The week after I returned from Europe, my boyfriend came to visit. It was his first time in Calgary, and when asked what he wanted to do/see, he simply replied, "Eat steak." While we unfortunately didn't end up checking out any of the steak recommendations from my fellow Chowhounders, I had the foresight to ask about a few good brunch places as well.
The day after he came in, we headed out to Nellie's. Now this is one of those places that Chowhounders generally tell you to avoid, but with seven locations, you must admit that it has really established itself in the city.
He got a Western omelette while I ordered the Sunday Lite Brunch, hoping that there'd be more banana bread than fruit and yogurt.
Unfortunately, I was wrong. The banana bread was good; thick slices that were still a little warm with a yummy crust. I finished most of the fruit, but had only a couple spoons of yogurt. As someone who likes plain yogurt, it was much too sweet for me.
Galaxie Diner was one of the recommendations in a Chowhound thread, so we made it to one of its sister restaurants, the Belmont Diner in Marda Loop. It was a little pricey, despite its promise of "bottomless" coffee and hashbrowns, and "endless" toast (who needs that many carbs anyway?) The table next to us got one of their specialty dishes, which looked good, but we just opted for basic breakfasts (eggs, meat, toast, hashbrowns) which were not really anything to write home about, and their hashbrowns were a little salty.
Finally, the morning before he boarded his plane home to Winnipeg, I took him to Diner Deluxe.
Despite the fact that it was a Thursday, we still had a bit of a wait before we got our table, an attestation to how popular/good the place is (and how slack Calgarians' jobs are?)
I got a vegetable omelette (although they call it something much more long-winded), while he got the potato pancake that you admired at the beginning of the post. (Now just in case you thought he was just trying to get in touch with his Jewish side, he ordered *pork* sausages. Tsk!)
The breakfast was very filling, though I'd secretly wished he hadn't ordered the potato pancake because I was totally eyeing it. There were lots more interesting items on the Diner Deluxe menu, and I would love to go back.
Compared to our regular brunch spots in Montreal (Burgers & Benedicts, Oxford Café, Moe's, Eggspectations, and Astra Deli... once) the places in Calgary were generally more expensive and less accessible on foot. However, it's nice to know that there are places we can go should we decide to call Calgary home (and a lot of places we haven't tried!)
Nellie's in Kensington
1414 Kensington Rd NW
Calgary AB T2N 3P9
2008 33 Ave SW
Calgary AB T2T 1Z4
804 Edmonton Tr NE
Calgary AB T2E 3J6