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Calgary

Calgary Stampede Food 2017: 19 Wild Foods at the Midway

By RACHAEL FREY

stampedefood

The Calgary Stampede (July 7 – 16, 2017) is the city’s signature event, drawing in well over a million fun-seekers from all over the world. From edge-of-your-seat rodeo action to scream-inducing midway rides to legendary music performances, there’s truly something for everyone—and the food is no exception.

Mini donuts and beef on a bun are staples, but every year food vendors outdo themselves to offer the most mouth-watering—or dare-worthy—concoctions. Leave room for delicacies such as deep fried Jell-O, a metre-long sausage, unicorn white hot chocolate, and pizza infused with Carolina reapers, the Guinness World Record’s hottest pepper.

Here’s a look at the wild foods at The Calgary Stampede this year:

 

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Cheap Eats Calgary 2017: 10 Dishes (with Drinks!) Under $20

By RACHAEL FREY

Put that KD back in the cupboard — we did the math and came up with 10 tasty and varied dishes that can be enjoyed at Calgary restaurants for $20 or less, including an alcoholic beverage.

Chilaquiles at Native Tongues Taqueria (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Chilaquiles at Native Tongues Taqueria (Photo: Jason Dziver)

$11 at Native Tongues Taqueria Happy Hour = $6 Chilaquiles + $5 Margarita

When even $15 is a little much, Native Tongues’ happy hour (2 – 5 pm and 10 pm – close) comes to the rescue with a hearty plate of chilaquiles — totopos piled with salsa verde, crema, queso fresco, onion, and cilantro — and a classic margarita. In fact, any two things on the happy hour menu will be under $15.

$9.65 at Peters’ Drive-In = $4.70 Cheeseburger + $4.95 Milkshake

For the under 18 crowd, teetotalers, and just about everyone, nothing beats a classic burger-and-shake combo. Peters’ Drive-In is a local institution and lineups are a usual sight, but it’s always worth the wait.

$14 at Holy Grill = $6.5 Hamburger + $7.5 “Holy Water”

If the spirit moves you, get thee to Holy Grill for a basic yet well-made hamburger topped with tomato, lettuce, and onion (or splurge for some extra toppings) and “holy water,” a red and white wine mix.

$15 at Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus = $10 Pannenkoek + $5 Domestic Beer

If you’ve never had pannenkoek — a large, thin, crepe-like Dutch pancake — it’s important that you do so at the first possible opportunity. They come in savoury and sweet varieties at Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus, but cheese and leek goes great with a cold beer.

Ramen and sake at Goro + Gun (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Ramen and sake at Goro + Gun (Photo: Jason Dziver)

$18 at Goro + Gun on Saturdays and Happy Hour (Weekdays 3 – 6 pm) = $10 Ramen + $6 to $8 Sake or Beer
There’s one small catch for this deal, so let’s get that out of the way — it only applies to Goro + Gun’s tachigui noodle bar, meaning you have to stand up salaryman-style to eat. Choose from seven varieties of ramen and add three ounces of sake or a draft beer to keep the bill under $20.

$17 at Double Zero Happy Hour = $12 Panini + $5 Beer, Wine, or Prosecco

Take advantage of Double Zero’s happy hour (3 – 6 pm on weekdays) for your choice of beer or select wines and prosecco and a panini — the “Ham and Cheese” with Italian mortadella, granny smith apple, manchego, and mustard aioli is recommended.

$18 at Anejo, 11 am – 3 pm = $13 Tacos and Guacamole + $5 Margarita

¿Tienes hambre? Anejo’s Speedy Gonzales lunch special will soothe the savage beast within. Choose two classic tacos with a mini guacamole and add a margarita for a lunch that will both fill your belly and leave it with that warm, happy tequila sensation.

$19 at Nam Vietnamese Kitchen = $12 Pho + $7 Draft or Bottled Beer

For those not “in the know,” pho (pronounced “fuh”) is Vietnamese noodle soup with various toppings, including basil, onion, bean sprouts, and lime. Nam Vietnamese Kitchen also has vermicelli bowls that fit the budget, plus import and domestic beer.

