5 Alberta food favourites from Gordie Johnson

CBC Calgary food columnist Julie Van Rosendaal chatted with musician Gordie Johnson to hear his five favourite Alberta foods.

Musician known for work with Big Sugar, Grady and Wide Mouth Mason

Gordie Johnson, pictured above with the owner of Lina's Italian Market, shared some of his favourite foods in Alberta with CBC's food and nutrition columnist. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Gordie Johnson is perhaps best known from his reggae rock band Big Sugar, as well as for his time playing with Austin-based southern rock band Grady and Wide Mouth Mason.

This Winnipeg native grew up in Medicine Hat and now divides his time between his rural Alberta farm and Austin, Texas.

All that time on the road means he likes finding good food in unlikely places — and he shared some of his favourite spots in Calgary and on the road in Alberta.

Sandy's Restaurant & Bar

If you're looking for great Chinese good right off the side of the road, you need not look farther than Sandy's. Despite having been to Chinatown restaurants in Toronto, Vancouver and elsewhere, Johnson says he still loves Sandy's in Innisfail.

Sandy's Restaurant & Bar, 403-227-3355

#118-4805 50th St., Innisfail

Thai Orchid Room

Located in Medicine Hat, this little restaurant has fantastic, authentic Thai food. It was originally based in Bow Island but moved to its current location in 2006. The extensive menu is based on traditional family recipes from northern Thailand and all the chefs are Thai as well.

Thai Orchid Room, 403-580-8210

36 Strachan Crt. S.E., Medicine Hat

Abyssinian Ethiopian Restaurant

This vegan-friendly restaurant in Lethbridge serves up a great blend of African cuisine with influences from Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Abyssinian Ethiopian Restaurant, 403-327-3315

313 Fifth St. South, Lethbridge

Lina's Italian Market

Johnson loves Lina's (he's pictured above with Lina herself). Whenever he is in town, for a week or a month, he goes and stocks up in the grocery store and deli. Of course, a stop at the lunch bar and cappuccino counter to refuel is always in order.

Lina's Italian Market & Cappuccino Bar, 403-277-9166

2202 Centre Street N.E., Calgary


Pizza at Pulcinella is a favourite stop when Johnson's in the city. They serve up authentic Napoletana pizza, with a little pasta on the side as well. Pulcinella's owner Domenic Tudda is also one of a handful of people in North America — and the only one in Calgary — certified by the exclusive Associazione Pizzaioli Napoletani, otherwise known as the Italian "pizza police" who certify pizzerias as being authentically Neapolitan.

Pulcinella, 403-283-1166

1147 Kensington Cres. N.W., Calgary