We are coming to an end of era, 22 years to be exact. The owners of Dell’s Cafe in Bowness are selling their cafe and retiring. Their friends say “Finally, it is well deserved.”, but their customers disagree because they have served the community with great food for so long. It will be hard to say good bye and so long. People who know them personally have been dropping by at Dell’s Cafe to have their last favourite meal before they close shop on May 11th. Some of their favourites include the dry ribs, the chicken chow mein or the burgers and fries. Everything is good!
Next to Dell’s is the Sweet Home Bakery that I enjoy very much. I think I have written a post before but here it goes again. The one and only bakery I know in YYC that bakes an apple ring is here. If you haven’t had one then I urge you to go down early and get one. It’s in very limited supply because they go as fast as they can make it.
The apple ring sells for $9.95 and is large enough to share. When we have it, we eat it for breakfast and dessert and it lasts over a week for the two of us. With ice cream, it’s decadent. But on its own, it’s delicious with coffee or tea. It is like an apple pie but without the pastry shell. It is like an apple streudel but without the sprinkled sugar on it. It’s almost a sweet roll with apple pieces.
Take Sarcee Trail north, pass the turn-off to Banff then at the three-way stop, turn left. Follow the road until you’re in Bowness. Take a left turn at the gas station and a quick right into the parking lot. The bakery is right next to Dell Cafe.
If you’re looking for a good walk on a Saturday morning, head over to Kingsland Farmer’s Market on Macleod Trail before Heritage Drive. There’s plenty of parking and lots to buy and samples to try. Twenty years ago, it used to be a Buick dealer. The reason I know that is because I used to live in the apartment block just north of the market and I almost bought a Buick from there. Now it’s converted to a farmer’s market that is open only on weekends.
The market is organized in open stalls, selling fresh vegetables from local farms, handmade chocolates, pastries, desserts, wines and butcher cuts of meat.
The Community Natural Store has a stall that sells popular books, along with a selection of goods from their Chinook and downtown 10th Avenue stores.
Watch for some future blogs on specific vendors that we encountered and enjoy.
After attending the Chinese Festival on Saturday in Chinatown, I have to admit that it was better organized than the first year. My day started at the James Short parking structure with a nice surprise – free parking. That was very nice of the City to provide that to alleviate parking woes in Chinatown.
We were greeted by the dragon or at least the kung fu master who was holding the dragon’s head. He said we had some time before they started the dragon dance so we decided to wonder and browse the kiosks selling knick knacks.
There were the usual stalls that were selling iPod cases for $5, $10 and $15 for the premium cases. One stall sold Angry Birds slippers, Angry Birds pillows and Angry Birds keychains. There was even t-shirts that read Save the Birds – not sure if that was a play on the Angry Birds franchise.
Our friends from Asia Snacks were setup, but not selling our favourite egg puffs. They were too busy with taking orders for their Vietnamese sandwiches, to fire up the waffle-like maker so they kept telling us to come back later. We ran out of patience and ended up at the Dessert House for the egg puffs which were excellent. The mini doughnuts van was out and so was the Noodle Truck, both were very popular. TD Canada Trust were giving out personalized zodiac pins, ZipCar was promoting their new hourly car rental service in downtown Calgary and GlobalFest was selling tickets at their booth. There was something for everyone that attended the festival. Too bad it was only for one day, August 11th but I’m glad they ran it from 10am to 8pm.
One of the best ways to fly internationally is in business class. There you are invited to the front of the plane where individual pods are assigned to travellers like you. It’s nice on a long trip to be treated like royalty or you can adjust your seat and convert it to a bed. You can either sit up and watch your personal entertainment device or lie back and sleep the miles away. Have I convinced you to fly business class? If so, sign up.
The place to sign up is at Sobey’s in their club Sobeys program. Every time you shop there, you can earn Aeroplan points. The thing I like about shopping at Sobey’s is when they have promotional days such as their Dollar Days. I have to admit, I hate broccoli, however for a buck a bag, I can stomach that. It’s actually pretty good in Chinese dishes like Beef and Broccoli or a hotpot with chicken, tofu, celery, green onions, carrots and mushrooms.
