, get it with strawberries. so good.

          1. re: retroville

            One of the OP's requests was that the resto be able to accomodate a group of 12-14. I know Cheesecake Cafe has the room but I think that number of people at once might be a challenge for their kitchen.

            1. re: maplesugar

              FWIW, about eight years ago, when I was in high school, we regularly went to the Cheesecake Cafe (albeit in Victoria) because they did a good job of accommodating large groups of people. We were probably pretty crappy customers but I don't ever recall having problems with food or service (relative to the quality of the restaurant, obviously).

              1. re: Jetgirly

                I agree Cheesecake Cafe isn't what some would consider chowish and neither is Chianti's. It's been awhile but anytime we were there(cheesecake) usually with one more couple and a few kids (so 6-8 people) service could be described as hit and miss. One night it was "half the kitchen called in sick"... now they usually made up for the problem but comped drinks doesn't sooth a cranky toddler...and eventually we just quit going.

                The difference for me is at Chianti's(32AV) service has een consistently good, and it easily meets the OPs price point, and it doesn't have the huge tempting display of high calorie goodies...something the averag TOPS person may be looking to avoid.