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‘You Gotta Eat Here’ Filming and Lunch at Boxwood Cafe

Last week, Calgary was lucky enough to have Food Network Canada’s popular series ‘You Gotta Eat Here’ return to film segments at more of our great restaurants.

If you remember from last winter, the always funny host, John Catucci, and his crew filmed segments at Diner Deluxe, Tubby Dog and a handful of other quirky places.

This time around, I was invited to the filming at Boxwood Cafe, that charming little spot nestled in Central Memorial Park on 13th Ave SW and 4th St SW. Boxwood is the sister establishment of River Cafe, sharing the same local and sustainable ingredient mentality. The food here is beautifully simple, fresh and always filling.

My lunch date, Naddine, and I, opted for some lighter options as we had Jelly Modern doughnuts tempting us for dessert a bit later in the afternoon.

We started off with the Red Lentil Hummus, which is one thing I always make sure to order when I’m here for lunch. Served with house made crackers, the dip was smooth and garlic-y. Using the lentils instead on chickpeas gives it more of an earthy flavour and definitely more Alberta-centric.

While we were  devouring the hummus, John Catucci was making his way around the room, chatting with different diners about the dishes they were eating. You Gotta Eat Here is fairly casual by nature, so you could tell everyone in the room was enjoying the filming and laughing at John’s witty commentary.

For our main dishes, we opted for a couple salads. Naddine had The Toasted Quinoa and Vegetable Salad, which was filled with fresh veggies and tossed in a light brassica mustard vinaigrette.

Since I’m a sucker for red stains on my white shirts, I decided to go with the Roasted Poplar Bluff Beet Salad. Big, colourful chunks of beets were joined by fennel (fennel rocks!), pea shoots and farro grain. The salad was almost too pretty to eat, but I ate it anyway and ended up with no stains on my shirt. Success!

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My Brunch is Cooler Than Your Brunch: Eating at Diner Deluxe (and a new Food Network Canada series is coming to town!)

Sorry, that sounded aggressive, but I can defend the title statement…

Just a couple months ago, Calgary was lucky enough to have ‘Eat St.’ pop by to film some of our great food trucks. Well, now it’s the non-moblies turn.

A brand new Food Network Canada show entitled ‘You Gotta Eat Here’ is set to premiere in Spring 2012. Hosted by comedian John Catucci, the program is currently traveling across the country filming segments at different establishments that boast one-of-a-kind dishes.

The production company contacted me this past summer to provide them with some recommendations of restaurants that would be interesting to feature on the show. I thought long and hard and short listed it to five: Diner Deluxe, Tubby Dog, Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus (can’t go wrong with Dutch pancakes!), Silver Inn (allegedgly the birthplace of ginger beef) and Jelly Modern (arguably a ‘trend’, i.e. the new ‘cupcake’, but still interesting). All of which (I believe?) will be featured on ’You Gotta Eat Here’ in its inaugural season.

Now, for the best part…Today and tomorrow they’ll be filming at Diner Deluxe, which is, in my opinion, one of Calgary’s best brunch spots.

The last time a friend and I went to the diner for some food, I had their Yukon Gold Potato Pancake dish for the first time. The potato pancake itself was about 1″ thick and as big as my head (mild exaggeration). It was topped with some cilantro sour cream and came with some tasty pork sausages.

Now, I’m not talking gross, out of a package, skinny, little breakfast sausages, but the kind of sausage that you eat and say: ‘Yeah! That’s a real sausage!’ You know what I mean!

My friend had the pulled pork hash with caramelized apples, grainy dijon mustard and poached eggs. Kind of like the rough and tumble cousin of an eggs benedict. I’ve had this one before and it makes for a pretty stellar breakfast.

The mini cast iron skillet also doubles as a handy weapon if an alien invasion were to occur. Always be prepared…

Lastly, and luckily for you (and me!), tomorrow between 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. the restaurant is letting friends, regulars and any other Diner Deluxe lovers have an opportunity to be a part of the You Gotta Eat Here filming!

If you’re free, just send an email to to see if they can squeeze you in! Come on and join in the fun. I know you want to.

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