Calgary's Best "Hidden Gems"
I think it's safe to say that everyone here has been to a few places that ended up being diamonds in the rough, so to speak. I'm referring to the type of place that, upon first sight, you wouldn't even think of eating there because it either looks too run down, or maybe too outdated. But, upon cautiously eating there, you find out the food is absolutely amazing. Kinda falls under the old "you can't judge a book by its cover" adage.
Usually you end up going to these places upon a recommendation from a friend or colleague.
What sort of places have you guys found that would fall under this category?
Lloyd's Patty Plus (also known as Mr. Lloyd's Caribbean bakery) in the Short Pants Plaza has amazing Jamaican Beef Patties. Chicken is good, but I always go for the spicy beef, not to spicy, just right. Try it in the coco bread, very tasty!
Although not a restaurant, Spiceland on Fairmont Drive is a great little Indian grocery for dry beans, grains and spices. The owners are always a big help if you have any Indian cooking questions.
My other favorite is not really a hidden gem, but Pepino's in Kensington makes a great sandwich, which is not always easy to find in Calgary.
Lloyd's Patty Plus
255 28 Street SE #202, Calgary, AB T2A 5K4, CA
I've boycotted Peppino's for years- IMO their sandwiches are terrible, full of horrid iceberg lettuce and fake white cheese. They also pulled me one of the worst espressos I've ever had in my life, no crema and with grounds floating in it... and their gelato has always been thin and tasteless.
There are many, many places to get a better sandwich. Unless something at Peppino's has changed- has it?
OK, not in Calgary, but minutes away is Bistro Provence in Okotoks. Mrs Scary and I went Saturday for lunch, had the special, soup, sandwich, and coffee for $9.50. The soup was a really really flavourful thick vegetable puree with ham, the sandwiches, ham and ripe brie, or duck rilette (more like a rilette than a pate I thought) and pistachio on a mid sized baguette. Very good food, very good prices. Most other lunch items were $10-$15.
Very tempting desert selections.
Also apparently very busy for dinner, at least on weekends, as four people were denied dinner reservations as they were already booked for the night, and apparently the night before as well.
Owned and operated by a husband and wife from France who seem to be the only employees, but they put out food pretty fast.
Decor, if you are fussy, can easily be critiqued, but I'm about the food, and some of the bistros in France I've been in aren't exactly pretty either.
Priddis View+Brew Bistro
178067 Priddis Valley Road West
Priddis, AB T0L 1W0
(in database but won't link in this thread)
added to database:
Antojitos La Dona Restaurant
3603 17 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2A 0R8, CA
Oliver Green Restaurant and Lounge
4036 26 St SE, Calgary, AB T2B 2Y4, CA
Ogden Pizza and Pub
7401 Ogden Rd SE, Calgary, AB T2C 1B9, CA
316 1 St E, Cochrane, AB T4C 1Z2, CA
Sweet Home Bakery
7930 Bowness Rd NW, Calgary, AB T3B 0H3, CA
Recently, we discovered the Priddis View and Brew, about maybe 20 minutes south of Calgary. They have a wonderful turkey dinner every Sunday -- roast turkey and all the fixin's, plus soup or salad. They do an amazing job and everything just melts in your mouth. They serve dinner all weekend with different dishes every day. Saturday is roast beef tenderloin. Great desserts -- I recommend the Coca Cola Cake and the Apple Crumble. Haven't tried lunch there, but I suspect the food is just as good.
Sweet Home Bakery, Bowness -- do not buy anything else but the cream horns. They often sell out of cream horns and some people reserve ahead.
we drove by there one day and were wondering what that place was. we thought it looked pretty good, but didn't stop because it looked like a house and we weren't quite sure what it was.
can you tell me, why do they have "brew" in the name? do they brew beer there or something?
Another vote for Oliver Green's from me!
Also, Ogden Pizza (in Ogden - go figure!). They don't skimp on the toppings!
Not in Calgary, but the Cochrane Cafe (in Cochrane!) is a total dive judging by its decor but if you're looking for homestyle cooking and decent western style Chinese, this is a good place to go. One of the few places I know that still serves liver and onions!