Sunday, 11 February 2007

Good Earth

7 Ave SW @ 6th St
Calgary is not exactly known for its coffee, but there are some good options if you look around a bit. Good Earth is a Calgary based chain that specialises in serving nutritious food and excellent coffee. In terms of food, I’ve only tried their scones, which are really good. Not too dense or dry, and good sweet and savory flavours.

The coffee is a bit hit and miss. My first visit was very disappointing, but the 7th Ave store is very handily located between work and my French classes, so I gave them another chance. A good thing, since the barista who usually works around 6pm is pretty good. My skim latte has nicely textured milk with foam rather than bubbles. The espresso is good too; strong but never bitter. Overall a pretty decent place to buy an espresso based drink.

I also tried drip coffee from the University of Calgary location – not so great.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Simple Simon Pies

Calgary Farmers Market
The humble meat pie is an Australian institution sadly unappreciated by our North American friends. I have to admit that the situation in Calgary is much better than in Ithaca, with frozen meat pies of reasonable quality readily available in the supermarket. However a weekend lunch of hot meat pies from the local bakery is generally not an option.

Simple Simon Pies brought a happy end to my meat pie wasteland theory. A trip to the Calgary Farmers Market is well worth the effort for the pies alone. I walked up to the counter and was immediately offered a taste. My request for “something that tastes like an Aussie meat pie” brought two offerings, steak and tourtiere. The steak pie was a fantastic open faced pie filled with real pieces of meat in enough (but not too much) gravy. Tourtiere is a French-Canadian pork, beef, and potato mixture, which was delicious in a lidded pie. Simple Simon make fruit pies too, and the mango pie we tried was a welcome taste of summer in the cold weather. Not too sweet, but sticky enough to satisfy.

We came home from the markets with a dozen frozen pies, and it won’t be long before we go back for more.

Friday, 2 February 2007

Tea and Collection

1623 Centre St, NW
A detour on my way home brought me to Tea and Collection, a Chinese tea shop in a tiny mall. I'd noticed the building from the road, but it was only when I walked by that I realised there were shops inside - these include an Asian market, a shop selling prepared dim sum, and a candy store.

As I browsed the cannisters in Tea and Collection I was offered a cup of delicious tea. Very good tea, I was told. $90/100g tea! It tasted lovely; I think it was a black tea, but the flavour was subtle and the smell slightly sweet. Beautiful as it was, I went home with Dragon Ball tea, also delicious, and a more affordable $10 for a small pack.