One snowy winter day (or just “day” as you might call in Calgary) J, Migao and I went out with a few of J’s and Migao’s friends from work for some lunch and chat. We chose 4th Spot Kitchen & Bar and, despite cramped parking in the back, were quickly seated in what seemed to be a really cozy place. The atmosphere was warm, the people seemed friendly and I was excited to eat.
The place seems small from the outside and while the front of the restaurant (the kitchen part) is indeed pretty small, the decor does a good job of being homey and family-friendly. Walking up a half-flight of stairs takes you to a more trendy lookin’ bar, but we stayed in the kitchen. Service was also friendly, but pretty slow because there was only one girl on the floor the entire time. More on that later though.
J ordered a Spot On burger (10.99) and boy, did it ever look good. The burger was simple, being topped with onions, spicy mayo, tomato and lettuce, but it was stacked tall and proud with a pickle on top. J really enjoyed it, so I guess the burger was really “spot on,” haha (yep, I just laughed at my own joke). Or maybe the burger hit just the “spot.” I know, I know, don’t quit my day job. J ordered their daily kettle as well, which I believe was a beef tomato soup, but the burger came with fries as a mistake. Nevertheless the server quickly corrected her error so J ended up getting both soup and fries. The Kennebec fries were served in a cute basket, but despite their name there wasn’t anything particularly special about them.
Migao on the other hand ordered their breakfast special: a steak and eggs wrap served with hash browns on the side (10.99). While his steak and eggs wrap was fairly tasty, what got both of us (because I stole from his plate) were the hash browns. Oh man oh man. Those were good; they were piping hot, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and tasty on both sides. Daaang.
Since both guys were getting beef I figured that trying out a chicken dish would also work well for this review. I ordered the One Love tacos (12.99) which consisted of Jamaican jerk chicken, fresh mango salsa, sour cream and a side of Kennebec fries. Due to the wait everyone’s fries were rather cold and mine were no exception. The tacos on the other hand were tasty; while the chicken was a tad dry the mango salsa tasted refreshing and were a great compliment to the meat’s marinade. Eating the tacos were slightly messy but so very worth it. If the chicken were more moist I think it would have been perfect, but as it was I felt pretty satisfied with my dish.
The food overall was delicious; everyone seemed really satisfied with their dish. In terms of pricing I’d describe 4th Spot as similar (or even slightly cheaper than an Earls or equivalent) but with better quality; it’s not thrifty but if you’re going for Western-style fusion then this is a decent choice.
As mentioned already, probably the biggest complaint from everyone (we were seated in a party of 9) was about service speed. To be fair we were a large party, yes, but we did arrive for an early lunch; the place had one or two tables filled when we showed up. At the end of our meal the place was much busier and so we mostly took care of our own payments, passing the debit/credit machine around and organizing cash for the waitress’ convenience while she served other tables. Even after we had finished paying we couldn’t find the waitress for another fifteen minutes or so; I think she was in the kitchen. She was very friendly and polite, but I think the long delay (roughly another forty minutes spent waiting at the end of our meal in total) bothered some members of our party more than it did others.
4th Spot Kitchen & Bar
2620 4th Street NW
Calgary, AB T2M 3A3
Pros: Food overall was tasty, being well-seasoned and well-made in general. Decor was cozy and fitting and service was friendly.
Cons: Service was, however, also very slow. The wait before food meant that some entrees were served colder than they should have been; the wait after food was a bit of a bother.
If you’re in a hurry this place probably isn’t the best for you, but if you have time to spare and are interested in finding a new place to catch up with friends then you could definitely give 4th Spot K&B a try. Happy eating (=