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Lunch/Dinner in the 'Hood (YYC)

Hello again,

I live in the 'hood (well, close--West Dover), and I'm looking for decent food nearby. I figure there must be good stuff on International Avenue, right? But then I've heard some bad stuff about the restaurants in the area, too (like service at the Ibex is supposed to be terrible, and I was horrified to learn that the East Gate has a long rap sheet with the Food Inspection Agency (or whatever they're called in Calgary)). But sometimes I just want something good, maybe a little out of the ordinary, and nearby.

There's a little bar within walking distance from my house called Oliver Green's (used to be Perry's Point of View), which has surprisingly good food. Unfortunately he got rid of his wonderful-sounding Mediterranean menu, but he still has a lot of good stuff. But what about the rest of West Dover? Dover? Forest Lawn? Forest Heights? Marlborough? I turn to you guys and gals because I figure if anyone will know, you will. Thanks!

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  1. Well my fav's are as follows:

    Clay Oven (behind Sunridge Mall)
    Southern Spice (in taradale)
    Atlas Pizza (on memorial and madigan drive)
    There is a cute mexican place on international (right next to the gas station) where i buy take out tamales but they have sit down too!
    The Meditarianian Bakery on the corner of 17 ave and 52 street has great pita's and baklava for take out snacks.

    Those are the places I visit when I am in the hood!

    7 Replies
    1. re: CookieGal

      What is the Clay Oven? Is that Indian? Behind Sunridge...where? I think I've seen it but I can't place it in my head.

      What is Southern Spice? That sounds kinda neat...

      I tried to go to Atlas Pizza but it was closed when I went! I'm determined to try it sometime!

      Do you know what the Mexican place (which gas station?) and Mediterranean Bakery is called?

      Thanks for your help!

      1. re: Lainey1978

        Clay Oven us indian yes, just of 32nd behind an RV dealership I believe in the same parking lot as cakeland.

        Sothern Spice is South Indian and they have AMAZING DOSA! mmmmm

        I think DubDee is right about the mex place!

        1. re: CookieGal

          Cakeworks maybe? Clay Oven: 349-3132 26 Street NE - just off 32nd Av, coming from Deerfoot you'd go East on 32nd, turn right onto 26th street which is just past the Husky (can't miss their big Canadian flag) then left into the strip mall parking lot.

            1. re: CookieGal

              Haven't been to Clay Oven myself but I have been a Cakeworks client til recently - not that there's anything wrong with their work just trying to DIY these days (it'd be nice to learn a few tricks of their trade for sure).

          1. re: CookieGal

            Yep, I think you're (both) right. El Bombazo. Not Bombasa. I was so sure the sign said Bombasa! LOL Perhaps I've lost the ability to read...*sigh*

            1. re: Lainey1978

              Thanks Lainey,
              Actually saw a review in the Sun today. Gonna check it out htis weekend.

      2. I work in the 'hood so I should be able to help a bit.
        -I really like La Casa Latina on 17th Ave SE. You must try the pork and cheese pupusas. Yum!
        -Tiffin Roti House is good for fast food indian. They have a buffet which is really tasty but sometimes not very spicy.
        - Short Pants Plaza (28th Street SE & 2nd (?) Avenue) has some great finds with Safari Grille for North African/Indian (they have a great lunch special w/1 meat curry, 1 veg curry, tandori chicken, naan & rice for under $10), Lloyds Jamaican Patties (mostly takeout though they have one small table), Village Pita for good chicken shwarma and stellar meat pies (be sure to add hot sauce and lemon juice!).
        - Pita Basket on Sunridge Way (I think...near Best Buy) has GREAT chicken shwarma. Very juicy and tasty!
        - Forbidden City in the same shopping center as T&T Market in Marlborough has really good dim sum every day for lunch. No carts, though, just order off the menu. The tea place in the T&T market has very good milk tea with bubbles too.

        Hmm....all I can think of for now. As you can see, I LOVE to eat out & have done some exploring in the area.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Merry113

          Canada Dosa Corner does the best South Indian (and Sri Lankan) I've had here. It's at 1715-52ndSt SE (just north of 17th Ave).

          Ate there a few days ago with several friends. One is from Chennai, another from Mangalore, two have lived in S India and the others have travelled there, so we all had probably unreasonable expectations.

