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Mad Rose Pub

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We were unsure where to head for food when we realized that there was a pub in Royal Oak that we have not yet tried, so we headed over. To our surprise it was very busy and we ended up waiting 15 minutes for a table. It doesn’t help that there was a hockey game on as well.

The Interior

There were lots of tables and lots of televisions all around so people could watch which ever sport you would like to watch. There were booths all around the windows with a bar in the middle with seats as well. For a pub it was very light and very busy.

The Food

After reviewing the menu we started with an order of deep fried pickles for $9.00 and there were 12 pieces which was on special. That is awesome because most of the time you only get 4-8 pieces when you order pickles.

I ordered the Fish and Chips for $13.00 and I had the option to choose from five different kinds of fries including thin, steak cut, waffle, yam or poutine. I selected steak cut fries and the fish they use is cod. It was very good. The fish was flaky and didn’t taste like fish at all.

My wife ordered the Bacon and Cheddar Burger with a salad for $15.00. The burger was huge with all the fixings, she was happy to see the meat to bun ratio was great. The bun didn’t fall apart even though the burger was moist and very filling.

My daughter ordered the Taco Salad with beef for $16.00 and lets just say that it is a really big, there was so much food. She wished it was mixed so you got a little of everything in each bite, and was kind of sad that the beef was not spicy like it said it was on the menu.

The Service

The employees were very nice and very helpful. They made sure we sat in a timely manner. We would go back preferably not during a hockey game and see how the service is when it is not as busy.

The Hours

Sunday to Wednesday: 10AM – till late

Thursday to Saturday: 10AM – till late

Holidays: 12PM – till late

Parking

There is lots of parking out front.

Last Words

We would like to go back and try out some of their specials. The waitress also told us that they make their wings differently than any other place, so that intrigued us.

MobSquad

We decided to head downtown to try a new coffee shop. Look up, look waaaaaaaay up! We are heading to the 21st floor of the Edison Building in Calgary. This shop was opened by MobSquad which is a tech company. When they asked the employees what they wanted to do, most said work in a cafe so they created their own cafe for their employees to work in.

The Interior

This coffee shop is wide open on half of a floor, and there are large windows on one side of the whole shop. You look out at the Northwest side of the city. There is multiple communal tables for large groups to work at, as well as bar tables looking out the windows. There is a table tennis table in the middle of the space, which is just awesome. There is a ton of plug in’s which is awesome if you are working and need some power.

The Drinks

My daughter and I ordered latte’s for $5.00 each. The flavour was very delicious. To my excitement they used 521 Roasters, which is awesome.

My wife ordered the chai for $5.50, and it was really good. We couldn’t figure out what kind of chai they used, but it was good.

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The Service

Their employees were very helpful and patient with us while we decided what we wanted to order. There were a bunch of employees from MobSquad in the cafe working as well while we were there.

The Hours

Monday to Friday: 7AM – 6PM

Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Parking

There is a parking lot a block away and if you go down for a little the parking can be quite cheap, there is some street parking out front but I am unsure of the price.

Last Words

This is a very cool place to have a business meeting, enjoy great coffee and great views. If you find yourself in downtown Calgary, stop in the Edison building and take a ride to the 21st floor.

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Pop Coffee Works

Pop Coffee works is located in a couple places in Ontario. They roast their beans in Mississauga and they have a coffee house in downtown Toronto. These guys only started up in 2018 and are making quite the name for themselves in the coffee world.

The Beans

Papua New Guinea Peaberry – Washed

Altitude: 1200 – 1350m

 “The country of Papua New Guinea comprises the eastern half of the New Guinea island (the western half is part of the country of Indonesia) that rests like a disjoined puzzle piece off the northern coast of Australia. Commercial coffee production began in earnest in the region in the late 1920s, and is now the country’s second most important agricultural export after palm oil.”

“The peaberry is generally recognized to be a developmental anomaly that results in the presence of a single seed inside the cherry, rather than two.”

The pour-over produced a sweeter tasting coffee, I could taste some chocolate. The drink came across a little sweet and was quite tasty.

The next day we tried this same blend as a drip. Again what I did on this day was have a few of our coffee connoisseurs at work give it a go. I thought and so did others found the coffee had a sweet taste, but a chocolateier undertone.

Tasting Notes: Chocolate, Pineapple, Citrus, Herbal

Funny note: All the guys at my office preferred this coffee.

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Ethiopia Guji Shakisso – Washed

Altitude: 1900 – 2200m

“The Kayon Mountain Coffee Farm covers 500 hectares with about 300 hectares planted in coffee, and has been owned and operated by Ismel Hassen and his family since 2012. It is located 510 kilometers south of Addis Ababa, and the property crosses the border of two villages—Taro and Sewana—located in the Orogmia region, in the Guji zone of the Shakiso district of Ethiopia.”

This pour over had some great subtle fruit flavors. I really think that the honeydew calms this one down a bit.  I found that when this coffee cooled down the flavours really came out.

Again, I did the same thing with this one, brought it to work and made it as a drip to see what kind of comments we got with this one.

Tasting Notes: Red Apple, Magnolia, Honeydew

Funny note: The girls in the office preferred this one over the others. 

