Time for an interlude to the China/Hong Kong adventure for something closer to home.

First of all, I’d like to apologize to the BMW that I cut off while making a sharp right turn to get to Big Fish. For some reason I thought it was on the left, and realized at the last moment, it was not.

So Mr. BMW, I’m very, very sorry. Sincerely, the grimy, silver Volkswagen. (Which reminds me, I really should get my car washed.)

I was looking for a different brunch place from the regular diners that attract lineups, and Big Fish kept popping up on Chowhound and other boards.

Yes, yes, I’m aware Alberta is a land-locked province, but B.C. isn’t that far away and really, freezers have become quite a handy invention.

Big Fish, Calgary

While the menu is primarily focused on seafood, there are a few standard brunch items available like eggs with double-smoked bacon or chicken sausage and raisin brioche French toast.

It really is a lovely place. A big, oversized goldfish bowl is one of the first things that greets you. The dining room is slightly nautical, but more cozy in a funky grandmother’s living room kind of way.

Kicking Horse organic coffee is strong and good.

I ask the very nice server if I should have the eggs benedict with dungeness crab ($14) or the soft-shell crab sandwich. Her eyes widen when I mention the latter, so it’s obvious that’s what I should go with.

Gwendolyn’s pan-fried trout, rosemary hash, and soft poached eggs ($13) comes in a skillet with a pat of melting lemon butter, and thick toast on the side with to-die-for homemade berry jam.

Everything is delicious.

Big Fish, Calgary

My soft-shell crab sandwich ($15) is huge and really does have a perfectly deep-fried, intact soft-shell crab sitting between the bread with wild boar bacon and organic tomatoes.

(Soft-shell crabs are in the stage after they’ve molted their hard shell, and have only a soft covering, so that’s why you can eat them whole at this point.)

I think this is by far my favourite sandwich in Calgary because

  1. There’s no way I’d make this at home and
  2. It’s soooooo goooooood.

I thought the sandwich was so big that I’d bring half home for Jason. Unfortunately for him, I ended up polishing off the whole thing.

I can’t wait to return to try their Monday night 2-for-1 oysters by the dozen, or their dinnertime “pair your own” surf and turf.

Big Fish, 1112 Edmonton Trail N.E., Calgary, (403) 277-3403. Weekend brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

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