HOME > Chowhound > Prairie Provinces >

Diners,Drive-ins, and Dives Calgary.

beekeroc Jun 26, 2010 07:16 PM

Would love to hear about DDD joints in Calgary, not just burger joints but places that have tasty, interesting twists on old favorites just like the show. I swear I get hungry every time I watch an episode!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. f
    foodkarma RE: beekeroc Jun 28, 2010 11:40 PM

    A few places that come to mind right away...

    Diner Deluxe, Rocky Burger Bus, Dairy Lane, Tubby Dog, and...

    Peter's Drive In - I'm not a big fan but it's an institution and will be a requirement if DDD did an episode in Calgary.

    I'm hungry now.

    -----
    Dairy Lane Cafe
    319 19 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 2J2, CA

    Diner Deluxe
    804 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3J6, CA

    Tubby Dog
    1022 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0A5, CA

    1. John Manzo RE: beekeroc Jun 29, 2010 09:47 AM

      DDD is all about heart attacks on a plate- as such it's unavoidably american-focussed (and not just because it's on FNUSA). I can't think of any places in Calgary analogous to the get-stuffed-until-you-puke element of DDD's features. I'd say for over-the-top, throw caution to the wind food, there are only two places in town that comply. One is as mentioned by karma Tubby Dog. The other is Jimmy's A and A.

      i don't think this is a bad thing. The notion of getting huge piles of fried things is great when you're on vacation but the number of people on that show who proudly say that they get the same garbage plate every week is pretty scary, especially with 42 million Americans without health insurance!

      -----
      Tubby Dog
      1022 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0A5, CA

      7 Replies
      1. re: John Manzo
        d
        Doc1200 RE: John Manzo Jun 29, 2010 02:05 PM

        John have you ever watched the show? I can recall just off the top of my head and from last season alone stops to authentic Mexican, Peruvian, El Salvadorian, Italian and German restaurants. The show has no boundaries on cuisines and certainly does not focus on "huge plates of fried things" as you were saying.

        1. re: Doc1200
          s
          Scary Bill RE: Doc1200 Jun 30, 2010 10:03 AM

          John's comments do have merit. While the show does have in part the focus you point out, with the requirement that food be prepared (mostly) from fresh ingredients, as well as being a one-off kind of establishment, I have yet to see even one show where the portions were not average plus to humongous. None have small portions.

          Here's one of my favourites.

          http://www.heartattackgrill.com/

        2. re: John Manzo
          i
          Iamclarkman RE: John Manzo Jun 30, 2010 06:11 PM

          John, While I agree some/a lot of the food on Triple D is high fat.. I wouldn't necessarily say its all "huge piles of fried things," and as I recall we have this little event each year in Calgary called the Stampede which features endless booths serving ONLY fried things.. by the pile, bag, even on a stick. If they did a show about the stampede people would think that all Calgarians are so large they need assistance bathing. That's not the case (for the most part.)

          Now I agree that the average American could stand to eat a little better, and that they do have a HUGE (no pun intended) problem with obesity but I believe that has a lot more to do with KFC's, Wendy's, and McDicks dollar menu than the places featured on triple D. As Scary pointed out its (for the most part) fresh made on the premises by the chef/owner who is trying to live out their dreams opening a small eatery and catering to what people want to eat. If you ask me we need more places like this in Calgary and less places owned by Vickers and the like who think we all want to eat $55 steaks when we go out for a casual dinner.

          It comes down to a food culture thing... They could never shoot a Triple D episode in Calgary because our restaurant culture is not Diners Drive-ins and Dives.. Its pompous, pricey and pretentious. Triple P.

