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Our friend, Moe, boasted to have found the best halal steakhouse in the city. Well, it was a statement that was hard to argue against since there’s only one in Calgary. Haha, but it was still worth a try since we all love meat!
Nagia’s Steakhouse & Grill, hidden away in the Northeast region of Calgary, is frequently visited by Muslims and middle easterners in the cow town. The steakhouse could be a little difficult to notice at the first sight since no signage of “Nagia’s Steakhouse & Grill” was being put up. But if you see “Nagia’s Cafe” or “Hage’s Mideast Foods & Halal Meats” at the front entrance, then you’re at the right place.
Combined with a cafe and a grocery/meat store, the restaurant was a convenient spot for Muslims to shop for halal meat and eat halal food in one single trip!
The restaurant has a plain, simple furnishing, surrounded by a number of comfy sofa booths and a large salad bar at the center.
Aside from steaks, the extensive menu featured burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, kabab, meat pies, wings, samosas, as well as fish, chicken and lamb chops. It had almost everything, except one that you can never find in any halal restaurant – pork! (It is prohibited for Muslims to consume any pork) If you order an entree item, it automatically includes the salad bar – what good deal!
Since it’s a steakhouse, it would be a shame if we didn’t order a beef steak! At Nagia’s, they served only Alberta raised, grain fed, grade A beef that had no added hormones and was aged a min of 21 days. Kev picked the 80z filet mignon ($28.75). A beef connoisseur would tell you that filet mignon is the most tender (and expensive) cut of beef, taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin. Let’s see if Nagia’s had done it well and if it was worth the money.
The medium rare tenderloin was not as tender as we thought it would be. Kev cut a small piece for me to try which turned out to be dry. This inconsistency in juiciness disappointed me :'(
My quarter chicken meal ($11.95) shared the same problem. Though the rotisserie chicken had a delightfully crispy skin, the dark meat lacked moisture. Everything on the plate shouted “ordinary” – the potato wedges were soft and flaky, the boiled vegetable was just bland (not even seasoned with salt).
The only thing I liked from this restaurant was the garlic naan for its crunchy texture and buttery taste.
By offering a convenient service to the Muslim/Middle Eastern population, Nagia’s was successful in filling a niche. I could see why it attracted customers with that specific needs. However, as a non-halal eater, I would not specifically come here to have a plate of steak. There’s plenty of steakhouses in Calgary that can serve better steaks!