Eggs Benedict and a Caesar at Alforno Cafe & Bakery (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Eggs Benedict and a Caesar at Alforno Bakery & Cafe (Photo: Jason Dziver)

$20 at Alforno Bakery & Café on Weekends = $15 Eggs Benedict + $5 Mimosa, Bellini, or Caesar

To put it mildly, brunch is rather popular in Calgary. Get your hollandaise fix at Alforno Bakery & Café with a choice of four eggs Benedicts, and wash it down with a mimosa, Bellini, or (if you’re feeling extra Calgarian) Caesar. On Tuesdays, these drinks are regularly priced at $7 but breakfast is only $12, giving you a $19 deal to start your week.

$20 at Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey = $14 ½ Pound of Spare Ribs and Side Dish + $6 Whiskey

A half pound of tender, house-smoked, fall-off-the-bone pork spare ribs (or pulled pork) and a finger of whiskey is the treat your stomach deserves. Half pound not enough? Is $20 too much? Show up after 10 pm when the meat is half price and get a veritable feast for your dollars.

>> Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at wherecalgary and tag your Calgary posts and photos with #WhereYYC

Regal Cat Cafe in Calgary Hotspot for Fuzz Therapy

By SEEMA DHAWAN

Regal Cat Cafe is Calgary's first of its kind. (Photo: J. Blandin)

Regal Cat Cafe is Calgary’s first of its kind. (Photo: J. Blandin)

A cat café is opening its doors to provide Calgarians and visitors with some indulgent fuzz therapy. Located in the city’s Kensington neighbourhood, Regal Cat Café is the city’s first to give visitors the chance to spend time with cats, while enjoying a coffee or some cuddles.

The highly Instagram-worthy Kitty Kingdom is separated from the café by large glass windows, so those warming up to the idea of cat cuddles, or anyone with allergies, can have their space. Cat lovers can make reservations to visit the Kitty Kingdom ($10 for 45 minutes) or drop by the café for some kitty-inspired coffee and macarons.

The concept of cat cafes blossomed in Japan and their popularity is on the rise, with cafés popping up in Europe, Australia and many parts of North America.

“The world is falling in love with cat cafes and now Calgary can too,” says co-owner Tia Wieler.

The café will be home to up to 12 cats and the felines are adoptable for those who can’t get enough. Don’t have a reservation? The café has daily drop in spots for walk-in traffic and visitors.

>> Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and tag your Calgary posts and photos with #WhereYYC

Breakfast in the ‘Burbs

By JAMES YOUNG

When that craving for eggs and waffles strikes, there’s no need to trek in to downtown Calgary — check out these five delicious places for breakfast or brunch in the ‘burbs.

BreakfastBurbsMap_large

The Bro’Kin Yolk
This friendly neighbourhood breakfast joint has become a favourite in north Calgary. Bro’Kin Yolk has the look and feel of a cool inner city restaurant but is located right in the middle of the suburbs and its bright atmosphere has made it a hit with families. But after all, who doesn’t love waffles, bacon, and eggs Benedict made from local ingredients?
130, 12580 Symons Valley Rd NW, 587-317-5743, www.brokinyolk.ca

Starbelly Open Kitchen & Lounge
Grab brunch at Starbelly Lounge where urban living meets the ‘burbs. This restaurant has a great modern atmosphere with an even better menu. Brunch on Sundays is “market style” — guests fill their plates from different stations set up around the restaurant. Snag a waffle, sausages, potatoes, eggs, mac and cheese, and many other options from 10 am – 3 pm every Sunday!
220, 19489 Seton Cr SE, 403-570-0133, starbelly.ca

Bennys Breakfast Bar

Bennys Breakfast Bar

Bennys Breakfast Bar
Hit up this one-of-a-kind diner with the family and indulge in everything brunch! The menu runs deep with over 10 kinds of eggs Benedict to choose from, along with other classic breakfast and lunch dishes and some more unusual options. The restaurant is designed like a classic ’50s diner and the décor is definitely the cat’s pajamas.
7007 – 11 St SE, 403-252-3443, bennysbreakfastbar.ca

Diner Deluxe (Aspen Landing)
This perpetually busy brunch hotspot is a hit with Calgarians living in the west end, so be sure to get there early or plan ahead and make reservations because there will be a line on the weekend! Try the breakfast poutine topped with your choice of double-smoked bacon, barbecue pulled pork, maple chicken sausage, or chorizo.
350 Aspen Glen Landing SW, 403-457-3000, www.dinerdeluxe.com

Cafe Le Matin
This small neighbourhood diner is the perfect place for a laid-back breakfast or brunch any day of the week. Fresh ingredients, great menu, warm atmosphere — there’s nothing not to like about this little gem. Dine cafeteria-style on comfort food like French toast, eggs Benedict with house-made hollandaise, and tasty soup and sandwich specials.
5720 Silver Springs Blvd NW, 403-247-6647

Canadaland Guide to Canada: A Rude Book About a Polite Country

By SILVIA PIKAL

Illustration by Dan Buller, courtesy Canadaland

Illustration by Dan Buller, courtesy Canadaland

Jesse Brown, Canadaland podcast host and publisher, is inviting Canadians to learn more about their history beyond the inspirational narratives Brown says will be abundant during Canada’s 150th birthday year.

