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Calgary, Winnipeg and in between

Just booked a flight to Calgary on Aug. 7 where I'll meet a friend who's driving back to the east coast thru Canada. We'll stay in CAL a few nites, drive and stop somewhere (Regina?) and end up in Winnipeg then I fly back to Boston. I hate asking the super general question, but can you suggest fun spots along that route? I read the thread on CAL cheap eats which mentioned schwarma. I'll keep that in mind since that's the best food in Berlin and I'll see if anyone can do it as well as they do. Also saw the post on newish lounges and would like to have one fancy cocktail. We usually hit one higher end spot but like fun "underground" places with good/decent food, drinks and good (rock) music is a plus. We've got pretty good bahn mi in Boston, anything else that's specific to Calgary/Winnipeg? Are there certain areas of those cities that are best to stay in? Are there real diners out there? Should we go to Lake Winnpeg or some other specific place in between the two cities? I appreciate your replies and if it's off the food topic, you can email joanie@wmbr.org with details. Thanks.

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  1. If you are in town on a Sunday, I'd definately make reservations for brunch at the Hotel Fort Garry. It's quite the spread.

    If you want to try some good Ukrainian food try Alycia's on McGreggor and Cathedral.

    A trip to Gunn's bakery on Selkirk ave. for Apple Jacks and egg bagels.

    Modern's chocolates on Sargent for Russain Mints.

    I'd definately hit Rae and Jerrys on Portage avenue and have a drink in the lounge. They call it "the red velvet lounge" because it looks like a time warp to the 70's. R &J's is very good for steaks/beef.

    It's actually a pretty neat trip up to Gimli on the West side of Lake Winnipeg. Gimli is one of the largest Icelandic communities outside of Iceland. It's nice to park and wander around the town. They're are a couple of decent places to eat- Kris' Fish and Chips- if you get a chance to try smoked goldeye, do. It's a local specialty.

    On the way to Gimli on #9 hwy is Lower Fort Garry, a stoned walled fort from 1860. It opperates as a "historical re-enactment " if you are in to that thing.

    Back in Winnipeg- the Forks where the two rivers meet in Winnipeg is a neat spot to go. There are nice walking paths along the river. Lots of restaurants- Sydney's and The Current are decent. The Pankcake House is good for breakfast (dutch apple pancake) The other restaurants, I'd stick to drinks as none of the food is to memorable.

    For some interesting local fare, I'd try Fude, 71/4 or Mise restaurants.

    Lots of good Vietnamese restaurants in the city.

    Salisbury House is a classic local chain- it's kinda cool to go for breakfast located at the one on the Provencher bridge.

    As for places to stay- the Greenwood Inn by the airport is OK, lots of parking, as is the Sandman by the airport (avoid the restos in either hotel though).

    Lots of places downtown but they'll be pricier and parking may become an issue- the ones above have plenty of parking.

    Winnipeg has lots of good restaurants and most in a decent price range- if you are looking for a particular type, don't hesitate to ask.

    19 Replies
    1. re: salsailsa

      Thanks for the Winnipeg info. I think Rae and Jerry's is definitely on the list, I love old places like that. Which burger place should we hit? These are ones I've read about:

      The Chocolate Shop: 268 Portage Ave, since 1918, burgers, pierogies
      Mrs. Mike's: 286 Tache Ave, king burger
      Red Top Restaurant: 219 St. Mary's Rd, burgers, 60's red booths
      VJs: 170 Main St @ Broadway, across from train station, best burger place in North America

      Is the Bridge Drive Inn only ice cream and no real food? Is the Toad in the Hole fun? Are the Wagon Wheel, Black Sheep and Wanabees real diners (proper 50's style cars)?

      I'm thinking of either staying in the Ft. Garry looks great for the historical aspect or Inn at the Forks but I know there's some really cheap places on that strip. I prefer to leave the car and walk tho.

      For a nicer meal, I thought Bistro 7 1/4, Mise and Fusion Grill looked best. Which has the most bang for the buck? I liked the regional aspect of Mise. We've only got two days so there will be a lot of little bites and splitting things to sample as much as we can.

