July 27th, 2017

Recap: Eats on 118, Bowling Edition

I had such a grand time at the first Eats on 118 in April of this year that I knew I had to sign up for their second event in late June. Su was the perfect dining companion as we ate (and bowled!) our way down the street together.

Organized by Wild Heart Collective, the tours are designed to showcase businesses that may otherwise be overlooked because of the overall reputation of the area. Although I had been to some of the restaurants prior, it’s always interesting to learn more about the people behind the businesses.

We started our evening at Lan’s Asian Grill. Named for their mother, Lan’s is operated by three siblings: Tom manages front of house, Monica ably leads the kitchen, and Vince handles all marketing and photography. They’ve been in business since 2008, and though their parents taught them to be great hosts, they didn’t want them to be restaurant owners. But with several generations of chefs and food entrepreneurs in their family, it was in their blood, and it’s clear that this family is passionate about what they do. Tom shared that they just signed another five year lease, and they’re happy with how the neighbourhood has continued to grow since they moved nearly a decade ago.

Eats on 118

Vince, Monica, and Tom of Lan’s Asian Grill

We sampled several small plates at Lan’s. Everything is made from scratch (so they can manage the dietary restrictions of most diners), and pride themselves in using free range chicken and organic vegetables.

The carrot and green papaya salad was my favourite course – vibrant, crunchy, and refreshing (I had to laugh when Tom said the heat level was “baby spice”, considering it was on the hot side for me).

Eats on 118

Green papaya and carrot salad

We also tried their chicken satay skewers and a lovely dessert of passion fruit and guava panna cotta.

Eats on 118

Passion fruit and guava panna cotta

Our second stop was just around the corner – The Duck (which some may remember as The Blind Duck) is now led by Alex.

Eats on 118

Kirsta Franke of the Wild Heart Collective introduces us to The Duck

He served us a buffet-style Mediterranean spread, including baba ganoush, hummus, and fatayar (meat and spinach pies). Though most items we tried don’t appear on their regular menu, they are often featured as daily specials, and are available through their catering service. Of the samples we tried, the fava bean dip was at the top of my list, creamy and well seasoned.

Eats on 118

Bites from The Duck

I was most excited for our third and final stop. Plaza Bowling Co. has been in the Stride family for three generations since it opened in 1959. The facility has been meticulously maintained for the nearly 60 years they’ve operated, as it changed hands from grandfather, to father, and now to son.

Although Trevor Stride never thought he’d continue the family business, when his dad told him he’d be putting it up for sale, it just didn’t feel right. So on January 1, 2017 he returned to Edmonton from Vancouver in the hopes of creating a place for people to socialize. He brought in TVs and craft beer, focusing on brews from Alberta and BC on six rotating taps. In the fall, they’ll also be serving up some food prepared by Drift.

Eats on 118

Su has great form!

They have sixteen five-in lanes, and the only remaining wooden lanes in the city. The space feels worn in, laid back, and comfortable, and we had such a great time bowling one game that we stayed for a second.

Eats on 118

Five pin bowling!

Because Plaza Bowl doesn’t have a full kitchen, they allow groups to order food in. In this case, Eats on 118 wanted to showcase another business off the Avenue – Otto.

Whereas Plaza’s refrain is “craft beer and bowling”, Otto operates on “craft beer and sausages”. It’s a gem of a restaurant in Norwood, relaxed and family friendly. They served up two different kinds of Fuge sausages and coleslaw for us to try – the Otto dog (a bratwurst stuffed with Sylvan Star smoked gouda) was new to me, and will definitely be on order on my next visit to Otto.

Eats on 118

Otto dog and coleslaw

Kudos to Wild Heart Collective for putting together such a fun evening! If you missed it, you have one last chance this year to (re)discover Alberta Avenue – the last Eats on 118 takes place on August 30, and tickets are just $42.

