My family had one meal left in Calgary before driving to Canmore and Canada’s Civic Holiday severely limited our choices. Earlier in the trip, I’d researched demographics and saw Chinese-Canadians accounted for 10% of the city’s population. Chinatown didn’t seem to have many compelling restaurants, but numbers indicated they had to be somewhere, so I expanded my search radius. I learned that north Calgary houses a pocket of Asian restaurants, which led me to Calan Beef Noodle. The small, 25-seat restaurant opened in 2017 in a strip mall. The name is an amalgamation of Calgary and Lanzhou, the owners’ home city. An exhibition kitchen for hand-pulled noodle making leaves no doubt about their focus.
Hand Pulled Noodle in Beef Soup ($10.99) arrived in a clear, savory beef broth with scallion shavings, thin-sliced daikon, tender beef cubes, and a slick of spicy chile oil. I ordered thin noodles with all the sides, including cool slices of simmered beef shank. They also craft thick, flat & narrow, and flat & wide noodles behind glass in dramatic fashion. I tried three dishes, all with different noodles and all hits, but beef noodle soup best girded us for the drive west.