      Calgary people, where are the cool 50's looking joints in your town?

      1. re: Joanie

        Burgers- VJ's- keep in mind that there are only picnic tables outside

        BDI is just Ice-cream and only SOFT ice cream
        I prefer going for gelato at Nucci's on Corydon.

        Toad in the Hole is fun-usually really lively on a Sunday night.

        Diners- I know the Wagon Wheel is located on the main floor of an older office building on Hargrave- It's got the old style counter with seating and booths. I can't really speak for the other two diners.

        Hotels- Fort Garry is nice but because it is an older hotel, the rooms are smaller which some people don't care for. Inn at the Forks looks very nice and has a nice spa located in the building. Certainly a lot to do around there and I believe they have guest parking.

        Fusion Grill is hit and miss. My parents went there and hated it. Not the best bang for the buck and the atmosphere is not great.

        I haven't been to Mise but I have only heard good things about it. 71/4 is supposed to be quite good. I have heard more feedback about Mise.

        1. re: salsailsa

          The Fort Garry has smallish rooms but very nice. Ten spa is one of the best in the country and a real 'must do'.

        2. re: Joanie

          "Calgary people, where are the cool 50's looking joints in your town?"

          Diner Deluxe on Edmonton Trail and Galaxy Diner on 11 st and 17 ave SW are the 2 that spring to mind.

          1. re: Joanie

            I'd skip BDI. The ice cream isn't that great, but people are lured in by nostalgia.

            I prefer Eva's to Nucci's (also on Corydon, near Stafford--Eva's is Argentinean-style gelato and Nucci's is Italian-style), but the last couple of times I've been to Eva's, I was disappointed with the flavours I tried (the halvah is really good still, though).

            Bistro 7 1/4, Mise, and Fusion Grill are all great in terms of food. I feel Bistro 7 1/4 is the most casual of the bunch (though not in a bad way). I haven't been to Mise since they moved to Corydon, so I don't know what their new space is like. If you really want to walk rather than drive, I'd go to Mise so you can walk to either Eva's or Nucci's for gelati after. Corydon is also a much more interesting walking street in the evening than the areas around Bistro 7 1/4 and Fusion Grill. I don't know if they still have it, but Mise had a late-night menu composed of dishes from the appetizer-side of their menu. If you are a big eater, you could do a burger at Daly's, then walk slowly down the street stopping at different places along the way to Mise (Nucci's is along the path). Then have appetizers at Mise. Then if you still have room, walk a little further to Eva's.

            I'd check parking prices at both the Hotel Fort Garry and Inn at the Forks. If you don't mind cheap and generic, a place like Queen Bee Hotel is good--free parking, free internet, clean, etc. It seems far from anything, but it's so easy to drive in Winnipeg. During non-rush hour periods, it will probably only take 10-15 minutes to get to Corydon or downtown.

            AFAIK, there are no "read diners" in Winnipeg if you define them by being housed in 50's style cars. Wagon Wheel is over-rated, in my opinion, but I've not been to Black Sheep or Wannabees yet.

            BTW, in my experience, Boston Chinese food sucks, and Winnipeg's is vastly superior. Consider doing either dim sum (Kum Koon Garden, Victoria Seafood) or some other Cantonese-style meal (if you decide to stay at Queen Bee, North Garden and Sun Fortune are excellent Cantonese-style restaurants in the south end).

            1. re: prasantrin

              I ate at 7 1/4 last September and found it disappointing, although very busy.

              1. re: sarah galvin

                Good to know because I've only heard about it and never been.

                1. re: sarah galvin

                  What were the problems?

                  FWIW, I pretty much always get the moules et frites (excellent value, and always good), but a dining companion once had the roast chicken and it was quite good, as well. Other menu items I've tried have been less successful in my experience--not bad, but not great, either. But I can say that about Mise (mains are so-so, appetizers are excellent), too. I haven't been to Fusion Grill in several years, so it would not be fair of me to comment on their food.

                  Actually, I can say that about pretty much every "high-end" restaurant in Winnipeg. There are no true high-end restaurants, and those that have pretensions to that degree fall far from the mark.

