September 18, 2012

Wanderlust: Calgary

Good Morning! This will be the first of three posts on my recent vacation out West. First instalment - Cow Town! For those of you who don't know, Calgary has the strongest economy in Canada and the median age is about thirty-nine years old. It's a very young city with lots of money to burn! 

I originally planned this trip solo but once the Sok sister returned from China I couldn't help but drag her along with me! This was the first time we both were returning to a place we've previously visited before. It definitely changed the way we planned the trip. We weren't in a rush to hit all the hot spots, instead, we knew exactly where we wanted to go and who we wanted to see. 
Our first stop was my usual dim sum place - Forbidden City Dim Sum & Seafood. This is hands down the best dim sum in Calgary. There are always line ups at the door and although the service is the usual (nonexistent) type you get at Chinese restaurants, the food is always well seasoned, perfectly cooked and decently portioned. When I first moved out West and up a mountain I was severely deprived of Asian food, but lucky one of the senior cooks told me about Forbidden City and ever since I've been coming back and bringing my guest here.

This time around, our lovely host brought us back to Forbidden City and we ordered up a huge smorgasbord of dim sum treats! I think there might have been a change in management because the decor, uniforms as well as plating, has change. Fortunately the quality of the food hasn't!

Forbiddeb City Dim Sum | 999 36 Street NE | Calgary | Forbidden City Dim Sum & Seafood on Urbanspoon

A few days later we headed back to Calgary to do a little bit of shopping and check out a few places I had my eyes on. First stop,  Jelly Modern Doughnuts!  I was really looking forward to the sugar overload. You can read my post on them here.
I guess you could say I found Calgary's version of Toronto's Queen street circa 2007 before they let Queen St get consumed by chain stores. We ended up spending a good amount of time on 17th Street. The shops all ranged from trendy hair salons, cute "we support local artist" type shops to hip restaurants. We each found great souvenirs to later cram into our suitcases from Dick & Janes (831 17th Ave SW). The streets were definitely filled with TOMS wearing, plaid button up shirt hipsters and uber trendy downtown working professionals - we stuck out like sore thumbs

For Dinner, we hit up a place called Tubby Dog (1022 17th Ave SW).  I'm still dreaming about my hotdog. The joint was styled like an old school diner with a walk up ordering style. It was definitely a very relaxed atmosphere. Luckily we came in just before the rush.

After a bit of deliberation we ordered:

A-BOMB - cheese, bacon, mayo, mustard, ketchup & potato chips
CHEETAH - sauerkraut, cheese, mustard, & relish
SUMO - japanese mayo, wasabi, pickled ginger, seaweed salad & toasted seaseme seeds

We also ordered yam fries to share and a big 'ol coke to wash it down!
I ordered the sumo dog and was incredibly surprised at how light it was. I know, "light" wasn't exactly the word I thought I'd be using to describe this dog. I was expecting something more greasy and heavy - even with the other two dogs we ordered. Surprisingly each dog was not at all greasy and there was a perfect ratio of dog to bun.

There was a lovely kick from the wasabi that added a good amount of heat to the sumo dog and the pickled ginger really helped cut the meatiness of the dog and gave you a break from the odd texture of hotdog and seaweed salad, together. For anyone thats had a Japadog from Vancouver before - this is very similar. Hands down the sumo was a favourite. The A-Bomb, reminded me of the dogs I use to get when I was going to McMaster, but I use to add jalapeno peppers to mine! The cheese & chips, I thought might have been over kill but once I had a bite I realized it was just enough to coat the dog but not overwhelm it. The Cheetah was an in-between-er for me. If I had not gotten the sumo or tried the a- bomb, I would have enjoyed this more. But up against the previous two dogs, this one just didn't sing as loud. Lyssa loved it though and I could tell they were very generous with the sauerkraut.
We also ordered the yam fries on the side and even with big eaters like the three of us, it was way too much to handle! Should have gone for the half order. It came with sweet chili sauce on the side which was a pleasant surprise.  

Tubby Dog | 1022 17 Ave SW | Calgary | Tubby Dog on Urbanspoon 

See how big the hotdogs were? - almost as big as my head! And we barely made a dent in those yam fries! And yeah, this is exactly what it looks like from the outside of a food blog. See you guys tomorrow for part two! Some photos courtesy of Chandary Sok


  1. Chanry,

    what an amazing trip we had. Thank you for inviting me to join your trip. This really has been one of the best decisions I have made. I talked to you about volunteering abroad ever since my heart has not stopped fluttering. Its telling me I have to go for it and I think I will. Always a pleasure to read your blog. Keep it up, I'm so proud of me.

    1. WHAT?! I thought we were gunna move to canmore together? ;) Thank you for your sweet sweet words maum!