Starbucks (17 Avenue) – Calgary, Alberta

October 22nd, 2014

We found ourselves wandering around 17th Avenue when we decided to stop into Starbucks for some coffee. Located right on 17th Avenue where there’s a lot of traffic and foot traffic – and near a high school, it was busy as expected.

It was fall and I decided I was going to have a Maple Latte which is one of my fall favorites. The coffee wasn’t bad at all, but you can’t go wrong with anything with maple syprup!

We also ordered a Cheese Croissant and honestly it wasn’t that great. It was dry and it seemed old – which was weird as they’re so busy! Perhaps it was just coffee people were getting and not snacks/treats.

Overall, it was a nice place to sit and window watch with a nice cup of java (or alternative). The location is ideal but there are a lot of other coffee shops along the same street!

Starbucks on Urbanspoon

Starbucks – 17 Avenue SW

715 – 17th Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 209-2888

Tumbleweed Coffee House – Nanton, Alberta

October 22nd, 2014

I really love going to Nanton, Alberta to look at antiques and just exploring this little town. We decided to grab a quick java stop at Tumbleweed Coffee House right on Highway 2 (Northbound) and it’s located right next to the Chinese restaurant.

We just stopped in for a cup of Chai Tea which was very nice and perfectly spiced. It was the perfect cup of chai for a cold day!

Then, we also order a cup of London Fog that came in a really nice cup! It was once of the nicest cups of London Fog we’ve had, so it was delicious.

We also shared a bagel sandwich, and I believe this one was a Egg and Tomato Bagel which was decent. It was an odd afternoon where they weren’t expecting as much customers as they did so they were all sold out of a lot of their goodies.

Overall, this was a really nice and relaxing place to go to. Either to wind down or just for a quick bite – it’s a friendly and yummy place to be!

Tumbleweed Coffee House

905 – 20th Avenue (Hwy. 2, northbound lane)
Nanton, Alberta

Days Inn Athabasca – Athabasca, AB

October 21st, 2014

We had a trip going quite North of Alberta – we were trying to get to Fort McMurray for a tour and decided to make a stop at Days Inn Athabasca which turned out to be a really nice stop!

The rooms was quite standard in size and perfect for guests looking for a long term stay. This room has a full size fridge with a freezer and a microwave which make it perfect for those who are looking to eat or store food. Our room had a King bed and it wasn’t decent. It didn’t look like the bed was made properly,but it may have just been the blankets that made it look saggy.

The bathroom was typical as well, but it did have quite a bit of counter space, so again, it would make it easy if you’ve got a lot of stuff for a longer term stay. There are tons of oil sand workers in this area and I’m sure a lot of them utilize this hotel.

The overall stay was really nice. It’s got a large parking lot, not far off the highway – yet it was quiet. Also not far from a lot of other amenities such as grocery stores and local bars and restaurants.

The Mirage Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada

October 19th, 2014

I really enjoy trying new resorts on the Las Vegas strip, and we got the chance to try Mirage which is located pretty centre on the strip. A beautiful resort that offers a volcano outside.

I have stayed in their Resort King Room and it was really beautiful. One of our favourite hotels on the strip with a strip view. The king bed was very inviting and it was indeed very comfortable. The rooms here are quite quiet considering the amount of people and traffic. You can still get a great nights sleep!

The entry way of the room was beautiful as well as it opens onto a beautifully tiled spacious area. Tons of space for shoes and suit cases and there is a huge closet space as well.

The bathroom, although quite standard in comparison to the rest of the room was spacious and still very nice. Lots of counter top space for those who needs it and the shower had a nice pressure to it.

I do like this hotel, the windows to open a little bit to hear the volcano eruption and just to get some fresh air. This room definitely has all the amenities that you need including a stocked mini bar fridge, ice buckets, and a business desk with ports.

The pools at the Mirage are beautiful as well, although when we got here, they were closed for winter – which makes me have the urge to return to the resort and try out their pools!

The Mirage – Las Vegas

3400 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV
702.791.7111

Chili’s Texas Grill (South Trail) – Calgary, Alberta

October 17th, 2014

I really enjoyed my experiences at Chili’s Texas Grill and when I had a bad day, we came to try the one at this South Trail location (130th Avenue SE) instead of my usual locations and there was a long wait for a table once we got there which always makes me happy as I think people like it and so they’re really busy!

We ordered their 2 for $30 special as we do often pick from that menu. We started with their JalapeƱo Cheese Bites which came out piping hot with delicious ooey gooey cheese on the inside and crispy and crunch crust. There was a little drizzle of their chipotle pesto ranch sauce!

