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NW Calgary - Report

Gobstopper Feb 20, 2009 07:50 AM

I've moved from Renfrew to Cambrian Heights - We've had about 6 months to explore the neighbourhood haunts and I thought I'd report back. If anyone lives around here, I'd love to know a good chinese takeout place.

Eclair De Lune
Simpler, but no less tasty than Latruwe. Has become a weekly stop for the still warm pain du chocolat on Saturday mornings (around 10am).
The pain du lait buns are the greatest sandwich buns I've ever found in a bakery in this city.

Boca Loca
Underwhelmed by the salsas, not a gouge price wise, but underwhelmed.
Well stocked pantry (smoked paprika etc) and better prices than gourmet food stops

Ostensibly punjabi but few dishes outside of the usual spectrum of Indian in Calgary. Has failed (despite location and price) to oust Namskar as our Indian stop.

Green Chili
Have only had the Hakka items at the bottom of the menu, but they were delicious.

Continues to be brilliant. Well worth the price. Buffet is opportunity for weight gain like no other. Coconut Rice, Dal Makhani (black lentils) and the Tandoori sizzling platter which makes the Big'T's platter look like a rip off. I've said all this before but it still holds true.

Master Meats
Have cow, will cut - very no frills but good prices and quality seems good (beef shank, some pork and a chicken is all I've tried so far). Well stocked freezer but no house deli meat, bacon etc.

Second to None Montgomery
Almost as good as the 4th street location. Well stocked with smoked items - cold smoked bratwurst, house made bacon. Some hotchkiss produce. The Flat Iron steak is a reasonably priced cut for those (who like me) can't quite spend 40 bucks on a steak regularly. Call ahead for availability on almost all things though. The chickens are nice, but pricey.

Bon Ton
My wife has spit out their steaks. This is a more expensive version of safeway. Check out the window full of expired lamb. Avoid.

Was not always a fan, but I've done well in more recent times - monkfish, pickerel (fresh not frozen) and they have their own cold smoked salmon (haven't tried it yet).
This is a big change from two years ago when I asked for pickerel, and was offered, at full price, an angry, freezer burned triangle, and the guy behind the counter said - "it looks pretty nasty".

Touch of Ginger
Not the best for the bowl of stuff experience - but we've enjoyed a few meals in a more izakaya/tapas format - crab and white asparagus soup, beef satay skewers, etc. Also a fan of trongh khan. Still way better than Y2K, saigon star or other NW ilk.

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  1. maplesugar RE: Gobstopper Feb 20, 2009 10:07 AM

    That's too bad about BonTon since it consistently gets recommendations on this board. I've checked out Eclair du Lune for sweets, now I'll have to go back for buns. There's another bakery further up Northmount - Bun King bakery. Rather old school, unassuming place. I like getting pizza dough from there (interac/cash only) :)

    1. worldwidestuff RE: Gobstopper Feb 20, 2009 12:58 PM

      Eclaire du Lune. Brilliant.
      I stop too infrequently and have to change that.
      He deserves so much more exposure than he gets.

      2 Replies
      1. re: worldwidestuff
        Gobstopper RE: worldwidestuff Feb 20, 2009 01:58 PM

        We catered our xmas party with Eclaire De(du?) Lune -- it was unbelievable value, quality and impact. A massive, hedgehog - each quil a skewer of double creme brie, salami, pickles, artichokes and so on. The petit four trays were unbelievable - strawberry eclairs, hazelnut and apple tarts etc etc - for ridiculous prices. He could charge twice as much. It's great to have Ladybug / Latruwe quality for much less, and in the neighbourhood.

        Maplesugar - thanks for the tip about pizza dough - I'll have to give that a try.

        1. re: Gobstopper
          worldwidestuff RE: Gobstopper Feb 22, 2009 03:53 AM

          By growing through word of mouth you are able to keep your prices in check...I see that with my wife's bakery.

          Eclaire De Lune is definitely a bakery to watch.

      2. a
        ahemjay RE: Gobstopper Feb 21, 2009 10:07 AM

        about the Chinese take-out: sigh. We moved from Renfrew to Silver Springs four years ago and have tried about every Chinese place we could find. Just last week we resolved once again to buck-up and just make the drive to the Spicy Hut because nothing has been even close. Could be worse, we could've moved to Evergreen :).

        13 Replies
        1. re: ahemjay
          kewkc RE: ahemjay Feb 21, 2009 07:41 PM

          Chinese take out I'm not too sure on, but on Chinese food, there is a solid place just past 64 Ave on Center (which is kinda close by Calgary standards) called the Golden Princess. On the Silver Springs front though, there's a good place on Hawkstone Gate beside the Huskey station (a bit closer than Spicy Hut!), barring that, there is a good spot at Crowfoot (I think it's called the Snow Palace??) usually I go for Shanghi style dim sum (to be warned though, it is a Cantonese chef - but it's pretty good fare considering how few Shanghi restos we have...)