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Costa Rica Santa Maria  

Altitude: 1500 – 1900m

“Santa Maria is home to one of Costa Rica’s finest cooperatives, Coopedota. It is the world’s first certified carbon-neutral coffee exporter, but it’s much more than just a supplier with a great certification. Recently retired Director Roberto Mata built up an amazing industry, integrating social services and environmental protections while producing some of the highest quality coffee available in Costa Rica.”

“This coffee underwent “Honey” processing, a form of semi-washing wherein the cherry skin and most of the fruit are stripped away and the remaining sticky mucilage is left to dry on the pergamino. Skipping the washing and controlled fermentation stages tends to increase fruity flavors in the coffee, and has the added benefit of saving water and time.

Proc. Method: “Red Honey” Process. Pulped and dried in the sun on patios and in mechanical dryers.”

The pour-over produced some lighter cherry notes with some more raisins flavours, and I had some stronger chocolatey flavoring.  This was actually one of my favorite coffees that they sent me.

I also tried this one up in an espresso drink, it blended well with the steamed milk and made for a very well balanced drink. The espresso gave the drink a nice kick. .

Tasting Notes: Cherry, Grape, Cocoa

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Here is a few of Pop Coffee Works Accolades from last year:

Golden Bean North America 2018

Silver Medal

Pour Over Category

Silver Medal

Organic Espresso Category

Bronze Medal x 2

Espresso Category

Bronze medal x 2

Milk-based Category 

Last Words

All three bags of coffee made some pretty good coffee producing lots of terrific flavours. Myself personally, I really enjoyed the Costa Rica Santa Maria. It came across as such a smoother coffee.

If you don’t mind ordering your coffee on line, head to popcoffeeworks.com and order yourself some of their beans.

note: coffee was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.

Matsu Kaze Tea Tasting at Sought x Found

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Hey guys, it’s me, Extreme Coffee Freaks daughter. Me and Mom got the opportunity to go for a tea tasting at Sought x Found. We learned the traditional way of making matcha. It is a simple, straight forward, ceremonial way of making matcha.

We learned about the history and how matcha is made. The matcha we were about to taste was part of the only harvest of matcha that year. It is grown in limited sunlight for three weeks to really allow photosynthesis to occur to make the matcha that amazing green colour.

Our teacher, Michiko, describes the tea ceremony as “Functional Beauty” each member of the ceremony relies on muscle memory to enjoy the tea. There is so many rules if and when you were to attend a true tea ceremony. You are unable to wear any accessories, no rings so that you don’t damage the bowl, no earrings or perfume.

When you first receive the tea, you must thank the person who gave you the tea. Then you have to wait until everyone receives their tea before you can begin. Traditionally the tea is served with a sweet that you are to enjoy before drinking the tea. Today we had sweet rice and red bean paste that is called ‘shimitanko’ (sorry if it is spelt wrong).

When you pick up the bowl, you lift with your right hand and place your left below the bowl. Twist the bowl 45 degrees clockwise and then another 45  degrees clockwise, now you may sip. Once you have finished the tea, you wipe where your lips have touched from left to right, then twist the bowl 45  degrees counter clockwise and another 45 degrees counter clockwise, then you may place the bowl back down on the table.

Primal Grounds

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We found ourselves in the South West and decided to check out Primal Grounds, we have visited them in the Ogden Farmers Market before, but this was the first time at their restaurant location. They are located just behind the BMO bank in the parking lot across from Signal Hill Shopping Centre.

The Interior

There is a giant bar on the left side when you enter and on the right there is ten tables that seat four people each. When we got there it was lunch on a Sunday, and we were happy to see it was quite busy. There is a really cool Coffee Sign on the right side of the restaurant, which we really liked because it was in Marquee letters.

The Drinks

I ordered a Salted Caramel Latte for $5.00 and it was nice that had a very subtle flavour of caramel. I was excited that I could really taste the espresso that was used in the drink. After talking with Margret, she told me the roaster was local named Noble Tree.

My wife ordered a Unsweetened Vanilla London Fog for $4.50 and I have to say that she enjoyed the drink with the unsweetened syrup. It was very exciting to see that they used Numi tea for their teas, my wife really enjoys this brand of tea.

My daughter had their YYC Hot Chocolate for $6.00 and it was delicious. To read more about it please click here

The Food

Since it was lunch we decided to try some food, everything we looked at looked amazing so we thought why not. We found that the owner makes all the soups from scratch so that got us very interested in trying some of the soup for sure.

We all ordered Grilled Cheese with a cup of soup for $13.00, we each had a different kind of soup to try. I had a cup of Chicken Ala King and my wife and daughter had the Tomato Basil. Both soups where chunky and had great flavour.

The tomato basil had chunky tomatoes with slivered basil slices. The flavour was amazing even when you dipped your grilled cheese in.

The Chicken Ala King had chunks of chicken and veggies. It was a very hearty and filling soup, which is really nice.

We enjoyed the soup so much, we bought a container of each to take home and eat. The soup is for sale and is a popular item as there was quite a few people coming in and just buying the soup to take home.

