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Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar

The owner of Eau Claire Market Oil & Vinegar Bar putting together my purchase.

The owner of Eau Claire Market Oil & Vinegar Bar putting together my purchase.

If you’ve followed me on Instagram or on my Facebook page, you’ve likely seen the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar pop up more than once.
Ages ago I visited a cool similar bar in Victoria, BC, and loved it… but didn’t know of any place in Calgary that offered a similar experience and product. Then before last Christmas I stumbled upon the one in Eau Claire Market in downtown Calgary and loved it!

Inside the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar - such a clean, stylish shop!

Inside the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar – such a clean, stylish shop!

I love being able to sample the flavours in advance (and have taken a few friends to do the same), and love that they suggest pairings to make really lovely flavours. I will use flavoured balsamic vinegars and extra virgin olive oil for a bunch of different dishes… but in the end I keep coming back to salads- because I don’t normally LIKE salad- and tossing on a really special dressing makes it WAY easier to get more greens into my day.

Today I’ll share some photos from inside the shop, and in a future post I’ll share some of my salad creations.

The packaging to take home my purchases from the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar.

The packaging to take home my purchases from the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar.

p.s. – how do you like my new graphics? I’m trying something new with my Instagram feed and thought I’d bring some of the photos over here too!

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2017 in Downtown Calgary

 

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Yummy meals in Quebec City

Montreal smoked meat for dinner from Café-boulangerie Paillard

Montreal smoked meat for dinner from Café-boulangerie Paillard

Before and after our St. Lawrence cruise, mum and I stayed in Quebec City. We had the chance to visit a BUNCH of different restaurants, cafes, and other places to try what the city had to offer – to fill our happy bellies!

Of course… while in Quebec, we had to enjoy Montreal Smoked Meat – the best place I had it from was Café-boulangerie Paillard which happened to be around the corner and across the street from our hotel. This place was ALWAYS packed which I think speaks really highly of how popular and tasty it is. I also had Montreal Smoked Meat from a fast food chain… and it was no where near as good as this!

Trois Garçons

Café-boulangerie Paillard was so popular, that although we planned to go there one morning for breakfast it was just TOO crowded and we wanted a slower pace, so we checked out Trois Garçons across the road instead. (Also super-close to our hotel)

Breakfast from Trois Garçons - eggs benedict for me!

Breakfast from Trois Garçons – eggs benedict for me!

 

We stayed at the Hôtel Manoir Victoria – a really nice hotel with a beautiful lobby and lovely rooms. The only challenge were the stairs to get into the hotel – a bit of a pain for my mum when her knee bothered her, especially with suitcases.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2017 in Out of town - Quebec

 

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Maple Syrup in Quebec

The host poured warm maple syrup onto shaved ice

The host poured warm maple syrup onto shaved ice (since there was no snow yet in October) and then rolled the sticky sweet onto a tongue depressor for a maple lollipop!

One of the little side trips we took while in Quebec was a trip to a little strange museum, and more importantly, a maple syrup farm! I actually have NEVER had ‘fresh’ maple syrup before this, so it was a special treat.

Maple trees near the sugar shack in Quebec, not far from Quebec City

Maple trees near the sugar shack in Quebec, not far from Quebec City

Did you know that Calgary has a maple syrup festival? In 2017 it took place at the beginning of March so we’ve missed it now… but it was held at Heritage Park. Check http://www.calgarymaplefest-eng.com/ for information about the festival, and if you’re interested, mark your calendars for next year! Of course, we don’t actually have maple trees here, so it won’t be fresh either, but still a sugar shack is a good thing!

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Out of town - Quebec

 

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Old Quebec, Quebec City

Walking along the boardwalk connecting Plaines d'Abraham and Old Quebec

Walking along the boardwalk connecting Plaines d’Abraham and Old Quebec

We started our 2014 Royal Caribbean St. Lawrence River cruise in Quebec City. One of the popular tourist areas is Old Quebec on the shore.


There are a LOT of cafes and restaraunts in this area, but we found a lot of them quite complicated and expensive. We opted instead to pop into Bel-Gaufre and grabbed pre-made sandwiches, some veggies to snack on as we walked around, and two desserts. A date square for her and cheesecake for me.

The long walk up a fairly steep cobbled hill connecting Old Quebec and the city above.

The long walk up a fairly steep cobbled hill connecting Old Quebec and the city above.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2017 in Out of town - Quebec

 

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St. Lawrence River cruise pt. III

Champagne at the art auction - no... we didn't buy anything.

Champagne at the art auction – no… we didn’t buy anything.

In this third and final post about my Royal Carribean St. Lawrence cruise dining experiences, I’ll share photos of some of the appetizers/salads and entrees we enjoyed on our trip.

Want to see the photos from other parts of my cruise? Check out my Flickr stream! It’s been a long time since I posted here, but I have mostly been focusing on new content for the Facebook page instead. I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to focus here, but I’ll give it a shot! In the meantime, come follow me on Facebook, or if you just want food photos, come follow me on Instagram.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in Out of town - Cruising

 

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St. Lawrence River cruise pt. II

 

Warm cherries with ice cream for dessert on the Royal Caribbean cruise.

Warm cherries with ice cream for dessert on the Royal Caribbean cruise.

I mentioned in my previous post that I have LOTS of delicious food photos to share from my 2014 St. Lawrence River cruise with Royal Caribbean. Here’s part two!

