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Moving to Calgary

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Piggy Smalls Mar 12, 2013 10:34 AM

Any suggestions for local eats? I've been to Calgary before and tried Model Milk, Centini's, and Charcut, all of which I've enjoyed. However, I'm looking for more ethnic eats, hole in the walls, etc. - the places you can go to on a day to day basis. Being from Toronto, I'm spoiled with the quality ethnic food here from pretty much every corner of the world, so I'm hoping to find some good places in Calgary as well.

Thanks!

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  1. cellophane_star RE: Piggy Smalls Mar 12, 2013 03:17 PM

    I really like Atlas (Persian cuisine) for kebabs

    Kam Han (in the SW, not the Ramsay location, which I have not been) for their hot & sour soup

    Fire Kirin (in Avenida) for Thai. Also Khao San Thai Kitchen on 17th Ave.

    I love Namskar for Indian.

    5 Replies
    1. re: cellophane_star
      plateofshrimp RE: cellophane_star Mar 14, 2013 01:58 AM

      Ohhhh I love Atlas too but even more their spinoff- Koob The Kabob Factory in Mission. It's AMAZING! These guys should franchise, it would be a gold mine.

      1. re: plateofshrimp
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        a_s_mackay RE: plateofshrimp Mar 21, 2013 10:07 PM

        Koob does sound amazing... Love their real food concept. Couldn't tell, though, from their website if you can eat in or if it's just takeout... Can you tell me?

        1. re: a_s_mackay
          cellophane_star RE: a_s_mackay Mar 22, 2013 10:49 AM

          Mostly take out but I think they have a small number of tables. I haven't been myself, just drive past there every day on the way to work!

          1. re: a_s_mackay
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            johnjohnson78 RE: a_s_mackay Mar 24, 2013 12:51 PM

            There's one long table that can seat maybe 6 or 8 people. It's mainly take-out.

            I've tried the grilled lamb kebab, which is reasonably priced and pretty tasty I must say. They've got a ton of sauce and topping choices.

            The strange thing, however, is that the majority of their signature "home made toppings" aren't very middle eastern in nature (not that they have to be). Things like corn salsa and mexican style pickled onions. I think they're good in their own right but I find it a little strange to throw on a kebab. To each their own I suppose. Kudos to them for trying to bring something new and interesting to the table.

            I particularly liked the options of hummus, sumac onions and spicy pomegranate sauce. They also have house made aioli, sweet donair sauce, a yogurt/garlic/dill sauce, and their own super-hot sauce as well as Sirracha.

            They wrap these babies tight (so they don't fall apart and get sloppy), and they finish them in the hot panini press which I really like.

            For the OP, another great place for shawarmas and middle eastern fare is Taza Deli in Bridgeland. Arguably the best in town for shawarma platters and sandwiches.

            1. re: johnjohnson78
              plateofshrimp RE: johnjohnson78 Mar 25, 2013 05:41 PM

              OP if you're googling that it's "Tazza." Sorry.

      2. s
        Scary Bill RE: Piggy Smalls Mar 12, 2013 03:42 PM

        Firstly, don't be so lazy, read the board.

        Secondly, Song Huong, Noodle World, Olive Chicken, Shikiji, Rocky's Burger Bus (ethnic Calgary), Izumi Sushi (weekend special), Holy Smoke BBQ, Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus, Without Papers, etc.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Scary Bill
          cellophane_star RE: Scary Bill Mar 14, 2013 04:26 PM

          My husband brought home sushi from Izumi Sushi a while ago. It's close to our house so he thought he'd try it out. One of the rolls had Kraft Singles on it, which I found very strange.

          1. re: cellophane_star
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            Scary Bill RE: cellophane_star Mar 15, 2013 12:43 PM

            Cello, almost lost my coffee (and my computer) on that comment.

