Elements Urban Tapas Parlour

Tapas is a style of food that is beginning to grow on me. I’ve tried Spanish tapas, Korean fusion tapas, and now urban tapas?  The food was fresh and brimming with flavor. Service was attentive, but not obstructive.  I really enjoyed the salmon and tuna tempura. Pork belly with pickled cantaloupe was delightful. The greasiness of the pork belly was offset nicely by the acidity and sweetness of the pickle.  The mini beef burgers and two tone frites went well. Although the frites was more than enough for the two of us and a bit over salted.  Moderately priced and definitely worth another visit.

grilled vegetable antipasto, olive tapanade, hummus, breads, spicy pickled radishes
red salad, radicchio, tomatoes, peppers, blood orange vinaigrette
wild bc salmon & ahi tuna tempura roll, wasabi, tobiko, ponzu
pork belly bites, canteloupe pickle, honey & chilli glaze
two mini burgers, smoked gouda, crispy onions, dijonnaise on sourdough rolls with Pemberton beef & re-up bacon, and two tone frites, with truffle & white balsamic aiolis

Elements Urban Tapas Parlour on Urbanspoon

Crepe Montagne

Ahhh crepes, seems to be a trend that has staying power. Judging by the number of restaurants in Whistler that serve them. I love food when it is fresh, or as they say not out of a jar or can. We liked it so much we came back the next day for breakfast. Service was top notch and the atmosphere does remind me of what a French cafe could be like. I like their super healthy options such as smoothies or juices with choice of protein powder or ginseng.  The cafe is tiny, but they seem to turn over fast. We did not have to wait very long for a table. I love their variety, would like to come back to try their sweet crepes or fondue sometime.

Eggs benedict florentine
Creme anglaise with muesli, strawberries, bananas, almonds and a side of ham.
Crepe with eggs, tomato, ham and three cheeses
Mixed berry smoothie

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Anju Restaurant & Eecha Lounge

Anju serves Korean tapas meant to go along with drinks.  Similar concept to an Izakaya in Japanese cuisine. Korean fusion with a nice dash of urban vibe.  The charming house that is home to this restaurant has changed hands over the years. When I last lived downtown, it was a coffee and tea house called Caffeine and Leaves. Tuesday night, early, we had no problem walking in without reservations. We sat upstairs in the lounge with a table facing the window. Cozy. Music was being piped in the other room, but it was not so loud that we couldn’t chat.  It’s probably not like this most nights.

Onto the food. It was fantastic.  The service was a little slow to start, but was good. I asked for a virgin cocktail based on a mojito.  The bar put together something sweet, tasted like guava juice, infused with Thai basil. Lovely and a nice counterpoint to some of the spicy dishes we would have. I love their liberal use of gojujang, a red chili paste in their recipes.  The base flavor was in many of the dishes we ordered, but tasted different enough for my liking. I loved the KFC, much better than Colonel Sander’s version. The fried anchovies were a nice trip back into childhood where Mom would serve fried dace with steamed rice and black beans. Except these are honey garlic.  Mmmm.  The salmon tacos were delish and I loved the gojujang sauce with the pulled pork tacos.

This place is popular.  Reservations highly recommended.

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Billingsgate Lighthouse Cafe

I’ve known about this place for a while, but just got around to trying it.  Billingsgate Fish Co. has both a seafood market and a diner.  Their fresh sea food in the market is superb.  I brought home oysters in the shell and pickeral. The cafe is a nice idea, you can pick anything from the market and they will cook it for you.  This is mostly a fried fish kind of a place.  My friend had the Boston clam chowder.  I sampled it, it was good, but had a strong flavor of tarragon.  I find tarragon to be pretty overpowering and should be used sparingly.

We shared the crab cakes which tasted house made. Very good. The oysters in the burger were plump and delicious, but they spent too much time in the deep fryer and were dark brown. Same with the fries.  For a diner, I think its’ good value. I would come back if only for the freshness of the seafood.

