Restaurant Review: Re:Grub Burger Bar

If there is one food that I love, it is a great burger. After years as a vegetarian, it’s a wonder how I arrived at a place where a nice juicy meat patty with a side of sweet potato fries and aioli can bring me so much joy. If there is a burger on a restaurants menu, I’m 90% likely to order it.

There are numerous restaurants in Calgary that boast an impressive burger in their repertoire, but no unique burger joints other than the infamous Peter’s Drive-In or other fast food joints. In comes Re:Grub, who opened their doors on 11th Ave at the end of June. When I first heard about Re:Grub, I took a glance at their social media and decided that I didn’t want to go there. A new, hip eatery should have a handle on their social media to get the word out (right? Am I the only one who thinks this?) and they frankly did not. After a few weeks of being around and hearing some reviews from friends, I finally changed my opinion and Zach and I headed there for dinner.

Re:Grub has 10 unique burgers, three breakfast options, salads, three types of fries, beer pairings, non-alcoholic beverages, and milkshakes (boozy or not). They boast their products all being made-in-house or local. Re:Grub operates in a fast-casual manner whereby you order at the till and they bring out your food in a surprisingly timely manner. We went on a Friday night and came just at the right time – a number of large groups followed us in, filling up the small joint.

Zach got the Smoke N’ Fire ($12), described as “Alberta grass-fed beef, smoky potato threads, jalapeno jack cheese, tomato, pickled habanero, butter lettuce and spicy aioli.” I opted for the Eureka! ($14.5), a “butter spiked Albertan grass-fed sirloin beef, gouda, thick cut bacon, fried shallots, butter lettuce and tomato relish.” On the side, we shared sweet potato fries ($4) with spicy aioli and truffles fries ($6).

Our burgers were good. Most notably for me was the bun – it was nice and buttery. Zach founds his burger a bit too spicy, but I suppose that’s what you get for ordering a burger appropriately named Smoke N’ Fire. What really stood out for us and will likely keep us coming back for more were the truffle fries. Good gracious. I am always more of a sweet potato fry girl, but these fries might make me a convert. They are a skinnier potato fry topped with asiago cheese, herbs and some sort of truffle, giving the fries a deliciously earthy flavor as truffles do.

Overall, we had a good dining experience at Re:Grub. The wait time was short and staff friendly, The burgers were tasty, though the fries were really what stood out. Given the venue and quality of the food, we found it a bit pricey, but perhaps the premium accounts for premium ingredients. Thanks to those asiago truffle fries, I’ll forgive their lack of social media expertise.

- S.

Re:Grub Burger Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: The Nash

The NashThe Nash
I had a birthday last weekend. I'm not really one for big birthday bashes. I'm getting to that point (cue laughter...) where I'm old enough that birthdays really just signify getting older—that I feel older. Every year, my grandpa says that all that he wants for his birthday is peace and quiet, and hey gramps, I hear ya. So that's what I did. The usual 5am workout (and the day that I finished the Bikini Body Guide!) followed by some shopping with my mama, and finally a really luxurious dinner on the town with the boyfriend.

It was a celebratory moment not only for my birthday (and I made it to be the LEAST about my birthday), but that I had finished the 12 week guide and would actually go out for a meal. I've been relatively strict with my diet, which means almost no going out, which means that the always-increasing list of restaurants that the boyfriend and I want to try out never comes to fruition. The Nash has been on the list since before it opened, but it was really this photo that pushed me over the edge. Guys, I love dessert and I almost never get to have it. Dinner is great, yeah, but dessert is where my heart is at. So, we made our way down to the Nash.

I'll just start by saying that the space is gorgeous. It's a lot bigger than we had expected. Now that our days are a little bit longer, the sun was still shining, and shine it did. It really illuminated the space and made it kind of dreamy. They had changed their menu to their Spring offering, which was not a big deal, but we had definitely anticipated getting the 32 oz steak listed on their website. There is definitely a big difference between Winter and Spring type foods. Winter is hearty, Spring is fresh. I would definitely say that my palette is still in Winter mode, but DANG! this meal really made me excited for those Spring flavors.

The Nash
I had a good little laugh over how "we're basically five" for ordering fries off of a very sophisticated menu. I think it's fair to suggest that they made their way onto the menu to appease the younger crowd with perhaps a less refined palette. A quick glance over to a nearby table of folks who were there for a big family dinner confirmed my suspicions. The kids had two bowls of the frites and aioli. The heart wants what it wants though, and when it comes down to it, I am a burger and fries kind of gal. And of course, they were delicious.

