Embracing one’s inner carnivore is not an unusual thing to do in a city nicknamed “Cowtown,” but this was not your usual steak. It was pig head mortadella, a signature dish at the restaurant Charcut Roast House in downtown Calgary.
I usually avoid foods with the word “head” in them, but they are a magnet for my husband, and this one had arrived with a plate of other house-cured meats. This won me over.
Charcut does, of course, serve a straight up prime rib — this is still Cowtown — but there are no sides of iceberg lettuce or creamed spinach. Instead, I’ve ordered the crunchy duck-fat-fried brussels sprouts.
The growing sophistication that has given rise to restaurants such as Charcut is part of a broader cultural evolution taking place in Calgary.