A La Saj and Skip The Dishes

This is the first Syrian restaurant that I’ve seen in Calgary. I love trying new things so this was right down my alley.  I love falafel and I think it’s a fair standard to judge a restaurant by. The falafal was packed with veggies; rich and flavorful. I really like pickled turnips.

I tried their Italian Uno, which is wrapped in Saj bread, which is used to make the sandwiches. Saj is common in Lebanon and Syria. This is an example of one of their fusion offerings. It’s a neat idea, and if you were less hungry, this would do the trick.

For dessert, I decided to be adventurous and order the Halawet El Gibin which is a sweetened cheese dessert. Unlike the last pudding I had, which was overwhelming with the flavour of rose water, this was more subtle. I generally don’t like floral notes in my food, but this was just enough to announce it’s presence, but not like an overpowering perfume. The dessert itself was chewy and the texture reminds me of Chinese glutinous rice balls.

I decided to try SkipTheDishes, a new food delivery service in Calgary.  I’ll have to admit,  my only previous online ordering experience was with Panago Pizza.

SkipTheDishes will take your order online, for a variety of restaurants and deliver the food. They are a Canadian company; based out of the Prairies. Calgary is new territory for them.  They work with  over 75 restaurants in Calgary. Most of their restaurants don’t have the capacity to take online orders or drivers to deliver. They hire SkipTheDishes to handle this part of their business. Their target market is Central Calgary at the moment, so you might be out of luck if you live in suburbia.

Their website is nicely done and easy to use.  There is no charge for the costumer. The food arrived at an appropriate temperature, and at the estimated time. If my favorite restaurants are on their list, I would definitely use their service again.

I order delivery around a couple times month. I do like the model of online ordering as in the past I’ve had issues with accents and English proficiency over the phone.

I  was asked to review their service by the company. As most of the readers of this blog will know, I am honest and upfront with my views and my opinions are not influenced by requests for reviews.


Uno / The Italian Our take on a bresaola sandwich with fresh rucola, grated parmesan cheese, olive oil and balsamic reduction   and Falafel
Uno / The Italian
Our take on a bresaola sandwich with fresh rucola, grated parmesan cheese, olive oil and balsamic reduction
and Falafel
Halawet El Gibin
Halawet El Gibin


A La Saj on Urbanspoon

Cedars Deli

After a day of skiing in the mountains, I was famished with nothing in the cupboard and hunger to tame. Hubby had to go to the mall so we visited the food court in Market Mall and I found Cedars Deli. I have been on a Mediterranean kick of late, with making my own pitas and falafel.  Even thought this restaurant is in a food court; it is a local, made in Calgary chain. I was looking for something fresh and healthy, and this fit the bill.

I ordered the Mediterranean plate which had: two falafel, three vine leaves (dolmades),one kibbeh ball, a generous spoonful of hummus, tabouli, tahini and a large whole wheat pita. Everything was tasty and there was more than enough to satisfy my hunger. Don’t let the food court facade fool you. This is healthy, good tasting local food.

Cedars Deli on Urbanspoon

Pita and Falafel

I’m in the mood for something healthy and vegetarian. After a visit to Calgary Shawarma, I wondered if I could make a decent falafel wrap at home.

Kudos to the authors for the pita and falafel recipes.

I was generous with the parsley so I ended up with green falafel! Dried and reconstituted chickpeas give a nice texture.

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I tried the flatten and roll as opposed to my pizza technique which did not require a rolling pin. Rolling pin wins, as the texture is more even.

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I liked the way some of my creations puffed up. Some of them didn’t. And some of them were a little charred.

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Fried is definitely tastier, but baked is healthier! Fried in a cast iron pan.

Fried, and baked falafel
Fried, and baked falafel

My pitas were so small that the falafel didn’t fit inside. Topped with: lettuce, tomato, red onion, black olives, cucumber, Greek yogurt and tahini. Tasted good, though.

Falafel sandwiches, left is fried, right is baked
Falafel sandwiches, left is fried, right is baked

Jimmy's A&A Mediterranean Deli

I don’t know why I haven’t found this place earlier.  It’s so good and the portions are huge.  Friday lunch, the three of us arrived at 12:30 We caused the lineup to go out the door. No matter.  They have lunch service down.  Food is served up as quick as they can make it. I ordered the small chicken shawarma, veggie samosa and a pistachio rose baklava. The chicken was melt in my mouth tender.  There was an orchestra of garlic dancing on my tastebuds and subsequently, my breath. I’ll be happy to have garlic breath any day. Hubby ordered a medium beef donair, which was almost too big to finish. No supper required. The prices are a good value for what you get.  They apparently have ice cream which may warrant a stop on my cycling route.

Small Chicken Shawarma
Small Chicken Shawarma
Medium Beef Donair
Medium Beef Donair
Pistachio Rose Baklava
Pistachio Rose Baklava
The Counter
The Counter


Jimmy's A&A Mediterranean Deli on Urbanspoon