It was a revelation for me and my wife. I almost couldn't believe that these places exist in my city of Calgary.
You should go explore the Deep NE (McKnight and 52 St NE) to find some culinary gems.
Last Tuesday, I had a basketball game in one of the school in deep NE. After the game, since I was in the area, I spent the rest of the day exploring the area.
8 years living in Calgary, I never went to this part of the city before. To my delights, there are many indian/pakistani/chinese restaurants in this area.
After much driving around, we decided to dine in a pakistani restaurant called Village. The place has a funky rickshaw ainthe front of the restaurant. We entered the premise and there were two groups of pakistani people (about 20-25 people) in the restaurant. Right there I knew I have come to an authentic restaurant.
I sat in a funky chair which shares similar design with the rickshaw. Maybe it is common in Pakistan, but unfortunately, the chair is not comfortable for me.
Anyways, I looked into the menu and I saw dishes that are not common in typical indian/pakistani restaurants in Calgary. Sure they have the usual suspects: butter chicken, kebab, naan etc, but really, they have so much more. In particular, they have a Village special section which consists of 4 dishes. One of them is Nehari (beef shank stew in special spiced sauce). mmm...it sure sounds good when I read the menu.
So we ordered Nehari (comes with a naan), Sheesh Kebab (ground beef kebab with yogurt dipping) and Chicken Biryani (Chicken in curry sauce mixed with safron basmati rice).
Let me tell you, although the kebab is just okay, the Nehari is oh so tender with interesting spiced brown sauce. And the Biryani is excellent!!! And best of all, the price is so so so reasonable (all this for 29 bucks flat).
The service is excellent as I believe it's the owner himself that served us. The bill has no place for tips (he put $0.00 under the tips, so you cannot even tip even if you want to).
And afterwards, since he knew this was our first time in his restaurant, he gave a Kulfi's mango ice cream for free (ooh man..this ice cream rocks!).
All in all a very satisfying meal for a reasonable cost.
I am glad I have found this area and plan to come back there very soon.