Many times a week, Sobey’s will have sale days where they will encourage some bulk buying on your part. As a reward, they will give you additional points. Last week for instance, I purchased two bottles of salsa verde (to make chili verde with pork). From that purchase, I earned 25 points. If you like tea, they were giving you 100 points if you bought 4 boxes. My pantry is full of tea and coffee so I skipped this deal. Bottom line is that everyone needs groceries and a vacation. It makes perfect sense to shop for groceries, earn your Aeroplan points to fly business class on your vacation.
Since the first introduction to a pita pie, I’ve consumed thousands of these tasty morsels and introduced many people to this awesome bakery called the Village Pita Bakery in the NE. When it opens in the morning, there’s already a trickle of people coming in and ordering the famed pita pie. I’ve been there as early as 10am and had to line up for a fresh meat pie.
The original meat pie is a flat pita bread with ground beef, tomato and herb mixture spread on it and baked. To eat it, drizzle lemon juice on it and eat away. Fiery eaters would want to try their homemade hot sauce which is great on the meat pies. When ordering, tell them you plan to eat in and they will serve you up a bowl of fresh olives with your meal.
Other tasty treats include the cheese pie which uses a variety of cheeses, baked on the flat pita bread dough. When fresh out of the oven, the dough is crispy. They will fold it in half and serve it to you. Watch out for the drippings because they come out juicy and hot. If you’re eating with your spouse or a coworker, order 6 and get a break on price. Better yet, order 12 to share it with your family and save some money too.
Complement your meal with a baklava and drink and you’re good for the day. Once you’ve tasted this, you’ll be back for more and hopefully, you’ll bring your family and your friends too.
I have a new craving and I’m off to the Little Lebanon for lunch! Last week when we visited this awesome eatery, we noticed a fresh supply of Fatayers on these wooden racks. Fatayers are triangular pastries that contain tasty stuffing such as chicken, beef, potato and donair meat. When you arrive late, most of the fatayers are bagged and stored in the fridge. They’re ok when heated but they’re not as good as when they are fresh out of the oven.
For fatayer lovers, they are cooked everyday at 10am. I would urge you to go there early to pick up a dozen or two. I recommend the chicken because they’re the best tasting treat. The spinach ones aren’t that good but for vegetarians, they do contain a nice healthy portion of spinach in them.
My wife loves packing them for lunch. She takes three to four of them to work, heat them up in the microwave and devours them. I could eat half a dozen easy but I rather combine it with a shwarma, meat pie or a donair for lunch.
Next time you’re in the neighbourhood (south of Westbrook Mall), drop in, say hello, have a baklava and some fatayers.
Free baklava to those who enter and order food. What a great way to greet customers! I just wished more establishments did that. Next time you’re looking for a taste of Lebanon food or a donair, you have to get down to 35th Street and 17th Avenue SW. Right on the SE corner and across the corner from the golden arches is Little Lebanon.
On a Sunday afternoon, they were baking up fresh fatayers which are triangular pastries filled with chicken, potato or donair meat. We’ve tried them before but only with spinach. This time we thought we would like to try the chicken and so we bought half a dozen for $5. Biting into a hot fatayer filled with delicious chicken was heaven. It was so good, I had to eat another then another. By the time I finished 3, I thought I better make it a dozen which is only $9.50. These are great for lunch and after school snacks.
When we walked in, they were loading up donairs for customers before us. They were piling on the meat as you can see in the photo. It was clear these guys were carnivores with very little to no veggies at all. You could if you wanted to, have tomatoes, lettuce, picked turnips and chili peppers in your donairs.
We ordered pita pies filled with beef. These are flat, thin pancakes the size of a large frisbee, baked crisp with ground beef smothered all over it. There’s some herbs and tomatoes in the mixture. Topped off with lemon juice and hot sauce, it makes a pretty good meal. Pita pies are $3.50 each and for a hungry guy, two to three should do the job. I would recommend a pita pie with a donair and maybe a fatayer to round things off. The dessert baklava is complimentary and is given to everyone who walks in and look lost.
If you like cheese buns, you have to go to Glamorgan Bakery on Richmond Road, just west of 37th Street SW. It’s almost next to Safeway with plenty of parking in front. The cheese buns are world famous and have been sent all over the world.
Glamorgan Bakery is owned by the Nauta family since 1977 and is family-owned and run. Famous are the cheese buns because of the cheesy and buttery flavour. They come freshly baked in bags or you can buy them frozen, ready to make in your own oven.
For the health conscious, they also come in whole wheat. But if you want to buy them frozen, call ahead and ask for them because customers like them original.