As we enjoyed our Grilled Cheese we found that there was something sweet, we guessed that it was apple butter, but when the owner came over she said it is the Molasses Bread that makes it sweet with a little addition of honey to the butter. Who knew? It was so good.

The Service

The service was amazing, the owner came over and talked with us for fifteen minutes and just talked about coffee and the food she serves. It was great to see someone so invested in how their guests feel about the food and service of their establishment.

The Hours

Monday to Saturday: 7AM – 9PM

Sunday: 7AM – 6PM

Parking

There is parking right out front and throughout the parking lot.

Last Words

We have already said that we will be back to try some of the other soups that she serves. There was a cooler of ten different flavours of soup, so we have to try some new kinds next time.

Sanctuary Coffee

As a part of YYC Hot Chocolate Fest we decided to check out Sanctuary Coffee. We were interested in this cafe when we learned that it was located in Knox United Church. When we arrived we entered and had a hard time locating the cafe, when we found someone we asked where it was located, he gave us the directions. Enter in the big doors and turn left, little did we know that this cafe was located in the back of the church.

The Interior

As we entered the back of the church we walked in as Sunday service was in session. We had no idea that we would be in the back being able to listen to the service. When we received our drinks, there was some really comfy chairs available so we sat down, listened to the service, the songs, and the closing remarks. We felt it would be rude to drink the coffee and then just leave in the middle of service.

Knox United Church

Knox United Church has been known for over a century as “the cathedral of the west.”

The Presbyterian congregation that gave birth to the present-day Knox United Church originally met at the I.G. Baker store in Inglewood, where Rev. Angus Robertson preached to a small crowd of 30 or so parishioners. The current neo-Gothic Paskapoo sandstone church building was completed in 1913 and its impressive arches and exterior buttresses continue to make Knox an inspiring architectural jewel in downtown Calgary.

In 1925, the Knox congregation, along with Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregationalist churches across Canada, voted to join the United Church of Canada. As a United Church congregation, Knox values inclusion, community engagement, and progressive theology.

The Service

There were two ladies working when we were there, they made our drinks very quietly not to disturb too many of the parishioners. We found it shocking that they were grinding beans during the service, but hey if you are going to have a cafe at the back of a church you have to know there will be noise.

The Hours

Monday to Friday: 7 AM – 2 PM

Sunday: 10 AM – 2 PM

Parking

There is a parking lot across from the church, you can pay $5.00 for the whole day if you go on the weekend. I am unsure about pricing during the week. There is also ample street parking, we couldn’t find a spot close by.

Last Words

If you want an amazing experience and get spiritually uplifted stop by Sanctuary Coffee at Knox United Church for a caffeinated beverage. They will be happy to see you!

The Block Kitchen and Lounge

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As a part of YYC Hot Chocolate Fest we decided to try this new place. There are two sides to the restaurant, a lounge and a kid friendly side. We decided to sit on the Lounge side since it was not as busy, our waitress told us of the specials and waited for our order.

The Interior

Since we sat on the lounge side, there was multiple televisions with multiple sports playing, since there was a soccer game we asked for them to change the channel. They found it, but they did not have the channel so they purchased it for us to enjoy the game. We have never been to restaurant that has done that for us before. On the lounge side there are four nine high tables and five booths with seating at the bar.

The Drinks

We enjoyed the YYC Hot Chocolate can be made with alcohol for $9.00 or without alcohol for $6.00. Both beverages look identical and are equally delicious. Unfortunately when we got there they had run out of the Amaretto so they gave use a choice of alcohol to add, we selected Frangelico which is a nutty liqueur. This hot chocolate has homemade cherry syrup and homemade marshmallows with candied dusting around the mug. This drink is topped with brandy flavoured cherries. These drinks were so delicious.

We do wish that we could taste the cherry a little more in the beverages.

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The Food

After reading over the menu a couple times we decided on what we would like to have for lunch. We were constantly looking at the food coming out of the kitchen because everything looked delicious and we were excited to try some of their food.

I ordered The Block Burger for $17.00 and it was delicious. It comes with white cheddar and sautéed onions, a really thick tomato and lettuce. The fries had a salt and pepper combination spice which was nicely seasoned.The fries were fresh cut which is always an added bonus.

My wife and daughter ordered The Block Benny for $15.00 with back bacon. There is two options for what it can come with, back bacon or a grilled tomato with avocado. The hollandaise was butter based and was really good, the eggs were cooked perfectly.

The Service

The service was great, the waitress was very nice and at the time we only seen all women working which we thought was really cool. We also noticed that one of the owners had come in and was eating, he paid for his food, which we thought was awesome because some owners come in and don’t pay. The place had a great vibe and the music was nice and chill.

 

The Hours

Monday to Wednesday: 8:30 am – 11 pm

Thursday: 8:30 am – 12 am

Friday to Saturday: 8:30 am – 1 am

Sunday: 8:30 am – 10 pm

 

Parking

There is parking right out front as well as around the strip mall.

 

Last Words

After the amazing service and outstanding food we had, we will definitely be heading back to try their other menu items in the future. If you want a great place for some food, stop in at The Block Kitchen and Lounge.