                  1. re: prasantrin

                    I would disagree.....519 springs to mind. The service is extremely attentive, the meat cart they bring around is a great touch. The food was also top notch.

                    1. re: RodVito

                      I see 519 as a steak house. Just because a place is expensive does not automatically deem it high-end. YMMV.

                      1. re: prasantrin

                        And showing raw meat isn't necessarily a selling point.

                        I know it's been a while since everyone's been to the three nicer restaurants I'm considering (Fusion, Mise, Bistro 7 1/4) but which (if any) of those has a bar area and has the most "buzz". Not looking for a sedate meal. Thanks.

                        1. re: Joanie

                          None of them are particularly lively (scene-wise), but Bistro 7 1/4 is probably the liveliest of the 3 (noise-wise). I don't know about the new Mise, but none of the have a bar area, at least not the kind your probably thinking of.

                          Bistro 7 1/4 has an open kitchen with a counter surrounding it at which you can eat. The "bar" is just a little bar at the far end of the restaurant. I don't think you can sit and eat there (and the restaurant is pretty small, so you wouldn't be able to stand around with your drink).

                          If you want a restaurant with a bar with a buzz, you'll end up at somewhere like Pink Taco, Earl's, etc. i.e. a place with lousy or mediocre food.

                          This is Winnipeg, after all. However large the population gets, it will always be a small town at heart. (Lots of pretension around, though, if you're looking for that, too.)

                    2. re: prasantrin

                      You know, it was last September so I don't remember the details. I only remember it was very mediocre food and not great wine by the glass choices.

                  2. re: prasantrin

                    I had gelato at Eva's tonight and it was possibly the best I have ever had. Fabulous. I had hazelnut and it was perfection.

                    1. re: sarah galvin

                      If you like halvah, try their halvah. It tastes like the real thing! I've had some other flavours that tasted a bit medicinal (I think hazelnut was one of them), but it could have just been the batch I tried.

                      In less than 72 hours and I'll be in Winnipeg! It'll be too late to eat anything good, but we're going for dim sum bright and early on Sunday (probably Kum Koon)!

                      1. re: prasantrin

                        Was at Eva's today. Dulce de leche and pistachio make an excellent double-scoop combination!

                        1. re: prasantrin

                          I can't imagine a double scoop! Served her lemon sorbetto with wild blueberries tonight. Was divine.

                          1. re: sarah galvin

                            we always get a double scoop and share. Cheaper than getting two singles. :-)

              2. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/613948

                Here's a link to a discussion on Winnipeg restaurants to visit, hope it helps!

                  1. re: worldwidestuff

                    I don't know why ginger beef is so popular here (I'm from Calgary), but everyone from out of town is always amazed with our ginger beef. And yet, it's not really chinese food.

                    1. re: p.dinh

                      It tastes good, and nobody claims that it's "real" chinese. It's popular here because it was invented here.

                  2. Oh, Winnipeg has excellent bubble tea--the one at either Asia City (on the corner of Sargent and Young) or at Vi-Ann in Osborne Village. Try the young coconut at either place--it's super rich and creamy. I know at Asia City, if you're not a fan of tapioca, you can get it without the bubbles.

                    Someone else mentioned Gunn's--I think their applejacks of lessened in quality, but their pizza bagels are still excellent (as are their florentine cookies). Their knishes are good when fresh, too.

                    It's lunchtime only, but "Underground Cafe" in the Exchange District has really good sunburgers (veggie burger), and it has an "underground" vibe to it. A lot of restaurants in the exchange district are like that--Mondragon, etc. but they don't all have good food.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: prasantrin

                      The old Sheraton hotel in downtown Winnipeg is being converted to condos and a new restuarant has opened on the main floor - The Lobby. Was there a couple of weeks ago for dinner with friends. The chef used to be at Tavern in the Park. I had excellent crab cakes for app, followed by wiener schnitzel with spaetzle and a brioche cinnamon donut for dessert. All the food was amazing. Sampled my friends pickerel in panko (amazingly light and delicious) and mac and cheese (yummy but could have used some nutmeg or something to liven it up). There is also sushi on a separate menu. Large lounge area looks like it is planned as an annex to the resto maybe 'sushi bar' style. The space is nice but I could see it getting quite loud on a busy night.
                      Don't let the outside of the building keep you away, it's worth a try!

