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Category Archives: Downtown Calgary

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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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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Regency Palace Dim Sum

Dim Sum at Regency Palace

Dim Sum at Regency Palace

Today I’d love to share with you a quick post about Dim Sum… when looking for a great way to dine with a big (or small!) group of people, Dim Sum is awesome, because it’s just small bowls of three to four items (heavy on the shrimp, pork, and dough though…) all the same to share around the table. Don’t like shrimp – pass that bowl to the person sitting next to you, and go after those delicious pork buns instead!

A week or so ago I got together with a small group of people for delicious Dim Sum. I’ve only ever had Dim Sum at the Regency Palace in Calgary (other places in Vancouver) so it was my recommendation.  The price was quite reasonable and the food was tasty – my friends even made sure I got some of those amazing red bean paste sesame-covered balls for dessert!

That being said – the best part of this meal was the company. While I loved the sesame-covered balls and the steamed pork buns, everything else I had was pretty lackluster. I say go with 6-8 people, split things up, and re-order your favourites.

Where else?

I’m sure my friends will want to do Dim Sum again.. so where in Calgary would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!

Check them out!

Regency Palace Restaurant
335 – 328 Centre Street North (Chinatown)
Calgary, AB, Canada
http://www.regencypalacerestaurant.com/

Regency Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2015 in Downtown Calgary

 

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Cibo – tapas on 17th Avenue

Five different items from Cibo's Scodellina menu

Five different items from Cibo’s Scodellina menu

I know that it’s been a very long time since I posted in Happy Sushi Belly regularly, so it might seem strange to have the same restraunt featured twice in a row… but that’s exactly what I’m doing today!

After such a nice small meal at Cibo on 17th Avenue with some friends, on my next big walk, I opted to walk from home, down to 17th Avenue, have some lunch, and then walk back again. (approximately 13 km)

My walking companion and I shared five items from Cibo’s Scodellina menu:
white gold ricotta
whipped local ricotta, currant, fennel pollen
– this was incredibly delicious -highly recommended

roasted eggplant
local goat cheese, garlic confit, sundried tomato
– quite good, though I had others I liked more

mushroom salad
grana padano, fried rosemary, capers, roasted chili
– as the eggplant, this was good, but other dishes were better

prosciutto di parma
poached pear, grana padano, aged balsamic vinegar
– really delicious – again!

salt roasted golden beets
toasted hazelnuts, local goat cheese, saba
– like my last post, this was delicious again!

 


(all photos from my iPhone)
Click to add a blog post for Cibo on Zomato

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2015 in Downtown Calgary, South-West Calgary

 

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Cibo – tapas on 17th Avenue

salt roasted golden beats from Cibo

salt roasted golden beets from Cibo

Not too long ago, I was meeting up with friends for a walk, and we decided to meet up for a light dinner before beginning. I don’t know 17th Avenue particularly well, so one of our group recommended Cibo – and their offering of tapas for a light meal.

I had the:

Salt-roasted golden beets

(pictured above)

toasted hazelnuts, local goat cheese, saba
– Amazingly good – highly recommended (so much so I had it later too!)

gorgonzola dolce from Cibo

gorgonzola dolce from Cibo

gorgonzola dolce

chestnut honey, spiced walnuts
– this I didn’t care for – I found the cheese too strong, and I ended up giving a fair amount of it away to one of my dining companions.

prosciutto di parma from Cibo

prosciutto di parma from Cibo

prosciutto di parma

poached pear, grana padano, aged balsamic vinegar
– Also fabulously delicious! Definitely worth trying if you like prosciutto.
Click to add a blog post for Cibo on Zomato

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Downtown Calgary, South-West Calgary

 

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Canada Day Market & Block Party

Happy Fish food truck

Happy Fish food truck (I don’t know if they’ll be attending)

Back in April I posted about the YYC Food Truck Frenzy, and mentioned how some people were a bit upset that there was a $5.00/ adult entrance fee just to visit the food trucks. Well, if you were one of those who wanted to check out a variety of trucks, but didn’t see the point in paying $5.00/adult to go… maybe check out this Canada Day festival: CANADA DAY MARKET & BLOCK PARTY

It’s open noon to midnight at Eau Claire Market (both indoors and outdoors) so you can pop in, check it out, and then head out to wherever else you have planned to celebrate Canada Day!

Visit their page for more information. https://www.facebook.com/events/799590173421718/

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2015 in Downtown Calgary, Food Trucks

 

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YYC Food Truck Spring Frenzy

Sticky Ricky's Food Truck

Sticky Ricky’s Food Truck (I don’t know that they’ll be at the ‘Frenzy’

The YYC Food Truck Spring Frenzy is coming up soon, April 25 & 25, 2015 down at the RiverWalk plaza down in Calgary’s East Village.

I won’t be going; truth be told, I’m kind of “over” the YYC food trucks. After having them scheduled to come where I work, and having day after day of them not showing up… I’m just kind of over it. Don’t get me wrong, if I’m out at an event and there’s a truck that appeals to me, and I’m hungry… I’ll probably still get something, but I’m not going to go out of my way to visit them anymore.

With that.. I’m not planning on attending the Food Truck Spring Frenzy. BUT… if you ARE still excited to see what the food trucks have to offer – you should consider going!

