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Earlier this month we headed over to Grumans Catering and Delicatessen for a lovely Saturday brunch.  We had our day pretty much mapped out to a T: early morning workout (a very pathetic attempt at a 5k run by me while Mark had no issues), brunch, then watch the Argentina vs. Belgium game.  It was the first weekend of Stampede, but since we’re not huge fans of it (I only go once a year with my Stampede buddy to indulge in corn dogs and doughnuts), we bypassed all that craziness.

I know Grumans from my early career days through their catering.  Many meetings and team gatherings were catered by Grumans and I always enjoyed their food, so I’d been wanting to have a meal at their new location for quite a while.  They specialize in classic Jewish deli items, of which I’m not very familiar with, but trying new things is always a new and welcome adventure.  Besides their catering and dining facilities, they also offer their items for take-home so you can have a meal and take some goodies if you feel so inclined.

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Whether it was because of Stampede or perhaps we had hit that sweet quiet zone, only a couple of tables were occupied when we got there.  The space is bright from the large windows letting in plenty of natural light, and it’s clean and modern with ample booth and table seating.  We snagged a booth seat and settled in with the menu and a couple of mugs of fresh hot coffee.

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Mark chose the Grumans Reuben (smoked meat, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, russian dressing, grilled rye bread) with potato salad and coleslaw.  It came with a side plate of pickles and hot mustard.  Mark is a huge fan of smoked meat, having enjoyed it during his youth living in Eastern Canada.  When I asked how it compared to what he’s had, he said he was pleasantly surprised.  I tried a bit of the meat and it was moist, juicy, and flavourful.  I might have mentioned this before, but when Mark eats, he gets what I call “happy mouth”, which means he makes whatever he’s eating look delicious and incredibly enjoyable, like it’s the best thing he’s ever eaten (which is why I think restaurants should hire him to be in their commercials if they want to market their food).  When our server came by to see how we were doing, Mark was in the middle of a huge bite and even she remarked, “he looks so happy!”  See?  That’s his happy mouth, and he was happy eating that delicious sandwich.

grumans5I opted for a more traditional brunch dish and got the Eggs Benedict (pancetta, lemon hollandaise, confit home-style hashbrowns, fruit salad).  Strange thing is, I used to dislike eggs benedict because of the hollandaise sauce, because I’m a weirdo and have a strong aversion to most sauces.  It’s only recently that I’ve started to enjoy eggs benedict, so I think that’s a sign that my palate is maturing as I get older.  Does that mean I’ll be munching on blue cheese any time soon?  Uh, heck no… baby steps first.  So back to this lovely eggs benedict.  I was mostly intrigued by Grumans version as they use potato latkes in place of English muffins.  Crispy shredded potatoes are always a good thing in my book and they worked really well overall in this dish.  They were crispy and well-seasoned, holding up to the rest of the ingredients and providing the perfect vehicle for the eggs and sauce.  My eggs were perfectly poached – medium with some runny yolk, just the way I like my eggs.  The lemony hollandaise sauce was creamy and bright, while the pancetta brought a welcome saltiness to round out all the flavours.  After the richness of the eggs benny, I welcomed the cup of fresh fruit that came on the side.  I think anything else would’ve been too heavy, so the fruit is a good choice.

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Of course, no meal out would be complete without some dessert.  I chose the Cheesecake Square, which happened to be an apple caramel flavour (I think).  The server was nice enough to get us two squares for sharing, woohoo!  Mark said it was a little too sweet for his taste (since he’s mostly a savoury-food eater), but it was the right amount for me.  The creaminess of the cake combined with the caramel and the crust and a dollop of whipped cream was the perfect bite, and the perfect way to end our brunch.

I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to eat at Grumans because if the meal we had is any indication, we should be going there more often.  I wish I had gotten the name of our server because she was so lovely and friendly with a great sense of humour, and at the end of our meal she said that we were some of the nicest people that she’s served, which was a really awesome compliment seeing as we’re very conscientious of being polite and courteous diners wherever we go to eat.  Overall, a wonderful first experience dining at Grumans, and we hope to return there again very soon.

Grumans Catering and Delicatessen
230 – 11 Ave SE
Calgary, AB T2G0X8
Phone: (403) 261-9003
http://grumans.ca/

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