July 24th, 2017

Food Notes for July 24, 2017

We’re in the thick of festival season in Edmonton! Hope you’re out making the most of one of the reasons why the city is the place to be in the summer. On to this week’s food notes:

  • Lacombe is considered a darling of Alberta’s food scene right now – if you’ve been meaning to visit, their upcoming Locavore Lacombe festival on July 30, 2017 may be a good time as any! Sample food and meet producers in this second annual event.
  • Mark your calendars for this year’s Sturgeon County Bounty, taking place on August 11, 2017, from 4-9pm. Expect kids cooking workshops, farmers’ market vendors, and of course, food!
  • The folks behind Mayday Dogs are opening up a new space this fall in the Brewery District, called Frontier Handhelds.
  • Many are sorry to see Piccolino Bistro go, but at least the space won’t sit vacant – Century Hospitality will be opening a new restaurant in the space this fall.
  • Duchess Provisions is back in their original location next to the bake shop at 10718 124 Street.
  • If you’re heading to K-Days and want to know what new items are worth sampling, check out Cindy’s post.
  • If you’re looking for a special occasion, consider the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald’s new high tea, served in the Queen Elizabeth II suite. Lillian shares what you can expect.
  • You may have seen photos of Korean shaved ice on your social media feeds lately – Vue Weekly has more about what makes it special, from Edmonton’s first Bingsu cafe, Snowy Dessert.
  • Crystal wasn’t impressed with her most recent visit to The Needle.
  • Cindy has some recommendations on what to order at Nudoru.
  • Graham had a positive experience with the food but not the service at District.
  • Andrea checked out some of the new dishes to be found on the menu at Lux.
  • If you’re looking for new brunch ideas in Edmonton look no further than Leigh’s post.
  • Liane highlights the collaborative relationship between Chef Ben Staley and Vesta Gardens farmer Deb Krause.
  • Ever wonder who are the people behind Prairie Noodle? Twyla breaks down the team and their talents.
  • Avenue’s Burger Challenge is currently in its second round – vote for your favourite.
  • It’s amazing to learn just how big local gluten-free bakery Kinnikinnick has grown since its inception.
  • Congratulations to Food4Good, who won $1700 from the Fresh Meaet event a few weeks ago. Read about some of the other food-related projects that pitched their ideas here.
  • Local author Jennifer Cockrall-King’s book Food Artisans of the Okanagan, made the Taste Canada Awards shortlist.
  • Did you know that an online map exists that showcases where all of Edmonton’s edible fruit trees are located? Now you do.
  • I met up with a friend at Bundok last week and will definitely be back. The highlight of the evening was the citrus posset, a refreshing dessert that tasted like a cross between a panna cotta and a citrus custard.

Bundok

Citrus posset from Bundok

  • Su and I had brunch on the patio at Get Cooking on Saturday. It felt like a well-kept secret since there were so few tables, but Chef Doreen Prei didn’t mind. It was also their last brunch as the studio is closing until mid-August (they just released their fall class schedule). I enjoyed the fried eggs and pisto, and could have eaten many more cheddar chive scones (Doreen’s secret is loads of butter and aged cheddar).

Get Cooking

Fried eggs over pisto and cheddar chive scone from Get Cooking

  • Mack and I headed to Vaticano Cucina on Saturday to help Linda celebrate her birthday. Reviews from the group were mixed. Mack thought his pasta was nothing special, and though we were told they were the only restaurant in Canada to offer deep-fried pizza (Montanara style), it was only slightly noticeable in the crust. Though I wasn’t impressed enough to immediately return, I’d consider coming back if I was passing through the area.

Vaticano Cucina

St. Patrick pizza from Vaticano Cucina

  • When we have a pho craving on a Sunday (when Tau Bay is closed), Mack and I always head to Pho Hoan Pasteur.

Pho Hoan Pasteur

Our usual at Pasteur

July 20th, 2017

Recap: Tour of Sunworks Farm

Over the years, Mack and I have been fortunate to visit many of the farms from which we source our food, including Riverbend Gardens, Bles Wold, and Irvings Farm Fresh. In June, we were able to add another to that list – Sunworks Farm.

Although our primary chicken and egg supplier is Sunshine Organic, because they’ve become a part-time vendor in the winter incarnation of the City Market, we often find ourselves at the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market between October and May. Sunworks Farm has been a staple at that market since for more than 15 years; owners Ron and Sheila Hamilton are a fixture for regulars – Ron tempting passing shoppers with sausage samples and Sheila tending to customers behind the busy counter. Since 2012, their meat and egg products have also been available seven days a week at Blush Lane down the street (in addition to 3 other Edmonton markets and 1 Calgary market). So just how have they managed to grow their business? A few weeks ago, we were invited to learn more about Sunworks from Ron, Sheila, and Issac Fregoso and tour the farm along with a group of other food bloggers.

