Balkan – Greek Restaurant in Banff

It’s been years since we’ve gone back to our favourite Greek Restaurant and it just happens to be in Banff, AB! It’s really nice as they have renovated the space to make it quite inviting – yet warm and intimate. It’s pretty neat, when you first get up the stairs, you’re greeted by beautiful piece of what appears to be a Greek imitation of their art on Ivory.

We came to this restaurant after watching the Santa Claus Parade that was held in Banff. It was quite spectacular as it was a night parade – which you normally don’t see. So, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to return here. This particular even, they were really packed as there were large families and parties going on – but we managed to make a reservation – so the food and service was still really good.

For drinks, I ordered a Virgin Pina Colada as it’s my favourite girly drink. It was really good and not too sweet, as some other places make it extra sweet – or there’s just no alcohol to make it bitter. We also had a bottle of Mythos which is Greek beer and it’s quite light and crisp.

For starters, they give you some nice fresh buns with Balsamic Olive Oil Bread Dip which is really nice! They do use a really nice Greek Olive Oil for this and it’s perfect for this application!

I ordered something I don’t normally, but for some reason, it really stuck in my mind that it was what I was going to get… so, I got it. I ordered the Arni Psito which was roasted lamb. The lamb was fork tender and it fell off the bone as I started eating at my dish. It was so good, I pretty much ate the entire plate before realizing we said we’d switch half-way to experience each others dishes.

The other dish we ordered was Greek Ribs and they were tender as well, lots of flavour and soft. It wasn’t fall of the bone ribs that are tender and juicy, but it sure is a different style.

Then, as stuffed as we were, we knew we wanted dessert from the moment we made a reservation to Balkans. We always order the Galactobouriko which is an amazing dessert that is really light, and not really sweet, warm, custardy with crispy phyllo pastry! To top it off, it’s topped with a decadent honey syrup and cinnamon.

Balkan The Greek Restaurant

120 Banff Avenue
Banff, AB
(403) 762-3454

South St. Burger Co. – Calgary, Alberta

I’ve been to Cross Iron Mills a few times now, and I’ve always noticed a long line any time of day at South St. Burger Co so on this particular occasion during my visit, I craved and sat down for a burger.

We ordered a Hamburger Combo to share as it was kind of a snack. Our combo, we ordered it with a poutine instead of regular fries or onion rings. South St. Burger’s uses New York Fries for their sides, and says they are the best sides. I must say, I’ve never been a huge fan of New York fries for some reason, and this time didn’t make me change my mind either. The gravy was really salty, and it didn’t taste like any other brown gravy I’ve had… and even though the fries weren’t soggy and offered a nice crisp and soft on the inside – the poutine just didn’t satisfy me.

The hamburger I must say, I’m sure the beef patty was really delicious, but it was overwhelmed with all the toppings that they put on. They must’ve over-dressed it, as I tasted mostly the garlic mayo and mango chutney we added to our burger.

The toppings that the customer is able to choose from is extensive, with a huge array of everything! You’re able to pick your cheese, type of mustard, ketchup, mayo, relish and a sauce, plus the veggies you’d like on your burger. It is really nice you can personalize a burger, but as mentioned, I think they went a little over-board with loading on the toppings.

With it all said and done, it was a decent burger – not cheap, but it was good. It certainly didn’t seem like a beef burger though. So, in search of the perfect burger status – I’m still searching!

South St. Burger Co.

261055 CrossIron Blvd
(403) 274-3955

Shogun Teppan-Yaki – Birmingham, England

Sushi from Shogun Teppan-Yaki has been a place where my sister has talked about for years as a place to take us! We finally went, and it was wonderful! Located in Birmingham in a huge mall called The Mailbox, it’s a wonderful Japanese restaurant with lots of options, from a sit down menu featuring noodles, sushi & sashimi, set meals, and much more, there is always something on the menu to satisfy any craving.

There is a sit down area with a rotating conveyer belt with sushi – and you just pick out what you want to eat, and is charged a flat rate. If you’re looking for entertainment, this is also the place to go as they offer teppanyaki for their customers.

We sat down and ate all the sushi we could with the flat fee. The sushi was really fresh and delicious – and we sat right by the window as the sushi first comes out of the kitchen. We tried a lot of dishes, from your standard sushi like salmon sushi, which was really fresh and tasty.

We had some tempura and this was crispy and not greasy. It was really nicely fried and the batter is excellent.

My favourite that I tried was the shrimp and mango sushi which is a sushi I haven’t tried since now. It’s sweet and savoury and I really enjoy this combo.

Shogun is an excellent place to visit if you’re in the area and craving for sushi – plus hungry! I would recommend Shogun whether you’re in for some entertainment, or just to fill up your belly. Even though I didn’t enjoy the teppanyaki myself, I did have a glimpse of a family enjoying it for lunch – and it sure looks like fun! 🙂

Shogun Teppan-Yaki

Shogun Sushi/Noodle Bar Ltd
27-29 Wharfside Street
The Mail Box
Birmingham
B1 1RD