Cactus Club had a lot to share with Calgary’s Yelp Elite, from a rich Canadian history, including their founders stint at the University of Calgary to the new flagship location on Stephen Avenue which boasts year-round patio access. Not a bad claim to fame in a city that experiences winter for a large part of the year!
Guests arrived with an air of curiosity; the event invite was intentionally left a little vague to keep attendees intrigued about what type of evening they were in for. First up was a glass of welcome bubbles while the Elite’s visited and checked out the space. Our two hosts from Cactus Club for the evening, Elim and Divya, introduced themselves to everyone and made everyone feel welcome.
Next, to test everyone’s will power, or maybe just to see who always peeks at their Christmas gifts, Elim handed out mysterious black bags and instructed everyone not to look inside. Once everyone arrived, guests were seated and finally allowed to look into our bags. Cactus Club spoiled the Yelp Elites with custom made chocolates – made in house – to represent the different desserts on their menu, a gift card with each Elite’s name on it for a future visit, a bandana to capture Calgary’s Western heritage, and a menu for the evening.
To follow, guests were instructed to open their menu to the first page where it read “Warning: This menu is unlike the other. You and you alone are in charge of the culinary journey you are about to embark on. This ‘Choose You Own Adventure’ menu allows you to make a series of decisions that will ultimately determine your dinner tonight.”
First up was cocktails, Elite’s had the choice of a sophisticated slush or refreshing and on the rock. Flipping through a few more pages, guests discovered they were getting either frosé or a summer smash; a delectable take on a gin and tonic. Of course the choices didn’t end there, next guests had to pair their drinks with an appetizer of their choice. Each drink selection led you to a choice between two appetizers that would pair well with the drink.
At this point everyone was well into the swing of the evening, some people decided to play by the rules and teased those who skipped ahead. While others established themselves as true rebels and skimmed their way through the evening’s adventure leaving no page left unturned.
After cocktails and appetizers it was time for the main choice, entrees! Elites were asked if they were all about bar food and snacks, meat and potatoes, or feeling light and healthy. As a tribute to our Alberta roots the overwhelming choice was meat and potatoes, which ended up being a double-braised pineapple hoisin short rib.
Finally…dessert, and decision fatigue was setting in. Luckily Cactus Club anticipated this and let everyone know that “it’s a crime to have to choose between desserts, so let us treat you to a little taste of both.” The evening finished off on a sweet note with key lime pie, made in house with 26 fresh squeezed limes, and a caramel chocolate mousse.
The evening was a hit! The Yelp Elite Squad members went home full and happy from an evening of great food and good company, and really, what more can one ask for? Lorraine B. said “Cactus Club went over and above to show us the quality of their hospitality and style with attention to every little detail! From the moment I arrived to the champagne, gift bags and swag to the personalized menus and a taste of all the flavours on their dessert menu in a small chocolate dessert sample. Wowzers!”
Check out the excellent reviews and photos here. For more information about the Yelp Calgary Elite Squad, visit yelp.com/elite/Calgary.
A shout out to our event sponsors!
Cactus Club Cafe for the venue, food and our lovely hosts for the evening
Event Photography for the great event photos and capturing the night