                      I can only surmise that the references above to '519' actually mean '529'. STAY AWAY!!!

                      I second the opinion of the earlier poster about the brunch at the Hotel Fort Garry. If you stay there, have a cocktail or two at the lounge on the main floor - an elegant room that has always given me the feeling of being on the set of an old Hollywood movie.
                      Bistro 7 1/4 was a huge disapppointment to me when I was there. Despite having a reservation I was informed on arrival that we would have to vacate our table in one hour 15 minutes as it was booked again. Not impressed. The food was okay, but there is no burning desire to return.
                      Fude in Osborne Village is still terrific. We hadn't been there for a couple of years but recently when we entertained out-of-towners we lucked out with a last minute res. Our friend from Montreal was impressed. The next night we all went to Rae & Jerry's for a real retro experience.
                      If I may weigh in on the gelati issue, I would go to Nucci's or Mercato (confusion corner).
                      You should have no trouble eating well while you're here!!

                      1. re: emeraldeyes

                        Glad to hear you and your Montreal guests enjoyed your stay at Fude!

                        1. re: sarah galvin

                          Pastry filled with apple filling, rolled, then coated in cinnamon sugar and baked.

                          1. re: prasantrin

                            also shots with jack daniels and apple juice, or apple liquer of some kind

                            1. re: abadman

                              Yes, but we're talking specifically about applejacks as sold at Gunn's Bakery in Winnipeg. Those are pastry filled with apple filling, rolled, then coated in cinnamon sugar and baked.

                      2. There is also a great little restaurant on Corydon at about Ash in a little strip centre. Can't remember the name but I thought it was delightful. Anyone know this place?

                        3 Replies
                          1. re: salsailsa

                            Yes, Bonfire Bistro. I'm in Wpg now and just drove by it. Loved it.

                            1. re: sarah galvin

                              I've only been there once, and had the most overcooked pizza I've ever had from a restaurant (what a waste of a wood-burning oven) coupled with mediocre service. That experience completely turned me off the place, but if other menu items are good, I'd consider returning to try other things.

                        1. FOR CALGARY -

                          If you haven't already booked your hotel, you wont go wrong with HOTEL ARTS a very trendy, chick, boutique hotel just outside the downtown core. (don't worry - nothing happens in downtown core - Calgary is a commuter city. After 5 pm everybody rushes out of downtown and it is like a ghost town.) Staying on the belt line like Hotel Arts is much better - more night life, more fun.

                          The Hotel Arts has some great dining. St. Germain, Raw Bar, and a few new ones that are quite highly rated right inside. You are 1/2 block (stumbling distance) from the more "underground" trendy bar areas on 1'st Street too.

                          For a fun, young, hip, trendy but not particularly "club like" dining experience try La Pulcinella in Kensington - a trendy pizza parlor (a short cab ride away) or Broken Plate also in Kensington (foodies love this plate for Greek). This district has lots of hip happening stuff for afternoons and early dinners but isn't really busy late in the evening.

                          The clubs in Calgary are pretty spread out too but Hotel Arts puts you near enough to Whisky and Tantra (am I dating myself - have the names changed - I'm old and married now) but I hear from my co-workers this is one of the main places to get your groove on.

                          OH I KNOW! for a really AUTHENTIC and FUN CALGARY experience take a cab to Ranchman's. A bit of a longish haul but worth it! This is a true western bar. It has even been featured in a few Hollywood movies (like Cool Runnings - a movie starring John Candy from the early 90's). They have live country music (and as it gets later the DJ's thrown in a few of the newer club tunes just to mix it up when the band is on a break). Everybody in this bar is friendly and they all two step. Don't worry - I'm sure some of the locals will happily teach you - there are indeed only two steps! Now this IS a CALGARY institution. Young, old, they all go to this place. Friday and Saturday nights are the best but I believe they are open 7 days a week. Crowds range from 18 - 60 on any given night. This place is a guaranteed good time! Wear Jeans.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: jsfoodchat

                            I see Taste of Calgary is going on while I'm there.
                            Is that worth checking out? I didn't see any "nicer" restaurants (that I know about at least) on the list.

