Ok, if you know me at all then you’ll know that when I’m in Calgary I like to eat at Edelweiss. “Ummmm,” you probably have to wonder, “you mean Calgary Alberta right- not, like, a Calgary in Germany?”
I assure you that yes, nestled amidst the rocky mountain foothills, squeezed in tight between flashy cowpokes, stampede breakfasts, and oil and gas fat cats you can find the most delicious German food this side of the pond.
Remeniscent of a cottage straight out of a Brother’s Grimm fairy tale, the green and white gabled building looks good enough to eat with a turret stuffed full of knick knacks and curios, shutters painted with the famous white flower emblemic of Deutschland and pristinely manicured flower gardens on all sides…and then you walk through the front doors and are met with the most beautiful smell you’ll ever come to appreciate.
If you’ve never consumed a cabbage roll or snacked upon it’s tangy cousin sauerkraut, then you may not find the scent of cooked cabbage quite as intoxicating as I do but trust me, all it takes in one bite to make the conversion to cabbage-ophile complete. Before my changeover I was sadly ignorant of the bountiful food that smells of , dare I say it- a fart. But if it were possible to be baptized in sauerkraut then call me born again! I’m a cabba-baptist!
To the right in Edelweiss Village Imports you find delightful and eclectic gifts; beer steins, wooden puppets, garden fountains, amber jewellery, german music, cookoo clocks and enough fine cookware to make any hobby cook drool.
To the left is kaffee Stube, where they sell deli meat, specialty cheeses, desserts to bring a tear to your eye and a glorious selection of delicious German fare. The menu boasts of hearty goulash, thick saucy cabbage rolls, gooey potato-ey peroghies, breaded schnitzel, two types of fried cabbage and of course, sausage. There’s more but it’s my turn to order and I always get the same thing: a reubin sandwich.
The Edelweiss reuben puts all others to shame. It’s contents are simple but it’s the quality of ingredients that makes this meal such a mouthwatering thrill. The bread is rye, fresh, soft and chewy. The acid comes from yellow deli mustard mixed with a generous amount of sauerkraut and swiss cheese (melted of course), and the feather in the reuben’s cap is the corned beef- shaved right there at the deli by the order. I always eat too much but never regret a single mouthful. To indulge like this a few times a year is totally worth it.
The perfect end to any meal at kaffee Stube comes in the form of a latte served with a beautiful dollop of foam and accompanied with a crispy twist of chocolate filled cookie.
It’s best to come at 11 or 1 if you’d like to get a table- this place has earned the right to be busy. And if you do find a place to sit and enjoy your meal, half the fun comes from listening to other patrons- just to see if you can guess which language they are speaking in. Today I heard French, German and an enthusiastic something that might have been Greek.
It’s probably good that I don’t live too close to Edelweiss. It’s hard to resist it’s brassicacic allure (aroma of cabbage/fart). My scale thanks me for that. But oh, to indulge in the world’s best reuben from time to time is a luxury that’s simply wonderful.