What have you heard about StrEATS? I knew very little about the small franchise when I was invited to last night’s fiesta, but it turns out there’s a lot of great stuff going on over there! From tacos and burritos to their signature poutines and featured bao, StrEATS definitely seems focused on keeping things fresh!
Food bloggers and other social influencers were invited to stop by their flagship Braeside location to check things out. As we walked in, we were welcomed with samples of Tool Shed Red Rage dark red ale. This was toasty, malty, delicious, and most importantly – available on tap at StrEATS Braeside!
We learned from staff there that StrEATS is the brainchild of the team at Joey’s Seafood Restaurants, known for their deliciously crispy Ocean Wise (read: sustainable) fish and chips. StrEATS is where you go for open kitchen, fast-casual dining with monthly menu features and $2 draft every day. Franchises are starting to pop up throughout Canada, and in my opinion they’re well-positioned to meet today’s consumer demands for quick, satisfying meals and Instagram-worthy plating.
I was describing this place to my cool mom friend today and concluded that it’s a terrific place to bring your young family – great beer, spicy tacos and hefty poutines for parents along with an appetizing kids menu and casual atmosphere for the little guys.
The food we tried was incredible. We were invited to order whatever we liked on the house, so we split a large signature poutine ($9.75) and four tacos ($20) and were way over stuffed. I’m already planning my next visit in the near future – I’m keen to come back for a $13 double taco combo with mini poutine and a fountain drink.
First, we ordered the perogy poutine – heaven! Sour cream should be a standard ingredient on all french fry based dishes, if you ask me. The chopped bacon and caramelized onions (along with four adorable mini perogies!) made this a satisfying dish. The container seemed small at first glance, but was packed full of sturdy fries, high quality gravy and cheese. Great ratios!
We LOVED the tacos! Matt and I have been to Hawaii a couple of times now, and our favourite thing to do there is find taco trucks and order as many seafood-related flavours as we can find on the menu. StrEATS is the closest I can say I’ve come in Calgary to scratching that itch.
On the hand-battered Baja fish taco, for example, their pico de gallo is hand cut into a tiny, beautiful dice (and staff were proud to tell us that most of their other sauces are made fresh in house as well). Matt went crazy for this taco (we may have ordered two – thanks StrEATS!) The coating is crispy, not greasy. The sauce is zesty, but not overpowering. It’s also not as messy as most fish tacos I’ve had in my day – it was fairly easy (for me, not for Matt) to keep the toppings in place.
My absolute favourite was the mango shrimp taco, with coconut-coated shrimp, tangy Thai sweet chili sauce, fresh mango salsa and crisp, shredded cabbage. I was transported back to Shrimp Station on Kauai, just dreaming of crispy coconut shrimp and papaya ginger sauce. This was a perfect hit of tropical goodness.
Based on this event, I’ll definitely be back at StrEATS Braeside (#6, 11440 Braeside Dr SW) some day soon. I’ll also be keeping an eye out for new locations. Let me know what you think after you give them a try – maybe you’ll even see me there scarfing down some more tacos!