Sunworks Farm Tour

Sheila, Issac and Ron

Located about an hour southwest of Edmonton, Sunworks occupies about 400 acres, raising chickens, turkeys, pigs, and beef year-round. When they started back in 1992, Ron shared that he and Sheila raised animals primarily to feed their own family; they had learned about unconventional farming practices and the possibilities of holistic management. This snowballed as friends also wanted their products, and eventually, this led to vending at a farmers’ market in 1998. And while they have grown in that time – from 80 chicks to 130,000 chickens this year – their values have never waivered. Sunworks Farm has been certified organic since 1997, and certified humane since 2005.

I was actually most interested in seeing their chicken coops. Back in May, I had the chance to visit a conventional egg farm – just how different would Sunworks be?

Sunworks receives their chicks about 3 hours after hatching. In the summer, they’re raised in a barn until they have enough feathers to handle colder nights outside (of course, birds are raised wholly indoors in the winter).

Sunworks Farm Tour

Indoor chicks

When they’re ready, laying hens and meat birds are relocated into moveable shelters, shifted daily so the chickens can access fresh grass. Nesting boxes line the walls of the shelter, and fresh water is always available. Even with 350 chickens per shelter, the space is roughly double what conventional birds have access to.

Sunworks Farm Tour

Moveable shelters

Sunworks has quota for 5,000 laying hens, and harvest about 300 dozen eggs a day. Their hens start laying after about 20 weeks, and are able to produce for one year before being processed as soup hens.

Sunworks Farm Tour

Laying hens

Through experience, they’ve found that the plywood walls are cooler than plastic siding, and a roof is necessary on the back end of the shelter to keep out predators like coyotes and owls. When I asked why the shelters were built so high (unlike other mobile shelters that are lower to the ground), Sheila remarked that besides helping with heat management, they’re also more human friendly – all of their eggs are hand picked.

Sunworks Farm Tour

Meat birds

We did notice a couple of chickens who had “flown the coop”, and were just outside of the shelters. These birds had been pecked and will fully recover after a few weeks apart.

Sunworks Farm Tour

Looking in

While we couldn’t visit their pigs as they are raised on a separate piece of land, we were able to see the cattle from a distance (they retreated, of course, as our group advanced). Ron said they source their cattle from four different family producers; the breed is less important to them than being able to support other farm families. At present, they have about 65 cattle. They are grass fed their whole lives, supplemented with alfalfa pellets in the winter. Ron believes this produces a leaner product – I can attest to that; we’re big fans of their beef.

Sunworks Farm Tour

Ron with his cattle in the distance

Like the chickens, the cattle are moved daily so they have access to fresh grass. The other benefit of relocating them frequently is to ensure their manure is spread around as well – Ron remarked that it can take between 50-100 years to create a layer of top soil. Though the land wasn’t in great shape when they moved here 25 years ago, he indicated that much has changed even in that time. It’s important to them that the land is returned in better condition for the next generation.

Sunworks Farm Tour

Cattle

In 2015, Sunworks was able to open their own meat processing facility on site. They can process up to 3,500 birds a day at 1,000 birds an hour. Ron and Sheila are hands on every step of the way – Ron hangs each bird, while Sheila does the “dispatching” – she stuns each bird to ensure they don’t go into the scalding tank live.

Sunworks Farm Tour

Processing facility

They are supported by a team of people who help with the cutting, packaging, and processing of the value-added products. They don’t use liquid smoke or heavy cures for their sausages and deli meats, and Ron shared that his current favourite product is their turkey ham.

Sunworks Farm Tour

Sunworks products

To end our visit, we were treated to a five-course dinner featuring various Sunworks meats, prepared by Chef Kevin Zellweger of the Quarter Section Food Company. They run a catering operation and is in the process of opening a bakery in Leduc.

We nibbled on a delicious assortment of Sunworks charcuterie, Sylvan Star cheese and freshly baked bread before moving on to a salad spiked with some of the tastiest crumbled bacon I’ve had in some time (from Sunworks, of course).

Sunworks Farm Tour

Charcuterie and cheese

Chef Zellweger also prepared chicken leg confit atop asparagus and mushroom risotto, but the resounding favourite was the beef wellington – medium rare and gluten-free to boot.

Sunworks Farm Tour

Beef wellington

We had also spied the triple chocolate mousse when in the cooler earlier on in the tour, but it was even more appealing plated, served with flecks of edible silver.