          The places Guy goes to are simple quite often southern homecookin style joints. That's classic American food. Smoked ribs, chicken, brisket, Mac and Cheese, burgers, fries, steaks, pasta.. That's what middle class Americans eat! That's what a lot of Canadians eat as well.. Ever been to the east coast provinces? Every place you go to has big plates of assorted fried sea food.. Is it because east coasters are fat bastards eating their way to an early grave? Or because they have an abundance of fresh sea food and its easiest to fry? What about Quebec and their love of poutine? Or even better their love of foie gras, I have never seen any foie on triple D but its fat content is higher than anything I have seen on the show. People will choose to eat unhealthy wherever they are.. Triple D is just showcasing they food culture in blue collar America, and I for one find it very interesting... I have seen some techniques used by chefs/cooks on that show that are very useful and inventive even though the chef is only preparing something simple like a burger. Its more than people getting stuffed-till-they-puke as you said.

          I would love to see a show that is the opposite.. Triple P.. Where they would go the only the best places in the world to eat... El Buli, The Fat Duck, Daniel, Per Se, The French Laundry, WD 50, Le Bernadin, au pied de cochon, Nobu ect... But there is such a small number of viewers interested high end resto's and an even smaller amount that can afford to eat at one of these places let alone get a reservation at one. I also don't picture Ferran or Thomas opening up their kitchens to food network camera crews any time soon. If they do ever decide to shoot Triple P I know the perfect host.. Goes by the name Clarkman. ;)

          I love Triple D, I think I have seen most of them, and no I don't have a man crush on weirdo Guy Fieri, I never like the looks of his cooking on his own show and I prefer my balls not to taste like wasabi (meat balls I mean.) I just think its interesting getting to see the inner workings of different kitchens. It also makes me more hungry than any other show in the food network (except for Giada who makes me hungry for something a little different.)

          Stay tuned for Triple P!

          p.s. I am definatly not talking smack about you Johnny Manzo just a difference of opinion.. I think your the best chow blogger we have in Calgary! Lets meet at the stampede and I'll buy you a pile of fried stuff, maybe even a beer;)

          1. re: Iamclarkman
            TSAW RE: Iamclarkman Jun 30, 2010 07:09 PM

            hahaha. PPP is a great description lamclarkman! I couldn't really think of an awesome mom/pop place to suggest for Triple D. Everything seems to be over priced and run by restaurant groupsand professional chefs now a days.

            I"m already dreaming about the crap I allow myself to eat at the Stampede! Reminds me.. i will start a post about that!

            1. re: TSAW
              The Chowhound Team RE: TSAW Jun 30, 2010 07:47 PM

              Folks, if you have local suggestions for the DDD-style, please post them here, but if you'd like to discuss the show in general, please take that conversation to Food Media and News. Thanks!

              1. re: The Chowhound Team
                j
                julie17 RE: The Chowhound Team Oct 26, 2010 09:46 PM

                Love triple D, watch it almost every day. I reccomend Peter's Drive-in, Diner Deluxe, and across the road, In the Loop (formerly Nellies, but no longer), and Vietnamese Sub on 33rd in Marda Loop for their beef sate sub. For great pita sandwiches try Village Pita in Short Pants Plaza Memorial Dr and 28th st NE one block north.

                -----
                Diner Deluxe
                804 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3J6, CA

            2. re: Iamclarkman
              John Manzo RE: Iamclarkman Jul 1, 2010 10:04 AM

              Nobody has ever called me Johnny! I wonder if 46 i too late to change that...

              And sure, look for me at Stampede!

          2. 2
            23skidoo RE: beekeroc Jun 29, 2010 05:08 PM

            I'm 90% sure somebody asked this question before, but I can't find the thread.

            The food has to stand out one way or the other, and it can't be at an expensive restaurant. I would say it's hard to think of places like this in Calgary.

            Diner Deluxe, definitely, because they have some unique dishes. Also Thi Thi subs - Banh Mi is different here in Calgary, and people line up for it. Peter's Drive In is good because the burgers are unique, the milkshakes are fresh and you get a few pounds of fries. Tubby dog has a neat little space, and strange toppings like PB&J&Cap'n Crunch, or bacon and eggs. Big Fish could be a good place, too.

            It's hard to think of low-priced restaurants that aren't standard ethnic food, or semi-premade sysco garbage. Almost every pub in the city is the latter, for example.

            Edit: Come to think of it, the "are you gonna eat that?" blog covers a lot of places that fit into this category. Maybe check that out.

