Eat Pizza – Do Good

Pizza Week is upon us here in Calgary, ten days that will make any pizza lovers heart dance with joy. When it comes to pizza the options are endless and whether you are a pizza “traditionalist” or a pizza “adventurist” there is something for everyone. There are entries in thick crust, think crust, gluten free and even a unique category.

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Put together by Calgary foodie Wanda Baker, YYC Pizza Week gives Calgary restaurants a chance to stretch their pizza making muscles while supporting an amazing Calgary charity Meals on Wheels. Now in its fourth year, Pizza Week has raised more than $28,000.00 for charity and boasts over 8,700 pizzas being served.

This year over 40 local Calgary restaurants have entered and the offerings prove that pizza really is the most versatile food category there is. There are pizzas with a lot of heat or a lot of sweet, pizzas with eggs and pizzas with broccoli. With the unique entries there are pizzas shaped like waffles and pizza stuffed burgers that use mini pizzas for the buns. Seems like the gangs all here!

As an additional bit of fun there is even a bloggers pizza challenge where local bloggers are given a set of mystery ingredients sponsored by local shops and are challenged to put together a competitive pizza recipe for the public to vote on. Although I was not brave enough to participate in that this year you can check out the entries here.

With so many options and over 40 to try I appreciate the fact that it is the fall season and stretchy pants are back in style as I head out to explore more of my cities amazing restaurants and decide ….. does a taco shell filled with pizza ingredients really count as a pizza? The jury may still be out on that but I plan to find out!

Exploring pizzas of every shape and kind while supporting charity, I am Your Everyday Foodie!

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Culinary Treasure Hunt

This weekend we participated in Culinaire Magazines second annual Treasure hunt. Set up as a race across Calgary to various foodie locations that included restaurants, culinary shops and liquor stores. The race portion meant that the teams had a set amount of time to visit the locations, complete your tasks and get back to the finish line with a full race passport. The treasure hunt portion had us collecting all sorts of swag from each location to take home.

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Early morning at the market, ready to go!

 

Going all in we decided to dress in our best steampunk apparel and named our team the Culinairy Cogs. Arriving at the starting line of the Calgary Farmers market the teams were registered, handed a passport and a clue list of 30 possible locations to figure out. Here’s where the competition really began. Teams huddled in at their tables with their coffee and tablets or phones in hand and started figuring their way through the clue list. With only one hour to solve your clues and start planning your route through the city the game was afoot.

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Ready at the starting line!

At 10:00am the race was on. The list was as vast as the city is big with locations in almost every quadrant. We started with the few locations that we thought were there at the Calgary Farmers market and soon discovered that not all of our clue guesses were correct! Not deterred we continued on and headed out into the city.

One of our first stops was a visit to Oyster Tribe, a supplier to many of the big locations in the city we learned to shuck oysters. As a reward for shucking our oysters perfectly the first time we each received our own shucking knife to take home. Now that we had an idea of what we were in for our excitement level amped up to full.

A few more stops along the way and we were headed into the core of the city to mark off a few more locations. Here we visited a few of Calgary’s best restaurants and completed a blind tasting of bourbon and scotch at One18Empire and had some amazing lamb meatballs at Murietta’s.

Heading north of the river some of the locations we visited had us filling Cannoli at SCOPA, and sorting steaks at Modern Steak.

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As we continued through the day we sorted wines based on their taste descriptions, hand painted truffles at Hotel Arts,  learned how to properly froth a shaving brush at Kent of Inglewood, shucked more oysters and had many delicious food samples.

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Our journey through the core, the beltline and Inglewood complete and with what we thought were quite a few stamps in our passport we decided to head south from the core. Along the Mcleod Trail corridor we dressed as Gauchos at Gaucho Brazillian BBQ, sorted cheese by taste at the Itallian Centre Shop, explored and visited 5 locations at the Market on McLeod, sorted through cheeses at Springbank Cheese, cut pasta at Soffritto Oil & Vinegar Bar in the deep south and played dress up at The Selkirk Grille in Heritage Park.

With time almost up we headed for the finish line at the Crossroads market. We were happy at 4:30pm to turn in our passport with 24 out of the 30 locations visited, put up our feet and enjoy some treats provided by some of the vendors at the market.

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Feet up at the finish line

At the end of the day everyone that participated was a winner. There were enough prizes that every team was able to receive one even after the big winners prizes were handed out. Just taking home all of the experiences, finding so many new locations that we didn’t know about and all of the swag that we brought home made this a great experience.