We also got the roasted asparagus with prosciutto, egg, bacon, preserved lemon, and parm foam to start. THIS is what I'm talking about when I said spring flavors. We were warned that the lemon was a little bit strong and to try just a little bit at first, but of course we gobbled it up. I'm going to say this about everything that we had, but I don't know which part of this dish was my favorite. It all just went so well and was so, so, SO good. It makes me wish I could cook like that.
The Nash
For my main, I had bison with cocoa sauce, brown butter yams, asparagus and cipollini. Let me just first start by saying that I find it somewhat laughable that a year ago I was a vegetarian and now THIS is my birthday dinner. Oh, how things have changed. My favorite part of this dish was definitely the yams, because what isn't freaking amazing with brown butter? I'm not sure if I've ever had bison before, and this definitely didn't disappoint. The cocoa sauce was really interesting and paired perfectly with the bison.
The Nash
The Nash
Oh dessert, how I love thee. When the dessert menu was brought out and I took a look over it, I got a little too excited. Like, weirdly, noticeably excited. Let's start off with the weird and wonderful. Pictured above is a chestnut babba with porcini ice cream, cassis, and whiskey pearls. The most obscure part of this of course being the porcini ice cream, which was a lot more understated that I had expected it to be. Cassis is my favorite—I really love it's tang, and that's what really took the stage with this dish. Shown below is a a 72% chocolate mousse, crispies, dulche de leche, and milk sorbet. I don't know what else to say about this other than if I could eat one thing for the rest of my life it would be chocolate, so this is right up my alley and EXACTLY what I needed. The outer coating is dark chocolate, with more of a milk chocolate through the center. Amazing. Enough said. 

I also worked my way through two cocktails over the course of the evening, but didn't snap any photos and can't really remember a description. They were really wonderful though. Very boozy, but made in a manner that you couldn't really taste the booze. I'd call them dangerous. Next time, I'll definitely grab some descriptions of those. 
The Nash
All in all, dinner at the Nash was absolutely wonderful. I'd go so far as to say that it's my favorite meal since Revel in Seattle, which is my all-time favorite meal. The fresh flavors and really just the thought that went into the creation of these dishes really hit home with me, and we will definitely be going back again soon.

- S

Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

March Favourites

Kirkland Makeup Wipes. Costco is the best. I am a big fan of makeup wipes, since I can never seem to get my makeup off entirely with makeup remover or cleanser. Before these, I was using Clean & Clear wipes (which I liked a lot), but were about $10 a pack. These Costco ones are about $15 for a giant box full (I did the math and it's over double the quantity... I can't quite remember). They do the trick and work quite well. I'll buy again.

Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation in 105. I have been watching an insane amount of Youtube beauty vloggers, and have been trying a lot of drugstore products. It feels like they have come a long way since jr. high school! The quality of this stuff is great. It's pretty heavy coverage but when buffed out nicely, it looks pretty smooth. I am so impressed!! I've used nicer foundation, sure, but for $5? It's comparable to some high end products I've used. I'm not sure if I'll buy it again, but I really like it. The coverage lasts all day, which is a major plus in my books.

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Pink Plum. I've been trying to get back into blush so I don't look quite so pale all the time! I used to wear blush but when I had an outbreak of acne this past year, I stopped wearing it because it just looked terrible! Now that my skin has cleared up, it's time to start upping my makeup game. I wasn't completely sure, so I decided to start again with drugstore. I like this cream blush, it's sheer but easily buildable, and I like the colour. There are some NARS blushes I want to try, so once this is finished, I'll buy something else.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper.  I LOVE THIS EYELINER. I have tried MANY liquid liners, and this is my favourite, by far. It lasts until I want it to last, doesn't smudge, doesn't wear off.... and the precision from the felt tip/brush is awesome. Enough said.

Sephora Pro Stippling Brush #44. Does everything it's supposed to do, and it washes well. I don't have too much to say other than I like the bristles and it washes well!

Real Techniques Contour and Buffing Brush. Can you tell I've been watching a lot of Youtube? I wanted to get some new brushes but am trying to cut back on my spending. I ended up finding these brushes at Walmart (for $20 for a set of brushes). I like them!! I prefer my Sephora and MAC brushes, but these are a close second to them. I haven't washed them yet so the real verdict will come after that.

- G

March Favourites

Moroccanoil Exta Volume Conditioner. I seem to commit a lot of hair care sins. I haven’t had a haircut since August 2014, I dye my hair myself, I wash my hair every day (though this would suggest that it isn’t entirely terrible), and I use heat products every day. Needless to say, my hair is not in very good condition. It had gotten to a point where I could barely run a brush through it after showering. I found this conditioner and my hair has felt better than it has in a long time. I should probably still go get a hair cut, but for now this will do.

NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Bellissima. I dropped my Naked 2 palette and my two favorite shades broke, of course. OF course. I debated whether or not I should repurchase the full size of the same colors or if I should try something new, which lef me to NARS Bellissima. It is GOOD. Real good. There is less fallout than the Tarte eyeshadows and the color is great.

Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Balm. Oh, Aesop, how I love thee. Geranium Leaf is my favorite scent from their line and this body balm is no exception. I am terrible at applying moisturizer to my body, but this stuff makes it easy to remember because it smells so garsh darn good.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer in Light. I used this sometime last year, and once my skin got really bad I ended up opting for NARS Sheer Glow’s heavier coverage. My skin has cleared up one hell of a lot though, so the tinted moisturizer is back! I like that it offers enough coverage to even out my skin tone but not entirely cover up my skin. Does that make sense? I don’t know. This stuff is really good though.

- S

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