It was getting close to three weeks in Alberta and we had not yet had an evening meal in a restaurant! Still remembering the all-time great meal we had in Alberta's only 'OPM chain' restaurant in Edmonton a few years before, I checked the listings in Red Deer to see if they had anything similar. Sure enough, a couple of reviews came up regarding a place called Fusion Cafe, mentioning that it was one of the best Asian restaurants in central Alberta and served Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai and American dishes.
We had been to its part of Red Deer before, so did not have much difficulty locating the restaurant early on a Friday evening.
Favorite Dish: Sue decided to try their medium-hot Chicken in Thai Style (curry) with carrots, red & green peppers and onions (C$9.50) while I need to also get my curry fix, going with Curried Beef and its mixture of brocolli, carrots, onions and mushrooms ($C9.95). Along with our steamed rice we each ordered a glass of wine (~C$5 each) as we sampled each others dishes (2nd photo). Altogether, very nice flavours if I say so myself.
The interior of Fusion Cafe was nothing spectacular and, with it also being a small take-out joint sandwiched in a mini-mall (3rd photo), there were sometimes vehicles idling outside with their headlights shining through the windows and/or people lined up off to one side waiting for their orders. Overall, an inexpensive and delicious meal but not a real romantic spot if that is what you are looking for (and it definitely was not in OPM's league)! Our total bill with drinks, taxes and a tip came to C$42 (US$36)
By the time we had finished off our left-over Chinese food, we felt like trying something Italian. Since it was dark and snowing lightly by the time we decided to eat, we opted for a take-out pizza from Panago - to be delivered. Their on-line menu was a great help in deciding what to get and we eventually tracked down the phone number of the closest of the three Panago locations in Red Deer to place our order. This was a chain we had tried a few years before while in Cold Lake, Alberta, so we knew we would like the way they prepared their pizzas. We ordered during the evening 'rush hour' at 5 PM, so it ended up taking 1-hour before it actually arrived on our doorstep.
Favorite Dish: The thin-crust Veggie Mediterranean consists of fresh Passata tomato sauce, fire-roasted tomatoes, Kalamata olives, red pepper, baby spinach leaves, red onions, feta cheese and mozzarella. When it arrived, even the thin-crust was a bit fire-roasted around the edges, but it so happens that Sue and I don't mind a bit of burnt flavour anyway! At only 12-inches in size, it was not cheap at C$20 (US$17) but that included delivery and a tip. The pizza had a really great flavour and looked good too!
Following the completion of the wedding in Canmore, my wife and I spent the weekend back in Red Deer with our eldest daughter, her husband and their two children. As well, another couple we had not seen for a few years arrived from Drayton Valley, Alberta on Saturday to spend the night and catch up on all the news. As a result, we did some shopping at our local Save-on-Foods supermarket so I could prepare a BBQ meal to feed the masses.
Favorite Dish: I chose a meal that Sue and I quite frequently have at home in New Brunswick. A few chicken breasts chopped into small squares, combined with alternating pieces of green pepper, yellow pepper, button tomatoes, mushrooms and onions serves to make up some very colourful BBQ kebabs. I also prepared a few with shrimp for my eldest daughter who is a vegetarian. While these cook, I baste them with Teriyaki sauce each time I turn the kebabs. Served with rice, this makes for a very tasty dish and does not take long to cook. My problem as an engineer, is that I like to have all my colourful vegetables lined up so I can get the right pieces on each BBQ skewer - that combined with cutting everything into the correct sizes does take quite a bit of preparation time! The thing about BBQing in the wintertime is that you don't have to stand out there with it - just go out every few minutes to check/turn-over the food!