                            And to Sarah who said the walk from downtown to 17 isn't as safe as it used to be, is it really a problem or for someone who walks everywhere in every city, would I not really think twice? I'll be with a guy friend usually. And do you have a specific dim sum rec? Thanks.

                            1. re: Joanie

                              I can't find where you are staying in this pile of responses but I wouldn't say the walk to 17th ave is all that bad especially if you stay to the west but then the highest number of homeless people I ever see in Calgary are in Olympic Plaza which is right downtown anyway. Just using numbers of homeless people as an easy visble guide, not saying all are bad so don't pick on me.

                              For dim sum I love Grand Central up on 16th ave and centre north but Silver Dragon in Chinatown had better XLB than those at other recommended places. With dim sum it often comes down to individual dishes. Egg tarts are better at Grand Central. I've never seen XLB at Grand Central and Silver Dragon has the best I've ever tried. U&Me has some health code violations but has more items with bitter melon and they don't have carts. Some people prefer to order, some prefer carts. Someone is going to suggest the place on the corner kitty corner across Centre from U&Me (the name escapes me) but they always overcook their rice pancakes and their egg tart pastry is a travesty. No place is perfect so,take your choice.

                              1. re: Joanie

                                I personally find Taste of Calgary to be a bit overpriced, but it's not bad as a sampler if you've never been to the restaurants participating.

                                Bookers Crab Shack is actually really great for New Orleans style fare, but they're closed for contruction right now, so your only chance to try it may be at the Taste of Calgary.

                                Hate to say it, but Calgary is not very centralized, we're very spread out and it is hard to get around without a vehicle. If you opt for transit, have patience. Otherwise wear comfortable shoes...

                                1. re: p.dinh

                                  Taste of Calgary may be a bit over priced, but most places give you too much food! I know some people will think I'm crazy but I want to try everything and end up trying only 3 or 4 dishes before getting full. If you go bring two friends to share, and enjoy. It is always a good time, food and music and freinds. My fav, from this last year were mini yorkshires with beef and horseradish cream.Really,really good. But I can not remember the restaurant!

                                  1. re: beekeroc

                                    Thanks for the suggestion beekeroc, i looked up the 2009 Menu (http://www.tasteofcalgary.com/Taste%2...) and found Halo to be the restaurant featuring Prime Rib Stuffed Baby Yorkies (which I'm only guessing you were referring to). Halo will be attending again in 2010, so I will be sure to check them out. Too bad John's fave from 2009, Imaan, won't be there. In case anyone is interested, the 2010 Menu is now posted.

                                    1. re: nutellaluvr

                                      Shibuya Izakaya is selling a "Japadog"! I'll try their spin on it for 6 tickets.

                                      Shibuya Izakaya
                                      453 16 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T2E 1K3, CA

                            2. check out the no name lounge on 17th ave. it's next to the macdonalds, and it's only open on thurs, fri and sat. it's just a small front that has no name for the actual bar, so
                              naturally everyone knows it as the noname.

                              14 Replies
                              1. re: abadman

                                This is Calgary? Thanks to you and jsfood, I was wondering why Calgary info was in such short supply.

                                1. re: Joanie

                                  If it's Schwarma you're looking for in Calgary, you'll have LOTS of choices. :)

                                  But it's going to depend on your taste... if you prefer a "fast food" type of schwarma (ie a little greasier) then your best option is Jimmy's A&A Deli in NW Calgary. I was first introduced to their downtown location back in 2005 and I've been addicted ever since.
                                  1401 20th ave NW, Calgary
                                  Or their old downtown hole in the wall(run by new people, but the food is the same)
                                  213-6th Ave SE (Rocky Mountain Plaza)

                                  If you prefer a healthier schawarma (leaner meat) check out Falafel King down Stephen Ave (803 1 St SW, Calgary) or the Shwarma Station in Kensington (227 10 St NW). If you're hungry, don't go to Shwarma Station as you don't get as much food.

