Calgary Suppliers of the good stuff...
As I cook more and more and more at home, and less dining out - I've been prowling for either better stuff at better prices than the Currie Barracks offers, or deeper, darker black magic. I thought I'd share my current hit list in the hope of hearing more of everyone elses.
Bite. Bite Grocerteria. Somehow the best things come here. Somehow the prices are really good. A one time flock of pheasants for less per than the frozen Dirty Willy bricks hanging out in a few of the butchers. Brassica mustard for 3 bucks a jar less than Bon Ton Market. 00 flour, when many of the Italian markets have none. I lucked into a side of milk fed pork - wowed house guests for less than 10 bucks a portion. The single smoked pincher creek pork chops are the easiest, bestest, cheapest pig dinner available.
Eclaire De Lune / Wildegrainz: The two best bakeries that slay the competition on price.
Sunnyside Natural Market: Staples, consistent produce supply - would rather pick my own instead of get the nasty box delivery. Nice staff, some good brands. I'm not sure these guys are better than any of the other organic/community/planet O locations.
Crossroads farmers market - for the most part, filled with slave camp produce, perverted euro bakers and lambs that have been tossed into band saws. Regina’s is the lone light for me here for local pork.
I mistook Blush Lane to be more then it was - and made the horrific drive in hopes of finding utopia - like sunnyside, it is just another organic food mart.
Lady Bug - Tales of Lady Bugs’ foreign work force alleged ill treatment are disheartening.
Hyped one night a week farmer’s market in a parking lot scenarios. Little trays of stuff, with the bad stuff on the bottom, price fixing and the usual suspects making the rounds. Little or no discount considering the zero overhead. I personally am totally disinterested at prospect of haggling. Vapor during the winter months.
I still seek beef. Cheaper than Second to None but better than Costco. Willing to buy frozen in some volume (not quite halves/quarters). Enjoyed some success with Master Meats but would’nt mind a cow with a better pedigree...
Bite is great. I always manage to find something good there. My latest find was Prairie Cherry sauce. Prairie Cherries are out of Saskatchewan, I believe a cross breed developed by the U of S. If you ever see their chocolate covered cherries. Try them!
I agree that Crossroads isn't as good as it could be but do really enjoy the smoked sausage from the Hungarian deli, which they make themselves. Really awesome kolbassa.
Eclair Du Lune has raised their prices quite substantially. In Nov 2009 a plain croissant was $1.45, now it's $2.45. Manuel Letruwe is $2.95 so I don't call that 'slaying' the competition. But there is nothing better than Eclair's mushroom turnovers!
On the beef topic. I met some beef farmers this summer near Cochrane and had a pretty wonderful Alberta beef dinner there. It was called LJ Ranch. They only sell large quantities but you can buy their meat frozen in small portion packs at Twisted Basil in Cochrane. Twisted Basil is an organic food store. They also make some delicious fresh pre-cooked all organic foods like lasagne, shepards pie, quiche, etc.. It sounds like you don't mind driving around but Twisted Basil delivers to Calgary too. They have a website but it sucks. Probably worth a drive out there to see what they have.
Brilliant - thanks for the beef recommendations.
4 day old poppy seed rolls wrapped in saranwrap = perversion
An Eclair at Letruwe is still twice the price of one at Eclair de Lune.. I mean, let the guy feed his family - 1.45 is practically superstore price...
As far as Canada Prime and Costco meat... I agree you are getting the best price on the best stuff available to the chains - but everything about that cow is pretty disagreeable and what I'm talking about by pedigree is the feed lot, carcass processing, hormone/antibiotic stuff...
Eclair de Lune
1049 40 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2K 0G2, CA
I love Kingsland Farmer's Market. They have many of my favourite vendors from the Currie Barracks market (Lund's vegetables, Cucumber Man, etc) + other great ones like Broxburn and Hoven Farms meats. It's closer to my house and they don't have the nightmare parking that CB's market has. They're opening their inside market next weekend (Dec 9)!
I love Bite's selection but I hate how many of their dry pantry items aren't priced.
And I love Cookbooks Co's selection of spices & sauces.