Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cedar's Deli

This is a restaurant that we both really enjoy, so much so that Cedar's Deli catered our wedding rehearsal dinner; a little different but it turned out to be a hit.  Therefore, it's no surprise that the husband met up with a friend there recently to enjoy a delicious beef donair.  While the wife has had amazing shawarmas in Montreal, Cedar's is definitely her favourite for Mediterranean food in Calgary (she prefers the chicken over the beef).

The best thing about this restaurant?  It's completely seafood-free!  That means that we don't even need to think about allergies when we walk in these doors.  What we do think about is how filling these wraps are and how flavourful the meat is - not to mention the fresh toppings.  Not only is it a healthy meal, it's also quite economical considering how large the wraps become.

The husband's partially-eaten beef donair (with a baklava in the background - mmm).
Seafood-free friendliness: We couldn't ask for more; as long as Cedar's doesn't add seafood to their menu, we'll happily come back to have one of our favourite lunches!

Cedars Restaurant & Deli on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Perogy Boyz Food Truck

This is a food truck that the husband has been wanting to check out for a while and we finally did it on a drizzly day near the university.  After seeing Perogy Boyz Food Truck on Eat Street, it seemed like it would be a good opportunity to try unique perogy fillings that aren't easily found at restaurants or stores (side note: the husband really, really likes cottage cheese perogies but has not found them readily available in Calgary - any suggestions?).  The irony is that in the end, the husband went with the traditional perogies so that he could see how they fared against past perogies he's had.

Considering the fact that getting a perogy fix in Calgary is limited, the husband deemed his traditional perogies to be good; however, they didn't necessarily taste that different from our favourite store-bought perogies.  The wife's perogies were more uncommon although she was confused at first because she forgot that the sauerkraut was a filling and not a topping.  The strange thing is that she didn't realize this until a few perogies later, which meant that there was almost no taste differentiation between the sauerkraut perogies and the traditional perogies.  Despite this, we did appreciate the amount of bacon and sour cream we received which lasted until the end of our meal.  The sausages on the other hand were a little small for our liking and accompanied by a mustard that was so strong that we abandoned it.

While the meal was filling enough for a lunch, we did find it to be quite costly and the wait time was much too excessive as it was 45 minutes of standing in light rain, something that might not even happen in a sit-down restaurant (the time it took, not the weather conditions).  Since most people get a limited amount of time for lunch, Perogy Boyz needs to become more efficient in order to attract and retain the lunch crowd.

The husband's traditional perogies and knackwurst sausage.
The wife's sauerkraut perogies and Kielbasa sausage.
Seafood-free friendliness: What's positive about Perogy Boyz is that they don't have seafood on the menu at all.  What's negative is that it felt like we were paying "market price" for our food and waiting for them to catch it live.

Perogy Boyz Food Truck on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Why Risk It

In watching some videos on Anaphylaxis Canada's YouTube account, we came across the Why Risk It website for youth and young adults dealing with allergies.  One page of interest was the dining out page with the statistics on what American food service personnel thought about allergies; we're not sure if it's comparable in Canada but what a shock!  The statistics that jumped out at us the most were:
  • 24% thought allergic individuals could safely consume a small amount of an allergen
  • 25% thought that removing an allergen from a finished food (e.g. taking nuts off) was enough to provide a safe meal
That's a quarter of the people that could potentially touch your food!  While we recognize that it does take additional time and work to take care of restaurant patrons with allergies, we shudder to think of what the alternative could be.  What a good reminder for us to speak up and eat safe.

Also, be sure to check out the Why Risk It blog; there are lots of entries from others who have suffered allergies.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Angel's Drive In

Angel's Drive In is just the place that we envision would make an appearance on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives due to their unique decor and atmosphere so we were curious to see how the food fared.  The husband has been here before but it was a new experience for the wife.

It's sort of hard to miss in Bowness!
While we noticed that fish and chips, a fish burger, and Caesar salad were offered here, they didn't seem too prominent on the menu so we didn't think to mention the seafood allergy (although in the future, it would probably be prudent to do so...).  However, we both lived to blog about it so we are going on the assumption that the burgers didn't touch anything else.  Neither of us were too hungry so we each ordered a mozzarella burger filled with a mayonnaise-based sauce, onions, mozzarella, bacon, lettuce, and tomato.

Pretty substantial burgers; we're glad we didn't get fries on top of this!
The burgers were filling and they tasted just like homemade burgers that perhaps Mom would make for us.  The patties had that familiar grilled taste and the toppings were fresh and generous.  They weren't gourmet burgers but at the same time, they were pretty much what we hoped for in a little drive in like this.