                                  The last place (and I haven't tried it yet) is Chick Pea Mediterranean Cuisine (732 8 Ave SW). I hear the food their is excellent.

                                  1. re: swbossert

                                    Jimmy's also runs Mediterranea on 4th St SW across from the Sony Store.

                                    I think Falafel King has gone seriously downhill. I gave up on them. My suggestions for the best Shawarma in town (and no offense swbossert but IMHO it's all fast food!) would be Village Pita at SE 28th and Memorial, Shawarma Knight on 14 St SW south of 15th Ave; Pita Express on Stephen Ave at the east end in the Burns Bldg, Tazza in Bridgeland, and the aforementioned Shawarma Station in Kensington.

                                    1. re: John Manzo

                                      No offense is taken :)

                                      Sorry, I guess I should clarify... When I say "fast food" I mean less healthy (it was how a Persian buddy of mine described A&A when I took him). As good as Jimmy's is, it's often pretty greasy.

                                      I'll check out those other places you listed when I have time... other than Shawarma station. That was easily the blandest chicken schawarma I've ever had. :(

                                      1. re: swbossert

                                        I like one thing there, really- but I really like it: the shish tawouk. Ask for "everything," which means spicy hummus, onions, pickles, FRIES (yes, fries) and something he calls "cheese" which seems like the buttery stuff you get on viet subs. I tried the veggie sandwich the owner had been begging me to try and I was very unimpressed, but this shish- it's amazing.

                                    2. re: swbossert

                                      Just had shawarma at The Chick Pea on 8th today....thought it was decent.

                                      Apparently there is a line up everyday at lunch out the door, we went at 1:30 and nobody was around...one thing...it's hotter then HE double hockey sticks in there.

                                      I grabbed the menu with prices. they are open Mon-Fri 10 -5 pm.

                                      Chicken shawarma $9
                                      beef donair 8.50
                                      falafel 7, I went hoping they weren't microwaved but they are. So we didn't get that

                                      Greek Salad 4.50
                                      chick pea salad 3.50
                                      tabouli 3.50

                                      Plates just as 50cents to all the meat items.

                                      Chicken/Spinach Fatyar $3.
                                      Double meat 3.50
                                      hummus and pita 3.50
                                      grape leaf rolls @.00
                                      Baklava 1.25

                                      1. re: kritafo

                                        So there hasn't been much besides schwarma info except for jsfood's post. Anything else you recommend? Diners? Burgers/dogs? Ice cream? Northern Italian? Our reservation is at the 5 Calgary Downtown Suites for only $106 (Hotel Arts was much more and more sold out), will walking to 17th Ave. be doable? I know there's not a lot downtown.

                                        1. re: Joanie

                                          It is much easier to walk over to Kensington. There are a number of nice spots - the names of which escape me! Chef's Table, pubs, Indian food, that little place in the basement (on Kensington Rd), Pulcinella, another restaurant close to Kensington Wine store. As for downtown, you are close to China Town for dimsum, Cilantro, Blink. There are actually a lot downtown. I used to walk to 17 Av from DT but it isn't as safe as it used to be. However, it is a short taxi.

                                          1. re: Joanie

                                            Peter's Drive In is a Calgarian staple for burgers and milkshakes, but it is cash only with just a hand-full of picnic tables to sit at (16th Ave and about Edmonton Trail), but don't expect anything spectacular. If you want some interesting takes on hotdogs, try Tubby Dog on 17th Ave. There's a decent "diner" in Inglewood called Kanes Harley Davidson I think, but its been a few years since I've been there and parking is lacking. Sorry I haven't been to Deluxe or Galaxie so I can't comment.

                                            If you can afford it, Teatro is great, good food, good service on the corner of 7 Ave and 1 St SE, they do Italian. There's also Capo in Inglewood doing contemporary italian. Vero Bistro Moderne is ok too for fusion in Kensington facing 10 St right next to Fiaso Gelato (not bad for gelato). Bistro 2210 is great on 14 St and 22 Ave SW, actually there's a handful of good ones here.

