18 Course Sunday Brunch Anyone
From Richard White
As the days get longer, many Calgary golfers start to ponder when their course will open. They can actually get the yips – a golf term for shaky hands when putting – waiting for them to open. For those who can’t wait, there is always Sunday brunch at Canyon Meadows, Woodside or Priddis Greens golf courses. Yes,
they are open to the public for brunch. And yes, sometimes it takes almost as long to enjoy brunch as it does to play 18 holes of golf.
Our first stop on this brunch tour is Canyon Meadows (home to the annual Shaw Charity Classic golf tournament that has raised $34 million for children’s charities in Alberta), where the huge west-facing dining room windows offer spectacular views of the Rockies and Fish Creek Park, just a nine iron away from your table.
Each week, Canyon Meadows chef Kevin Stephenson’s team prepares 20+ dishes for patrons (that is what they would call you at the Augusta National Golf Course, home to The Masters) to enjoy. The signature hot dishes are the marinated and slow roasted AAA inside round of Alberta Beef, seared at 600 degrees and carved fresh, and the fresh from the press buttermilk waffles from their vintage waffle iron that dates back to 1957. Their signature cold dishes include a local charcuterie board featuring Valbella meats from Canmore, house-cured and smoked fish and ceviche and cold sliced beef in an arugula blue cheese pesto sauce. The drink features are the $4 mimosas and Canyon caesars.
For those of you who live on the north side of town, the Airdrie’s Woodside Golf Course’s Sunday Brunch has been a huge hit with golfers and non-golfers for over 10 years. Their brunch in The Woods (not to be confused with Tiger Woods) restaurant and patio has been voted Airdrie’s Best Brunch for ten years in a row by the readers of the local newspaper CityView. And, unlike the other two brunches it is open year round. Executive Chef Li Luo has been creating what they like to call a “deliciously outrageous experience.” It includes eight hot stations, with the most popular, by far, being the eggs benedict and eight cold stations that include a popular sushi station and smoked fish platter. The four dessert stations include a chocolate fountain and house-made profiteroles.
Kids love going for brunch at Woodside. Not only do they love dipping marshmallows or fresh fruit into the chocolate fountain (who doesn’t!), but they also have giant checkers and chess boards just outside the dining room.
Shauna Quinn, a busy mom and Airdrie’s Tourism Development Officer told me “brunching at the Woodside restaurant has always been a hidden gem to the Airdrie community. Not only are the flavours fresh, the food selection plentiful but the views from the golf course any time of year, are serene and spectacular. The best part for me — I feel welcome, even in what could resemble PJ’s, as do my three kids and my parents in tow. It’s simply great food, great value and an easy morning out of the house.”
Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club brunch is not only an edible feast, but a visual one also. Driving in the foothills in the winter can be a magical experience and the view from Priddis’ Grandview dining room — the name is perfect — is stunning.
Franck Trutet, the clubhouse manager who recently joined the Priddis Team from the prestigious Hamilton Golf and Country Club (home of the 2019 Canadian Open), will be experimenting with some new ideas this winter/spring, while making sure the current favourites are still available.
He and Executive Chef Patrick Sturmer are looking to add some more fun kids’ items, like a cookie or ice cream station or perhaps a hot chocolate station where kids can add their own marshmallows, smarties or sprinkles. Adults can add Bailey’s or Irish Cream! He is also looking to add some French twist things like an oyster station, or perhaps a bread station and maybe even some mulled wine.
Grant Hansen a member of Priddis Golf and Country Club loves not only the beautiful setting but the quality of the food and the friendliness of the servers. He says “for many years we have come to expect another great dining experience whenever we go for brunch and we have never been disappointed.”
He particularly likes the “action stations,” be it the carving station where the chef will slice off a piece of prime rib exactly to your liking, or the omelette station where you can choose as few or many ingredients as you wish.
He loves watching his grandchildren ponder which of the 30+ items to choose and then come back with a big grin on their face when they show their parents and grandparents what they have picked. Some of the kids like to start at the dessert station and never get to the other stations.
Did you know the inspiration for brunch is the hangover? I did not. Turns out Guy Beringer, an English author, proposed the concept in his 1895 essay, “Brunch: A Plea.” His theory was that people who drink heavily on Saturday nights and wake up late, should have a hybrid meal midday that combines hearty meat dishes followed by tea and pastries to shake off the headaches and gurgling stomachs. The meal should also include sharing the previous evening’s tales with family and friends. His theory was the sharing of food and stories makes people feel happier. And who doesn’t want to feel happier!
Sunday Brunches at a Glance:
Canyon Meadows Brunch
10 :00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., until March 31st
Adults $30 / Seniors 65+ $25 / Child (5 – 12) $12.50 / 4 & under complimentary
Reservations: 403-281-1188 ext 103
Woodside Golf Club Brunch
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. year-round
Adults $21.95 / Seniors $16.95 / Children (4 to 10) $12.95 and under 3 $5.95
Priddis Greens Brunch
10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. until April 15th, 2019
Adults $39.95 / Seniors 65+ $36.95 / Children (3 to 12) $20.95 and under 3 are free (as of December 2018, subject to change)