Living in a metro city , the economic capital of the province no less, is not an easy feat. Yet I’ve made myself a home away from home. All the way from Kolkata , to the heart of Canada, it has been a long journey. Through numerous ups and downs in life, I never let go of the foodie in me.
Close to downtown Calgary (basically the geographic center and the hip side of Calgary) resides 17th Avenue, the place to be. My coworkers and I have decided to go down the avenue, trying a new place every time. I’m always generally joined by Paul (the Drafting and Document Control Manager of the company I work at) and Nathan (Automation tech specialist at my company).
It generally always works out because 17th ave is close to where I work (which is right downtown) and close to Nathan’s apartment, since he is in a wheelchair and accessibility is a big issue for him. We always make sure that every restaurant we pick is wheelchair accessible, which is mostly the case because Calgary is very accommodating that way. Even though he is in an electric wheelchair, he still faces a lot of problems. Luckily, he’s one of the sweetest guys I know, and takes his life with a grain of salt. Paul on the other hand is 50 years old but 15 at heart. Despite the huge age gap, we always hang out and become very good friends. We eat out together, go to the gym together and spend 8 hours a day at work every day !
Paul and Nathan, my usual partners in food hunting.
We’ve tried various other places before but we wanted to try out Nando’s today. It’s pure chicken paradise. Starting from pita/hummus , peri peri slides, roasted chicken, to wraps and sandwiches, it has it all ! Walking in, we were a bit confused because of it’s different service structure. Basically, you take a menu, look through it and place your order at the counter upfront. After the order has been placed, you are given glasses to fill it in with your choice of drink from the smart screen drink dispenser. You grab your cutlery, condiments, etc on your way back to the table and food will be brought to you at the table. Sounds different but hey, i’m all in !
After alot of head scratching with the menu, we decided to go for the family style. We basically got half a roasted chicken, two skewers of chicken, 5 wings and two regular sides for the main, and a plate of pita bread with hummus for appetizer.We went upto the counter and placed our order – got the half roasted chicken in lime&herb spice while the skewers were medium hot.
Naturally, office gossip follows while we wait for food. Unlike India, you have to wait for over 30 mins , sometimes up to about 45 mins to 1 hour for your food because everything is prepared fresh. We had an office dinner the next day so we were all excited, it was supposed to be brazillian bbq so we were planning the order of the meat were going into.
The food finally arrives and I could not wait to get my hands on them since I was the most hungry out of us all. Unfortunately, we ate so fast that we could not take pictures. The wings and roasted chicken were to die for. With distinct charcoal grilled taste on both of them, slathered with lime & herb spice, it feeds your soul. I wasn’t a big fan of the skewers, never really liked them but they weren’t awful ‘per se.’ We also got two regular sides of peri-peri potato wedges and peri-peri roasted vegetables, the portions of which were tiny. The food came with three condiments, garlic sauce, hot sauce and extra hot sauce. I can shameless agree that I have the worst spice tolerance amongst the three of us. Literally 2 of the most vanilla white dudes can out perform me when it comes to handling spicy hot food. While I was crying my eyes out over one teaspoon of the hot sauce, Paul and Nathan merrily dipped their chicken in extra hot sauce. I felt like I had failed by brotherhood.
After we were done ploughing through our food, we were debating desserts but chose against it cause we were pretty full. I wanted to take a walk outside but was immediately reminded that entire Calgary is covered in smoke due to about 500 forest fires in the neighbouring province. So we walked back to our car and parted ways. Nathan goes home since he lives close by and Paul always gives me a ride to the train station. He literally calls me immediately after he drops me off every time to check up on me whether I boarded the train or not. Which is followed by another phone call from him once I reach home, to make sure that I reached home safely. It has become a kind of routine for us. To be honest, at this point, I always wait for him to call me and check up on me.He’s my father’s age , yet he coddles me way more than my father does, which I have grown to appreciate a lot.
That’s it for today, I’ll be covering more places and sharing some recipes for some home cooked food in future. Stay tuned and drop a comment . 🙂