As the air begins to warm and the sun stays up longer and longer, the intoxicating scent of ribs, cedar-planked salmon or thick-cut Alberta steak begins to float smoothly through Calgary’s neighbourhoods. Before the meat-quinox reaches full swing, you better get that barbecue rig set up and stocked. Here, several important merchants to visit before the 2012 grilling season in Calgary. T.R.o.C (The Rest of Canada), take note!
Starting April 1, the massive barbecue showroom of Barbecues Galore (and the store’s equally huge Calgary South location) extends its hours to better serve the serious numbers of Calgarians who visit each spring/summer, looking to get a perfect new electric, gas or charcoal grill. Not just a spot for traditional tools of backyard meat mastery, Barbecues Galore carries wood-fire pizza ovens, smokers and turkey fryers. 3505 Edmonton Tr. N.E.
Cattle Boyz Sauce
Launched in 1998, the idea behind Cattle Boyz Sauces was to enhance the natural flavours of Alberta’s highly coveted meats, not mask them. The Ternes family has been raising prime Alberta beef for more than 70 years, and their Okotoks-based company is en route to becoming a Canadian sauce empire. Between their Original BBQ and Sweet Chilli sauce, Cattle Boyz has won more than 20 national grilling and sauce awards (yes, sauce awards are a real thing) and the product continues to gain visibility nation-wide in large grocery stores and independent marketplaces.
Silk Road Spice Merchants’ Rubs/Spices
There’s no better place in Calgary to get certified-fresh seasoning for your grilling than Silk Road. Load up on one of dozens of meat- and fish-specific spices on offer, or for full coverage grab the essentials gathered in the Barbecue Season Spice Set (featuring St-Laurent Steak Spice, Sharples Ranch Smoky Barbecue Rub, Driftwood Texas Bar-B-Que Rub and Barbecue Belt Chicken and Rib Rub). 1403A 9th Ave. S.E.
Bon Ton Meat Market
The most important part of your barbecue experience deserves expert attention. Bon Ton has decades of experience in the local meat game. The old fashioned butcher, emporium and marketplace has been open since 1921 in Calgary, and terms like “free-range,” “grain-fed” or “AAA grade” were spoken here long before the organic/slow/buy local food crazes. Handmade premium sausages and exotic meats like bison, quail, duck, elk, caribou and pheasant accompany a deep roster of Alberta favourites. #10, 1941 Uxbridge Dr. N.W.
Image courtesy of Bruce W Martin II.