            -----
            Big Fish
            1112 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3K4, CA

            Diner Deluxe
            804 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3J6, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: 23skidoo
              m
              makan2 RE: 23skidoo Jun 29, 2010 06:49 PM

              Sate Sub, located at 920-7 Avenue SW Ph: (403) 263-8558, is a great place for Vietnamese subs, Pho, Bun, Salad rolls, Spring rolls, bubble tea, smoothies and more.

              I love my Beef Sate Sub with brown bread. MMMMmmmmmm, so good! Give it a try!

            2. s
              Sneaky RE: beekeroc Jun 30, 2010 07:52 AM

              Angel's Drive In certainly fits the "Dive" description. Not bad food though.

              http://www.angelsdrivein.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sneaky
                l
                ladybugs65 RE: Sneaky Jun 30, 2010 08:08 PM

                I agree... Angel's is pretty good. I used to go all the time - swiss mushroom.

              2. b
                bakerbear RE: beekeroc Jul 27, 2010 04:14 PM

                John, I agree that you are the best food blogger here, but you are way off on this one and I'm agreeing wholeheartedly with iamclarkman.

                A & A is just garlic on a pita. Rocky's Burger Bus has the character and flavor worthy of DDD's, with very generous portions and not exactly 'skinny', but sooo good. Il Centro is a hidden gem that could easily be a DDD topic and their pizza is what a pizza should be. Dairylane consistently turns out very tasty, homemade dishes, a prerequisite of the show.

                I just hope more people put in their DDD worthy restaurants around Calgary.

                -----
                Il Centro
                6036 3 St SW #106, Calgary, AB T2H 0H9, CA

                Rocky's Burgers
                1120 46 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G2A6, CA

                1 Reply
                1. re: bakerbear
                  f
                  face RE: bakerbear Dec 5, 2010 03:20 PM

                  Rocky's Burger Bus would fit at the top of my list for DDD of Calgary. You get fat, juicy burgers and more fries than humanly possible to eat -- out of a bus in the middle of an industrial area. Nice blend of tasty, greasy food and odd locale.

                  -----
                  Rocky's Burgers
                  1120 46 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G2A6, CA

                2. n
                  NumberFive RE: beekeroc Aug 1, 2010 03:04 PM

                  While not quite in Calgary, I'd be hard-pressed not to include Chuckwagon Cafe out in Turner Valley in this list. My favorite place in the Calgary region for breakfast, and while I have never been for lunch, heard the burgers are stellar as well. Organic and made fresh, and very healthy sized portions. Seems like the kind of place that Triple D is all about seeing!

                  -----
                  Chuckwagon Cafe
                  105 Sunset Blvd, Turner Valley, AB T0L 2A0, CA

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: NumberFive
                    The Gut RE: NumberFive Aug 3, 2010 11:11 AM

                    Lunch burgers are excellen at Chuckwagont. I don't know if I'd put it on DDD but I most certainly eat there when we can.

                    I think Marv's Diner and his peanut butter burger might be a DDD kind of thing though.

                    1. re: The Gut
                      n
                      NumberFive RE: The Gut Aug 3, 2010 04:10 PM

                      I don't know... the beef-tenderloin eggs benny which was a croissant covered in thinly sliced organic raised beef tenderloin, topped with eggs and hollandaise that I had at Chuckwagon felt pretty darn DDD-worthy to me!!

                      -----
                      Chuckwagon Cafe
                      105 Sunset Blvd, Turner Valley, AB T0L 2A0, CA

                      1. re: NumberFive
                        The Gut RE: NumberFive Nov 10, 2010 08:15 AM

                        Sorry, that wasn't supposed to make it seem like the Chuckwagon didn't have good enough food. I think the beef there is some of the best I've had.

                        It just doesn't seem off beat enough. You can get beef tenderloin eggs benny at quite a few places. I would suspect it's better at Chuckwagon but not really different.

