- Written by Julie Van Rosendaal
Thank you, Ironwood, for not differentiating between dining out B.C. (before children) and A.D. (after diapers).
There comes a time in the lives of many new parents when their social calendars begin to fill with Saturday afternoon parties featuring cupcakes and juice boxes, and Saturday nights spent at the bar watching a band and washing down baskets of wings with a few pints become few and far between. Family dinners at child-friendly establishments with plastic-coated booths, crayons and extensive grilled-cheese-and-chicken-fingers kids’ menus don’t do much to help those who have had far too much of the Doodle Bops.
If you can relate, the Ironwood Stage & Grill (1429, 9 Avenue SE, 269-5581) may be your salvation. They welcome kids, not only on certain days or during certain hours - all the time. Part of the appeal is that there is no children’s menu, and yet it’s the sort of place that doesn’t make you feel like you have to constantly shush them or prevent them from turning around in their seats to potentially annoy diners at the next table.
When it comes to the food, Chef Jaime Gordon brings new flavors to the familiar – think coconut crusted prawn lollipops with sweet chile mayo ($12) or fantastic flatbreads (for the kids’ sake, you can call them ‘pizzas’ – big ones – with chewy crusts and loads of cheese) with toppings like grilled chicken, red onion marmalade and Granny Smith Apple ($13) or honey peppered bacon, roasted corn, green onion, tomato and black bean mayo ($12). Instead of the usual breaded foodservice chicken fingers with plum sauce, cumin spiced chicken breast strips with orange and ginger glaze ($12) are perfect for little fingers. And instead of frozen fries, you’ll love their handmade, thick-cut potato chips. The price is right too – I don’t know of anywhere else in town you can get a grilled buffalo burger with chipotle mayo, Jack cheese and a grilled portobello for only $11.
The Ironwood features live bands virtually every evening (except Mondays). Wednesday nights, it’s an open stage, and every second Saturday they host a Big Band Brunch from noon ‘til 3, featuring Calgary’s own 20-piece Prime Time Big Band ensemble and Chef Gordon’s all-you-can-eat buffet, which is included in the $29 ticket price. (Advance tickets are recommended – phone ahead.)
Thank you, Ironwood, for not differentiating between dining out B.C. (before children) and A.D. (after diapers). The Ironwood Stage & Grill is located at 1429, 9 Avenue SE, 269-5581. For more information visit ironwoodstage.ca.