Kawa Espresso Bar

After a morning of running around on Saturday, we headed downtown to check out a place called Kawa Espresso Bar located just off 13 Ave SW and 8 St, right across the street from Jelly Modern Doughnuts. I have been meaning to come down here for quite some time.

Kawa [pronounced Ka’va] is Polish for coffee.

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The decor of Kawa is very trendy and modern. There is a reasonable amount of seating both indoors and outdoors. The walls have a variety of artwork that appears to be for sale. The shop also sells a variety of coffee equipment and an assortment of 49th Parallel coffee. They sell baked goods that looked outstanding.

Today we decided to have some lunch while we there. What caught our eye today was that they were serving homemade cabbage rolls. The girl that served us said that the chef cooks them at home and brings them in. My wife and daughter said “Say no more that’s what we will have”. I went with the sausage and perogies. All of our meals we excellent. After that we decided to share a dessert, we ordered the Cherry Whiskey Cheesecake and the Coconut Cream Cake. Both desserts were excellent as well.

For drinks today we ordered a couple London Fog’s and I had a Caramel Machiatto. The espresso blend Kawa was serving was 49th Parellel’s “Old School Espresso”. I first had this blend when I was in Vancouver recently at the 49th Parallel on West 4th in East Vancouver. This is an excellent blend that has flavours of cocoa, caramel and molasses. The other thing I wanted to mention is make sure when you check these places out that you get your beverage in a glass mug or cup. Believe me when I say, the drink tastes way better. To-go cups do not do the coffee or tea justice.

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Today from 3pm – 6pm, Kawa had a Jazz Jam going on. As we were sitting there, they were setting up.

If you decide to come down to Kawa a little later in the evening and coffee isn’t your beverage and would prefer something a little stronger, Kawa has a very extensive wine and beer menu. The other thing I noticed was their hours, Sunday to Thursday they are open until 11pm and Friday and Saturday, they are open until 2am.

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Nice Cream

On September 17th we felt like some ice cream and we decided to try a new place called Nice Cream.  They make their ice cream with Nitrogen and a milk flavour mixture.  Nice Cream is located in the South West by Mount Royal University in the neighbourhood Glamorgan.

When we got there it was empty, so there was no rush deciding what flavours we would like.  We decided to each try a different flavour.  I ordered the Salted Carmel, my wife ordered the Coconut, and my daughter ordered Strawberry.

Watching them make it is the coolest process ever.  They pour the flavour mixture and start the stand mixers then the pour in the Nitrogen.  We recorded the process.  Please see the videos below.

We will be going back to try some more flavours, since they have some really cool kinds that we would like to try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burger 320 – Kensington

On September 16th we found ourselves in Kensington trying to find a place to have some dinner.  We walked by Burger 320 and decided to try it out, there is also a location located in Bridgeland.  When we walked in there was no one in the restaurant, so we decided to sit and wait for our food.

The menu has a lot of different items that we would like to try, but we decided that we would be trying more next time we visit.

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The lady at the counter told us there was a patio, so we decided to move outside, this is where everyone was.  The patio was full of people enjoying their food, as we were waiting we seen an order come out and we thought “holy cow, it looks so good”.  This is when we couldn’t wait for our food.

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When we got our food it was so worth the wait.  My daughter ordered the cheese burger with garlic fries and a strawberry milkshake, my wife ordered the 320 burger with garlic fries and a water, and I ordered the Wickens with plain fries and a water.  We found out that the Wickens burger was named after their grandfather who founded the family farm in 1905.

After looking at all the food, I’m sure that we could have shared the fries since there was so many.  The burgers were so good and delicious.

My wife and I were talking about this place and we said that this is possibly the best burger we have ever had, besides mine of course.  I have a feeling that we will be revisiting Burger 320 in the near future.

Bumpy’s Cafe

On September 11th we were driving around trying to find a place to go for a beverage and we came across Bumpy’s.  My wife and I have been here before and we thought it was time to take our daughter here.  We got to Bumpy’s a little before noon and it was pretty empty with a couple tables with people eating breakfast or lunch.

 

We knew what we were going to eat, so all of us ordered the Breakfast Bagel which had Bacon, Cheese, and Egg, it came with a little cup which had a pea pod, a pickle, and a hot pepper.  To change it up we ordered it the bagel on a cheese bagel which was delicious.

As for our beverages, my wife ordered a London Fog, my daughter ordered a Hot Apple Cider, and I ordered a Vanilla Latte.  They were delicious.

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As we were sitting there we thought that a warm muffin would be the best way to end this breakfast, unfortunately they were already all sold out.  If you would like to get a warm straight out of the oven muffin you would have to be there before 10am.  They let you know that they only make a certain number of their baked goods and once they are gone, they are gone.