At $50 plus tax for an entire day of adventure for a team of two people, I would recommend watching for this race to happen again next year. Get your data plan ready to search out the clues around the city, fill your gas tank and take a really big bag along to collect all of the swag. Get together a team of two or put together several sets of people to make a larger team and enjoy the hunt!

Hunting here there and everywhere, I am Your Everyday Foodie.

 

Taste Around Town

The sun was shining, the temperatures were warm and the setting was beautiful. The perfect night to head west of the city and attend The Taste of Bragg Creek.

This year the event ran a little different than normal. Usually held in the Bragg Creek community centre as a one stop sampling event, this year due to a problem with the centre the event was turned into a mini walking tour of the town. Upon arrival you were handed a map that showed the locations of the participating vendors along with what they were sampling and you were on your way.

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We started off the evening at the Wild Texan BBQ Company with samples of pulled pork sliders with cole slaw and smoked BBQ ribs with potato salad. Tonight the samples were matched up with two different beer samples from Wild Rose brewery. A tasty way to start, this BBQ joint has been open for just over a year and is run by a great local husband and wife team who used to have booths at several Edmonton area farmers markets and sold out of their product weekly. I would confidently recommend visiting this resturant for a bite of BBQ as their samples made our mouths water and their homade sauce is finger licking sticky and well with the short drive.

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From there we headed down the plaza to Creekers Bistro. Tonight you could sample a red Grenache wine or a white Chardonay wine along with crab cakes and Turkey tacos. As the weather was so nice we found a great little spot on the patio and enjoyed the most amazing and flavourful Turkey taco we have ever tasted and a great fresh crab cake. After sampling the wares here we have decided that we will also be returning here for a full meal, especially after seeing that they have $4 Tuesday taco nights.

A short walk to the next shopping plaza and we found Roast Coffee & Tea Company sampling their delicious pour over coffee. The owners of this little roastary and coffe house are wonderful and although they were busy they made the time to chat with us and teach us the do’s and dont’s of coffee. Located in west Bragg Creek, I would recommend a visit as they roast all of their own coffee beans and also provide a free delivery service once you have chosen your favorite bean.

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Continuing on we found Mountain Bistro and Pizzeria where they were sampling a Margherita pizza and Garlic sticks. With a root beer to wash everything down with we settled in on their patio. The Margherita pizza was full of fresh flavours and their crust is the perfect crispy crunchy delight. The real star here however were the garlic sticks. Smothered in garlic, bacon, cheese and the most surprising sweet sauce! We even returned at the end of the night to order a full order of the garlic sticks with the sweet and mysterious east coast sauce to take home. Providing great pizza in a beautiful location I would recommend a stop here anytime.

Having made our way around the plaza and tasting many samples that included everything from liquor samples to sausage, cheese and pickles we decided to take a stroll through town to the Bavarian Inn. Here you could sample several wines, a duo of seared scallops with kale salad and a Portuguese sausage with spicy aioli or a sample plate of desserts with traditional Black Forest cake, mini apple strudel and an orange Portuguese flan. This is a resturant that we can’t wait to come back to and try a full meal.

This was a great event overall, we really enjoyed the chance to walk around the hamlet and explore all of the resturants and shops. With the beautiful weather it was fairly busy and there were small lineups at several of the locations however the lines did move fairly quickly. The one dissapointment of the evening was that we were not able to taste the samplings at the Italian Farm House as the resturant was full and had a waiting lineup each time we stopped in.

I would recommend that everyone take the short drive west and discover some of the gems located in the beautiful hamlet of Bragg Creek!

Discovering resturant gems everywhere, I am Your Everyday Foodie.

Party With The Girls…

If you are looking for a fun night out for a special occasion or just because, book yourself and some friends in to see the Carley’s Angels show at Lolita’s Lounge in Inglewood.

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This is a show for all your friends! Bring all the men, ladies and anybody over the legal drinking age that wants to head out for a fun time. The drag show will leave you smiling, laughing and singing along. The performers are amazing and the intimate atmosphere at Lolita’s means there is not a bad seat in the house. It is a lounge show so be prepared for a great late night out as the show doesn’t start until 9:00 and runs to the 11:30 range. Buy your tickets early for this show as they are always a sell out months in advance. These girls work hard during the shows so they only perform on select Saturday’s each month.

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Once you reserve your tickets ($50 per ticket for the show) make sure to go early and enjoy dinner from Salt N Pepper the Mexican resturant nestled below the club. The menu has a large selection of eats and can also provide gluten free options.

Check them out at http://lolitaslounge.ca/performers/carlys-angels and remember to buy your tickets well in advance!

Having fun everywhere, I am Your Everyday Foodie.