For my entree, I picked from their Fajita where we selected beef fajitas. The table smelled amazing the moment our waitress put the food down, and it was all I could stare at! It was not only a beautiful dinner, it tasted pretty amazing! They don’t have enough fajita wraps, but I really enjoyed just eating the grilled selection as it was with it’s condiments.

Then, the other entree we got with this special was their Honey-Chipotle Ribs which was a pretty good sized portion even with this promotion. The ribs were tender and juicy – just the way they should be. The sauce was delicious as it was sweet with some heat. It was perfect!

Our overall experience was a great one! There is always going to be a wait at any Chili’s location (the ones I’ve been too) and the food and service was amazing here! There’s no reason to g different location. Parking is a little limited and depending on the hour you’re going, traffic can be a little more chaotic – but it’s worth it!

Chili's Texas Grill on Urbanspoon

Chili’s Texas Grill – South Trail

4370 130 Ave SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 474-4159

High River Inn Restaurant – High River, Alberta

October 17th, 2014

We were actually trying to find some dinner in Longview where the place of choice didn’t have space for us. We started our journey home when we decided to make a stop in High River – where we found High River Inn Restaurant and it was a neat place. The owner was really pleased we were there, and she kept explaining to us that the food she has here caters to small town people. No problem – I know and I love it!

Although the place appears small, it’s actually very spacious inside with a decent size buffet. This place got pretty busy in here as well, but I don’t think you’re going to have to worry about making reservations as there’s lots of tables and chairs. The chef constantly puts out fresh food, so the smorg doesn’t go empty.

As this was our dinner, I allowed myself to help myself! Serving after serving, I really enjoyed the food here. I especially enjoyed the little conversations with the owner and she enjoyed talking to us in Cantonese as she doesn’t get a lot of Chinese speaking people at her place.

Overall, the place was really clean, the staff was really friendly, the food was really good! There’s nothing to complain about! It was an enjoyable dinner and I really like their eggroll. Most places have spring rolls, so this was a nice treat!

High River Inn Restaurant on Urbanspoon

High River Inn Restaurant

503 1 St Southwest
High River, AB
(403) 652-7733

The Wandering Elk – Canmore, Alberta

October 17th, 2014

During our stay in Canmore at the Windtower Hotel and Suites we ate at the restaurant inside the hotel called The Wandering Elk. It was a large space, with some tables on the patio which you would pass going into the hotel. It’s a nice space that offers meals many times a day!

We started off with some wings as we felt like it and went for their Maple Bacon Wings and the portions are huge. The wings are plump and juicy – and they taste great! Maple and Bacon is such a nice combination, I’m shocked it isn’t more popular.

I ordered their Elk Dip which is like a beef dip but with elk striploin on a toasted ciabatta bun with caramelized onions and cheese. The elk jus is delicious as I found myself dipping my fries into it as well! It’s quite a different meal and I did find it to be on the lean/dry side – which made me adore the elk jus! Overall, it was a great plate, with a generous amount of elk and fries!

My husband enjoyed their BBQ Whiskey Full Rack of Ribs and that was really nicely done. There was tons of ribs and the first half was really good, smothered in delicious bbq sauce, but the other rack was significantly drier. I am not sure if it was just us taking so long, or if it is just that inconsistent as it was on the same order. Regardless, the first half was awesome and the second half was alright.

Overall dining experience was pretty awesome. The atmosphere was phenomial, the service was quick and friendly. Portion size are ginormous and quality was average. Not a bad place to wind down and relax with drinks and apps!

The Wandering Elk – Windtower Lodge & Suites

160 Kananaskis Way
Canmore, Alberta
403-961-2608

Red’s Diner – Calgary, Alberta

October 15th, 2014

We’ve been meaing to come to Red’s Diner for a few years now and this one morning, we actually ventured our way to this diner on 4th Street SW.

I guess I wanted a sugar high this particular morning as I started with a nice mug of Hot Chocolate which was pretty delicious.

Then, I ordered myself their Hazelnut Crepe and yes, it is what it sounds like… nutella crepe with bananas! It as amazing with the caramelized bananas inside and just enough nutella to make your teeth tingle! It was amazing and really filling – probably from the sweetness. This was simple, amazing, and super delicious!

Being the steak and eggs kind of guy my husband is, he ordered their Steak & Eggs which was a huge portion, with a really nice piece of steak cooked really well and seasoned to perfection! It smelled and tasted amazing!

Overall experience here was very enjoyable. Perfect way to set the stage for a great weekend! Service was super quick and friendly, and the prices was reasonable. It was breakfast, but had enough food to fill us up past lunch so it was well worth it!