          We were absolutely stuffed on dosa, vada and stringhoppers. Stuffed and kept eating anyhow. All freshly made and perfectly delicious (heat-lamped vada can't hold a candle to fresh-from-the-fryer vada). Total was like $65, which is probably too cheap (keep in mind there were six adults and a toddler. I'm actually afraid the proprieter will run herself out of business at this rate). The halwa that came after was nice - not too sweet - and there was always a full pot of tea on the table.

          Canada Dosa Corner gets instant placement on our frequent rotation (The Chennai-ite and Mangalorian have been there twice this week already).

          1. re: mandersen

            Yes, I've seen that place--it's where Lemon Tree used to be. I have now recovered from that loss (and the loss of Food In East) because someone on here recommended New Dynasty to me.

            I know nothing whatsoever about South Indian and Sri Lankan food, so I wasn't sure what to make of it. I'm going to have to look into it. What are stringhoppers?

        2. Tacos on Saturday at Las Tortillas. Watch them make fresh Tortillas while you enjoy excellent tacos.

          4100 Marlborough Dr NE

          6 Replies
          1. re: worldwidestuff

            OMG - Las Tortillas is amazing! I have never eaten tacos there but I buy .lbs of corn tortillas often! TOTALLY WORTH THE TRIP!

            1. re: CookieGal

              Oh my gosh, thank you guys all so much! This is great! Marlborough Drive, huh? Is that the place next to where Food In East used to be (*sniffles in memoriam*)? I'm blanking on where Marlborough Drive is, which is embarrassing because I used to live in Marlborough!

              Merry113, I wanted to try La Casa Latina on the weekend, but it was closed! I was very sad.

              Has anyone tried Barrio Fiesta, on the corner of Memorial and 68th(I think)?

              Cookiegal, can you give more detail on where to find the Mexican place by the gas station where you get tamales? Because if I can find it, I think that's dinner tonight.

              1. re: Lainey1978

                Off the top of my head, it sounds like CookieGal is talking about El Bombazo (2881 17 Avenue SE) but I could be wrong.

                For Vietnamese food in the 'hood I head to Pho Dau Bo (4909 17 Ave SE). I have never been disappointed.

                1. re: DeeDub

                  No, you're right! I found it today! I think it's El Bombasa, though, not that that makes a huge difference. Unfortunately they only have corn tamales on weekdays (chicken on weekends), and I wanted something more substantial for dinner so I ended up buying fish at the grocery store. But I definitely want to go there to eat sometime!

                  Thanks for the Vietnamese suggestion!

                2. re: Lainey1978

                  Las Tortillas is right by Food In East. Definitely yummy...can't believe I left it off my list!

                  1. re: Merry113

                    Food In East is no more *cries*. But I will have to check out Las Tortillas one of these days, too.

            2. Mimo (17th Ave SE) serves wonderful Portuguese food. It's a small family run place. I think Vine & Dine is doing a collaboration with them during Sept. It's usually a 6 course tasting menu paired with wine, for a fixed cost ($55). Checkout vineanddine.ca

              2 Replies
              1. re: TSAW

                17th and what? That Vine & Dine sounds neat, except for the "vine" part (I don't like wine). But Portugese food sounds intriguing.

              2. Sign up for a International Ave Food tour. It'll open your eyes. http://www.internationalavenue.ca/wor...

                Pho Dau Bo (Vietnamese)
                Mimo's (Portuguese)
                La Casa Latina (Mexican)
                Gunthers Bakery (German influenced)
                A Tasty Menu (Gluten Free but still great dishes)
                Tong Ky BBQ (Chinese takeaway BBQ)

                Are some of my favs all on 17th Ave. Urbanspoon has a longer list of places to try out too: http://www.urbanspoon.com/n/15/1401/C...

                3 Replies
                1. re: slingshotz

                  Sadly I believe that "A Tasty Menu" has closed.

                  1. re: slingshotz

                    Oh, these are great lists! Thank you! I notice that a lof of the ones listed on Urban Spoon don't exist anymore, though. Sad, because some of them were really good, and others sounded great but I think they're gone now.

                    1. re: Lainey1978

                      I'm putting together a list of places in this area on yelp if you want to check it out. I think most of them have been mentioned but it has all the addresses.

                  2. Okay, now that I've got a big long list of recommendations (I need to start at one end and work my way down, and then come back up the other side or something!), is there anywhere that you would definitely NOT recommend?