                    2. re: NumberFive
                      f
                      face RE: NumberFive Dec 5, 2010 03:17 PM

                      I love the Chuckwagon too! A nice drive or motorcycle ride south, followed by a hearty breakfast always makes for a great start to a weekend!

                      -----
                      Chuckwagon Cafe
                      105 Sunset Blvd, Turner Valley, AB T0L 2A0, CA

                    3. e
                      Eat Yokel RE: beekeroc Oct 21, 2010 08:26 PM

                      The Diners:
                      Diner Deluxe
                      Blackfoot Truck Stop
                      Red's
                      Dairy Lane
                      Galaxie Diner
                      The Drive-Ins
                      Peter's
                      Cowtown Beef Shack
                      Rocky's Burgers
                      The Dives:
                      Lido Cafe in Kensington
                      The Western
                      Kane's Harley Diner

                      -----
                      Avenue Diner
                      105 Steven Avenue Mall, Calgary, AB T2P 1B4, CA

                      Dairy Lane Cafe
                      319 19 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 2J2, CA

                      Diner Deluxe
                      804 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3J6, CA

                      Galaxie Diner
                      1411 11 St SW, Calgary, AB T2R 1G7, CA

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Eat Yokel
                        2
                        23skidoo RE: Eat Yokel Oct 22, 2010 12:30 PM

                        CB Drive Inn
                        Inglewood Drive-In

                        1. re: 23skidoo
                          e
                          Eat Yokel RE: 23skidoo Oct 22, 2010 03:42 PM

                          Inglewood Drive in is no longer, I'm afraid...
                          It'll be interesting to see what goes in there, though!
                          Where's CB?

                          1. re: Eat Yokel
                            m
                            marcopolo RE: Eat Yokel Oct 22, 2010 04:27 PM

                            I think Inglewood drive-in is just renovating, and will be reopening as such. could be wrong though.

                            1. re: Eat Yokel
                              2
                              23skidoo RE: Eat Yokel Oct 22, 2010 04:49 PM

                              It's on Northmount Dr. near 14th St NW.

                              -----
                              CB Drive Inn
                              789 Northmount Dr NW, Calgary, AB T2L 0L7, CA

                            2. re: 23skidoo
                              n
                              nonlinear RE: 23skidoo Oct 23, 2010 11:14 AM

                              ewwwww... CB Drive Inn has probably the WORST food i've EVER eaten. a quick google search will reveal that this is a common opinion. I don't know why anyone would ever recommend this place... although, if you really want to try it, Eat Yorkel, go ahead, but be sure to post about how terrible it was here.

                              The only other place that even comes close to this low quality is Bob's Burgers off Glenmore in the SE.

                              -----
                              CB Drive Inn
                              789 Northmount Dr NW, Calgary, AB T2L 0L7, CA

                              1. re: nonlinear
                                2
                                23skidoo RE: nonlinear Oct 24, 2010 11:34 AM

                                A friend recommended it, but I've never been there myself.

                                1. re: nonlinear
                                  sweeterpea RE: nonlinear Oct 25, 2010 05:09 AM

                                  I heard that the original owners sold and perhaps that's why it's gone downhill. Someone who used to work there opened a little roadside stand/kiosk (not sure what to call it you go up to the window and eat outside) in Nanton - the name escapes me but it's next to a toy railway store. Good burgers.

                                  1. re: sweeterpea
                                    n
                                    nonlinear RE: sweeterpea Oct 25, 2010 11:17 AM

                                    It was probably good "back in the day," however it's been run by a Chinese family since I first went in 2001. There focus seems to be on low cost and easy work instead of quality product.

                              2. re: Eat Yokel
                                felix the hound RE: Eat Yokel Mar 13, 2011 05:27 PM

                                While Kane's Harley Diner has atmosphere and the portions to qualify for DDD, the food is mediocre. We were there today on the recommendation of a local (against my better instincts and research, but it was a group decision).

