Ugh, it’s gonna be such a cold weekend! With the chill in the air and the fresh snow blanketing the ground, I just want to stay warm and tuck into some major comfort food. This week I went to the new Original Joe’s on Macleod Trail to try out their new Winter Warm-Up Menu.

Miso Ramen

This ramen will warm you up on a winter’s night.

I met my friend (and kick ass stylist) Kim Flanagan for drinks and dinner and we split pretty much everything on the menu. (The Winter Warm Up Menu, not the entire OJ’s menu, cuz we’re not total pigs.) We started off with the Miso Ramen, which had a deep, savoury broth and flavourful slivers of pork in it. It reminded me of the fancy ramens I used to slurp in Japan and I’m thrilled that trend is finally picking up here.

women's salad

Kale and quinoa make for a healthy salad that actually tastes good.

Then it was onto the Kale and Quinoa Salad. Do they know what their ladies like or what? It’s topped with fried goat’s cheese, which was delightful, but if you’re cleansing you can ask them to leave that part off.

wild Boar Burger

I would love to eat this after skiing.

Next up was the French Onion Boar Burger.Thick and juicy, the burger didn’t taste at all gamey and it was appropriately smothered with melted cheese and caramelized onions.

tomato soup with melted cheese

Love it when childhood classics get elevated.

But my favourite, was the Bacon and Tomato Soup. How I wish my mom made tomato soup like this when I was a kid! Topped with a humungous cheesy crouton, it’s like a sophisticated grilled cheese sandwich/tomato soup combo, but better cuz of the smoky bacon.

The best part? For every Miso Ramen OJ’s sells, they’ll provide a warm meal for a Calgarian in need through their new Mealshare program. It’s awesome because it turns your “dining out” into “helping out,” making it easy for those of us burned out by writing charity cheques at this time of year. Not that I hate giving to charity, it’s just that I like it when it’s easy for me and I especially like when local businesses step up to serve their community. And OJ’s gets a gold star from me for this commitment to Calgary.

Want to try it out for yourself? Let me know in the comment section below where you like to go for comforting, pub food. If I draw your name, you’ll receive a $50 gift card to sample Original Joe’s Winter Warm Up menu yourself! Comment before midnight on Wednesday, December 3 for a chance to win.

Thanks OJ’s!