Sunworks Farm Tour

Triple chocolate mousse

If Ron and Sheila’s generosity wasn’t enough already, it extended into a parting gift containing several packs of sausage to take home (including Mack’s favourite – chicken garlic and rosemary sausages).

Thanks again to Ron, Sheila, and Issac for hosting us, and to Jacquie for organizing this opportunity! Sunworks will likely open their doors for a family-friendly public tour in September, so keep your eyes on their Facebook page for details.

July 17th, 2017

Food Notes for July 17, 2017

After a week of searing heat, the cool weather today felt cold! Nice to have a bit of a break, but I hope the clear skies return soon! On to this week’s food notes:

Drift

Poutine from Drift

  • After checking out the first Experience Jasper Avenue event on Saturday, Mack and I took advantage of a perfect patio day and enjoyed some of the happy hour specials at Cactus Club Cafe. $3 slides/fries/tacos and $4 drinks – what’s not to love?

Cactus Club Cafe

Cheers!

  • It feels like we’re in the height of summer – we’re incorporating as much of it on our plates as possible, including at breakfast!

French toast

French toast made with Sunshine Organic eggs, bread from Handy Bakery, and blueberries from Steve & Dan’s

July 16th, 2017

Tapas Tuesdays at Art Gallery of Alberta’s ZINC Restaurant

In mid-May, the Art Gallery of Alberta announced an initiative called “all access evenings”, offering free admission to the gallery between 5-8pm every Tuesday and Wednesday night. This replaces their previous promotion of once monthly free admission evenings; museum officials hope this will encourage even more people to take advantage of the cultural institution.

In conjunction with this, the gallery’s in-house restaurant, ZINC, has developed a special “tapas Tuesday” menu to entice patrons to include a meal along with their visit. All of the items are priced under $20, and though most dishes can be found on their regular lunch or dinner menus, a half dozen dishes are exclusive to Tuesday evenings.

In early July, I met up with Mack after work on a Tuesday night for a bite to eat and a walk through the gallery. Signage signifying the dinner deals would be helpful to their cause, either outside the restaurant or at the gallery desk; the menu wasn’t visible until it was presented to us at the table.

ZINC

ZINC interior

We chose to share the weekly mac and cheese ($16) and the sweet spicy prawns ($12.50). Given the pulled pork burger was just $4, we opted to order two.

Linda wasn’t a huge fan of the mac, but we both enjoyed how creamy it was – it’s a quality many other local versions surprisingly lack. This incarnation featured lots of bacon, mushrooms, and kale, and left us satisfied.

ZINC

Mac and cheese

I ultimately ordered the prawns because my favourite dish at ZINC remains their prawns over risotto, and this didn’t disappoint. The prawns were well prepared (as always), and we liked the punchy flavours of the accompanying tomato ginger chutney.

ZINC

Sweet spicy prawns

We expected slider sized pulled pork sandwiches, but instead, were each presented with a full-sized burger. Mack loved the soft, pliable pretzel bun, and we both commented on the generous portion of pork. It’s notable that the locally-sourced Bear and the Flower Farm pork is not doused in sauce so it can stand on its own, though it was paired with cabbage for texture. Chef David Omar confirmed that they are taking a loss on this dish with the hopes that it will bring diners in.

ZINC

Pulled pork sandwich

During our stay, there were only four other tables occupied. While ZINC is a beautiful space, with its vaulted ceilings and grand windows overlooking City Hall, the atmosphere may be too formal for more casual diners seeking to share a few small plates. If ZINC is serious about attracting a different crowd, could they consider carving up the dining room to include a few communal tables or feature some less conventional seating? Or (recognizing that this is easier said than done), set up some makeshift seats in the foyer just outside of ZINC, and perhaps reduce the menu offered in this space to just a handful of items (potato skins, pulled pork, sausage, a feature cocktail and beer)? It’d help make ZINC much more approachable, which seems to be one of the motivations behind the idea of “tapas Tuesdays”.

At any rate, we did enjoy our night out – we walked off our meal with a spin through the gallery (in time for Canada 150, most of the current exhibits feature Canadiana, including my favourite of the bunch, Gretzky is Everywhere). Hopefully this promotion does encourage more Edmontonians to consider visiting the gallery – and to take a chance on the restaurant as well.

