Entering the Rockin Horse Cafe, in tiny Balzac north of Calgary, I look at the specials’ menu board and spot Portuguese soup. “I’m a writer,” I say, erasing the second “u” with my finger. Out comes the cellphone, Google is consulted, and I look for a place to hide…. or order beet-red soup.
Rockin Horse owner Raymonde Boisvert not only knows spelling. She also knows soup. Every day, she and her son scratch make three soups from a roster of some 40 in her little cookbook. Today’s choices include macaroni and, of course, Portuguese, the latter a sturdy, tasty mix of chorizo sausage, potatoes, cabbage and beef broth. The regulars, including cowboys and truckers, usually combine the soup with a BLT or clubhouse, but I go for another standout: her mother’s recipe of cinnamon-raisin bread pudding with caramel sauce.
The Rockin Horse is a good last-minute place to stop for breakfast or lunch before hitting or passing through Calgary. It’s less than a minute west of Highway 2 and within spitting distance of the city’s encroaching northern suburbs.
It’s also a good place to work on my spelling. Think they’d let me add an ‘ to Rockin or an é to Cafe?