            We have been going to Izumi for about 5-6 months, mostly getting the weekend ":Love Boat" special, about $34 for enough food to feed 2 VERY hungry people, or 3 - if you order another miso soup. In addition to miso, it includes rice (we get the spicy salmon hand cone), sushi (standard items) a couple of rolls, teriyaki, and tempura. It has always been great, fresh, and flavourful, never a disappointment.

            We have also noticed a pick-up in patronage over the same period. I am of the understanding that the restaurant changed hands shortly before we started going, initially as the result of a Groupon and Mrs. Scary's desire to fond good sushi in the neighbourhood.

            While I have never ordered the Kraft Singles Roll (ha-ha), I have noted that they have a cream cheese something or other, which is not to my taste in sushi, which is more traditional. If you haven't been in a while, perhaps you went under old ownership, and if so, I'd give them another try.

          2. re: Scary Bill
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            Scary Bill RE: Scary Bill Mar 15, 2013 01:53 PM

            Oh, and the Danish Club especially Saturdays, (aebleskiver)The Austrian Club (good schnitzel is hard to find here), Joycee's Caribbean, etc.

            1. re: Scary Bill
              cellophane_star RE: Scary Bill Mar 18, 2013 10:58 AM

              Shhhh.... the Danish Club is a secret... :) I've been going there for years with my husband's (Danish) family and we love it. I ever bought an aebleskiver pan! I just don't want people to know about it because then we would have to wait in line just like at every other weekend brunch spot! We usually make reservations anyway.

              1. re: cellophane_star
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                Scary Bill RE: cellophane_star Mar 18, 2013 01:07 PM

                Did I write "Danish"? I mean't SPANISH, Spanish Club! I'm so bad at speeling.

                And who'd want to pay expensive private club prices for glorified Timbits made by smelly and dangerous Vikings anyway, eh? Not me, that's fer sure!!!

          3. plateofshrimp RE: Piggy Smalls Mar 14, 2013 01:56 AM

            Calgary has a different ethnic profile than Toronto has, as in mostly that there is very little Caribbean food here, but for Asian and Middle Eastern food it's as good as any city in country. The biggest ethnic choice here is definitely Vietnamese, in fact I read that Calgary has more Vietnamese places per capita than any city in North America. Urban Spoon lists over 200. And some are pretty good :-).

            We have bucket of Shwarma and Indian places too, I'm talking dozens and dozens.

            In my very humble opinion sushi in Calgary is better than Toronto or Montreal (lots better than Montreal actually) but not as good as Vancouver, which isn't a surprise I guess. I'm in love with Red Ember and Shigatsu these days.

            I have to say that one of my fave ethnic places is only open Thursday-Sunday and it's Kaffir Lime at Kingsland Farmers Market. Indonesian. I dream about their gado gado :-)

            My fave Chinese places are Delicious Country, Calgary Court and Han's. There's lots of Hong Kong café style Chinese places and not just in Chinatown and more like DC and Hans that serve more Sechuan and Taiwanese style dishes.

            So you won't find a ton of jerk or roti but you'll find a lot of other options here- welcome to Calgary, I moved here 14 years ago from Toronto and have found my foodie places with a little exploring!

            1. s
              slingshotz RE: Piggy Smalls Mar 14, 2013 10:41 AM

              White Elephant for Thai, it's definitely a hole in the wall in a slightly dodgy hotel but by far the best Thai in the city.

              4 Replies
              1. re: slingshotz
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                cleopatra999 RE: slingshotz Mar 18, 2013 03:28 PM

                Khao San Thai on 17th is our favourite for Thai food. Will have to try White Elephant next time.

                Is ThiThi still around, that was always a fav for their Vietnamese Subs? The one down on the edge of Chinatown that is. I know some knock offs came around.

                1. re: cleopatra999
                  plateofshrimp RE: cleopatra999 Mar 18, 2013 10:32 PM

                  Thi Thi is absolutely still around. Calgary has scores of Vietnamese sub places but Thi Thi- the original across from Harry Hays I mean- is the best.

                  There's a second Thi Thi that I think was their attempt at franchising on 8th Ave by the (late) Uptown Theatre but IMO it's not as good.