July 10th, 2017

Food Notes for July 10, 2017

The weather has been scorching this last week – hope you’ve been finding ways to keep cool. On to this week’s food notes:

  • Mark your calendar for Prairie Pigeon’s latest pop-up on July 14, 2017 at Icon Hair & Body in Commerce Place from 4-7pm.
  • Did you want to meet local Masterchef competitor Mai Nguyen? She’s hosting a 5-course dinner at Prairie Noodle on July 17, 2017. Tickets are $75.
  • Canada’s biggest mixology competition, Made with Love, will be in town on July 24, 2017. 14 local finalists will compete to represent Edmonton in the May 2018 national finals. Tickets to the event are $65, and include tastings, food pairings, and a welcome cocktail.
  • Wine pairing dinners are common, but not necessarily paired with vegetable-focused dishes. Canteen is hosting an “Eat Yer Veggies, Drink Yer Wine” event on July 25, 2017 to highlight what’s in season. Tickets are $125.
  • Food tours seem to be popping up everywhere – the latest to be announced are the Edmonton Brewery Tours, which take patrons through 5 local breweries. Transportation and lunch are provided. Tickets are $150.
  • Biera, the long-awaited brew pub in the Ritchie Market (9570 76 Avenue) is in its soft opening stage.
  • To beat the heat, consider visiting Snowy Dessert in Old Strathcona, at 10209 82 Avenue, with a soft opening starting July 10, 2017.
  • For the Korean cuisine-starved north side, Hansik might be a welcome addition, located at 13727 127 Street.
  • Liane has the details about Porc Sale, a new charcuterie shop open downstairs from The Almanac on Whyte Avenue.
  • Speaking of Liane, she also had a great feature on one of my favourite local bakeries, Boulangerie Bonjour.
  • Graham enjoyed his sampling of the revamped menu at Packrat Louie.
  • This might get a bit confusing, but there’s another food blogger in town named Sharon, and she recently reviewed Vaticano Cucina.
  • Jonny likes the simplicity of Otto’s menu and vibe.
  • Sharman recapped the recent Schwein & Stein dinner held at Workshop Eatery in June.
  • Did you know Edmonton has its very own honey sommelier? I love how Mel described each of the neighbourhood-based honey samples she received.
  • Just in time for summer, the province announced that they relaxed some of the more restrictive policies governing patios. Paula has examples of how local restaurants will be taking advantage of these changes to encourage more vibrant streets.
  • Transcend now offers courses in home espresso making and milk steaming and latte art.
  • Women Chefs & Restauranteurs are hosting a one-day educational conference in Calgary on September 16, 2017. Speakers include New York’s Chef Elizabeth Falkner and Vancouver’s Meeru Dhalwala, co-owner of Vij’s and Rangoli. Early bird tickets are $179.
  • McDonald’s is now available for delivery in Edmonton (and 4 other cities in Canada) via UberEats.
  • I’m not averse to hot soup on hot days, so Mack and I found ourselves at Kazoku Ramen over the weekend. We’ve really come to appreciate their consistency and the good service.

Kazoku Ramen

Tonkotsu and shoyu ramen from Kazoku

July 9th, 2017

Fit for the Neighbourhood: Pho Boy

After a few rounds at The Batting Cages for my birthday in late June (and realizing there were many muscles Mack and I haven’t put to use in some time), we needed some restorative sustenance. It seemed like the time was right to finally try Pho Boy nearby, the newest Vietnamese restaurant on Whyte Avenue.

Located east of the more well-worn Old Strathcona strip, Pho Boy has taken over the former B’s Diner space. We chose to sit on the enclosed patio at the front of the restaurant, set back from the busy street just enough to feel shielded from most of the traffic noise. A quick peek inside revealed an intimately lit space, laid back with a retro Street Fighter arcade game and a train set table to keep even the smallest diners entertained. While it wasn’t completely full on that Saturday night, business was steady.

Pho Boy

On the patio

The menu is small but interesting, with the appetizers standing out the most. As a whole, the restaurant seems to cater to a wide variety of dietary needs, as they have the option of building your own pho (including a rarely seen vegetarian soup base). We ordered a couple of appetizers to share.

Of note is Pho Boy serves freshly fried shrimp chips to start the meal! Mack isn’t a fan, so I happily indulged in our table’s serving.