                                            For dessert, there's Amato Gelato as well on Kensington Rd and about 20thish Street. The owner is the son of Mario from Vancouver's Mario's gelato. There's Nectar desserts in Inglewood as well, a little over priced... But Calgary doesn't have too many dessert options.

                                            If you like teas Steeps on 17th Ave has great selection, Higher Ground in Kensington is also not bad, and Bubblemania has a handful of options including bubbleteas (just be prepared to wait if you go on Fri. or Sat. nights and if you opt for their bubbletea, they tend to be on the sweet side).

                                            If you can drive to the Currie Barracks farmers market in the SW, there's Phil and Sebastian Coffee that makes great coffees, lattes, etc. The Ladybug bakery makes great baked goods and crepes, but these places are limited to the Farmers Market hours Fri, Sat and Sun until about 4 I think.

                                            1. re: p.dinh

                                              Sorry just thought of some more...

                                              Bolero on Macleaod Trail for churasco, and Smugglers Inn just adjacent is great for a steakhouse but you need a decent appetite for both.

                                              This is Calgary afterall so I would recommend you stick to our staple, that being beef. For things like Sushi, you can definitely get better elsewhere so I won't bother recommending anything.

                                              Banh Mi Thi Thi is a good option for quick cheap vietnamese subs in Chinatown.

                                              1. re: p.dinh

                                                Calgary has markets running 6 of 7 days of the week. There's the Grassroots Market at Northland Village Mall Tuedays 3:30-7:30pm, the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Market Wednesdays 3:30-7:30pm, and Calgary Farmer's Market Summer Hours are Thurs 10-4, Fri&Sat 9-5 and Sun 9-4. Other weekend Markets: Millarville, Crossroads... loads of options. But the OP was looking for more rock and roll than country I think.

                                      2. re: abadman

                                        They have been closed since the fire on the corner of 14 St & 17 Av which is right beside them.

                                          1. re: abadman

                                            Didn't that place close after the fire about a year and a half ago?
                                            Edit: I see people have mentioned this.

                                          2. So we're getting close and I have a few last minute questions. In Calgary, I get in next Fri. afternoon and have that day to myself until my friend arrives on Sat. Staying at the 5 Calgary Downtown Suites. Some definite things on the agenda are Peter's Drive In and/or Tubby Dog, one of the schwarma places, maybe Broken City or Ship and Anchor for bars, Hotel Arts for a a nicer one. Maybe Cilantro or Bistro 2210 for nicer food. Does the farmer's market go til late in the afternoon on Fri.? In Winnipeg, we're at the Norwood Hotel on Marion Street (free parking) and will definitely try Rae & Jerry's, VJ's, Red Top or Mrs. Mike's for a burger, maybe Mise or Fusion Grill for a nicer meal, a drink at the Fort Garry lounge, some gelato Eva's or Mercato. I've got a long list of stuff but these seemed like must try places.

                                            Now the question is for points in between. One person said I should stay in Moosejaw and maybe stop in Regina for food. Any reason to doubt that? Those tunnels in MJ look kind of fun. I also think we'll stay by Lake Winnipeg for one nite, is there anything in Gimli? I saw something about Kris' Fish n Chips, anything else? And the final question is should we relax by the lake or add a 3rd nite to WIN? I stupidly counted wrong when I was figuring out nites in between CAL and WIN and we have 3 instead of 2. I *am* more of a city person and since I'm flying very early to leave WIN, don't have a full 2 days there right now. Is there a lot of stuff going on Aug. 13, 14 (and 12th?)? Thoughts?

                                            Thanks for all the help.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Joanie

                                              In Winnipeg Folklorama will still be on while you're in town. It's a great experience www.folklorama.ca, and it involves food and other cultural pursuits. Different ethnic groups put on "pavilions" all around town at church halls, school gyms, community centers, etc. They have cultural displays, performances, and food. We mostly just go for the food, and a lot of pavilions will let you in just to take out food.

