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Community Where to Eat in Red Deer

Where to Eat in Red Deer: Cilantro and Chive

Since the start of the Where to Workout series, I’ve often been asked if I would expand the series to include other categories, specifically food. You ask I’ll deliver. Welcome to the first installment of Where to Eat in Red Deer. While I’m no professional food critic or photographer, I will aim to give an unbiased look at what to expect at restaurants throughout the city and beyond. Enjoy!

Where to Eat in Red Deer

If you ask for a recommendation on where to eat in Red Deer, it’s a given Cilantro and Chive in Lacombe will be at the top of that list. Here’s what you can expect from Central Alberta’s most popular spot for local eats.

Cilantro & Chive

About Cilantro and Chive

A short drive north on the QEII takes you to the quaint town of Lacombe, home to the infamous Cilantro and Chive. Started first as a catering company, Cilantro and Chive opened its doors in Ponoka in 2012. In 2015, they moved into their new permanent location in the heart of historic Lacombe.

They’re dedicated to setting themselves apart through the use of locally sourced food and creative menu items. Not only that, they care a great deal about connecting with their customers and ensuring everyone is taken care of. Community is everything here. They’ve done an amazing job working with local charities on menu items, such as their burger of the month, where they partner with a local celebrity on a burger feature and donate a portion of proceeds to local charity. They have also partnered with Haylen’s Ice Cream Shop on their ice cream sandwich feature with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House.

The restaurant vibe is super chill with rustic, industrial decor. It’s the perfect setting for an afternoon snack with your family or a night out with friends. There’s a modest patio that fills up quick on hot summer days and board games to entertain on lazy weekends, making it a fun place to hang out for all ages. You’ll want to spend some time in the bathroom, the floor to ceiling gallery wall of fun pics and memes is one of my favourite parts.


Oh, and be sure to check out the bottom of your receipt when you’re done. They leave space for a daily doodle and the best ones are eligible to win a gift card each month. I mean really, can this place get any more fun?

Cilantro & Chive

Cilantro & Chive

Cilantro & Chive

About The Menu

Regardless if you’re looking to indulge in something sinfully delicious or just something simple and fresh, Cilantro and Chive have got it, from seasonal salads to mac and cheese topped caesars.

The restaurant is dedicated to supporting local, with ingredients sourced fresh from local producers to create a unique offering of dishes not found on a typical Central Alberta restaurant menu. You’ll see Scholing’s potatoes grown in Lacombe, bison from MSW farms, locally brewed beer used right in their recipes. With menu offerings changing through the seasons, there are always new and exciting items to try. I don’t think I’ve ordered the same thing twice, which says a lot about a girl who will stick to what she knows and loves. The menu is marked with gluten free and vegetarian options as well.

Of course, there’s something for the kiddos too. A whole kid-approved menu, including the craziest drink topped with candy!

Along with fresh eats, they also have an overwhelming drink menu. I’m talking pages and pages of craft beer selections, handcrafted cocktails and more. If you’re into craft beer, this is your place. You can even find pairing selections alongside various dishes on the menu to take your dining experience to a whole new level.

Cilantro & Chive

Chicken and Waffles: spicy hot suace marinated, deep fried chicken, in house-made waffles, tarragon maple syrup, icing sugar, green onion, sunny fried egg | Folding Mountain Three Seasons Honey Wheat Ale Cilantro & Chive

Autumn Crunch Salad: house made beet goat cheese, mandarin oranges, cranberries, spiced nuts, celery, apple cider vinaigrette, tossed in arugula, grilled focaccia | Blindman Brewing Blindman River Session Ale 

Budget

$$-$$$ – depending on how much beer you drink

What I Loved Most

I love the community focus and dedication to supporting local farmers and growers to provide a different dining experience than Central Alberta is used to. Food wise though, I can’t stop thinking about the chocolate mousse, topped with caramel popcorn and paired with a Bench Creek Brewing Veruca Salted Brownie Oatmeal Stout. #drool

Cilantro & Chive Cilantro & Chive

Bernard Callebaut dark chocolate mouse cake topped with salted caramel popcorn, fresh blueberries, fresh whipped cream and mint (gluten friendly, no nuts) | Bench Creek Brewing Veruca Salted Brownie Oatmeal Stout

 

 

Huge thanks to Cilantro and Chive for inviting us in for a menu tasting with beer pairings. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting this little hobby of mine. 

Community The Float Shack

Where to Relax in Red Deer: The Float Shack

Where to Relax in Red Deer

What would your life look like if you took more time to do nothing?

About The Float Shack

The Float Shack is a floatation/sensory deprivation studio that opened in Red Deer in 2014. While floating has grown in popularity in recent years, The Float Shack was the second of its kind in the region at the time, with only one other studio in Calgary. I think owners Lance Foss and Matt Dahrouge were definitely wise in bringing a float studio to Red Deer, giving residents a place to do nothing on purpose.