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Posted by on April 22, 2015 in Downtown Calgary, Food Trucks

 

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Taste of Calgary 2014

Taste of Calgary 2014

Taste of Calgary 2014

Oh boy! Talk about late posts! The Taste of Calgary 2014 was August 14-17, which is right around the time when I got back from holiday, and stepped right into one of the busiest times of the year at work – which means that photos lingered on my iPhone for a while before I finally got the chance to look at them.  I’m taking a break from my posts about Iceland to finally get around to Taste of Calgary!

My friend and I went to Taste of Calgary 2014 in Eau Claire Market on the Sunday afternoon, and there were plenty of others out to enjoy the nice day with us. Hopefully you had your chance to enjoy the weekend event as well – if you did, chime in with some of your favourites in the comments below!

Goro + Gun – Booth # 10

Making Ramen Burgers

Making Ramen Burgers

One of the booths I was most interested in checking out was Goro + Gun, a new Calgary restaurant that I haven’t been to check out yet. (Largely due to it’s location. On Steven Avenue Mall, I rarely get down there anymore it seems!) I tried out the “Japanese Sushi Quiche” (2$) while my friend had the “Ramen Burger” (4$). The line up was huge to order, and then we waited around for the burgers to cook. Only one booth was a longer wait, but I’ll talk about that later….

Japanese Sushi Quiche (2$)

"Quiche"

“Quiche”

I have NO idea why they called this quiche. To me, quiche is a egg-based baked dish with a variety of ingredients in it, with a crust like a pie.

This instead was a TOSTITOS®  “scoop” topped with rice, some mini shrimps in mayonnaise, and topped off with a slice of cucumber.  It was nothing like quiche as far as I know – but it tasted ok. The rice was a bit oily, and I wouldn’t order something like this again if I knew what it was.

 

Ramen Burger (4$)

Ramen Burger

Ramen Burger

My friend thought the idea of the Ramen Burger was unique, but thought it wasn’t very good when it was made up. The Ramen noodles fell apart too easily when eating the burger, and were quite greasy. Because the dish fell apart so easily, it meant eating the flavourless noodles separate from the burger patty. (Apparently the flavour of the burger patty was ok though, but nothing special; it too could have used some flavour.)

Oddly enough, although my friend didn’t really like the burger, it won a silver award at the Calgary Herald’s Consumer Taste Awards.

Goro + Gun
#245, 225 – 7 Ave SW
goroandgun.ca 

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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Downtown Calgary, Sushi

 

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Taste of Calgary – this weekend

Look out for the bus or one of the ticket stands at the Taste of Calgary to get your tickets

Look out for the bus or one of the ticket stands at the Taste of Calgary to get your tickets

Don’t forget, the Taste of Calgary is this weekend!

It runs August 14-17 at Eau Claire Market, and this year you can try tasty nibbles like:

  • Maple Bacon Ice Cream Sandwich – from Black Betty Burgers & Wine Bar
  • Sweet ‘Smores Crepe – from Crepes & Cravings
  • Banana Fritters – from Curry Club
  • Crispy Shrimp Dumplings – from Globefish
  • Japanese Sushi Quiche – from Goro + Gun
  • Green Tea Sandwich – from Lava Dining
In the beer garden at the Taste of Calgary 2013

In the beer garden at the Taste of Calgary 2013

along with vendors like:

  • Africana Bar and Grill
  • The Canadian Brewhouse
  • Caribbean Choice
  • Coco Brooks
  • Delice Pastryshop and Café
  • Delicious Thai
  • Ed’s Restaurant
  • Halo Steak, Seafood & Wine Bar
  • Heritage Bakery and Deli
  • Jackie’s Thai
  • Jamesons Irish Pubs
  • Mini Melts
  • Ogam Chicken and BBQ
  • The Old Spaghetti Factory
  • Oriental Dumplings
  • Pacific Hut
  • Pegasus
  • Wing Tat
  • Zen 8 Grill
  • … along with great tastes from the Beverage Garden

A lot of the vendors are the same as previous years, so you can read more about the Taste of Calgary by clicking the “Taste of Calgary” tag.

Some hints to have a great time:

  • Try going on a weekday evening instead of during the lunch hour if possible – it’s less crowded usually
  • Check out what you’re getting before hand, especially if you’re on a budget. Not all of the samples are good deals, and you can end up spending a lot of money at the festival.
  • There are usually lots of freebies at the festival too – wander around (usually close to the east side of the plaza) and look for special taste test and give-away booths.
  • BYO… – consider bringing your own (reusable) bottle of water. Every vendor sells plastic bottles of water, but you might as well bring your own bottle and save the money – and the plastic! There’s also a water fountain inside near the restrooms for refills.
  • BYO… – consider bringing your own reusable dish and cutlery/chopsticks. The amount of waste that builds up in the garbage containers from this event is massive… and most of the vendors are using Styrofoam plates and plastic cutlery, rather than opting for compostable options.
Deep fried pickles - Taste of Calgary 2013

Deep fried pickles – Taste of Calgary 2013

Are you going to Taste of Calgary 2014? Let us know what you thought in the comments below – which samples were the best bang for the buck, and which were the tastiest?

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2014 in Downtown Calgary

 

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