In his new satire and comedy book, The Canadaland Guide to Canada, he takes the reader on a journey through Canadian history, politics, and culture to shatter any illusions about Canada as a utopia of maple syrup and rainbows.

Brown promises the reader will find plenty of shocking, funny, and surprising things about Canada.

“It’s a very rude book about a polite country,” Jesse Brown says. “Of course what makes a country interesting is all the nasty stuff, which we’ve got plenty.”

Brown will be performing live across the country to promote the book. He says he doesn’t want to sit and read from his book while on tour, adding that since the book is visual, the show will be too.

He’s going to engage audiences with songs and stories about Canadian cities, amounting to what Brown describes as a “profane TED Talk.” Some fun facts will feature Canada’s first prime minister, John. A. MacDonald, who Brown says was a “raging, raging alcoholic.”

“He drank his way through a successful election campaign,” Brown says. “He was really a blackout drunk throughout his time in office. He was more drunk than most people, but everyone was drunk. It was really cold up here and everyone was hard drinkin’ — that’s the roots of the country.”

For those picking up the book, what really makes the proverbial cherry on top (or gravy on top of the poutine, if you will) is the book’s cover — a reproduction of a Dan Buller painting of Drake cuddling a moose, which is currently hanging in the Canadaland office. What’s more Canadian than that?

Jesse Brown is stopping in Vancouver (May 11), Victoria (May 12), Calgary (May 13), Saskatoon (May 14), Edmonton (May 15), Winnipeg (May 16), Montreal (May 20), Hamilton (May 23), London (May 24), and Kingston (May 26).

James Marsters Reflects on Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Legacy

By SILVIA PIKAL

James Marsters performs at Saskatoon Expo. (Photo: courtesy Calgary Expo)

James Marsters performs at Saskatoon Expo. (Photo: courtesy Calgary Expo)

When asked what he liked most about playing Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, James Marsters doesn’t hesitate: “Getting to mess with Sarah Michelle Gellar.”

Marsters says while Gellar was great to work with, he enjoyed having a bit of fun at the expense of the show’s lead. He adds that in Hollywood the lead actor or actress is usually treated like royalty on set, whether they’re nice people or not.

“When they called the beautiful word ‘action,’ I got to mess with her,” Marsters says. “I would constantly try and make Sarah forget her lines.”

Marsters breaks into the punk-rock vampire’s trademark British accent: “Hello love, I’m going to ruin your day.”

“I really enjoyed just messing with the poor girl.”

Spike was only supposed to be a short-lived character, but he became so popular with fans that show creator Joss Whedon was forced to keep him around. Spike became one of the most iconic characters in the beloved series, and stuck around until the series finale.

Marsters has a straightforward answer for why Buffy is still such an enduring part of popular culture, “Because it didn’t suck.”

He says the show owes its success to the great actors, Whedon’s genius and the team of talented storytellers. Many of the writers are now major power players in Hollywood, and work on all the big shows like Battlestar Gallactica, Lost and Mad Men.

Marsters says Whedon gave the writers the chance to take risks with their writing: “He asked writers to come up with their worst day, the day they don’t tell anyone about, that keeps them up at night. Their dirty little secret. And slap fangs on top of that pain and tell the world about it.”

He says the writing was packed with so much nuance, that sometimes it was a challenge to fit everything into a tight shooting schedule.

“Filming for me was constantly a question of ‘Are we getting what’s on the page to film?'” Marsters says. “That’s not that easy to do when there’s so much good stuff in the script. You’re basically at war when you’re filming and the enemy is time. Time always wins the battle and it’s heartbreaking when the script is really good, and you read through the script afterwards and think, ‘We didn’t achieve that one little flicker or interesting thing that was described.’ It’s painful.”