The beautiful studio is designed to be a place of total relaxation. Beyond the sensory deprivation tanks, they offer plenty of space to sit and read, journal, meditate, or simply sip a coffee or cold cup of kombucha. There’s a small library full of books to read, an oxygen bar, inversion table and even a patio to enjoy in summer months. With local goods for sale and a trading post to browse, they’ve created a unique space to find your zen. Guests can take advantage of this space for as long as they want before and after their floats.

About Floating/Sensory Deprivation

The float tank is designed to give you total sensory deprivation as a way to relax, restore and recover. The tanks contain 900lbs of Epsom salt, which enables your body to float effortlessly in the water, meaning your muscles can fully relax. The water is heated to 34 degrees which is the average body temperature, meaning you will feel absolutely nothing as you float in the water. Once in the tank, you will feel, see and hear absolutely nothing, allowing you to fall into a deep sense of relaxation. I would say it would be difficult to find another way to completely relax this intensely.

During your float, your blood pressure is lowered, circulation increases, cortisol levels drop, endorphins are released, pain and inflammation are reduced, and you experience the equivalent of four hours of deep sleep in only 90 minutes.

Floating can benefit anyone, but is especially beneficial to pregnant women to relieve stress, physical discomfort, and strain, athletes, chronic pain sufferers and more.

What To Expect

For first-timers, floating can be a little be intimidating but the gents at The Float Shack go out of their way to ensure you have a good experience.

Each float tank is located in a private room stocked with everything you need to enjoy your float. The first step is to hop in the shower to remove any lotions or oils from your body that could affect the specific pH levels of the water in the tank. Makeup removing wipes are provided as well as soap, shampoo, and conditioner for post-float. Next step is to cover any cuts or scrapes with Vaseline, pop in some earplugs and get cozy in the tank. There is a neck pillow available should you choose to use it as well as a robe should you need to leave your room at any time during your float.

 

Once in the tank, it’s up to you whether you want to fully close the door, leaving you in total darkness. You could absolutely leave the door open or use a towel to prop it slightly depending on your level of comfort.

Your float begins with 15 minutes of soft music playing, which will eventually fade away to leave you in peace and quiet for the remainder of your float. You are also able to play your own music, listen to audiobooks, or guided meditations as well which I think is really cool. Some people have taken this opportunity to learn new languages. I will definitely be exploring guided meditation for my next float. The music will slowly fade back in at the end of your 90 minutes, alerting you that your float has come to an end.

You’ll then hop out and shower off again, using the provided shampoo and conditioner and vinegar to dissolve any salt that may have gotten in your ears.

From there, you’ll walk out, and hopefully feel rested and blissful.

 

What I Loved Most

Like most people, my to-do list is a mile long and I rarely take the time to just chill. This is a way to force me to do nothing and come out feeling so much more relaxed. I find that I have a lot more patience for a few days following a float and feel my anxiety start to melt away so fast.

For More Float Shack

www.thefloatshack.com

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Community

Introducing Waskasoo

Meet the 2019 Canada Winter Games Mascot

Today marks 500 days until the 2019 Canada Winter Games in our city, a key event in the development of young athletes across the country.

Tonight our city came together in the cold for a community event and mascot party. We indulged in free BBQ, played games, bounced in the bouncy castles and high-fived all of the community mascots (who knew Red Deer had so many!). The highlight of the night was the unveiling of the new 2019 Winter Games mascot.


The story of how this new mascot came to life is actually really cool. Kids between the ages of 5-12 across Alberta were enlisted to help find the right mascot. Choosing between four animals commonly found across Central Alberta, a moose, a snowshoe hare, an owl and a deer, they were to submit a drawing, a name, and the mascot’s story. Over 300 youngsters submit their entries. Yesterday, 12-year-old Mackenzie Van Damme from Lacombe found she had the winning entry and her mascot idea had become a reality. Just think about how cool it would be to have a picture you’ve drawn become the face of something so big. I get tears just thinking about it, but I’m kind of a softie like that.

Mackenzie designed a little deer named Waskasoo, a young deer that grew up just outside of Red Deer, but now calls the Gaetz Lake Sanctuary home. Waskasoo’s antlers form a ‘W’ and he has 13 spots representing the 13 provinces and territories across Canada. Deer usually lose their spots as they get older, but Waskasoo’s have remained as a gift from Mother Nature for his kindness towards others. Waskasoo is enthusiastic, encouraging and curious. His name comes from the Cree name “Waskasoo Seepee” which means “Elk River”, the original name for the river running through the community. The settlers had mistaken elk for the European red deer in the area, and the river was then changed to the Red Deer River.

And so little Waskasoo came to life.

It was basically love at first glimpse.

Liam was pretty excited to be one of the first to get to meet Waskasoo, although he was a bit timid compared to the other mascots we’d interacted with earlier in the evening. I’m sure I’ll be hearing about how he wants to go back to give Waskasoo a hug and a high five for a while now. Luckily, Waskasoo will be sharing the magic of the Winter Games over the next few months at various community events. And yes, he could be available for your event and can be booked at canadagames.ca/2019.

We’ll definitely be checking out the next Canada Games event when we celebrate one year out! Hopefully, Liam will get his fill of Waskasoo hugs there.