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Lainey1978

                      I am late to this! I can't believe that noone has recomended "Fassil" for Ethopian! Definately my favourite restaurant on International Ave. - 3608 17th Ave. Near the ATB.
                      I think it made top 2 or 3 of John Gilchrist "Best New Restaurant" in.... 2007?

                      1. re: ladybugs65

                        Ahhh... Had to go tonight after the above post! So, so good.

                        1. re: ladybugs65

                          I definitely want to try this place. The issue is that I've heard it's quite slow and I usually go at lunch.

                          1. re: Merry113

                            It is slow... I would not go unless you had time to wait.

                        2. re: ladybugs65

                          Thanks! I saw that place as we were driving by, and wondered about it. What's it like inside? Is it sitdown or takeout? I have no idea what Ethiopian food is like...

                          1. re: Lainey1978

                            It is a sitdown restaurant but I have gotten take out many times.
                            Ethopian food is served on a kind of large pancake-like bread called injera.
                            You use the injera to pick up the food (no utensils)... it is a great dining exerience.
                            I guess you could loosely compare Ethopian to "Indian" but it is retty unique.

                            I am in West Dover as well. I am suprised you enjoyed Oliver (Olivier's?) Green. It looks so dingy... maybe I need to check it out....

                            1. re: ladybugs65

                              The last time I went (after I posted about Oliver(? I don't know either) Green's), it wasn't as good. I was disappointed. So maybe it's starting to go downhill now. It's still not as bad as when it was Perry's, though.

                              1. re: Lainey1978

                                Thanks Lainey,

                                There was areview in the Sun today. Gonna check it out this weekend!

                      2. Just tried a new one over the holidays:
                        Baba Ka Dhaba - 3504 17 Ave SE
                        It is a Pakisani restaruant - lots of familiar "Indian" dishes.

                        It is definately more of a take-out than sit down (only 3 tables and maybe 10-12 seats) and the dining area is not very clean looking - hopefully the kitchen is in better shape.

                        The menu changes daily and the food was DELICIOUS.
                        We ordered lots to try to sample as much as possible:
                        Tandoori fish, an okra dish, a dal, shish kabob (2), and two huge naan.
                        The total was $32.00 (the fish was $12.00) and we had enough left for lunch for the following day.

                        We enjoyed this very much and will be back for take-out often.

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: ladybugs65

                            I like this place too, and they have paya and haleem, but I never seem to be there on the day they have them.

                          2. Tried another - Desert Pita and Grill on 52nd Street and 18th Ave. - 1830 52 Street S.E.

                            It is more of a "fast food" restaurant. Nice and clean and lots of tables to sit at. We had a falafel pita and an eggplant pita. Both were excellent.

                            I am looking forward to going back to try some Shawarma, Tabouli, Fatoush, Baba Ganouj, hummus, stuffed grape leaves... yum.Some of my favourite food!

                            The wraps were $6.50 each... no sides but a pretty good size for lunch. We were starving when we went in and satisfied when we left.

                            13 Replies
                            1. re: ladybugs65

                              based on the recommendations of friends, i tried the chicken schwarma there and was very disappointed. i don't think there was ANY seasoning on the chicken whatsoever. bland, bland, bland!

                              1. re: nonlinear

                                If you're going behind sunridge mall. there's a place called Quatara I think. it's in the strip mall beside the theatre with laptop depot. They say they're Babylonian so swarma, falafal etc. best sit down I've had and they do take away.

                                I have not made it yet but read the Mexican place a few doors down from the CIBC on 17th and 36st is good. I'm hoping to scope it out.

                                1. re: The Gut

                                  Ah, Babylon Quitara! I was going to do a search on that here and see if anyone said anything about it. I'll have to try it sometime.

                                  As for the Mexican place, you HAVE to be talking about La Dona! Whenever I've been there, it's been sooo good! They said they're changing their menu, though, which makes me a little nervous. They do have the ability to make great food, for sure. It may have been me you read raving about it. *grins*

                                  1. re: Lainey1978

                                    Could be, have you tried LasTortillas? I'd like to hear some comparisons.

                                    I know it was Cali-Mex but it hurt when "Chico's Tacate' Grill" went under.

                                    As for the Babylon place, it's spectacular in my opinion.

                                    We do love A&A even though it's greasy and the small is almost too large for one person trying to eat a healthy portioned meal. Babylon is the first place we've agreed is good enough that we don't feel cheated by the regular person sized portions while wishing we were eating A&A.

