Helen and I ate our way around southern Alberta recently, on a trip west to visit with daughter Justine.
We started out in Calgary, where you can have an amazing lunch for two, for under $50, at CHARCUT Roast House, rated one of Canada’s top ten new restaurants for 2010 by Air Canada’s enRoute magazine. CHARCUT is on Centre Street in downtown Calgary, just a stone’s throw from the Calgary Tower and the Stephen Avenue shopping mall.
I had a delicious beet salad and a six-ounce dry-aged butcher’s cut grilled steak with pommes frites. The heirloom beets had been slow roasted with olive oil and orange juice and came dressed with arugula, house-made soft goat cheese, mint, basil and house-made vinaigrette. Helen had pumpkin soup and a spit-roasted prime rib sandwich with Quebec cheddar and locally-made Brassica mustard.
If you go to the CHARCUT for dinner, you can have their signature dish, a share burger, which is a roasted garlic, house-made sausage patty topped with curds and a fried egg. It comes in a minimum 9 ounce size and sells for $2.50 per ounce. I’ll try that next time.
From Calgary, we went on to Banff and Lake Louise to enjoy the Rockies. We got lucky with the weather and were able to really enjoy the scenery, which is breathtaking. At Lake Louise, we had lunch at Chateau Lake Louise beside a large window that overlooks the famous lake. A bowl of Pacific crab bisque and a sandwich hit the spot after the drive up from Calgary. The next day, we had brunch in Banff at the Jupiter Bistro, where I can recommend the eggs benedict with smoked salmon (and the view from a window seat is also spectacular).
After two days in the Rockies it was back to Calgary to meet up with Justine and then down to Medicine Hat where she is currently working, and eateries are plentiful. In the Hat, I can recommend a cafe called Zucchini Blossom, Earl’s, and Tumbleweeds. At Tumbleweeds, you have to try the braised short ribs marinated in cabernet. Excellent. In fact, I’ll be trying to make these myself soon and when I do, I’ll pass on the recipe.
And speaking of recipes, here’s a quick one for you.
Take about a pound of skinless salmon fillet, roughly chopped. Add half an onion, diced, and one clove of garlic, finely chopped. Then sprinkle in a small handful of semolina flour and a large splash of 35 per cent cream. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and place in a greased, six-inch square casserole. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes a simple, great tasting main for a meal for two.
Now, let’s get cooking!