Seafood-free friendliness: There is seafood on the menu, particularly fish, so it's probably worth mentioning an allergy; however, it looks like people mostly come here for the beef burgers and the floats/milkshakes (based on our observations when we dined there).  Angel's seems to be a family-friendly place where you can get comfort food at a reasonable price so we'll likely return there this summer to try other things on the menu.

Angel's Drive In on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jelly Modern Doughnuts

The third course in our adventures following Holy Crepe Food Truck and Big Cheese Poutinerie was the dessert round.  The husband surprised the wife by taking her to Jelly Modern Doughnuts, which was a nice finale to their meal.  Since we were both full, we only ordered the three-bite doughnuts but they did leave us wanting more.  The husband had the s'more doughnut (as depicted on the left) and the wife had the Nenshi's salted caramel doughnut (as depicted on the right).  A pleasant surprise for both of us was finding that neither doughnut was as sweet as we feared; we didn't really want to feel as if we ate blocks of sugar even if it was dessert.

Oh no - we didn't notice that this was blurry either but that just means we'll have to go back.
Seafood-free friendliness: Jelly Modern Doughnut does not have any seafood on the menu - which one would probably expect - making it very friendly for allergy-sufferers.  Hooray for dessert (although they do have sandwiches as well)!  According to their menu, they only offer chicken salad and egg salad for their sandwiches, which makes us very happy as cross-contamination between egg salad and tuna salad seems to happen more frequently than it should (which in our eyes means never).  We hope to return for larger doughnuts in a wider variety, possibly including a sandwich or two.

Jelly Modern Doughnuts on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 15, 2012

Big Cheese Poutinerie

After sharing our crepe at Holy Crepe Food Truck, we decided that we needed something else to complement our meal so we walked to Big Cheese Poutinerie on 17th Avenue to continue our Quebecois-themed lunch. While the wife has already determined that her favourite poutines come from Maaam Bolduc and La Banquise in Montreal and La Belle Patate in Canmore, there was definitely interest in seeing what this Calgary poutinerie had to offer.

The nice thing was that there were hardly any people at Big Cheese Poutinerie so we had some time to think about what to get.  As the husband is usually more traditional in his poutine selections (give him squeaky cheese curds, good gravy, and the occasional smoked meat over his fries and he's happy), the wife suggested ordering the Hogzilla with Carolina pulled pork, double smoked bacon, and peppercorn gravy as a compromise.  Since we were sharing the poutine, we split a large order but learnt that in the future, sharing a small poutine would suffice.

The Hogzilla poutine: Definitely larger than we anticipated and just as tasty as we hoped.
This poutine choice was delicious; however, after a few bites, we realized that the husband ended up getting more of the pulled pork and the wife got more of the bacon and gravy so if you're sharing, you might need to switch sides after a while due to the uneven layering.  The bacon added the right crunch and the small bits of pulled pork tasted great with the peppercorn gravy but it didn't seem as though there was a lot of pulled pork in the first place.  We didn't try the Montreal smoked meat poutine here so we can't compare it to our local favourite at Alberta King of Subs but the husband is willing to make another trip to Big Cheese one day (although parking is not very conducive at this location).

Seafood-free friendliness: We love that this poutinerie is absolutely seafood-free, which means that we can come back and try anything on the menu.  There are no concerns about cross-contamination with either the poutine toppings or the fries, which is already a treat in itself.  The cheese may not be as squeaky as out east but it's a step above fast-food fare with interesting selections, so we probably wouldn't mind attempting more menu items.

Big Cheese Poutinerie on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Holy Crepe Food Truck

We did it!  It's amazing what happens when you post your goals online - they actually take place.  Alright, that may be a slight exaggeration but this past week, we decided that we had to find the Holy Crepe Food Truck.  Their completely seafood-free menu really enticed us but what made us go out of our way was the idea of indulging in the Holy Smokes crepewich.

We were worried that we'd miss them for lunch but caught them just in time.
We apologize for the blurriness of the picture (hungry tummies, unsteady hands) but this crepewich was large enough that we shared it.
The only thing we have to say is that searching out this food truck in the middle of downtown was worth it.  The smoked meat was delectable, the chipotle aioli sauce gave the crepe such a nice kick, and the melted cheese rounded everything out.  It is always a treat when we can fully enjoy anything off of a food truck/restaurant's menu without needing to worry about seafood contaminating any of our selections - now we just need to go back for more crepes!  (The husband's only regret was that he had to share his crepe; he would have much preferred one all to himself.)

Seafood-free friendliness: It doesn't get any better than this food truck and its seafood-free menu.  If Holy Crepe stays this way, this truck may easily become our newest favourite.

Holy Crepe Food Truck on Urbanspoon