7 Essential eats and drinks on a trip home to YYC

charred cabbage from Pigeonhole

Montreal has a great food scene but this is what I really crave when I head back west to Calgary. Rest assured there will be plenty of ice cream, tofu, chocolate, and an abundance of other delicious eats and drinks.

  1. Village Beer

Specifically Village Blacksmith. It’s a dark beer like no others; light enough to be sessionable, but not so light that it’s no longer dark. Easy drinking stuff. Plus the bottle fits really nicely in my tiny hands (maybe Trump would be a fan?).

  1. Village Ice Cream

Apparently there’s a village theme here. Man if Village Chocolate existed I would be all over it. Anyways, back to the topic at hand, Village Ice Cream. Their salted caramel is what dreams are made of, and their seasonal vegan coconut milk-based varieties are off the hook. Yup, I just said “off the hook.”

  1. Crispy Tofu at Anju

I realize as I write this that I’ve never had the true version of crispy tofu. It comes with pork belly and in my previous life as a vegetarian, I always ordered it sans piggy. Now I’m scared. Is it going to be the same? Will all of my expectations be violated? Who knows?! Heck it’s pork belly, how can adding that be a bad thing?

  1. Charred Cabbage at Pigeonhole

Charred cabbage is one of Pigeonhole’s signature dishes for a reason. Elevating the humble brassica is no simple feat but the smoky, blackened exterior contrasted with the melty mimolette and spicy salad cream is pretty incredible for what is essentially a three component dish. The reservation has been made and we will be ordering several plates of this.

  1. Smoked Salmon Pappardelle at Villa Firenze

No restaurant encompasses my childhood like Villa Firenze. I could rave about pretty much anything on the menu but my go-to for the past several years has been their smoked salmon pappardelle. The fish is hot smoked and blended into a rich cream sauce that envelops the perfectly cooked, homemade pappardelle. Leftovers the next day are just as good.

  1. Milkshake (preferably vanilla or chocolate) at Peter’s

If tongue workouts were a thing, Peter’s would have already banked their millions from their milkshakes and moved on. Thankfully (to my knowledge), they’re not. That doesn’t make Peter’s milkshakes any less jaw-achingly delicious. No spoons allowed, straws are the only way to go. And yes, you can get about 5 bagillion different flavour combinations but for me, simple chocolate or vanilla shall suffice.

  1. Cococo Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut’s Sea Salt Habanero bar (milk or dark)

I’ve had a lot of chocolate that claims to be spicy, but none of them can leave you in a coughing fit quite like this bad boy (and I mean that in the best of ways). It delivers on both the salt and the spice, and the two of them together make it about as addictive as chocolate gets.

gin and tonic container bar

Other favourites:

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