                                Unfortunately, the food lived up to my expectation. Many of us had the hamburgers, and the consensus was that the burgers were dry, overcooked- beyond what is required to meet health concerns- and too dense ( including the one "fat boy" order of a one pounder).The other sandwiches on the table ( there were eight of us) were no better. The milkshakes were average at best, with one person saying that they were not smooth and had a "funny" taste ( cheesecake came to mind). The fries and the onion rings that came with the burgers were good

                                Maybe it was an off day, but I would not go back for the food. The place has character and overall we enjoyed our get together in this unique location

                                1. re: felix the hound
                                  n
                                  nonlinear RE: felix the hound Mar 13, 2011 06:00 PM

                                  i went once and didn't think the food was very great, either.

                              3. n
                                nonlinear RE: beekeroc Oct 21, 2010 09:21 PM

                                KEITH'S DELI

                                (can't believe this hasn't been mentioned yet!)

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: nonlinear
                                  howlin RE: nonlinear Oct 21, 2010 09:25 PM

                                  where is that at non,never heard of it .what do they do good there?

                                  1. re: howlin
                                    n
                                    nonlinear RE: howlin Oct 21, 2010 09:34 PM

                                    it's in the strip mall across from Chinook Mall on MacLeod. They've been in business for like 30-something years, and sell soup and hot sandwiches. I think their most popular sandwich is Keith's Special, which is a sausage (made in house), cheese and veggies. I always get the Ruben with double meat, though. They also have the sourest dill pickles i've ever tasted - they are awesome (and i'm a giant pickle critic).

                                    they are closed sundays, and only accept cash.

                                    Here's more info from urbanspoon: http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/15/141893...

                                    1. re: nonlinear
                                      howlin RE: nonlinear Oct 21, 2010 11:02 PM

                                      thanks man ,must try this place out soon.

                                      1. re: nonlinear
                                        b
                                        beggsy RE: nonlinear Oct 22, 2010 04:38 PM

                                        I will go just to try the pickles. I swear I live for them. Thanks

                                        1. re: beggsy
                                          n
                                          nonlinear RE: beggsy Oct 23, 2010 11:17 AM

                                          awesome! they are just mass-produced factory pickles (in fact, Keith once told me they were just Sunspun brand), but they are SUPER sour and have this great unique mushy texture... it's hard to describe, but i've never had a pickle quite like them. they are delicious!

                                    2. re: nonlinear
                                      n
                                      nonlinear RE: nonlinear Nov 13, 2010 11:54 AM

                                      Had lunch at Keith's again today - rueben with double meat and the sourest pickle i've ever had in my life.

                                      Seriously, for those who haven't been to this little hole-in-the-wall, you're sure missing out!

                                    3. 2
                                      23skidoo RE: beekeroc Oct 22, 2010 12:32 PM

                                      Nobody else agrees with me on this board, but I like Chicago Chophouse.

                                      -----
                                      Chicago Chophouse
                                      604 8th Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1G5, CA

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: 23skidoo
                                        Roarasaur RE: 23skidoo Oct 22, 2010 05:29 PM

                                        I'm sorry but how is Chicago Chophouse supposed to be considered a DDD? I always thought the show was about unique places that a city/town has to offer and Chicago Chophouse is no where near unique, at least in the part of the country. Maybe you meant to reply to the "newcomer to calgary" thread.

                                        -----
                                        Chicago Chophouse
                                        604 8th Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1G5, CA

                                        1. re: Roarasaur
                                          2
                                          23skidoo RE: Roarasaur Oct 22, 2010 07:23 PM

                                          Yeah, I replied to the wrong thread

                                          1. re: 23skidoo
                                            n
                                            nonlinear RE: 23skidoo Oct 23, 2010 11:19 AM

                                            heheh, don't you hate it when that happens?

                                            :P

                                      2. f
                                        foodkarma RE: beekeroc Oct 24, 2010 10:47 PM

                                        Maybe because I've watched about 3 episodes of DDD this weekend, but thought of a few more that may suit DDD in Calgary:

                                        MI TIERRA/TU TIERRA - can't believe we left this one off. The ma and pa style and home cooked feeling not to mention the cheesy goodness definitely fits DDD IMHO

                                        REA'S (formerly Sandro) - family owned, recipes passed down from previous generations, the fact that the new menu has a picture of the matriarch and that it's still operated by the brothers.