Red’s Diner – Beltline

1415 4 St SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 266-3448

Silver Dragon Restaurant – Calgary, Alberta

October 15th, 2014

I have a few coworkers that really like dim sum at Silver Dragon in Chinatown. I have been here once for dinner many years ago, so I thought it was about time I gave them another shot – but for dim sum instead of dinner. Located on the 2nd floor, this huge restaurant seats a lot of people and it actually fills up!

I love this place as it’s a good traditional place. They give you a stamp card and they stamp the price range of the dish you order, and they actually come around in carts. My modern places give you a menu and you select what you want to eat, and it’s not traditional at all. So, once the first few carts came by, our table was filled. We started with their Fried Pork Dumplings which had a nice texture and skin, but the filling was lacking a bit. It was fried really nicely and tasted good – so I won’t complain!

We then ordered an old time favorite of ours, the BBQ Pork Rice Crepes which was really nice. The soy sauce was good, the rice crepe was awesome and the bbq pork tasted great. Overall, we loved this dish!

Buns are something we like to order, but we try to limit the amount we get as they are pretty filling. We ordered BBQ Pork Bun, but they ended up giving us Chicken Steamed Bun which was alright and something I like, and I even like to make at home. The chicken filling was delicious and I’ve always loved the ginger taste and scent in the buns, so it worked well that we got this little mistake!

Perhaps I’m a little more traditional, but I really enjoy Chicken Feet and I order it everywhere I go – almost! I did from here and I got to say the flavours was a little dull and over cooked. it didn’t stop me from eating the entire dish, but it was just my personal preference for it to have a stronger flavour and it not being so mushy.

It’s also quite traditional of us to order some Steamed Beef Balls and this one they said it was “dry steamed” which looked more like a shao mi, but it did taste different. We loved it as it is a dish that isn’t too common in dim sum restaurants.

Because of the steamed beef balls looking like shao mi, we decided we needed an order of Shao Mi which is a steamed pork dumpling. It was pretty tasty and it does look quite different.

I know, we ordered a lot of food for 2 people, and no we were not done! We can’t go anywhere without some tasty Steamed Spare Ribs and they did an amazing job here. It wasn’t too greasy, the pieces weren’t too fatty and the flavours was exciting!

Then, I have been wanting some Sticky Rice also known as Lo Mai Fan (not in Lotus leaves) as it’s something I don’t really make – if ever! I find I under cook my glutenous rice then I don’t like it. But, they steamed their rice really well here and it tasted pretty good, but perhaps needs a little more soy sauce or salt. We did have some sauces on the table and so I just added a little – then it was perfect! It satisfied my craving!

We were now ready to go. We were completely stuffed… and then one special cart came by with some Pot Stickers or Pan fried dumplings which is something I just love and adore. We ordered a plate… and ate it all up! The skin was really nice and although on the thicker side, it was delicate. Perfectly pan fried and the pork filling was amazing! The perfect way to end our dim sum adventure here.

Overall, it was nice sitting down having a nice traditional dim sum experience in Calgary. The owners were Chinese (Cantonese) and apparently has been around for many years. The food was decent, and the prices was quite good! It was a better than expected dim sum!

Silver Dragon Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Silver Dragon Restaurant

106 3 Ave SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 264-5326

The Burner Restaurant – Malakwa, British Columbia

October 14th, 2014

While driving through BC, we couldn’t help but noticing a giant burner. When we realized it was a restaurant, we knew we were eating at The Burner. Soon, this restaurant will be featured on Food Networks You Gotta Eat Here and hopefully will be sharing their wonderful food to everyone.

As I was in the area for the Salmon Run, I thought I should be eating Salmon… so I ordered their Blackened Pan Seared Sockeye Salmon with a side of smoked corn. I saw it on the menu for one of their condiments but really wanted some – so I asked for them. The salmon was definitely blackened as it was a little burnt, but not enough for it to be bitter or gross – so it was nice. The corn was amazing, you can definitely taste the smoked flavour in it and the entire meal was just awesome!

My husband ordered the Black Angus New York Steak Dinner which was a giant piece of steak, cooked to his liking. He also had mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. The mashed potatoes was one of my favourites, and he devoured his entire plate in no time.

The overall experience was beyond what I was expecting. The service was good, the food came out quickly and everything was delicious! I actually cleaned the plate and proud of it!

The Burner Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon

The Burner Restaurant

4260 Oxbow Frontage Rd.
Malakwa, BC
(250) 836-4600