                                              The week you'll be here, the pavilions are:

                                              Casa de Minho Portuguese**
                                              Croatian "Zagreb"**
                                              El Salvador
                                              Indochina Chinese
                                              Philippine Nayong Pilipino
                                              Serbian "Beograd"**
                                              Warsaw Poland**

                                              *** Good food and good show (in my opinion
                                              )** Good food (in my opinion), but the show is just OK
                                              * Good show (in my opinion) but the food is so-so
                                              Unstarred--haven't been in a while, so I can't rate them

                                              Most people love the:
                                              Pilipino (I'm half Filipino, so I'm not that impressed with it)
                                              Ukraine-Kyiv (once you see one Eastern European dance, they're all the same to me, and I just can't get excited about the food)
                                              Warsaw Poland (same as above, but the food is better)
                                              African-Caribbean (seriously a lot of fun)

                                              Of special note is the Slovenijan. They do a whole roast pig (or maybe 2) every night. Go early if you want crispy skin!

                                              I think the Hungaria might be good--we usually go to the Hungarian one the week before, but Week 2's is put on by a different group.

                                              Near where you'll be staying are Chez Sophie and Le Croissant.

                                              I went to Chez Sophie for the first time yesterday. Excellent food, but service is a little slow. It's a tiny place with only one server. Go early (they open at 11 or 11:30) for lunch or make reservations because they get quite full. It's like a little bit of France or French-Canada (everyone around us was speaking French).

                                              Le Croissant is a bakery now owned by a couple from France. It's a great place to pick up breakfast pastries and breads.

                                              There's a Safeway near where you're staying, too, so you can pick up fruits and non-alcoholic beverages. And there's a MLCC (manitoba liquor commission) nearby, too.

                                              Also nearby is a bbq place that's been getting rave reviews. If you've ever done good bbq (we just got back from Kansas City), stay away. It's not that good.

                                              I'd stay in Winnipeg and do Folklorama rather than sit out by the lake, but that's just me.

                                              1. re: prasantrin

                                                AWW I love Folklorama in Winnipeg, definitely a good place to try out new food and you get to see great shows as you enjoy! I would check out the Brazilian Pavilion for the show, but I remember the Hungarian Pavilion had great food (cabbage rolls) when I used to live in Winnipeg.

                                                1. re: pasaker

                                                  During the second week, we went to Chilean, Nayong Pilipino, and Casa de Minho Portuguese. The Nayong Pilipino had an excellent show, and it was even better than Pearl of the Orient, but the food was too disorganized. We didn't bother eating there because of that.

                                                  The Chilean, however, was excellent foodwise. They had four types of empanada (beef, chicken, seafood, and cheese) and all were freshly made and served hot! We also had torta de mil hojas, and that, too, was excellent. Next year I'll go back just to get more empanada for take out! It was also very well-organized and efficient.

                                                  The Portuguese also had good food--1/2 chicken dinner for just $10. The chicken was surprisingly moist. We also had rissois, which were cold (served straight from the fridge) but even so, they were very good.

                                              2. re: Joanie

                                                The Calgary Farmer's Market is open until 5pm. If you eat, get the Schnitzel on a Bun from the Ukranian place in the middle of the back wall. It's so YUM!

                                              3. On your way from Calgary towards Medicine Hat, you will pass the town of Brooks. Actually its a city now, but a small one. Its about two hours from Calgary so hopefully you will be there around lunch time.. It was two really amazing options.. The first is a place Called Oriental Garden, honestly? its the best Chinese food I have ever had. Its canadianized, but seriously, the chow mein, giner beef, and lemon chicken don't get any better than there. Take the first over pass exit, then through 4 sets of lights till you get to Cassils road. Turn right, then make your first right by the Canadian tire, and its half a block down on your right hand side beside a car wash.. pink building. The owners name is lily. You will not be disapointed...

                                                The other option is Sams.. super tasty Vietnamese food and its cheap.. same directions onto cassils road, but go past the canadian tire, the safeway and its in the first strip mall on your right. hole in the wall, but very good. Also he runs a full oriental grocery store, but its back by the Canadian tire on the corner.. Many tasty options.. Cheers..

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: retroville

                                                  Thanks but it's 5 weeks since I got back but others may need Brooks info. I did a trip report if you're interested, ended up with an okay sandwich in Medicine Hat on a nice patio.