                                        SIMPLE SIMON PIES - I know it's limited to the farmer's markets and not a standalone restaurant but the product and ownership seems to fit the bill.

                                        1. z
                                          Zydeco_Mama RE: beekeroc Oct 25, 2010 12:20 PM

                                          The Dell in Bowness. Family run - definitely a dive - but good food.

                                          1. h
                                            hclass RE: beekeroc Oct 25, 2010 04:03 PM

                                            I also believe Il Centro could work for DDD. The only criteria it may exceed is price. But really the place is not much on the inside, it's always full, has crazy hours and service (at times) but the owner knows how to satisfy many palates.
                                            I don't bother ordering Calamari anywhere else in Calgary. It is rated #1 pizza in Calgary by avenue magazine. In case you want a steak call ahead and haver the owner make one for you too.

                                            -----
                                            Il Centro
                                            6036 3 St SW #106, Calgary, AB T2H 0H9, CA

                                            1. cellophane_star RE: beekeroc Oct 26, 2010 02:17 PM

                                              I've never watched DDD because I hate Guy Fieri but I assume it's a show about heart-stopping diner food ala "This Is Why You're Fat"?

                                              I must mention: Boogie Burger on Centre St, home of Doug's "Don't Fear the Reaper" Burger:

                                              "Four Patties, Four slices of bacon, Two cheddar cheese slices, fried egg, topped with a 100% beef weiner, Boogie's signature red sauce and all the fixings (onion, lettuce, tomato)"

                                              http://www.boogiesburgers.com/

                                              http://www.thisiswhyyourefat.com/

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: cellophane_star
                                                b
                                                bakerbear RE: cellophane_star Nov 5, 2010 03:10 PM

                                                Thanks for the Keith's deli reminder, don't know how I forgot about the Keith's special!

                                                1. re: bakerbear
                                                  n
                                                  nonlinear RE: bakerbear Nov 5, 2010 05:33 PM

                                                  Did you go? Let us know what you think!

                                              2. m
                                                melis_85 RE: beekeroc Nov 6, 2010 08:26 PM

                                                Big T's BBQ at 2138 Crowchild Trail NW, across form McMahon Stadium, has a perfect DDD meal. The Gut Buster with sliced brisket, pulled pork, andouille, onions, jalapeno's, and cheese is huge and delicious!

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: melis_85
                                                  m
                                                  Merry113 RE: melis_85 Nov 6, 2010 08:47 PM

                                                  Big T's is but a shadow of real bbq. I know it's one of the few choices in Calgary but it really, really does not stand up to bbq pretty much anywhere else.

                                                  1. re: Merry113
                                                    f
                                                    foodkarma RE: Merry113 Nov 6, 2010 10:08 PM

                                                    Have to agree with Merry. I found the meat to be quite dry the couple times I went.

                                                  2. re: melis_85
                                                    m
                                                    mayhem1113 RE: melis_85 Nov 9, 2010 07:13 PM

                                                    Big T's had great food - but I question the hygiene of the place. Went there very late one evening, and while they were closing up and I was waiting for my bill, I saw an employee scrape used pots of sauce from previous tables back into a jar. Almost threw up when I saw that...

                                                  3. ybnormal RE: beekeroc Nov 10, 2010 01:20 PM

                                                    Had a terrific Steelhead Trout BLT this week for lunch at Diner Deluxe, as the photo attests to...

                                                    -----
                                                    Diner Deluxe
                                                    804 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3J6, CA

                                                     
                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: ybnormal
                                                      beekeroc RE: ybnormal Nov 10, 2010 08:10 PM

                                                      That sounds so good! And a real DDD destination.

                                                    2. j
                                                      jsfoodchat RE: beekeroc Mar 18, 2011 08:19 PM

                                                      I have written to DDD several times saying that GUY needs to go to BANFF and do an episode at the GRIZZLY HOUSE. Now if THAT place isn't a DDD worthy Dive I don't know what is.

                                                      Show Hidden Posts