Pho Boy

I love shrimp chips

The legend rolls ($6 half order) were incredibly addictive, crispy and full of flavour. They’re served with a side of fresh vegetables (which you could presumably use to wrap each roll) which we deemed unnecessary.

Pho Boy

Legend rolls

The banh xeo ($10) isn’t a dish easily found in Edmonton, so we gravitated towards it when we came upon it on the menu. The crepe was nicely browned, but a little on the crumbly side. We loved the filling of creamy mung beans, shrimp, and pork.

Pho Boy

Banh xeo

For our mains we both ended up with the same build your own pho combination – beef broth with steak, flank, and beef balls, with cilantro and green onions ($10 regular). While the broth was aromatic, I was hoping for a bit more depth. Of the meats, the meatballs and steak were fine, but the flank was noticeably fatty.

Pho Boy

Build your own pho

Service was great throughout, and we never felt neglected or rushed. Pho Boy definitely has the right vibe for the neighbourhood – a modern Vietnamese establishment targeting a younger demographic to gather, unwind, and graze.

While Pho Boy wouldn’t replace my Chinatown standards of Pho Tau Bay and King Noodle House, if I was in the area, or had a hankering for some of their appetizers, I wouldn’t hesitate to come back.

Pho Boy
10037B 82 Avenue
(587) 521-2444
Tuesday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm [summer hours Sunday 12-9pm]

July 3rd, 2017

Food Notes for July 3, 2017

It sure was a beautiful weekend to commemorate Canada’s sesquicentennial – hope you made the most of the gorgeous weather, too! On to this week’s food notes:

  • The third annual Feast on the Field (a fundraiser for Capital Care) at Commonwealth Stadium will be held on August 23, 2017. Tickets are $195.
  • Liane has more details about forthcoming Old Strathona restaurant Holy Roller – they’ll be offering Detroit and New Haven-style pizza, as well as a chocolate program.
  • Blind Enthusiasm will be opening any day now in July, but until then, learn more about what you can expect from the brewery and brew pub.
  • Montreal Hot Dogs downtown has announced an opening date of August 7, 2017. Consider picking up a Groupon if you’re thinking of trying it.
  • Bottega 104, the Crudo family’s second 104 Street venture, finally opened on the weekend.
  • New cafes are sprouting up everywhere in Edmonton – one of the latest is Hanjan, which celebrates Korean cafe culture. It is located at 3735 99 Street.
  • Ace Coffee Roasters also has brand new digs in Old Strathcona at 10055 80 Avenue. Leigh has some photos of the space.
  • Diane is on top of the new Korean fried chicken joints in Edmonton, posting about a new chain that has just landed in Edmonton – Pelicana, located at 106, 2920 Calgary Trail.
  • Nonna’s Bistro at 10061 Jasper Avenue just had their grand opening a few weeks ago.
  • Wishbone received a pair of positive reviews this week, from CBC and the Journal.
  • I hadn’t heard of a “Boodle Feast” before, but thanks to Linda, I learned that it is a hands-on dinner you can have at Mama Nita’s Binalot Filipino Cuisine.
  • Cindy has the low-down on which of ‘Ono Poke’s bowls are her favourite.
  • Jonny noticed a second Gong Cha location now open Edmonton just off Whyte Avenue at 10342 81 Avenue.
  • Liv enjoyed the flavours and experience at Baijiu.
  • Graham reviews Woodwork for the first time in three years, after Chef Lindsay Porter took over the kithen.
  • Avenue Edmonton just released their list of 25 Favourite Eats of 2017, as shared by 25 different Edmontonians. Also from Avenue, they’ll be opening the voting on their first ever Avenue Burger Challenge on July 4, 2017 – take a look at the list of the competitors in the first round.
  • I’m glad to hear that Smokehouse BBQ was able to recover their stolen food truck.
  • Phil shares photos from a farm dinner hosted by Chartier that took place a few weeks back.
  • Don’t want to wait for your food order? Some restaurants (including Remedy and Zenari’s) have joined ClickDishes, which allows you to order and pay in advance so pick-up is more seamless.
  • I just noticed that Robyn (who relocated to Ottawa from Edmonton last year), has started up a series of Food Notes for her new adopted city. Check it out if you’re looking to stay on top of Ottawa’s food scene!
  • Thanks to Montreal Hot Dogs, Mack and I won tickets to the Edmonton Prospects game on Friday. It was a closer game than it needed to be, but thankfully the Prospects came out on top! We were able to try a few things from the new Remax Field food provider, Prairie Catering, including their deep fried perogies (not as crispy as I would have liked, but still pretty satisfying). I couldn’t find their menu online, so here are their grandstand and lounge menus in case they’re helpful.

