On to part two of my chronicles across the Wild Rose Country! This week I bring you the rest of my time in Calgary before heading off to Edmonton and the Badlands:
I’ve mentioned numerous times in the past that Dim Sum is one of my favourite food fares. So of course I was going to drag Mike and Tia to one of Calgary’s most popular Dim Sum joints for some delicious food. Actually, my family used to frequent this restaurant, the Regency Palace, whenever we were in town visiting family. The Regency Palace has the classic table and dining cart experience or, if you prefer, you can eat at the buffet. We chose the classic dining cart option!
We ordered so much food. But it was so good. We sampled everything from spring rolls to sticky rice to shrimp dumplings to squid to pork buns! I even managed to talk Mike and Tia into trying tripe. It’s one of my favourite Dim Sum dishes. They were
terrified hesitant to try it, but surprisingly they sampled some! Of course, they didn’t like it, but hey – at least they tried!
With our bellies full, we explored more of Downtown Calgary, including the Bow River. You may recognize the Bow as it was one of the two rivers that flooded Calgary last June. It was pretty astonishing to see – a lot of construction was going on and mitigation strategies put in place in hopes to reducing the likelihood of such a disastrous flood from occurring in the future.
We also checked out the Glenmore Reservoir – really we were just trying to keep Mike and his mind occupied! His tattoo appointment was later on in the day and to say he was freakin’ was an understatement. But alas, we could not keep his mind off it for long, because before we knew it it was time.
We chose Honour Bound as our tattoo gurus. Shane, one of the tattoo artists at HB, actually tattoo’d all three of us! You’ll have to wait for Tia and my tattoos as we got them after the Badlands. So there we were, Mike’s stomach doing somersaults, me and Tia extremely jealous about having to wait another week for our tattoos. Shane was awesome and let me take a few photos (and video clips) of his work in progress… Look how happy he is! I told him it wasn’t going to be that bad! And the finished product is a beaut:Trees are very meaningful to Mike and represent a lot of personal things in his life, which is why he chose this pine tree. Shane did such a great job, and Mike was so incredibly pleased!
After getting tatted up (can I actually pull of saying that?!) we headed out to dinner with my two cousins, Liz and Rob. Liz suggested we hit up this really cool place called Open Sesame. It’s located just off McLeod Trail in a building that actually houses three other restaurants all owned by the same person! I hear each restaurant is as good as the last. Ok, back to Open Sesame: This restaurant was so great (we actually ended up eating here twice, we loved it so much!). You have two options – you can either order off the menu or you can choose the special. If you were to ever eat here, you must MUST order the special. Basically, the waitress will ask you what noodles you would like, and if you want protein, which protein you want. They have everything from chicken to beef to shrimp to squid, and more! The waitress then leaves to fetch you a bowl and your ticket:Then, with bowl in hand, you head to their huge veggie bar! Here, you load your bowl up with all the veggies you want – bamboo shoots, baby corn, chickpeas, suey choi, spinach, whatever! You can also add some freshly grated garlic or ginger, peanuts, coconut shavings, the list goes on. Once you’re bowl is overflowing (tip: make sure it is actually overflowing, otherwise your meal comes out surprisingly small) you head off to the sauce station. Here, pick any sauce you want – even a combination! Whatever floats your boat! Then, drop it off (with your ticket) at the counter. Here, the chefs will fry up your meal in a wok and have the waitress drop it off at your table. YUMMMMMMMMM. This is a shot of Tia’s creation – delicious! Can you see why we had to come back here a second time!?
After dinner, Liz and Rob took us to Downtown Calgary for a night on the town. Remember when I told you that you were going to see a lot of bars featured in these Alberta posts…? WURST was probably one of our favourites – with a classy restaurant on the main floor and a rad German tavern in the basement, WURST was by far the coolest bar we visited. And, for only being a Thursday, the place was pretty busy. I was told that on weekends it’s so packed that you pretty much stand shoulder to shoulder. The decor was really cool, the atmosphere was electric, the beer selection was great (so I’m told)… We were having such a great time until… dun dun dun… Mike knocked a glass over which shattered and spilled all over my lap (thanks, Mike). To add insult to injury, when I jumped up out of my seat, I knocked my purse on the floor, unknowingly sending one of my camera lenses off into the dark, under-table abyss. Thankfully the staff at WURST found my lens a few days later. Whew! All in all, a great place to spend our last night in Calgary!
Stay tuned for next week when we blow Calgary’s popsicle stand and head to Edmonton and then to our first night camping in the Badlands! Yes. You read that right. Camping. Outside. In Alberta. In April. *shakes head*
Until next time!
– Sean xx
(want to read more from Sean? check out her other posts here!)