A Serendipitous Encounter: L'Epicerie


My Canadian Asian Cowboy friend, who can annihilate a giant mud pie in a matter of seconds, has been telling me for the past year, how wonderful bakeries are in Calgary.  So on a free moment between work emails, packing and unpacking, we took an afternoon to find a bakery, have some coffee and catch up with our brains.  

After double checking with the maps,  a few wrong turns, we finally found the parking lot and I ran out and did a little hop and dance outside this cafe.  I ran in, yell out "I'm so happy I found you...." then looked around and asked oh "where are your croissants?" The person working, who I would learn to know as Ryan, shyly says "oh, I'm sorry you have the wrong place, that bakery is closed."

My face for a split moment, turned into one of a daydreamer yearning for croissants, that is until I saw the espresso machine and noticed a selection of cured meats, Foie Gras and other French eats.  

He was gracious enough to let us sample various types of pate, salmon gravlax and foie gras, before ordering and we added some salami, jambon, house toasted crostinis as well.  

The cafe, though small and a bit unassuming from the outside, is incredibly inviting, cozy and charming.  I love the outside dining style details in the decor, like the awning, and the open kitchen.  

We ended up sharing stories about food, learning about how they cure their meats and make the pate, and once he handed us the baguette he had just taken out of the oven, I'm quite certain I sniffed it like a creepy addict of sorts.  I complimented the crust, Ryan gave the biggest smile, held two fists together like victory and joyously said "I made it!" 

I cannot express enough, how much I love meeting people who love food! 

It was wonderful, and almost like being back in France, where time kind of didn't matter, stood still and the most important things were the conversations and good eating taking place.  

We also discovered, a little foie gras is never enough, so always order more :) Ryan gave a couple apple tarts as parting gifts and fortunately there was two, so we wouldn't have to fight.  

C'est si bon! 

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