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Posts tagged ‘pecan pie’

Restaurant Review: Bookers BBQ and Crab Shack

Location: 10, 316 – 3 St SE

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times we’ve driven past this place and I’ve wanted to go in and try it. Well, today, I got to as part of the YYC Food and Drink Experience.

Sitting at work, we thought perhaps we wouldn’t be able to go with our original plan of ordering the prix fixe menu, but upon sitting down, it was clear that that’s what three of the four us were going to do.

With the prix fixe menu, there were three courses: starter, main, and dessert. We would start with a soup – smoked brisket and barley, followed by a BBQ plate, and finish off with pecan tart.

I must admit, the soup was the one I was least sure of and was admittedly the best of the three course. When the dish was presented it didn’t look like much, but sometimes simplicity is the best way to showcase the natural flavours of the ingredients making it somewhat reminiscent of a well-made home cooked meal. That is to say, it had a very homey, hearty quality that I would normally reserve more for chowders than a soup like this, but this soup earned that qualification. It was well seasoned (not too salty and not bland either), with the flavours adding to and balancing one another. I always say that I can drink lava and I might as well have been. It was served (very) hot, but I personally like my soup more on the hot side. That combined with the fact that it was very cold outside, it was a great way to start off the meal.

In the presence of good company, it did not feel like it took the next course very long to appear. The BBQ plate consisted of half a rack of ribs, coleslaw, baked beans, and pulled pork. An issue I generally have with ribs at restaurants is that the meat is overcooked and loses its tenderness. There were parts that were overcooked and charred, but for the most part, they were tender and fell off the bone easily. My only complaint was that the seasoning on the ribs was not prominent enough. That is to say, it felt as though I was eating blackened ribs with no discernable seasoning, especially when contrasted with the pulled pork, which was moist, well-seasoned and vastly superior. The coleslaw could’ve used with a little more dressing. I could tell there was a dressing, but honestly, like the one at Owens Landing (though not nearly as bad), it felt like it was just cabbage and carrot. It could’ve done with some acidity. The third side, the baked beans, weren’t bad, but they weren’t anything special. At least they were seasoned. The fourth in our party, who opted not to order the prix fixe menu had the pulled pork sandwich sans cajun mayo and pickles, the latter of which I took. Based on my conception of the flavours, the sweetness of the pickle (as they were bread and butter pickles) and the cajun mayo would’ve been a perfect complement to the savoury pulled pork, and to top it all off, was a fried pickle spear giving the dish a much needed deep fried element. I would absolutely have ordered this if I wasn’t so “afraid” to get my hands dirty. More and more, I dislike getting my hands dirty and given the whole coronavirus situation, probably eating with utensils would be better for the time being. The pulled pork sandwich was served with a side of caesar salad.

We finished the meal off with a pecan tart. I absolutely love pecan tarts and was looking forward to this course the most. My friend Alex’s comment about it being a lot like a tarte au sucre was not inaccurate. I felt that it was more of that than a pecan tart other than the obvious fact that there were pecans on it. For me, if you’re going to serve a tart with ice cream, the tart should at least be warm. I really enjoy meals with contrast: hot and cold, sweet and savoury, as well as a variety of textures. I felt like this was a missed opportunity. That is not to say that the tart was not delicious, but it was not exactly what I was hoping for. The tart with drizzled with bourbon caramel and chocolate, but I didn’t feel like it added much to the overall dessert and I’m a huge proponent of only using that which is necessary in a dish.

Overall, I was not hugely impressed with the food we got. Perhaps they are not exactly the things on the menu I normally would’ve gone for, which is fine, as I am one who loves to try out new things, but the flavours just didn’t work for me. I would like to come back to try some of their seafood (crab cakes and calamari) as well as their fried shrimp po’boy (I have a weakness for these). However, unfortunately, I must base it on my experience today and it was not the best (though service was good). I would rate this place 2.75/5. I hope I will have the chance to come back and reassess that.