Prairie Catering

Deep fried perogies at Remax Field

  • What better way to celebrate Canada Day than with a limited edition poutizza from Love Pizza? We’re still holding out hope that they’ll bring back the mac and cheeza, too.

Love Pizza

Poutizza from Love Pizza

June 26th, 2017

Food Notes for June 26, 2017

  • MacEwan University is offering free noon hour tours of their urban beehives over the next month (June 30, July 14, and July 28).
  • Tickets for REDx on July 6, 2017, an international indigenous speaker series (which will also feature a showcase of indigenous foods) are now on sale.
  • There are so many Canada Day (or Canada Day week, as it were) festivities to choose from. Here’s another: the Shaw Conference Centre is holding its annual summer patio party on July 6 from 4-7pm with a Canada Day theme. Admission is free, but food tickets will be required to taste their regionally-inspired appetizers.
  • The next Fresh MEAET was postponed until July 11, 2017 – this iteration will focus on food and urban agriculture ideas. Tickets to the micro-funding event are $15.
  • Chef Brad Smoliak is returning to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village to host another long table dinner on July 15, 2017. Tickets are $130 for the dinner, cooking demonstration, and tour of the village.
  • YEG Anthology is organizing a hands-on event inspired by Edmonton Cooks involving a chef, mixologist and a florist. The evening takes place at Cafe Linnea on July 18, 2017. Tickets are $80.
  • Chefs Paul Shufelt and Andrew Fung are collaborating to put on a garden party fundraiser for the High School Culinary Challenge on August 24, 2017 at Workshop Eatery. Tickets are $100.
  • The second Culinary Lab is a special Canada 150 dinner that will bring together chefs from across Canada to serve dinner on the Manulife Place rooftop garden. Tickets for the multi-course dinner are $150 per person and must be purchased in pairs.
  • So great to see so many local restaurant companies flourishing – the latest to add to their rosters are the El Cortez/Have Mercy group, with Holy Roller Cafe & Restaurant opening this summer, and the Next Act/Meat duo who will expand into a third with Pip, a wine bar with food.
  • Cindy spotted a forthcoming Thai chicken eatery on Jasper and 109 Street called Chix Shack.
  • Good Stock Restaurant is a new vegan option on the south side at 11409 40 Avenue, offering a whole food plant-based menu.
  • Sumo Sumo’s second location is now open at 3975 Calgary Trail (the former Plates Buffet).
  • Just in time for summer, Get Cooking has opened up their patio from Tuesday to Saturday for bar snacks from 3-5pm and brunch on Saturday from 11am-3pm.
  • You may have heard that the AGA offers free admission on Tuesdays and Wednesdays evenings, but did you know Zinc has a special Tapas Tuesday menu, with dishes as low as $4? Linda has the details.
  • If you’re looking for another brunch option, Bodega’s Highlands branch has you covered – they’re now open for brunch on weekends at 11am.
  • Need a primer on poke, appearing everywhere on menus at quick-serve to casual upscale restaurants? Here’s one from Chef Lawrence Hui of ‘Ono Poke.
  • Vue Weekly was impressed with El Mariachi’s reincarnation as a Mexican restaurant.
  • Jonny checked out a new-ish Indian restaurant Get Curried 12413 118 Avenue.
  • Also from Jonny – a visit to South Silk Road, the newest Northern Chinese restaurant in Edmonton at 5552 Calgary Trail.
  • Graham is the latest to review Vaticano Cucina.
  • Chris has high praise for Tokiwa Ramen in his photolog.
  • If you’re hungry, do not click on Cindy’s photolog of brunch at Bundok. You’ve been warned.
  • The folks behind Secret Meat Club are expanding to a retail outlet called Meuwly’s, to open downstairs from Northern Chicken.
  • Congratulations to all of the 2017 Foodies of the Year on Western Living’s list, but especially to Edmonton’s own Kevin Cam (of North 53 and Baijiu), who cracked the top 10.
  • So great to learn about Hope Mission’s non-profit food truck hitting the streets.
  • Mack and I had the privilege of attending a tasting organized by Honest Dumplings last week. They were looking for feedback as they plan to expand their operations. Our favourites were their traditional and maple pork belly dumplings, but it’s great to see that they’re continuing to experiment with flavours.