Billingsgate Lighthouse Cafe on Urbanspoon

Big Fish Dockside

Where in landlocked Calgary, can you find good seafood? Big Fish!  This would be the second time I’ve visited, and it won’t be the last.  If you like oysters on the half shell, Mondays are two for one. We made a raid on them.   Their fish dishes were perfectly cooked, and full of flavor. We also had dessert.  The Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie with Praline Vanilla Bean Mousse and Caramel was sooo good! Holiday Monday, we practically had the restaurant all to ourselves.  We had a diverse group (including a gluten free diner) and our server was very patient with offering menu suggestions. Will return to sample more of the menu.

They source what they can locally and the fish… well it’s pretty fresh.

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Ox and Angela

Went to Ox and Angela for dinner. Beautiful night, sat on the patio and watched the traffic go by on 17th Ave.  I really like the idea of tapas.  Order a couple of dishes, sip on your drink, chat, eat. Order a second round, do the same. Then a third. We finished our meal with the salads.

The food was really good. Enjoyed the bruschetta and clam dishes. Loved the scallops. Thought the asparagus was tasty, but a bit on the greasy side.  Surprised with the salad. The vinaigrette had a touch of sweetness which I appreciated. The zucchini could have had more flavor but I did enjoy all the manchego that came with it.  Their food is locally sourced, with organic and naturally raised ingredients. Tomatoes come from Broxburn Farm and the beef is Spring Creek Ranch.

The service was very good.  They tried not to be too intrusive, we were really engaged with our conversation.  The type of service where they give you fresh dinnerware and cutlery between courses.

I would recommend this place for a date. Well, outside anyway. A casual, kind of a date. Or the place to catch up with friends if you haven’t been in a while.

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Clive Burger

This is a burger joint I can eat at. Hormone and antibiotic free beef. Looks promising and I wonder if it lives up to the hype? The burger was average, and far better than the dried out Alley Burger that I waited an hour for. (This one came in 15 minutes). The toppings were fresh and free, I added fried onions and mushrooms. Tasty burger, but Dairy Lane’s burgers are juicier. Fries were crisp and thick, only problem was that they were heavy on the salt. I had the vanilla milkshake, that was really good. We only ordered one order of fries; it’s big enough for two. They had extra so they gave us another one for free. Nice gesture, but we saved them for later.  Oh, and the artwork is kind of neat. Will come by again if I’m in the area.

 
Clive Burger 17th on Urbanspoon

Fuel For Gold

I’ve tried this place a few times and clearly keep on coming back. They have a hearty bean, lentil and wild rice salad. Their sandwiches and paninis are really good.  They use quality local and organic ingredients. Their homemade cookies are big enough to share and delish.  They carry Phil and Sebastian’s coffee which would make it the best coffee on campus. Nice healthy and affordable options at the UofC, for a change.

It’s sponsored by the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary, whose dietians and chefs design the menu. Great idea!

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Gaucho Brazilian BBQ

Went for dinner with a party of 25 on Saturday. Drinks came pretty quickly, but the meat was slow to come around at the start. Having been to their competition, Bolero’s, Gaucho definitely wins in the flavor department. The choices for the salad bar complimented the meal nicely. There was a nice variety of meat, it would be nice if they offered grilled pineapple.  They even let use bring in a large cake for our celebration. Will return next time I’m in the mood for a meat fest.

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Gluten free muffins and ice cream

I made a second attempt at gluten free muffins.  Not as successful as the first attempt.Very dense and heavy.  Still trying to find the ideal baking time.  Baked for 33 minutes but could have probably used more time. Also omitted the xanthan gum as I have a friend who can’t eat it.  I’ll add it again next time and see if it affects the texture. Also used quinoa flour which gives it a nutty taste. Will see if I can find a substitute for that too.

I stopped by My Favorite Ice Cream Shoppe yesterday. Been meaning to try this one for a while. I thought that paying $3.25 for a fairly large single scoop was a good deal.  The ice cream was pretty good, I think the flavor was mud slide. Tasted like mocha with vanilla. Perfect treat after swimming. They have 72 flavors, I think I will be back for more.

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