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YYC FOODIE SCOOP - Pig and Duke, Best New Restaurant in Calgary! Don't miss this one.

s
summersupper Feb 9, 2012 12:22 AM

I just had one of the best meals I have had in years!!!

I was tempted to keep it a secret to myself before it gets overrun by all you gluttons, but knowing the somewhat onerous nature of Calgary's restaurant scene, I'd rather see this one stick around. At least long enough for me to try everything on the menu. Finally... I mean, AMEN, FINALLY (!) this city has some phenomenal Mexican food (John Manzo I'm looking at you). :)

It's kind of hard for me to explain this place. Which is refreshing because I'm so thankful it's not another subpar overpriced bland poutine-wings-fusion / decor-over-quality restaurant that has become so ubiquitous in Calgary these days. Basically, they have everything I love: artisanal beer, Mexican food, great value, homemade ice cream, and bacon everywhere! It sounds like a heart attack, but it hits more like a heartbreak. I was with a group of people, and every single thing we ate was delicious. I am planning to go back again.

Grand Opening is the 25th of February -- located at 12th & 12th SW where Crush used to be.
All I can say is go go go go!!! Tell me what you think!

They put truffles and bacon on their mac & cheese! Best caesar in the city, no contest, because it gets weird. Amazing empanadas and braised pork belly... chicharrones, best desserts I've had in a long time, rotisserie for miles... And they close at midnight. Beer is around $5.

Okay let's discuss. What are 3 things it would take for a restaurant to get into your top favorites?

For me, it's comfort... price... and consistent deliciousness (spicy food, big salads, great desserts... and random inventive ethnic sh*t.)

Sorry to rave. I just really hope this place succeeds. Looking forward to your thoughts on this one!

-----
Pig and Duke
1312 12 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T3C 1B8, CA

  1. sidepockets Mar 5, 2012 08:05 AM

    Stopped by the Pig & Duke on Saturday for a couple of beers and some snacks. My buddy tried The Pig - a 12 oz patty that is flattened out to approximately a foot in diameter with a giant bun and loads of toppings - he didn't finish it in the allotted 20 mins but said it was one of the best tasting burgers he has had in a while and the side of fries were top-notch, as well.
    The wings we had (called bacon dust - deep fried and then covered in bacon bits) were passable but nothing to write home about.
    We were greatly disappointed in the nachos - they came out in a small (~8 inch diameter) cast iron skillet and were piled only about 4 inches high. The toppings were all fresh and they tasted delicious but we were expecting more for $17 (we added the steak on top - which was delicious). The waitress said they recently changed the size of the order and it was evident - this was more of an appetizer for one person; if two people share (which we did) you will definitely need to order another menu item to fill you up.

    1. cellophane_star Mar 1, 2012 08:55 AM

      After seeing this post, I decided to visit this pub for lunch on Family Day. Bonus points for it actually being open... we tried a half dozen other places, all closed. There was only a few other tables of people so we lucked out.

      Our waitress was fantastic. She was very attentive, friendly and not pushy. When my soup didn't come out as I expect, she didn't hesitate to take it away and not charge me for it.

      The food though, I wasn't that impressed. I was expecting a "gastropub" type menu (ugh, I hate that word) like District but it was definitely more pub-ish for my tastes. I got a salad which came with a large portion of chicken but the house made dressing tasted like bottled Kraft Italian. The Thai soup was so not what I was expecting. It looked like chicken noodle soup with dumplings. I was expecting a coconut milk based soup. It was bland and not good but like I said, the waitress saw I was not satisfied and took it away.

      I was with 5 other people. 3 of them ordered the fish tacos, which they enjoyed but thought the portion size was small. Another ordered the poutine; it was huge and good for a poutine lover. The last person ordered a pasta dish. I can't remember the details but he said it was good.

      Overall, I'd say this is definitely a "drinks & snacks" kind of bar or if you're into less healthy fare. Personally, I like the variety of healthy AND indulgent items at District since I'm not into deep fried, gravy smothered stuff. I'd probably visiting P&D again but it wasn't as "foodie" as I expected.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cellophane_star
        s
        slingshotz Mar 1, 2012 05:05 PM

        We went back again last night and had frog legs and duck wings along with the chicken wings and the duck wings (they were actually duck legs) were absolutely amazing, they were not deep fried but braised and fall off the bone tender. I'm hesitant to post this as I'll be back for them and if they are all sold out from demand I will be very sad.

        How can chicharones, ribeye crackle, frog legs, duck legs and prawn tacos not be foodie? I'd admit its definitely not the place to go for light food although their coleslaw was very good too.

        1. re: slingshotz
          cellophane_star Mar 2, 2012 07:15 AM

          Those items are definitely foodie so I probably didn't choose the best wording for that.

      2. d
        Dawnerson Mar 1, 2012 08:55 AM

        Went there last night!! It was FABULOUS!! I loved the Tandoori wings (needs a little more of the seasoning though) and the pigtin was fantastic!! couldn't get enough!! Not to mention the Guiness!! Finally someone who knows the way a good pint of Guiness should be!!! Will be back...maybe tonight!!!!

        1. l
          Leibowitz Feb 29, 2012 07:46 PM

          I've eaten there a couple of times now and it is an excellent pub with absolutely great food. They also did very well with the beer list. The prices are also outstanding, especially for a pub in the Beltline.

          The menu is not exclusively, or even particularly, Mexican, though. There are a few items, but they're pulling from all over North America.

          One caveat, though: you can still smell the fresh paint and glue. That'll go away of course; I'd advise sitting near the bar for now.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Leibowitz
            h
            hgpauls Feb 29, 2012 08:15 PM

            I ate there tonight and it was a pleasant surprise. We had wings, a chicken quesadilla and fish and chips. All were good and we enjoyed our food. Drink prices were also very reasonable and there is a great selection of beers on offer.

            It definitely wasn't crowded but the place had plenty people in, most tables were taken and it and looked to be doing well. Makes a change from Crush when there would maybe be one or two tables taken at best some nights. The music was also pretty good (to my tastes anyway) and not too loud either.

            Service was so-so but they're not long open so they get a pass this time.

            We live closeby and will definitely go back.

          2. s
            slingshotz Feb 29, 2012 08:01 AM

            Checked out this place last night and ordered a bunch of different things off the menu (about 7 items). We were not disappointed with any of them, especially the daily special which was $2 prawn tacos! We tried the pig fat popcorn, ribeye crackle, chicharrones, pig knuckles, nachos with beef (big pieces of steak not crappy ground beef), onion rings and prawn tacos. The nachos stated it was for two to share but beware of this, they must mean two very, very hungry people as it was quite large and very tasty.

            The value, quality and quantity were all spot on and it's refreshing to be in a bar that's not dimly lit. Service was decent except the waitress didn't know the daily specials.

            There are so many interesting things on the menu I want to try next time. I saw others having the burgers and mashed potatoes, looked awesome as well.

            1. l
              Leibowitz Feb 14, 2012 11:47 PM

              Kinda sorry, as I liked Brad, the previous owner. However, on first hype, this looks great.

              1. cellophane_star Feb 14, 2012 12:11 PM

                Look out... Avenue is on to them!

                http://www.avenuecalgary.com/articles...

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