          1. re: kewkc
            sweeterpea RE: kewkc Feb 22, 2009 08:05 AM

            The New Dynasty in Crowfoot does awesome takeout. They have many traditional Cantonese items you can order out, like the steamed tofu stuffed with seafood, or the fish maw duck soup ;o)

            New Dynasty Restaurant
            #201 - 150 Crowfoot Cr. NW

            We used to go to the one beside the Husky, but for us, it's taken a nose-dive in quality in the past couple of years. I do believe there are new owners.

            1. re: sweeterpea
              sweeterpea RE: sweeterpea Feb 22, 2009 08:09 AM

              We also got some take-out recently from Green Chili. The food could only be described as horrific. So much so Mr. S gathered everything up and took it back. They did give us our money back, and we won't be going there again.

              1. re: sweeterpea
                AriaDream RE: sweeterpea Feb 22, 2009 07:54 PM

                Hey Sweeterpea! What went wrong with your take out from Green Chili? I had my problems, and I'm wondering if they were the same as yours... the samosas were, eh, odd and the rice was very underdone. Gross in any rice pudding but a terrible affront in an Indian one, in my opinion.

                1. re: AriaDream
                  sweeterpea RE: AriaDream Feb 23, 2009 03:49 PM

                  Our butter chicken consisted of maybe 10 (yes we counted them) pieces of chicken the consistency of rubber erasers. An eggplant dish (sorry, don't remember the name) had a huge slick of oil about an inch thick floating on top, plus it was mostly sauce -- very few pieces of eggplant. Imagine balti beef made with big chunks of beef jerky. Oddly, there was plenty of beef in the dish, but you'd lose a tooth trying to chew it.

                  I must give them credit that the aloo gobi was pretty nice.

                  We were very disappointed -- the kids had been looking forward to Indian all day long and ended up with hot dogs.

                  1. re: sweeterpea
                    padict RE: sweeterpea Feb 25, 2009 03:07 PM

                    We haven't had good luck at Green Chili either. However, our family LOVES Saffron Fine Indian Take Out on 52 Ave (across from Northland Village Mall). The portions are huge, the food fresh and well spiced. They have an online menu, but it is best to call ahead as the specials change daily. I'm heading there now...

                    Saffron Fine Indian Takeout
                    3604 52 Ave NW #136, Calgary, AB T2L 1V9, CA

                    1. re: padict
                      calgaryculinary RE: padict Mar 4, 2009 04:02 PM

                      I second the recommendation for Saffron. IT IS AMAZING. The family that runs it is so nice, and the food is some of the best food I have ever eaten. I find myself craving it all the time. Like the previous poster said, the portions are enormous, and the food is home-coooked, fresh and healthy. I think Saffron is Calgary's best kept secret. It is take out only.
                      136-3604 52 Avenue NW

                      1. re: calgaryculinary
                        AriaDream RE: calgaryculinary Mar 4, 2009 06:41 PM

                        Do they have a menu online or anything? It sounds neat.

                        1. re: AriaDream
                          cancowboy RE: AriaDream Mar 4, 2009 06:46 PM


                          1. re: cancowboy
                            AriaDream RE: cancowboy Mar 4, 2009 07:27 PM

                            Thanks! I'll have to try that on Friday. :)

              2. re: sweeterpea
                sharonanne RE: sweeterpea Feb 22, 2009 08:20 AM

                New Dynasty is another place that has a different menu. We've ordered dishes from it once whn we were with Chinese friends.

                I've stopped ordering from them because they dropped the extra crispy lemon chicken from the menu.

                1. re: sharonanne
                  Gobstopper RE: sharonanne Feb 22, 2009 08:38 AM

                  Sorry to hear about Green Chili ~!
                  New Dynasty sounds alright - but is further than chinatown for us.
                  Sounds like we might be with ahemjay and tripping over to spicy hut when the need takes us. Thanks for all the reccos so far .

            2. re: ahemjay
              ybnormal RE: ahemjay Feb 23, 2009 08:36 AM

              Edgemont City & Bobby Chao's in Edgemont. Edgemont City is extremely busy (almost all Chinese people) and the usual take-out place for us.

              kewkc/sweeterpea is referring to The Pavilion at the Husky Station in Hawkstone. Haven't tried it for awhile. Also agree with Golden Princess.

            3. i
              iyelli RE: Gobstopper Feb 25, 2009 12:02 PM

              We order our Chinese from Oriental Palace (9 Parkdale Crescent NW). Try it out with dine in (not the most wonderful decor but the food is great) and grab a delivery menu while you're there.

              1 Reply
              1. re: iyelli
                Bobatt RE: iyelli Apr 1, 2009 09:42 PM

                I just tried this place for the first time a few weeks ago, as I just moved into Point McKay, and it's pretty good, for what it is. Don't go expecting something mind-blowing, but for old-fashioned Calgary-style Chinese, I really enjoyed it. It's been there for a while too, my roommate's father ordered take-out from there when he was in the U of C med school in the 1970s.

              2. worldwidestuff RE: Gobstopper Mar 4, 2009 02:57 PM

                Plate It Up has closed?

                Just got back from China and wanted to pick up some fresh Pasta. Locked doors with default notice in the window.

                Too bad.

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