“Phenomenal birthday dinner... we were all wowed!”
After a week in Banff, stayed at Hampton Inn Airport before flying home. First impression of the area was that there wouldn't be any good restaurants here. Wrong! Went to Cactus Club on 39th. Started with dry ribs... perfect to share among 3 people. Our server was very knowledgeable about ingredients. She had my double braised Hoisin short ribs modified to be dairy free, and at my request, made a "mojito type" drink with no vodka and half a shot of rum. Also had blackberries, spearmint, and was excellent. My short ribs were very tender, melt in your mouth. Never used my knife. Also had snow peas and fingerling potatos instead of mashed, all no dairy. My mom had jambalaya. I was worried she wouldn't like it, but she loved it, spicy and all. Their version has a little creme fraiche on top. My husband had spaghettini with prawns. Spicy tomato sauce. Food has really good seasonings; nothing boring or ordinary in any way. Also, our experience there was not what I think of as from a chain restaurant... lots of attention, knowledgeable staff, beautiful space with lots of interesting art. I so wish they were in the states, since our trip to Calgary was probably a "once in a lifetime." Most of their restaurants are in Vancouver, including their flagship, 4 stories, 700 seats. They are expanding to Toronto, along with another one in Edmonton and a third in Calgary. I suggested they open one in Canmore. This is just an exceptional restaurant. If you're near the Calgary airport, this is the place to go. You could easily get something good and filling for under $20. Our entrees ranged $17 - $24.50, and our dry ribs "sharing" dish was $10. Great value and unbelievably good food and service!
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