Historically, Calgary may be something of a white bread town, but these days, it’s home to a growing variety of ethnic cuisines. Here, four delightful cuisines that don’t yet have much competition.
Nepalese Nourishment: Everest Kitchen
Reaching the small, sunny Everest Kitchen requires fewer oxygen tanks than its namesake, but its momos ($6.99) are positively mountainous. Filled with lamb and onion or veggies and cheese, these spicy Nepalese dumplings are the peak of deliciousness. 9 – 176 Bedford Drive N.E., 403-452-8766.
Portuguese Provisions: Mimo Restaurant and Lounge
Calgary’s lone Portuguese restaurant is a friendly, family-run gem in a Forest Lawn strip mall. Phone ahead for a massive, messy initiation into this seafood-centric cuisine: the brothy “Descubra Portugal” ($85.95, serves four) is piled high with copious steamy crustaceans. 203 – 4909 17th Avenue S.E., 403-235-3377.
Hungry? Hungarian: Jonas Restaurant and Bar
Packed with old country bric-à-brac, this downtown restaurant serves unpretentious Hungarian home cooking. The chicken paprikash with homemade dumplings ($15.50) is a comfort classic especially when accompanied by Vilmos pear brandy ($6). 937 – 6 Avenue S.W., 403-262-3302.
Brazilian Beef: Gaucho Brazilian Barbecue
In true Brazilian cowboy fashion, the chef roams through the dining room slicing an assortment of marinated, grilled meats directly onto diners’ plates. Known as rodizio (cowboy classic, $35), Gaucho’s signature skewered meat meals are leisurely and oh-so-succulent affairs. Meat lust sated? Flip the red card, and sip a capirinha, a sweet cocktail of lime and sugarcane liqueur. 100 – 5920 Macleod Tr. S.W., 403-454-9119.
Image courtesy of Neven Mrgan on flickr