The show left a mark on television and pop culture, breaking the conventions of genre storytelling and weaving in powerful and realistic depictions of death, loss, love, addiction, abuse, and other issues alongside a fantastical plot filled with vampires, demons and other monsters.

Marsters says the show is still relevant today thanks to its portrayal of teenagers struggling with life’s most important questions.

“How do you make it out of your teenage years without giving up on the world and giving up on yourself?” Marsters says. “How do you get to the point in your life where you realize the world is really messed up, and your parents don’t know everything, and your teachers barely understand the subject matter? How do you decide to keep trying? It’s a struggle. I’m not a teenager anymore but I still struggle with that one. How do I not give up?”

One of Marster’s favourite episodes was “The Body,” where Buffy struggles with her mother’s death.

“All of the vampires and jokes and stunts were stripped out of it and you watch a teenage girl lose her mom,” Marsters says. “We all saw the characters were strong enough to stand on their own as people.”

After Buffy, Marsters remained a pop culture fixture, appearing in shows like Smallville, Torchwood and Caprica; being a voice actor for cartoons and videogames; and narrating the audiobooks for The Dresden Files detective novels. He’s also a member of rock band Ghost of the Robot, and a solo musician.

Marsters will be in town for the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (April 27-30), and is playing an acoustic solo set at Cowboys on April 28.

“Calgary’s a real fun place to come to,” Marsters says. “I’m really looking forward to playing music in Calgary because you still love guitars. There are few places left in the world that appreciate guitars and Calgary’s one of them. LA’s not a place that is welcoming to six strings anymore. They’re more into drum machines and keyboards right now.”

His show will include music from all the way back to the first song Marsters ever wrote in New York City in the 1980s, music from Ghost of the Robot, and new songs that haven’t been recorded yet.

He says while he loves both music and acting, songwriting allows him to reveal a more personal side.

“It’s very scary but also very liberating to be that honest in front of a large group of people.”

10 Reasons Disney Fans Will Want to Visit Calgary Expo

If you’re a Disney fan, you’ll want to visit this year’s Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo in Calgary, AB from April 27 – 30! There are fun activities for all ages including a kids’ zone, a costume contest and costume parade, and a chance to hear from your favourite actors and actresses from Disney movies during fun panels and audience Q&As.

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Photo courtesy Calgary Expo

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Interview with Scott Shriner from Weezer

Weezer-2017-Atlantic Records

By Caroline Green

’90s music staple Weezer is setting out on tour with new music (the very catchy tune “Feels Like Summer”) with Canadian dates in Edmonton (April 4), Calgary (April 5), Dawson Creek (April 6), and Penticton (April 8). Caroline Green, for Where Calgary, got a chance to interview bassist Scott Shriner in advance of the shows:

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Cosplay Ideas for Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo

For four days every spring, it’s not unusual to see wizards, superheroes, princesses, and time travelling doctors wandering the streets of downtown Calgary and taking public transit. When costumed folk of all ages begin to appear, it means that the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo is underway!

Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo's Parade of Wonders. Courtesy Calgary Expo.

Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo’s Parade of Wonders. Courtesy Calgary Expo.

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Night Owls: Insider Tips on Calgary Nightlife

Sub Rosa (Photo: courtesy Anstice Communications)

Sub Rosa (Photo: courtesy Anstice Communications)

By RYAN MASSEL

There are endless spaces and places in Calgary to enjoy until the wee hours of the morning. From late night eats to one-of-a-kind nightlife experiences, these are some of our city’s finest!

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Popping the Cap on Calgary’s Beer Scene

(Photo: Jason Dziver)

(Photo: Jason Dziver)

By DON TSE

There’s no better time to love beer in Calgary, which now boasts 17 breweries making flavourful craft beer. With most using Alberta-grown barley, drinking local beer celebrates terroir as much as drinking wine in Bordeaux. You can find local beers on tap at most local restaurants; it’s part of cowboy culture that Calgarians support Calgarians.

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Where to Dine Awards: Calgary’s Best Restaurants 2016

Whitehall (Photo: Neil Zeller)

Whitehall (Photo: Neil Zeller)

It’s no secret that Calgary spent much of the past year in a recession, but that didn’t slow down the creative efforts in Calgary’s restaurant scene. Diners were hungry (pun definitely intended) for new and diverse offerings, and restaurants new and old responded. Here we present the top three restaurants in 24 categories as voted by our readers*. Cheers!

By Breanna Mroczek
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