I had already done a bit of cooking while everyone was gathered in Red Deer before the official wedding activities took place in Canmore (as well as the weekend afterward), so I decided to treat Sue and I to a simple and easy Chinese take-out meal once we were on our own. After checking on the internet and local Yellow Pages in the phone book, the Dragon City Cafe sounded like it would do the trick. The street it on which it is located, 50th Avenue (also known a Gaetz Avenue), is a divided one that runs through town and has tons of stores, Box Malls and mini-malls on both sides, so it can be a little tricky to spot what you are looking for while dealing with the fairly busy traffic. However, I soon managed to find the Dragon City Cafe near the south end of Red Deer.
Favorite Dish: I walked in to place my order at about 4 PM, and there was hardly anyone there except for the staff (2nd photo). However, they were more than happy to go over the menu with me as I opted for a medium spicy Szechuan Chicken dish (C$7.25), a Scallops with Black Bean Sauce dish (C$9.75) and a Spring Roll (C$1.35) along with a bowl of Steamed Rice (C$1.20). They also threw in some Fortune Cookies, Soya Sauce and Plum Sauce. It was a good 20 minutes before everything was ready but that was OK - I was happy to have some food to take home with me (3rd photo). Both dishes came with an almost identical mixture of Red and Green Peppers, Onions and Baby Corn. I have to say that I preferred the spicy Szechuan dish, it just seemed to have so much more flavour to it. As it turned out, Sue caught a stomach bug earlier in the day before I placed this order, so she was not particularly hungry for two days. This left me munching away on this stuff for two days and even then I had some left-overs that went into the garbage! The whole order was less than US$18.
Smitty's is a chain of family restaurants across Canada serving general homestyle cooking for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You don't really go to Smitty's for amazing service or amazing food, but if you want to sit down and eat somewhere comfortable with relatively cheap, good food, this is where you go! I would compare it to Denny's.
Favorite Dish: Clubhouse Sandwich (ham, turkey, lettuce, tomato between 3 layers of toasted bread)
Denny's is great, cozy, comfortable, not too expensive. If you aren't into loudness, avoid going there after 3am on weekends. The wait-staff are extremely friendly and super helpful. Their food is pretty awesome too, you get huge portions for fairly average costs.
Favorite Dish: Any of their breakfasts! Awesome!
Oh, and you just HAVE to try their cheesecake, strawberry or cherry, it is to DIE for!
the place is filthy food stains and food on the table cloths ,widows ,blinds and carpet.no work edicate among the staff when bussiness is slow they don't clean up.not only the staff but the patrons seem oblivious to the filth.staff have poor hygene no uniforms .blue jeans,dirty running shoes seem to be the norm.dirt piled up corners kitchen a mess cooks smoking in back alley.rest rooms stin ky filthy mess,mix fresh food with old food in shafing dishes ,food piled to high ,noodle dishes over cooked,desserts disgusting.seem to cater to the over weight pigs who want more food for less money .dont know how this place could pass health inspection
OK, now that I have been to Greece, I can honestly say that this food is as good as the real deal. It used to be located downtown but there was a fire and they relocated to the south end. They have it decorated very nicely and have very authentic meals. The food is simply amazing! We hade the meze which is a sampling of Greek dishes. They charge $20.00 per person CAD (obviously) and you belly will hurt after this HUGE meal!! I had to be wheeled out...hehe
Favorite Dish: The lamb...you can have great lamb or really bad lamb, nothing in between. This is one place that knows how to cook lamb. Give it a whirl!! Also on weekends this restaurant has belly dancers for your enjoyment, call to be sure that they are in if this is what you are looking for.
The food is a very reasonable price for the massive amount that comes on your plate. This family run restaurant is ran by a family from Greece, hence there is a nice variety of greek food as well. The pizza is loaded down with a ton of toppings!! The atmosphere is great in here, nice casual dining!
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish would have good ol Alberta beef on it. We have the best beef in the world...the only meat that I have almost liked better would be in South Afica.
The bakery in downtown Canmore. This place was the best in the world.
Great food at really good prices, we did all of our bread, cookie, and cake shopping here.
Favorite Dish: Creme filled pastries and cookies.