Village Restaurant (Deep NE Calgary)
It was a revelation for me and my wife. I almost couldn't believe that these places exist in my city of Calgary.
You should go explore the Deep NE (McKnight and 52 St NE) to find some culinary gems.
Last Tuesday, I had a basketball game in one of the school in deep NE. After the game, since I was in the area, I spent the rest of the day exploring the area.
8 years living in Calgary, I never went to this part of the city before. To my delights, there are many indian/pakistani/chinese restaurants in this area.
After much driving around, we decided to dine in a pakistani restaurant called Village. The place has a funky rickshaw ainthe front of the restaurant. We entered the premise and there were two groups of pakistani people (about 20-25 people) in the restaurant. Right there I knew I have come to an authentic restaurant.
I sat in a funky chair which shares similar design with the rickshaw. Maybe it is common in Pakistan, but unfortunately, the chair is not comfortable for me.
Anyways, I looked into the menu and I saw dishes that are not common in typical indian/pakistani restaurants in Calgary. Sure they have the usual suspects: butter chicken, kebab, naan etc, but really, they have so much more. In particular, they have a Village special section which consists of 4 dishes. One of them is Nehari (beef shank stew in special spiced sauce). mmm...it sure sounds good when I read the menu.
So we ordered Nehari (comes with a naan), Sheesh Kebab (ground beef kebab with yogurt dipping) and Chicken Biryani (Chicken in curry sauce mixed with safron basmati rice).
Let me tell you, although the kebab is just okay, the Nehari is oh so tender with interesting spiced brown sauce. And the Biryani is excellent!!! And best of all, the price is so so so reasonable (all this for 29 bucks flat).
The service is excellent as I believe it's the owner himself that served us. The bill has no place for tips (he put $0.00 under the tips, so you cannot even tip even if you want to).
And afterwards, since he knew this was our first time in his restaurant, he gave a Kulfi's mango ice cream for free (ooh man..this ice cream rocks!).
All in all a very satisfying meal for a reasonable cost.
I am glad I have found this area and plan to come back there very soon.
I agree with everything you've said here! This place is great. It's all about the charcoal grill and biryani.
When we don't feel like driving 40 minutes to the far reaches of the NE, we go to Spice Hut for a Pakistani fix (although the Village is a better restaurant).
You should explore the city's ethnoburbs more- Calgary has a massive South Asian community so I'm not sure why you're so surprised to find a Pakistani place here (Mirchi is Pakistani and has been around for years now). There are lots of hidden gems of many ethnic stripes and it's nice to see you discovering how diverse the third most diverse city in Canada really is.
One thing- and I'm not being snarky, but rather genuinely curious- how did you know the other diners were Pakistani? Even if they were speaking Urdu you'd probably not hear this as different from Hindi unless you're an Urdu speaker yourself.
re: John Manzo
Mirchi, the one across Safeway in uptown?
I tried that one before...Village has much better food I think. Maybe I should give it another try.
Well I don't exactly know if the other patrons were Pakistani...I am just assuming they are Pakistani / Indian based on their appearance. My point is..the other patrons were South Asians. And unfortunately, I don't speak Hindi nor Urdu.
And yeah I agree with you that I should have known this and shouldn't be surprised. It is just I never been to this part of the city before and there are so many ethnic restaurants in this area. The farthest I have been before was 36St NE...Never before I went to 52St NE. And I am guessing many Calgarians here have never been there before also (maybe I am wrong).
I'm pleased that you enjoyed exploring the area where I live. I love the ethnic mix. Your guess that the patrons were Pakistani was reasonable. The area is architecturally challenged - strip malls and light industrial. Ignore its ugly veneer and explore, which is what you did!!
The many restaurants and markets in the area primarily cater to the local, ethnically diverse, residents. I've been toying with the notion of creating a google map for this specific area, similar to the one I've made for Houston New Orleans Roadtrip with the help of many chowhounders from Louisiana, chowhound link below:
Map link below:
It would be a mix of markets and restaurants and in the info windows (balloons, bubbles), it would have short, attributed, comments by chowhounders. Notions??
re: John Manzo
Thank you John - I don' t regard it as ambitious - I love maps. Still, I need help from those who dine and shop in the area - to flesh it out and to acknowledge contributors. I can't do a good map without help!!
What I'd like:
1/ short comments of what's good and what's not
2/ restrain from critiquing others comments unless necessary
re: Bagel Guy
Thanks howlin, Bagel Guy, & Chewy Bakah
I've just returned from a 12 day trip to Paris and Burgundy - so a tardy start to the map (still a work in progress):
Yellow - Restaurants - most offer take out
Green - Take out only
Rose - Markets
Blue - Placemarks for locations to be added (incomplete).
It's best viewed in satellite view - since you can identify the layout of the strip malls which are not on the street. The place marks are accurate and I've added photos.
I'm quite busy so the map will take some time to mature.
Just added, without photos, Kuya Victors Restaurant and Sushi - very plain and unadorned - don't know want to make of it - definitely Filipino, with major emphasis on entertainment - karaoke, and live music (Filipino rock & roll) Fri & Sat nights. It might interest the young crowd eager to explore. I never sampled any food - seems to be steam table variety - like in a food court. They have only been open for 4 days.
It is my pleasure to having discovered your area. Although the strip malls look is not the best in the city, I don't mind the looks at all. I have seen worse strip malls than those in your area. So I wasn't scared to explore at all.
I love ethnic restaurants that cater mostly to their own people, because the food would be authentic (for the good and the bad), and the price would be reasonable (otherwise the patrons would simply cook the same dishes at home). Plus you could observe a whole new culture, which is fascinating (feels like you are travelling to another country and mingle with the people).
That doesn't mean I don't like ethnic restaurants that cater for the majority. They are just different.