A Vegetarian Upstart in Calgary’s Cattle Country

Roasted artichokes with pear and chestnut is just one of the innovative vegetarian dishes at Calgary's White Rose Kitchen

Roasted artichokes with pear and chestnut is just one of the innovative vegetarian dishes at Calgary’s White Rose Kitchen

Calgary is cattle country, as much for mythological reasons as for all the area ranches and feedlots. So from a culinary perspective, it’s no surprise to find an abundance of steakhouses and hamburger joints.

Or, conversely, a scarcity of vegetarian restaurants. In a city of a million carnivores, you’d be hard pressed to find half a dozen places serving tofu, tempeh and turnips.

Thus, it’s nice to see a new restaurant—White Rose Kitchen, in a onetime Bowness gas station—devoted to creative, flavourful dishes like roasted artichoke, pear and chestnut; braised broccoli rabe and fig; and fennel confit salad.

White Rose is named for an old Bowness gas station that once stood here

White Rose is named for an old Bowness gas station that once stood here

It’s not cheap. Small (mostly appetizer sized) plates are $12 and big plates $18. But chef Dwayne and partner Alberta Ennest (who also operate Big Fish and Open Range) have certainly upped the ante on the often-staid veggie world.

A veggie flatbread is one of the day's lunch specials

A veggie flatbread is one of the day’s lunch specials

This being Calgary, however, the world of beef hasn’t been entirely abandoned. A sister, attached operation is The Coal Shed Smoke House, a stationary truck where meats are smoked, grilled and braised. The resulting chorizo sausage, beef short ribs and bison burgers are mostly intended for take-away dining, though there are a handful of tables in the hallway leading to White Rose.

The carnivorous Coal Shed Smoke House sits next door

The carnivorous Coal Shed Smoke House sits next door

But this commingling has its limits. You’re not allowed to smuggle your Coal Shed beef brisket, on a paper plate, into White Rose’s calm vegetarian space.

White Rose Kitchen
6512 Bowness Road NW, Calgary
Monday to Saturday 11:30 am-9 pm, Sunday 10 am-9 pm
403-455-8055

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