There is a big movement in Calgary in the recent years towards local and sustainable sourced food to promote healthy eating. We began seeing many restaurants with a focus on quality of life and interest in building relationships with local farmers has come to dominate the food marketplace.
If you are a supporter of such a food philosophy, you must have heard of Market on the 17th Ave.
Inspired by the idea of “Market Cuisine,” Market produces as many ingredients in-house as possible. They bake their own bread, make their own cheese, butcher and cure meats internally, and even has their own home garden to grow herbs and micro-greens. If they can’t make an item in house, they source locally from ethical and sustainable producers.
“Why go through all these troubles?” – some might ask. By doing so, they can take full control over what they serve to the customers and the quality of food. Essentially, it is a way of life.
The restaurant reminded me of Farm on the other end of 17th Ave, which also shared the dedication to sourcing local, seasonal ingredients from local communities. However, what set Market apart (and what really caught my eye) is its monochrome black and white design that makes the room classic and sophisticated.
In contrast to the mystifying, black bar, the bright white dining room installs a sense of peace, giving people the illusion that their mind and body are instantly purified.
As we approached towards our table, I saw a staff was butchering a fish over at the far end near the kitchen.
In the kitchen, herbs, micro-greens and vegetables were growing in a huge Urban Cultivator. Good to know they walked the talk and that we were served the freshest ingredients possible.
It’s time to check how the food taste! I ordered the duck bennie ($18) from the weekend brunch menu. It wasn’t as good as I expected. Yes, the tender duck leg was coated in a sweet caramelized glaze. But the duck fat hollandaise tasted really bland, served on top of the classic English muffin. With way too little vinaigrette dressing, the salad was very bland as well. The only thing I liked was the hash browns that had a crispy exterior and seasoned with the salt, spices, fried onion and garlic blend.
Kev opted for the Last Best beer braised baby back bbq ribs ($18) from the regular lunch menu. Coated in sweet, smokey sauce, the baby back ribs was disappointingly dry. We were hoping for “fall-off-the-bone” tender, but it was far from it.
$18 for this level of quality? It was totally not worth it. While the restaurant has a community-focus philosophy that I admire, the food was just not up to the standard.