                                    1. re: The Gut

                                      No, I haven't tried Las Tortillas yet. They're always closed when I want to go! I really, really want to try them, though!

                                      Meh, I didn't like Chico's Tecate Grill at all. Maybe I just ordered the wrong thing, I don't know, but I found it boring.

                                      Is the Babylon place just donairs and stuff like that? I'm curious about it, as well. If only I had decided to try all the restaurants in my area BEFORE I decided I needed to lose weight, lol!

                                      I don't know what or where A&A is, although I've seen people on here mention it.

                                      I used to like Kimmy's Donair in Inglewood, but I swear I saw a cockroach there once...but now it's gone so I don't have to worry about that anymore. I do wonder about that one sign he had up, though...you were supposed to get $100 (or something like that) if you answered it correctly. It said, "Where do people in Hell tell people to go?" I don't know why that came to mind...

                                      1. re: Lainey1978

                                        A&A is a convenience store on 20th ave near 14th street N.W. pretty much straight north of SAIT. They sell donairs and chicken swarma. Often I have regretted getting a swarma elsewhere because they are really good and kind of giant. I used to be able to eat the Large but my metabolism changed or something. They are not a rediculas as they used to be but a small is pretty much a meal for me now.

                                        I used to get the tacos at chico's and loved the steak ones. I liked them better than Las Tortillas but that's not because they were not good. I just liked chico's for some reason.

                                        Babylon does donair and shwarma but they have a bunch of platters and salads too. Roast potatoes and rice dishes. I really should go back soon.

                                        1. re: The Gut

                                          Area residents refer to A&A, simply as 'Jimmy's'. I think it's official name is Jimmy's A&A Deli. Great food. Outside seating in the summer.

                                          1. re: TSAW

                                            Jimmy's is a quintessential Calgary food stop!

                                            There is nothing that comes close to what they do there.... But not at all close to Dover. When I have any friends in town I always make sure they squeeze in a trip to Jimmy's... I guess there are many locations now, do they all put out the same great experience?

                                            1. re: CookieGal

                                              You owe it to yourself to check out that Quatara babylon restaraunt CookieGal. It's the only other place I can go so far for chicken shwarma with out regretting not getting A&A (Jimmy's). I live closer to Jimmy and nearly every where I have had swarma from I either thought, "This is ok but it's too small, expensive and not A&A." or quite often we couldn't even enojoy it because we like A&A so much more. I need to try Swarma Knights my bud insists they are just as good. I love me some "swarma station" and "uncle Mo's" but can''t even order the chicken because I'd much rather have Jimmy's.

                                              Quatara is right near sunridge spectrum it's slightly different and of course not as huge but just as good as A&A. in our opinion with added variaty. Also if you have a request they will make it. If you don't agree at least you'll know but I think you'll love it too.

                                              Jimmy's mediterainian on 4th street between 14th and 13th ave S.W. It's kind of near the Rose and Crown, and the Sony Store. There's a big prairie wind mill with metal crows on the corner out front. The Food's the same but parking is tough. Similar experience giant + delicious wise.

                                              1. re: The Gut

                                                I think Jimmy's is the place right around the corner from my friend's house. I'll have to go there when I go visit her sometime!

                                                I tried Babylon Qithara for lunch yesterday. I had the donair platter (chicken), and my husband had the platter with 3 kinds of kabobs. It was pretty good! The potatoes on my platter were excellent. I would like to try something with falafels and eggplant, but I've never had a good experience with those foods yet, so I'm a bit nervous to try it unless they come with something I know I'll like (like chicken!).

                                                I went to La Dona again yesterday, too, for dinner. So, sooo good! Please, if you haven't tried it, do!!! They are awesome! They're usually not busy at all, and I'm so scared that they won't make it because people judge them by their appearance or don't see the place (it's under the "4 Seas" Chinese restaurant sign).

                                          2. re: The Gut

                                            I liked chico's as well, but the greatest thing about chico's was their salsa bar. darn, i miss that salsa bar...

                                            1. re: marcopolo

                                              Agreed, I've never even seen roasted pasilla before or since.

                                      2. re: Lainey1978

                                        Tried Babylon Quitara yesterday and really enjoyed it. It has counter & sit down service. I got the eggplant and falafel platter and she got the eggplant and lamb turnover (I think). Both were really good. The fried eggplant on my platter was some of the best I have ever tasted. The falafel was just okay and not the standout at all. Her dish was really tasty as well. We'll definitely be back!