                  If you mean Thai Tai as a knockoff- it's not bad at all. I live near the one by Morgan's Pub on 17th and it's not bad value and their bubble tea is fantastic. Their noodle bowls and such are pretty bad though. Subs are big and drippy and like I say pretty good, but on 17th the best Viet subs are at Kim Anh across from Western High.

                  1. re: plateofshrimp
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                    cleopatra999 RE: plateofshrimp Mar 19, 2013 06:02 PM

                    definitely meant Thi Thi, I loved eating there! The chicken sate sub, sooo good, cheap, large and spicy! Might have to hit that up next time I am in town.

                  2. re: cleopatra999
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                    NumberFive RE: cleopatra999 Mar 20, 2013 01:04 PM

                    For great takeout Thai, Jackie's Thai in Eau Claire is also excellent. Well priced and delicious.

                2. f
                  forthetrees RE: Piggy Smalls Mar 18, 2013 05:39 PM

                  Thai Tai for subs on 17th Avenue, Basil for Vietnamese in the NE and Karma for Indian in the SE, Holy Smoke for BBQ.

                  Lots of favorite places on 17th Ave- Farm, The Coup, Una.

                  These are all places I love to visit when I come home to Calgary!

                  1. k
                    kashirat RE: Piggy Smalls Mar 20, 2013 12:06 PM

                    OEB Breakfast is a place for breakfast - I make a point to go there every time I am in Calgary.

                    1. c
                      changy RE: Piggy Smalls Mar 23, 2013 12:43 AM

                      South Silk Road for Chinese (Yunnan) food
                      Szechuan Restaurant for Szechuan food
                      Inti for Peruvian food

                      I moved from a East Coast city to Calgary about a year ago, and these restaurants I find to be as good as those in cities like NY/Toronto/Vancouver.

                      Not sure if you do any travelling for your job but there's this taco joint in Grande Prairie that makes the best tacos.

                      1. j
                        julie17 RE: Piggy Smalls Mar 28, 2013 12:09 AM

                        Hi I'm from Toronto and moved here 20 years ago. I agree with you, there were so many great ethnic joints to visit there. I would recommend Jonas on 6th ave SW downtown and its Hungarian. They have a website so you can view their menu. In Chinatown there's lots of places, but our fav is called Ho Wan. Some of the best squid I have ever tasted. For Vietnamese we like to go to Saigon Anam located in Douglasglen plaza. (Deerfoot and 24th SE). For Indian, Taj Mahal on MacLeod Trail is good and they've been there for years, but we like a family run place at Ogden Rd and Glenmore tr SE called Tandori Palace. Hope you try some of my choices. Good Luck!

                        1. h
                          hungryneko RE: Piggy Smalls Apr 1, 2013 01:58 PM

                          I am answering your "Hole in the wall" ethnic foods, recently visited Tropical Delight Noodle House for some pretty delicious and authentic Malaysian "fast" food. Beef rendang and roti, laksa noodle soup and kolo meen.
                          Also in the NE, Pho Xuan for Vietnamese pho, feels like a canteen in there. Bun bo hue at Song Huong (17th ave SE), you can get it with pork blood jelly or without.

                          1. m
                            misterpeer RE: Piggy Smalls Apr 4, 2013 01:50 AM

                            Sura for Korean food is a good spot, hidden in a neighborhood

                            1. m
                              miss.foodie RE: Piggy Smalls Apr 11, 2013 01:52 AM

                              I like Naina's Kitchen for their stuffed burgers and Cowtown Beef Shack (literally a drive-thru shack off Macleod Tr) for their beef dip... Jimmy's A&A for their chicken shawarma.

                              +1 for other places already mentioned like Han's, Pho Xuan, Tropical Delight Noodle House, Song Huong, Thi Thi for their sate banh mi, and Jackie's Thai in Eau Claire food court (love their Chiang Mai Noodle Soup and Pad Thai)...

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