Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5. FOOD: 3.5 / 5. VALUE: 3.5 / 5. AMBIANCE: 4 / 5
Nearly all of Gratitude Café’s dishes are vegan and gluten-free. Many are also raw. This is Calgary’s only raw food restaurant. Surprising for a city with a population of a million-plus people. Not so surprising considering the quality of Alberta beef. Read my Lunch Rush column in Metro Calgary, or continue for the expanded version…
It’s a quirky place, as every table features a deck of cards or small board game. The front of the restaurant features a massage chair, which I’m still confused about (are massages given by staff or is it a decorative accent?). Our server was almost so casual that I wasn’t sure if she worked there or if she had just wandered into the restaurant mid-jog.
Good thing the food looked promising. The menu is easy to read and organized into various levels of hungriness. And the dishes are named as affirmative statements. “I am thrilled” was our sushi appetizer with quinoa, basil pecans and avocado ($9). We liked the nuttiness, but the too-tightly packed rice made the dish dense.
My friend and I shared “I am awesome” ($12), a raw, vegan and gluten-free sunflower Thai salad with shredded coconut and pumpkin seeds stuffed into a bell pepper. It was bold, spicy and memorable. Warning: lots of chewing involved. Read More
We came to Wagamama in the same way that one does when meeting a friend’s friend or someone they “have heard so much about!” that is to say, we came with much anticipation.
Wagamama is a pan-asian, higher-end, quick service restaurant that started in Bloomsbury, London in 1992. It has now grown to 66 restaurants in the UK and 38 internationally. The franchise has won accolades like Zagat readers’ “official superbrand” in 2007 and 2008, along with the Retailer’s Retail Awards as one of London’s most popular restaurants for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Read More
I’d heard great things about Vero Bistro Moderne in Kensington so I had a responsibility to taste the food for myself. Chef/owner Jenny Chan was kind enough to invite me for dinner one night and even from our initial phone conversation I could tell that she was passionate about cooking. “Vero” is Italian for “true” and Vero Bistro’s slogan is an appropriately themed “welcome to my heart.” It’s not meant to be treacly, Chan really cares about and pours her heart into the food.
Let me say this right off the bat: the food is fantastic! Chan is still in her 20s, and all I can say to that is “you go, girl.” Now if only all of us in our 20s could cook like this…
Originally from Hong Kong, Chan studied Professional Cooking at SAIT, with stints at Petroleum Club, Catch and five years at Calgary favourite La Dolce Vita. Vero has now been around for two years which means my tastebuds have totally been missing out these past two years.
The menu is changing in two weeks, but I was assured that some favourites would remain. The seafood platter is a must-have with its mussels, clams, scallops, prawns, calamari, king crab claw, lobster tail and two seasonal fish. I think I just drooled onto my keyboard writing that. Read More