Honest Dumplings

Honest Dumplings tasting!

  • There’s nothing quite like a hot, fresh calzone from Battista’s. The New York Mama was just as good as I remembered.

Battista's Calzones

New York Mama calzone from Battista’s

  • We made the most of a beautiful Friday evening with a birthday dinner out at Tres Carnales. I was missing their guacamole.

Tres Carnales

Guacamole from Tres Carnales

     

June 19th, 2017

Food Notes for June 19, 2017

I hope you’ve been able to take advantage of the weather (and the long days) as much as possible! On to this week’s food notes:

  • The first Prairie on the Plate Taste Alberta dinner of the year will be hosted at Bundok. Four courses for $60. Reservations are necessary.
  • The Grand Taste Tour is back with two events this summer – July 23 and August 19, 2017, with visits to local farms, breweries, distilleries and epic meals to look forward to. Tickets for the all-inclusive tours are $115.
  • Culinaire Magazine’s 2nd Annual Edmonton Treasure Hunt will take place on September 9, 2017. A pair of tickets cost $65, while individual tickets are on for $45. We participated last year, and hope they make some changes to improve the event.
  • The Shaw Conference Centre is hosting the FEASTival of Fine Chefs on September 20, 2017. Early bird tickets are available for $137 until July 1, 2017.
  • Knifewear is offering a 2-for-1 special on their Cut Like a Chef classes from June to August.
  • K-Days has released their new food menu for this year’s festival (which runs July 21-30, 2017). There’s really nothing too shocking or out of the box – examples include jalapeno lemonade, deep fried chicken feet, and mashed potato fingers.
  • Tickets for Taste of Edmonton (on July 20-29, 2017) are now on sale – $50 for sheets of 40 tickets, a savings of $10 until July 19. Menus are also up for your perusal.
  • Edmonton will soon be getting a location of Regrub, a Calgary-based burger joint, in Old Strathcona (thanks Su for the heads up!).
  • Congratulations to Arno’s French Pastry, one of the vendors at the City Market and Old Strathcona Market, which moved into a brick and mortar space located at 10038 116 Street.
  • Buono Pizza on the west end (8764 149 Street) is now open.
  • Urbano Pizza Co.’s second location at 10326 124 Street is now open.
  • Packrat Louie’s soft opening (following their renovations) took place on June 16, 2017.
  • Smokehouse BBQ is closing their 124 Street location this week, so they’ll be going out in style with a party on June 24, 2017. They hope to be re-open in their new location at 17820 107 Avenue by June 29.
  • Edmonton can add another cafe to its roster – Awake Cafe is open at 11029 9 Avenue.
  • Twyla was very impressed with Ono Poke.
  • Graham thinks Tang Bistro is a great addition to Edmonton’s food scene.
  • Crystal checked out vegan darling KB & Company, as well as Have Mercy.
  • The Journal visited 50s-style Rockin’ Robyn’s Diner.
  • I hadn’t heard of Branches, located in the Greenland Garden Centre, until this post on YEG Date Night.
  • Twyla put together a great round up of some of the bakeries that have opened up in Edmonton over the last six months.
  • It’s great when local businesses partner with one another: Confetti Sweets and Pinocchio Ice Cream teamed up to make cookie dough ice cream (one of my favourite flavours!).
  • Fort Saskatchewan’s Downtown Diner is now offering a special “diner after dark” food and retro cocktails menu from 8:30pm-1:30am.
  • Did you know St. Albert is finalizing its food forest, which will offer free organic food for the community?
  • We won’t know the ultimate results of Amazon’s deal to purchase Whole Foods for some time, but brace yourselves.
  • Mack and I tried Blaze Pizza in the Brewery District for the first time over the weekend. The crust was better than I anticipated (chewy and fairly thin, but able to support the toppings) and the service was good (they automatically offered to remake our pizza when realized it had burnt, and threw in dessert). I’d consider returning again in the future to try out a different pie.

Blaze Pizza

Green stripe from Blaze Pizza

  • We’d be planning our next visit to Cafe Amore for a while – and my usual truffle chicken did not disappoint.

Cafe Amore

Truffle chicken from Cafe Amore