I apologize for the quality of the photos below as the restaurant was quite dark.

Restaurant Interior
Restaurant Interior
Soup: Brisket and Barley
BBQ Plate: Half rack of ribs, Pulled Pork, Baked Beans, and Coleslaw
Pecan Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream

Restaurant Review: Pie Cloud

Location:  314 D 10th Street NW

Though I’ve categorized it as a restaurant, I’d say it’s more like a cross between a cafe and a restaurant. Maybe a bistro? I’m not sure exactly what the right word for it would be. As with most of the restaurants and cafes I’ve been to in the Kensington area, this place is quaint and cute.

The first thing that struck me when I walked into the place was how empty it was. I had heard that it was on the pricier side, but if the food was good, I expected it to be packed regardless. We were promptly seated and given a chance to peruse the menus. Me being me of course, I had already looked at the menu before coming because one I take forever to decide on what I want and two because if the food doesn’t sound appealing to me, I don’t want to go. While the atmosphere of the place is quaint and cute, the food can only be described as comfort. The menu consists primarily of pies, hence the name, but they also have a variety of food that aren’t pies (cleverly headed as “not pies” on the menu). Our waitress started us off with drinks almost immediately. Julia ordered a coffee and I had a winter gold tea. Both came from local business in the area, mine from The Naked Leaf and Julia’s from The Roasterie (which was right next door). The Winter Gold tea was magnificent and fragrant. Not only were the colours beautiful, the sweetness of the tea was not overwhelming. With that out of the way, it was time to focus on entrees. My initial reaction to seeing a Mac and Cheese Pie was disgust and confusion. I couldn’t imagine something so starchy ever being enjoyable, but putting that aside I decided to give this a try (also, bacon lattice, like come on, even though I don’t like bacon that much, a bacon lattice sounds so awesome!). It was a strange combination and I didn’t end up eating much of the pie crust, but it was something worth trying. My friend Julia ordered the Boston Chowder Pie. That was one of the pies I had considered trying, but was concerned that the pie filling would be more like a clam chowder and be very runny, but I was wrong. It was thick and creamy and filled with a hearty helping of clams, bacon, and assorted vegetables all wrapped in a wonderful, flaky potato crust. Each pie comes with a choice of sides, I had the coleslaw and Julia had the butternut squash soup. The coleslaw was more acidic that I had expected, but it was a good counter for the richness of the mac and cheese. The butternut squash soup was served in a cup and in no way measured up to Vendome’s butternut squash veloute. For dessert, we decided to share a slice of pecan pie. I had been craving pecan pie for a while and unfortunately I was about to be disappointed. I had thought if the entree pies were any indication as to the size of their portions, there was no way that we could each get a slice of pie and finish it after having had the entrees. The pie itself was actually quite nice. Very butter and flaky crust and overall, it wasn’t too sweet. However, for $8, the size of the pie didn’t measure up. Next time I think I’ll give their mermaid pie a try.

I like this place for the fact that they help support some of the local business in the area and that there’s a place in Calgary where I can find comfort food for those days when you need it most. What’s also interesting is its address: 314. On the “About Us” section of their webpage, they point this out. The significance. 3.14 is of course Pi. Their menu is quite extensive and any of their savoury pies sound so delicious that I intend to return to try them all. It would be interesting to try out their breakfast ideas one day as well. Our waitress was very attentive and I can find little to complain about. However, as mentioned earlier, the prices can be a bit steep for some and the size of the pecan pie was disappointing. Other than that, I’d have to say everything else was perfect. 4/5

pie cloud exterior

Pie Cloud Exterior

Pie Cloud interior 2

Pie Cloud Interior

Pie cloud interior

Pie Cloud Interior



Winter Gold Tea

Winter Gold Tea

Mac and Cheese Pie

Mac and Cheese Pie with Coleslaw

Boston Chowder Pie alone

Boston Chowder Pie with Butternut Squash Soup

Pecan pie

Pecan Pie

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