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Chicago Chophouse - Calgary

My husband and I were given a $150 gift certificateto the Chicago Chophouse and had dinner there September 3rd. I have to say that we were both thoroughly disappointed. We ordered the calamari appetizer and it was either fried in oil that was not hot enough or old oil because it was neither crispy or hot, just limp and greasy.

I ordered the arctic char and was happy with the angel hair pasta but was shocked to see that for $30 it came with a cold, hard piece of carrot and what looked, smelled and tasted like a leftover piece of grilled zucchini from the lunch rush. It honestly smelled like it had expired. The carrot and zucchini could not have been fresh and for that level of restaurant, I cannot believe that they would forsake quality (and food safety) for a $0.25 piece of zucchini and carrot. Everything we had was also over-salted. The best part of the meal for us was the bread and garlic. I will say though that the service was exceptional.

I emailed the manager and one of the owners the same evening and never heard back. I am not expecting anything other than an acknowledgement and I was disappointed to not even get that. We won't be returning or recommending this restaurant to anyone.

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

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  1. Yeah, it's been terrible since day one. It's a Vickers establishment, FWIW.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Shazam

      I disagree. I've always had great food and service at Chicago Chophouse (check the archives for this board), although I haven't been there for a few months. The negative comments here are confusing to me - do I have really good luck or something? Of course, nobody here seems to like Mango Shiva either. I can't figure it out.

      Also, I don't want to sound like a jerk here, but you need to order steak to appreciate this restaurant, not fish.

      "Terrible" is a pretty strong word to use, and I would save it for the likes of Rivoli Chophouse (that place that replaced La Paella), or Giant Hamburger on 17th, or North Hill Diner, or Annapurna after it reopened, or maybe the old Soba Ten before it closed for good. As in, no redeeming qualities.

      1. re: 23skidoo

        You must be a very patient diner, I don't hear anything good about Chicago Chophouse generally. Common themes: overpriced, poor service, poor quality food, slow.

        Eating at Chophouse not going to make you sick. But in terms of value and especialy considering comparable steakhouses in the downtown area, I don't think it's a stretch to define it as terrible.

        Quincy's is a block away, and while I wouldn't consider Quincy's 'good', I would prefer to go there any day of the week over CC. Personal opinion, of course.

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

        1. re: crazy_eoj

          I can see it being overpriced. And maybe you had slow/poor service. Is it at a price point where people give 1-star reviews because it's not 100% perfect?

          But it's not "Poor quality food". It's really top quality steak, cooked perfectly. You don't get that at Vintage Chophouse, and there's more variety of cuts than at Caesar's (plus Caesar's sides are thawed premade junk).

          I've never been to Quincy's, but you didn't exactly endorse it. Where should I go for better steak downtown? Saltlik? BR&? Corn-fed USDA prime at Ruth's Chris?

          1. re: 23skidoo

            I've neither had 'top quality steak' nor anything 'cooked perfectly' at Chicago Chophouse. And when it's slow, and service is spotty, I really feel cheated at their price point.

            They did have good sides.

            I would definately recommend Caesar's unless you are more concerned with sides than the steak or service. Vintage is great too but you seem familiar with those places. I've had excellent steaks at Tribune as well.

            If the CC is under new ownership then it could be worth another shot but I dont think Vickars really prioritized it much.

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

        2. re: 23skidoo

          I'll admit, I've never been there. That's because all the people I know that have been there have hated it. Co-workers especially, who have been there for lunch and have had absolutely deplorable service - snarly and slow.

          1. re: 23skidoo

            FWIW, i do like mango shiva, even if I think it's not great value. But I am also generally biased against vickers-affiliated establishments because I just haven't had much good luck there (Belgo) or the places get uniformly poor reviews (wild ginger, CC, etc...). It's been a while since I've been to chicago chophouse, so I can't remember my sides. as far as the steak goes, far from being "top quality steak, cooked perfectly", my rib-eye was tough, tasteless, and slightly undercooked. I remember feeling embarrased having brought some out-of-town guests there. Honestly, like crazy_eoj, i've had better steaks at most pubs at a third the price. You can get a great steak at most of the oft-named good downtown restaurants (divino, river cafe, blink, etc...). If you want a steakhouse environment, my recommendation would be the Tribune.

            1. re: marcopolo

              I forgot about Tribune. I'll give it a try it soon.

            2. re: 23skidoo

              Giant Hamburger- oh dear lord. A burger place that uses what look like burgers from M&M. I seem to recall that they have really good fries, though they're probably from a sysco bag.

            3. re: Shazam

              I saw in this morning's Herald that the Vickers chain sold off Chicago Chophouse last week. The new owners have kept the name/executive chef/etc....

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

              1. re: tex_in_yyc

                I don't like to give him too much flack, actually. He also runs an environmental services business, and was one of the first people cleaning up after the BP oil spill.

            4. Even though I havn't had very many meals there, my past experiences have been quite decent. The service I received was great. It was an anniversary for my girlfriend and me so I had actually prebooked the entire nights meal and everything turned out great.The only thing we ordered when we arrived with our waiter was our drinks and beyond that, everything turned out great. The lobster mac n cheese turned out fantastic with pasta cooked to perfection, and the steaks were a rare done wel. We also had mushroom caps to start and those were just delicious. But judging from the menu that is posted online, things have changed a little since I've last been there. I also have to agree with 23skidoo here and say that to truly appreciate what the restaurant has to offer, steak needs to be eaten (mind you, I'm not sure if your husband had ordered the steak). Fish I would leave to Catch.

              Vintage is still my favorite steakhouse. However, their service sometimes is a little inconsistent.

              1. I know it makes no sense to go to a steakhouse and not eat the steak but they were out of 3 cuts of steak, one (the bison) of which I would have ordered if it had been available. It struck me as odd that a steakhouse would be out of 3 cuts on a Friday night. I had also already had steak at lunch and wanted something lighter. My husband had the tenderloin which was good but just as good as any tenderloin I've had BBQ'd at home.

                Regardless of the fact that I didn't have the steak I think any "specialized" restaurant that chooses to serve anything other than the specialty item should still put in as much effort with the quality of it. Especially at the prices they charge. And I never had an issue with the arctic char. I had an issue with the slice of grilled zucchini that looked and smelled like it had been picked out of the garbage and the greasy, cold calamari.

                3 Replies
                1. re: asiandelight

                  I agree I was at Charcut on the weekend and DH & his brother both ordered the whole fish - I managed to sneak a bite and it was fantastic.

                  1. re: asiandelight

                    Did you talk to the server and send the calamari back? If it was cold and greasy they could have fried you a fresh batch at the right temperature.

                    1. re: asiandelight

                      Well, given those few comments I would just have to say shame on them. I do agree that if you have it on your menu, it should really shine or else take it off.