Guilty Pleasures of 10 Calgary Foodies
Because even gourmands like a little junk food now and then.
The classic Clive Burger, chef Jamie Harling’s guilty pleasure.
As much as we all love a refined plate of food, sometimes you want something that’s simple, a little indulgent and maybe even a little greasy. Here are some familiar folks involved in the Calgary food scene and what their go-to guilty pleasure foods are.
Anejo Guacamole and Coconut Chili Margarita
“Anejo’s guacamole and the coconut chili margaritas. I could honestly have those both for lunch every single day … or dinner. I’m not picky!” –Stephanie Arsenault, food writer, globaldish.ca
Big T’s BBQ Deep-fried Pickles
“I try not to make myself feel guilty about eating delicious things, but I do love the greasy tangy-ness of the deep-fried pickles at Big T’s BBQ, not least of all because they come with a horseradish mayo dipping sauce.” –Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, food writer, rollingspoon.com
Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup
“I’m a child of the ’80s. My mom was a single mom putting herself through university with two little kids and no money. The soup was the first thing I learned to cook for myself. I made it for my sister and I and it was comforting. I still make it for myself when I’m sick or just feeling down – but now I add organic basmati rice to it.” –Leslie Echino, owner, Blink
Clive Burger Cheeseburger
“My guilty pleasure food is easy. It’s Clive Burger. It’s greasy, delicious and, most importantly, sustainable and environmentally responsible.” –Jamie Harling, executive chef, Rouge
Earls The Bigger, Better Burger
“It’s one of my most favourite guilty pleasures and I always get it with some extra mayo, extra pickles and, of course, fries on the side. A close second for me, though, would be the gochujang wings from Anju.” –Liana Robberecht, executive chef, Calgary Petroleum Club
Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Village Ice Cream Sundaes
“I have too many to pick. I’m a sucker for Five Guys Burgers, which makes me feel disloyal since it’s not a Calgary chain, so that adds to the guilt factor, but the burgers – amazing! I’ve also been known to hit the Peter’s Drive-In late at night for a hot fudge sundae when I’ve had a bad day. There’s something about eating it alone in your car, parked at the side of the road. Of course now Village Ice Cream has hot fudge sundaes, made with any kind of ice cream (salted caramel! Phil & Sebastian!) and topped with candied pecans and a real (not maraschino!) cherry, and it’s closer to my house. I suppose I can still eat it in my car.” –Julie Van Rosendaal, dinnerwithjulie.com
“My guilty pleasure is always pizza. Always has been since I was a kid as well. It started when I was working at Paloma Steakhouse and loved the Greek-style pizza crust and preparation. It’s the chewy crust and crispy cheese. Today, one of my go-tos for pizza like that is Gus’s.” -Russ Prefontaine, owner, Fratello Coffee Roasters.
Instant Ramen Noodles
“You know what, it’s what I grew up with and when I was living in Tofino out of my van, at the end of the month, I would buy a box of instant ramen noodles and I knew that would get me through to my next paycheck. True story. Just nostalgic for me!” –Duncan Ly, executive chef, Hotel Arts Group
Kalamata Grocery Dolmades
“For me, it’s pretty much impossible to walk by this little corner store on 15th Avenue and 11th Street S.W. and not pop in to look around. They’ve got a great selection of Mediterranean ingredients, but nothing beats a big container of dolmades (grape leaf rolls) that I usually scarf down by the time I get back home.” –Dan Clapson, Avenue food writer
Sidewalk Citizen Bakery Ham and Cheese Croissants
“I always buy two and pretend that I’m going to save one for the next day, but the second one never lasts that long.” –Gwendolyn Richards, Pucker author and Calgary Herald food writer