Red Bush Tea and Coffee Company

On September 10 we decided to head down into Kensington and grab a beverage at Red Bush Tea and Coffee Company. The first time we went to Red Bush was this past year during the YYC Hot Chocolate Festival. They were featuring a Tumeric and Black Pepper Hot Chocolate.

We arrived at Red Bush at about 8pm, the two girls working that night were laughing and having a great time. Their laughs were extremely contagious. The customer service they provided was outstanding. The environment at Red Bush is so relaxing, so before you know it the girls were doing there clean up as Red Bush closes at 9pm. They told us not to rush, they would just lock the doors. I thought this was terrific as we have been to other places, and they made you feel uncomfortable so that you do leave. Great Job Red Bush!

We really like this place as it is a cool little shop that sells coffee, tea, mugs, teapots, and has a cool candy shop. The candy they have on sale reminds me of my childhood. Lots of the items on sale are what I bought years ago. They had barrels of salt water taffy for sale as well. On one of the walls they have several canisters of tea that you can open and smell and hopefully help you decide what to order. They also have some baked goods.

Since the YYC Hot Chocolate Festival, Red Bush has kept the Tumeric and Black Pepper Hot Chocolate on their menu. This is my wife’s favourite drink and on that night that is what she ordered. Don’t let the ingredients scare you from ordering this drink. The drink is quite tasty and very different. What my wife likes to do as she drinks it is hold a bit in her mouth and then swallow it and you then get the taste of the pepper. It is a very unique drink.  I ordered the vanilla latte, which I have had several times here now. The beverage is very smooth.

It was great to finally see some of the sidewalks open down in Kensington. The city has had most of them dug up, which I would believe would be causing business disruption for these places.  There is also a lot of road construction that is making it hard for customers to find parking, but we are hoping that letting people know about this little coffee and tea house people will want to go and try a caffeinated beverage from Red Bush.

The Tea Factory

Happy Long Weekend. Today we are down on fourth street at The Tea Factory, this place specializes in 100% natural premium lose leaf tea. They have multiple different kinds from Green Tea, White Tea, Oolong Tea, Herbal Tea, Rooibos Tea, and Black Tea. This location has been open for three years and if you are a Tea lover you have to check this place out.

Since my wife and daughter are tea fanatics this is the place for them. My wife ordered a London Fog, my daughter ordered a Raspberry Matcha, and I ordered Vanilla Latte.

The Raspberry Matcha was amazing, my wife and I tried it and we have never been fans of Matcha and my wife said she would drink it. The London Fog was amazing, it close to the top of my favourite London Fogs. The Vanilla Latte was delicious, for a place that specializes in tea, the latte was very good.

The decor of The Tea Factory is very spacious, very clean looking and modern. The ceiling are high and there is very cool lighting. There is a few tables and four bigger black leather chairs at the back of the shop.

The Tea Factory has baked good that looked really good. If you are into macaroons, this is the place to go. All the tea is also for sale if you are interested in buying your favourite. The Tea Factory also has Kombucha on tap. Prices on everything is reasonable. Service was excellent as well.

 

We are always looking for the best coffee shops in Calgary, but we have now found the best tea shop in Calgary. We will be back next weekend as my daughter and wife want to try another one of those great matcha’s. If you are a serious tea drinker, check this place out. You won’t be disappointed.

Blue Star Diner

Breakfast places in Calgary continue to impress me and on Saturday morning we decided to get up and head out for breakfast. One place that my wife and I have been wanting to try, so we headed down to Bridgeland to the Blue Star Diner. When we arrived we had to put our name on a list and the lady said it would roughly be a half an hour wait. We were waiting no matter what. So we asked for a menu and we waited our turn outside. We seen a bunch of people put their names in, then walk down the street to Starbucks and get a coffee. They also serve coffee at the door which is a really great touch while you are waiting.

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When we arrived we didn’t know how big the place was, there was about 10 tables and about seven seats up at the bar. The diner is very cozy and well decorated.

We were pleased to find out that Blue Star Diner locally sources all of their ingredients. This is something that other places should start doing. Blue Star Diner is partnered up with the Meal Share Program. This is great to see and is an awesome organization.
Everything on the menu sounded amazing. When we sat down at our table we ordered some drinks, we had milk and fresh pressed apple juice. As for our food I ordered the Triple Double, which was a lot of meat, three eggs, hash browns, and toast. I was literally in a meat coma.

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My wife ordered the Broek Pulled Pork Benny, which was Eggs Benedict with pulled pork from a local farm named Broek Farms located in Coalhurst Alberta. My daughter ordered the Stuffed French Toast with a farm berry compote that came with hash browns. Food came out in a timely manner.

Blue Star doesn’t do expresso drinks, they do diner coffee. They use Fratello Coffee. I did over hear a guy say it was excellent.

Everything was amazing and and done right. All the staff were excellent and extremely friendly and never made you feel rushed even though there is a huge line up waiting. I know that we would go back there again to try their lunch items.