Everyday Life with Erin

Exploring the Beauty of YYC

I’ve been craving sushi a lot lately, and after a busy weekend out, decided it would be best to order in for the night. Looking on Skip the Dishes, we wanted something quick and delicious. We opted for Kinjo Sushi and of course had to go all out. I’ve been to a few of the Kinjo restaurants across town, and you know you’re always going to be satisfied with the sushi and options. Never having ordered out before, I wasn’t entirely sure if the freshness would still be there, but was happy with the results. We ordered their giant platter which came with a variety of the classic rolls and a large selection of sashimi. Everything tasted just as it does when you sit in, and their tuna was a bit hit for us! Ordering made easy and cravings satisfied, definitely try them out!

I hardly ever venture into the south of the city, but with a ladies brunch date in order, we added our name to the waitlist and headed into Bro’Kin Yolk. First opening in 2015 in Symons Valley, and now having three locations in the suburbs of Calgary, this place values local, fresh ingredients with a family atmosphere. They work with Mealshare and KidSport to give back and support the local community.

For our brunch today, besides your coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice mimosas, almost all of us opted for their bennies. With their signature farm fresh eggs, each is served on their famous waffles and topped with their roasted garlic hollandaise sauce. I was a little hesitant about the waffles but it added a delectable and subtle sweetness to the benny, and this was definitely an item I would order again. Another friend raved about the breakfast bacon poutine which will be on my next visit’s order.

If you’re in the neighbourhoods of Symons Valley, Mahogany, or West Hills this is a breakfast spot you should add to your list!

Alberta Beer Festivals organizes six different sampling events throughout the province for the year. Last night, I attended The Mashing, held in the Grandstands at Stampede Park. The festival brought together a mix of fifty-five breweries, distilleries, and cideries from across the province, as well as various food vendors and entertainment stages. A general admissions ticket was $20, plus additional tokens needed to be purchased upon entering. Tokens were $1 each, and most drink samples asked for two, whereas the food vendors were anywhere from three to five. This event was a great opportunity to try new, unfamiliar, or your favourite drinks all in good company. It was a well organized festival that brought together Albertans alike, all for the sake of supporting our brewing community.

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Vietnamese food has become my comfort meal of choice. Anytime I’m feeling sick, tired, or just having a rough day, it’s what I crave. There are numerous options for Vietnamese restaurants in town, depending of course on where you live, but my longtime favourite has been Van Son. I always go to their 16th Avenue location, and have never been disappointed with the food or service. Placing an order via phone usually takes about ten minutes before you can pick it up, and when you actually go into the restaurant, it’s often about the same.

I have a few go-to options that I’d recommend you trying. If you’re a vermicelli lover like myself, their lemongrass chicken (#17) is top notch: flavourful, fresh, and topped with their delicious spring rolls. Secondly, anytime I’m sick or cold, I always order the satay peanut beef (or chicken) noodle soup (#31B or #30B). If you’ve never tried it before, it’s a must. The mix of pleasantly spicy and peanut tastiness is to die for. This soup comes in a massive bowl which I’ve never been able to finish. Leftovers are a given. They also have your delicious classics, shrimp salad rolls and spring rolls. Neither disappoint.

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This cute little cidery just opened this spring in the northeast community of Franklin. It’s in the same plaza as Heathen’s Brewing Inc., so perhaps there’s a gluten free drinking area beginning to form.

SunnyCider has a beautiful interior: crisp, white, and clean. It has lovely touches that make the taproom comfortable and cozy. They have a large selection of ciders on tap, about half being theirs and half from others. They also have numerous bottles of both ciders and beers. We sampled all of their ciders available on tap and two guest ciders, and enjoyed them all. There was a good range from sweeter to fruity to dry, so there really is something that everyone could enjoy. Although we didn’t try their food, they did have a simple menu with items such as a cheese board, reuben, and bratwurst. All of their ciders are available for purchase to take home.

SunnyCider engages with the Calgary community by encouraging individuals to drop off their apple and fruits in exchange for cider credits. For every pound of apples or pears that you drop off, you receive $0.25 in credit. One pound of cherries gives you $2 in credit and one pound of berries gives you $3 in credit. Check out their website for more information.

SunnyCider cider’s are 100% a Canadian product, handcrafted and small batch. Worthy of checking out!

We’ve longed for the idea of a local pub, but somewhere that actually served quality drinks and food, and at last it happened! I couldn’t have been more excited when last summer a new brewery popped up in our neighbourhood: Elite Brewing and Cidery.

Elite has a well established theme that permeates through all that they do. Based around the military, the decor is in that classy style, boards giving facts and historical events, and the drinks named accordingly. The thing though that I love most about their theme is that they regularly give back to the local Veteran community. They continuously donate portions of their revenues to Veterans Affairs, as well as organizing food drives and cash donations to the Veterans Food Bank of Calgary. What an amazing way to give back and support others!

I have frequented here numerous times and really do enjoy this place for a number of reasons. Their food is fantastic! Everyday of the week they have specials, ranging from a Sunday dinner feature to wing and taco nights. But my ultimate favourite that they serve is their grilled cheese. It’s next level and better than any homemade version! They also have numerous drink options, serving of course their many types of ciders and beers. There’s something for everyone. The employees who work there are friendly and are great at recognizing familiar faces. They always make you feel welcome. Alongside the bar, there are stacks of games like Jenga and trivia which can add to the experience or entertain your kids. Finally, they have a great patio that is dog friendly so you can even bring your pups along with you.

Visiting the taproom recently, we were lucky enough to be given a tour by an employee. I was provided with much more information about this place that made me appreciate them and their business even more. In the back, they house one large tank for cider and four smaller tanks for beer. From there, they add or modify ingredients as they see fit for flavour and consistency. They have their system set up to rotate about every month so you can try a new cider, IPA, etc… They don’t have a standard “four beers on tap” plan, but instead constantly have something new coming up. The taps themselves are filled with only their brews, unless of course they run out, which is fairly typical, and then they’re filled with guest taps. Due to the small micro-brewery nature, Elite does not can or provide kegs to other brew houses, but instead you can only try their ciders or beers there.

When Elite first opened, I visited them primarily for convenience and proximity. As the past year has gone by, although I still do enjoy them for their location, going there has become more of a choice. I love their dedication to providing quality food, drinks, and service, and appreciate the community support they always provide.

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Photos by Valerie Lopez

Be sure to check out Elite’s social media page for their current events!

Connecting the neighbourhood of East Village to the beautiful St. Patrick’s Island, Skipping Stone Bridge is one of my favourites in Calgary. It’s the only pedestrian bridge that links the two and is a lovely piece of artwork to admire.

It was designed by a French architecture firm from Paris, and the design was voted for by Calgarians as the choice option. The bridge was designed for function first, having a wide deck to allow for commuters to pass easily, as well as seating areas to make it aesthetically pleasing. Looking from the side, you can clearly see that the bridge mimics the movement and flow of a stone as it’s skipped across the water. For me, it brings back memories from my childhood, competing to see who could get their stone to jump the most. The bridge was completed in 2015 and continues to be a spectacle to see when in the East Village area.