Le Fournil Bakery, Canmore, Alberta

Canmore is located near to Banff.  The moment I heard about this French bakery, I just had to stop by!

As you enter, you see a wide variety of French breads.

  Next to the bread shelf were sweet pastries.  We got there at around 11am and by then, they were almost sold out!  Better to be early than late!
 Beef Broth on the special menu – just gave it away for me.  It was probably the best beef broth I’ve ever had (apart from the fact that it was a tad salty).  Mushrooms and other fresh vegetables were in it – perfectly cooked with amazing flavour.  The bread roll – the best I’ve had – slightly crunchy on the outside and so soft inside.  And the butter? – did they make that? It was sooooo tasty!!  For $7, this meal was well worth it!

Other than soups, they have sandwiches made with French baguettes and egg croissants.

Next: Pastries and drinks.

We ordered the savoury tomato pesto croissant, chocolate almond croissant and bread pudding.  The chocolate almond croissant was a bit too sweet with me because of the thick sweet almond filling and I’d also prefer a bit more chocolate in it – just cuz I’m a chocy!

Bread pudding – this had milk chocolate pieces in it, but this was not sweet enough for me 😀  I guess that’s why they call it “bread” as supposed to muffin or something.

Hot chocolate – we ordered the thick expresso size cup of hot chocolate.  After Juliette et Chocolat in Montreal, this was the next best hot chocolate that I’ve ever had.  Next time, I’d order a full size for sure!

Cappuccino – Great as expected; although a shame they didn’t have any cinnamon to sprinkle on!
  

Chocolate Almond Croissant – Thick filling indeed

 For sure I’d come here again anytime I go to Banff.  In fact, I’d grab a hot chocolate to go and maybe some bread and soup!

Service was very welcoming and it had a French vibe.  Few Montrealers were eating there.  I also joined in with the French conversation! 🙂

See you again Le Fournil!

 

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Best Bakery! – Duchess Bake Shop, Edmonton

 

A short trip to Edmonton would not be complete without going to the Duchess Bake Shop. To tell you the truth, I did not hear about this place until last minute. Little did I know until I came back to Calgary (shortly after) that it was named on Buzzfeed’s international bakery list! See link 

When I got there at 10:15am, I noticed a HUGE queue (and it only opened at 10am!). Then I thought “ahhhhh…okay, this is the ONLY bakery in Edmonton; that’s why!!”.  I later met a woman from Montreal and we were both discussing that there should be more bakeries in Edmonton!

My initial plan of sitting down disappeared when I saw that no seating was available. There were about 7-8 tables with lovely sofas and chairs.

The lovely displays: all sorts of cakes and pastries for every kind of tastebuds
  
  

Now let’s get to the food!

Food

MUST HAVE’S:

  • Savoury Brioche: Fresh, soft, buttery brioche (perfect) topped up with sweet potato and feta cheese
  • Gateau Gabriele: Cake layers consisting of passionfruit, coconut and raspberry. This was so light and refreshing!
  • Key Lime Tart: Graham cracker crust filled with freshly squeezed lemon juice/sweetened condensed milk filling.  This was probably the best thing I’ve had! Such a smooth, refreshing filling and the crust was moist (not dry)
  • Pain au Chocolat:  There’s a choice of milk or dark chocolate ones. I chose the dark one of course.  I’ve never had a croissant that was so buttery, flaky, soft and light as this! Definitely, this was the best pain au chocolat that I’ve ever had!
  • Meringue: I had the dark chocolate meringue! Living in Canada, from my experience, I found meringues to be very hard and thick.  This, on the other hand, was light, soft inside (i.e. “biteable!” and had some dark chocolate chips.  It was not overly sweet as most meringues are.
  • Macarons:  I tried the vanilla bean macaron – infused with real vanilla bean. Perfect and no complaints.

OKAY TO HAVE’s:

  • Brioche Pepin: Brioche with vanilla pastry cream and milk chocolate
  • The Duke Cake: Intensely moist chocolate cake with salted caramel layers and buttercream topped up with Valrhona chocolate ganache.  Usually I opt for chocolate cakes.  This was rich indeed, but I personally am not a fan of salted caramel so that’s why I considered this an “Okay” item.  If you like chocolate however, this is a must try.
  • Milk Orange Scones:  This was more like rock cake (i.e. in between a biscuit and a cake) rather than the British style of soft scones.

Drinks

  • Hot chocolate: We tried the hot chocolate (made from Valrhona chocolate), but it had some kind of weird taste to it that I couldn’t figure out – so for me, it was a “no-no”.
  • Latte:  reasonable, but not one of the best.

Conclusion

This was the best “all-round” bakery I’ve ever been to.  What I meant by “all-round” is that it is not a typical French bakery.  It has American style cookies, British kind of meringues, tarts and of course French pastries.  For sure there is something for everyone.  If you ever visit Edmonton, you must visit this bake shop.

 

Lime Tart and Duke Cake
Dark Chocolate Meringue

 

Duke Cake – Dissected!

 

Pain au Chocolat – So light, so good

 

Gateau Gabriele

 

 

Savoury Brioche – Sweet Potato and Feta Cheese

Vanilla Bean Macaron

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Flatbread Pizza at Una Pizza, Calgary 

One thing that I’ve learnt about Calgary is that their fast-food is pretty, pretty good (i.e. hotdogs, burgers, fried chicken and pizza!).

This pizza place is located on 17th Ave SW, between 5th and 6th street.  Now why am I giving you the exact location? Because most likely you will not notice it if you walk along the avenue.  The sign is infact quite small outside and to me from outside it just looks like a warehouse.

The moment you walk in, you will see a queue (nope, they don’t take any bookings).  The seating area is not that large and tables are very close to each other.

una inside

My hubby and I went at around 6pm on a weekday evening and there was a 30 minutes wait as the restaurant was fully booked (unlike above!).  Be prepared to wait for 30-60 minutes for a seating.

Ambience

Music was very loud, so I could hardly hear my husband.  In fact, we both were yelling at each other!  The fact that other tables that were located really close to us also did not help.

Service

Excellent!  The waitress kept pouring water into our glasses everytime our glasses were almost finished. The greeter at the door entrance was one of the best I’ve seen as he seemed very energetic, passionate and really listened to us. He gave us a phone call as soon as a table became available so we did not have to wait in the line.

Food

If you decide to go to Una Pizza, you must order the 4-maggi pizza! Per description of pizza on menu: provolone piccante, friulano, or di latte mozzarella + pecorino romano, finished with truffle oil + local urban honey.  The smell of the 4 cheeses were so unique, so fresh and tantalising.  This cheesiness really complimented the truffle oil (mmmmmm) and the subtle sweetness of the honey.  I added a poached egg on top. Everything was perfect…except, the pizza base was a little too crispy on the edges.  I love flatbread pizza, but sometimes it felt like pizza on tortilla chips due to the crunch.  The center was fine though.

Hubby ordered the “mushroom” pizza: roasted cremini mushrooms, smoked mozzarella + grana padano cheese, fresh arugula, truffle oil .  There was adequate perfectly cooked mushrooms topped up with the amazing truffle oil.  However, I felt that the amount of arugula was a bit overwhelming.

Conclusion

A total of 2 pizza’s are good enough for 3 hungry people and each pizza cost an average of $20.  They also do takeaways.

Omg – by thinking of the 4 maggi pizza, my mouth is watering up – I still can’t forget the aroma!

This was certainly the best flatbread pizza that I’ve tried in Calgary.