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2017 in Out of town - Cruising

 

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St. Lawrence River cruise

appetizer charcuterie

appetizer charcuterie plate to start the meal. This was fabulously delicious with roasted zucchini, prosciutto, hard boiled egg, melon, salami, olives, and more…

October 2014 my mum and I went on a St. Lawrence River cruise with Royal Caribbean. If you’ve never been on a cruise before, it’s not a place to be on a diet…

Since I have a LOT of photos from the cruise, I’m going to spread them out over a few posts. If you want to see the non-food photos… consider checking my Flickr stream!

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2017 in Out of town - Cruising

 

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Red Ember Japanese Cuisine

Two sushi posts in a row!

Not long ago my friend suggested his favourite sushi place – Red Ember in the Kensington area. While it’s a small place, and there’s not much nearby parking, I thought it was great and would recommend you check it out too!

Sashimi and a roll from Red Ember

Sashimi and a roll from Red Ember

I had an order of tuna sashimi, along with a Kamikaze roll (Special Scallop, Tempura Flake, Tobiko, Wrapped with Tuna). The tuna sashimi was only fine- nothing special either way, however the Kamikaze roll was fantastic.

The location might be the only thing that would keep me from heading back to Red Ember – though perhaps my friend who lives close to the area will want to make a return visit sometime again!

 

Want to know more? Check out Red Ember here:

609 14 St NW
Calgary, AB
T2N 2A1
Red Ember Japanese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2015 in North-West Calgary, Sushi

 

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Midori sushi lunch

Happy Sushi Belly has been pretty light on the sushi in the last little while, so I’m just sharing a quick photo from Midori, where I popped in for a quick lunch last week.

I haven’t been a fan of Midori in years I’m afraid, but a friend re-recommended them recently, for speed and a good price, so I figured I’d pop in between a meeting with some friends and my walk home. I ordered two pieces of chopped scallops ($3.50 each), and an Alaska roll ($8.00). While the roll was well priced, the chopped scallops were on the high side of regular pricing – nothing special there. The scallops were tasty for sure, but the roll was pretty blah, and the rice seemed a bit undercooked.

Unfortunately… my original opinion of Midori stands – I’m not super impressed. The cost wasn’t super-affordable, and the taste/quality wasn’t especially good. I want both (great quality/taste and great price) but I’m willing to run with just one… having neither doesn’t impress me. I’m glad that I checked them out again, but I think I could have had better sushi somewhere else – there are so many other sushi places on/near 17th Avenue!

Check them out yourself

Midori Japanese Cafe

1054 17 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
T2T 0B4
(403) 244-3787
http://www.midorijapan.ca/menu.html

Or check out some of the other places to eat on 17th Avenue! 

Midori Japanese Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2015 in Downtown Calgary, South-West Calgary, Sushi

 

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Goro + Gun

Spicy cold seafood ramen from Goro + Gun

Spicy cold seafood ramen from Goro + Gun

Goro + Gun has been on my ‘want-to-visit’ list pretty much since they opened, but when I stopped working downtown, I stopped spending nearly as much time down there – and when I was down there it was usually for other things, so it took a long time before finally checking them out!

My companion was keen on visiting them as well – a Japanese noodle house (with a pretty respectable-looking sushi menu) we figured it would be the best of both worlds.

Despite the restaurant being pretty empty when we went (well after the big lunch rush, and on a Saturday at that) it seemed to take a fair amount of time to get us a seat – it appeared as though a family leaving were having a problem, and were rightfully unimpressed. I’ll admit, it kind of set me in a discouraged mood to start out the experience. We were seated very near the open-concept style kitchen to watch the chefs work (which I’m neither impressed by nor annoyed by, so no matter) with a somewhat distracting view of some anime cartoons running endlessly.

Goro + Gun menu partial

Goro + Gun menu partial

I had the Spicy Cold Seafood Ramen: $14:
“cold ramen noodles, cucumbers, tomatoes, seaweed, smoked egg, fresh greens, sesame vinaigrette, no broth”

It was quite delicious, though very spicy, and not very much seafood – one piece each of salmon, tuna, and shrimp. I was kind of disappointed with that, though the rest of the dish was very filling – I took what I couldn’t finish in-house home to enjoy for dinner too. I don’t think I’d order it again… mostly because I’d like a little more seafood!

Mushroom tempura bento

Mushroom tempura bento

My companion had the Mushroom Tempura Bento: $14.

“tempura mushrooms, ground radish, ginger tempura sauce” served with ” 2 pieces of lobster California rolls, fresh
greens, steamed rice, kimchi + miso soup”

This seemed like a pretty nice variety of what Goro + Gun has to offer – and while the kimchi was very spicy, my companion liked it a great deal, especially with the rice. (I had a nibble too and it was good!) The tempura on the other hand was pretty oily, the greens were average, and the roll was pretty disappointing – neither of us could see nor taste any lobster in them at all.

Miso soup from Goro + Gun

Miso soup from Goro + Gun

The miso soup it came with… just miso soup. Nothing really special either way.

All in all – while I had been so looking forward to checking out Goro + Gun, it was ultimately pretty disappointing. I also thought that their sushi & sashimi selections were WAY overpriced (unless the  price listed is for multiple pieces… the menu doesn’t indicate) and we really did have the two most appealing non-sushi items on the menu.  I really don’t think that I’ll make a point of going back again; there are plenty of really great sushi places, noodle houses, and Japanese food restaurants downtown that I’d visit again first.

 

Feel like checking them out yourself?

Goro + Gun
Stephen Avenue
225 7th Ave SW
Calgary, AB
http://goroandgun.ca/home

Goro + Gun Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2015 in Downtown Calgary, Sushi

 

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