polo ralph lauren sales Exploring Saskatoon like a local
I long felt Saskatoon is a city that punches above its weight. There are less than 300,000 residents, but it feels considerably larger, thanks in part to the University of Saskatchewan and a thriving arts and food scene.
It also a striking location, with beautiful parks and several fine buildings lining the South Saskatchewan River. Try the spicy ramen with pork shoulder, Korean chili, kimchi and nori, or the amazing octopus fritters.
Calories is a long time Saskatoon hot spot in the lively Broadway area, just south of the river. The menu changes regularly, depending on what fresh. When I was there a few weeks ago we sat on their sidewalk patio and enjoyed a Lac La Ronge trout with curry spiced beluga lentils, sour cherries and a quinoa pilaf, as well as a Saskatoon berry almond tart.
The Hollows is a great dining spot that in an old Chinese restaurant. They kept the funky lanterns that hung in the old place and the sign out front for a cool, retro feel. Even better is the inventive menu, including fabulous tempura dandelions with a spicy sauce and lovely lamb. When I was there the chef had a huge pig head in the kitchen that she was going to use to make a terrine. There also a funky store upstairs selling everything from clothes to candles. Check for opening hours.
Odd Couple is a fun spot on 20th Street West in the lively and on the upswing Riversdale area. I did a lovely one hour cruise that took us to the church spires of downtown Saskatoon, the imposing and graceful Delta Bessborough Hotel and past the soon to open Remai Modern, a fabulous arts facility that will feature the largest collection of Pablo Picasso linocuts in the world, as well as other great art. You also pass gracious, riverside homes and perhaps catch kayakers or canoeists out on the water. The commentary is informative and fun without being intrusive or cheesy. One hour sightseeing rides are $24 for adults. They also do dinner cruises, Sunday cruises and other special tours.
There are two very cool theatres in Saskatoon. In Riversdale, the is one of the few surviving theatres in Canada. The walls feature paintings of what looks like a Mexican village, with pretty damsels and wrought iron balconies and villainous sorts looking for trouble, not to mention monkeys, Charlie Chaplin and dancing bears. Clouds and stars dance on the painted ceilings. It a truly wondrous place you just don expect to find, and it a great place to catch a film. A short distance away in the Broadway district,
the Broadway Theatre is another old beauty, although without the wild art work. One of the beers is named Stand Up Brown Ale; an homage to one of their grandfathers, who played the stand up bass. They used parts of the old rail tracks on the street as part of the bar, and there a stuffed ram head on one wall that been named Bocephus. (It was Pride Week when I was there so someone placed a plastic rainbow coloured lei around its neck.) The White IPA tastes like a cross between a traditional IPA and a wheat beer, and they make a nice stout, too.
Black Fox is a gorgeous distillery on a pretty stretch of road west of downtown. The owners are passionate about using local products (they also have a farm on site) and making the best products they can. Their oaked gin has won major awards but co owner John Cote told me he really wants to make a classic Canadian whisky. The folks at Nine Mile brewing told me Cote and his son helped them build their brewery floor, and how that for Saskatchewan friendliness?
Need a shot of espresso (or three) to recover from your beer and whisky? Drift is a funky cafe in Riversdale that feels like the inside of a Jimmy Buffett song, with little pineapples and ukuleles on the shelves and signs pointing you to the beach (hey, there a nude beach on the S. Saskatchewan River). There also a great rooftop patio. Collective Coffee is around the corner and has more of an urban vibe. Hats and That sells cool fedoras, wide brim summer hats for ladies, Brixton caps and nice jewelry, much of it Canadian made. Stop at Dharma Chakra for crystals, harem pants (don forget that Halloween coming up), incense and Beatles t shirts. The Bulk Cheese Warehouse doesn look like much from the outside but they have nearly 300 cheeses from around the world, including raw cheeses from France, oddities such as coconut gouda and their own smoked Havarti. They also have speciality meats and prepared foods you can take on a picnic down by the river; just a few blocks away.
Riversdale has more of a gritty, urban feel than Broadway. Hard pressed (SPELL) is a trendy jeans and clothing spot in Riversdale. They sell a brand of jeans called that are 100% organic and come from Sweden. You also can find I love SK caps, camouflage shorts, sweats, men and women shirts and wonderfully sturdy bags that say SSKTCHWN. Very hip and fun. Soul Paper offers up trendy cards and lovely writing paper for folks who prefer written words (remember those?) to emails. Village Guitar and Amp sells cool musical instruments in a hip 1930 building, just in case the airlines lost your Fender Stratocaster. It also a live music venue. Rooms are fully outfitted for modern travellers, with good work space and plenty of outlets and charging spots;
not always something you find in older hotels. Be sure to ask for a river view.