September 17th, 2018

Food Notes for September 17, 2018

  • The McCauley Fall Fiesta will be taking place on September 22, 2018 in Giovanni Caboto Park, with a fall harvest market and a grape stomping competition, among other highlights.
  • The Moonlight Carnival, organized by the Chinatown Business Improvement Area returns on September 22, 2018. Activities include a mooncake making workshop.
  • NAIT is hosting the Indigenous Culinary Experience with Chef Shane Chartrand on September 29, 2018. Tickets for the five-course menu are $84 plus fees.
  • The first Edmonton Opera brunch of the season takes place at the Royal Glenora Club on September 30, 2018 with the cast of La Traviata. Tickets are $85 for adults.
  • Salz will play host to Oktoberfest Swine & Dine on October 2, 2018. Tickets for the three-course meal are $40.
  • The Rocky Mountain Wine and Food festival returns to the Shaw Conference Centre October 19-20, 2018.
  • Also from NAIT, Ernest’s is serving High Tea on October 27, 2018. Tickets are $43 plus fees.
  • Calgary-based Mountain Rhino Donuts, which serves gluten-free and vegan donuts, will pop-up again at Ben’s Meat and Deli on Saturday, September 22, 2018.
  • Kanu, the plant-based restaurant poised to make a splash, opens on September 24, 2018.
  • Speaking of plant-based, NAIT recently opened an all vegan eatery on campus called Square Root.
  • Vivo will be opening a location in Sherwood Park at #340, 550 Baseline Road.
  • It seems to be a bit of a trend that food truck operators are connecting with local concession stands for the winter months. Great to see that Preserve Food Truck is the latest to do so, moving into the Jasper Place Curling Club.
  • Chain Pretzelmaker is the latest pretzel brand to launch in Edmonton, with a joint Mrs. Fields Bakehouse kiosk at West Edmonton Mall.
  • Chutney’s, an Edmonton-based quick-serve Indian food restaurant is opening a location in Vancouver.
  • Did you know the story behind Bubble Cream? It was started by a current University of Alberta engineering student and two recent graduates.
  • Toronto-based Gryfe’s Bagels, served at the Rooster Cafe, are now also available at Cookie Love.
  • Graham praises DOSC’s “craft steakhouse” menu.
  • Crystal wrote a pair of reviews of Awake Coffee House and St. Albert’s Riverbank Bistro.
  • Vue Weekly posted a glowing review of Uccellino.
  • Twyla took a culinary tour through Mill Woods, with stops at Irie Foods, Yummy Chicken, and Prime Time Donair.
  • Explore Edmonton lists their picks for the best independent family-friendly eateries in the city.
  • Three Edmonton-area bakers will be featured on the second season of the Great Canadian Baking Show.
  • Your support of local farms can continue into the winter, as the Old Strathcona and City Market continue indoors, but Riverbend Gardens offers an alternative with their winter community supported agriculture shares.
  • Kudos to the hearty volunteers with the Downtown Edmonton Community League that braved the conditions for Corn Fest on Saturday. The weather definitely made the hot corn all that more satisfying.

Corn Fest 2018

Enjoying corn at Alex Decoteau Park

September 12th, 2018

Recap: Urban Beekeeping Tour at MacEwan University

Did you know that Downtown Edmonton is abuzz with urban beekeeping? While I was aware of the hives at the Shaw Conference Centre and Hotel Macdonald, I didn’t know that MacEwan University started a similar program in 2016. At the end of August, I attended a free tour of their hives to learn more.

Kerstyn Lane of MacEwan’s Office of Sustainability led the tour. We started outside, and learned about solitary pollinators, a vital but less often discussed group of pollinators. While most people are familiar with social bees that live in colonies, of the 300 species of bees that reside in Alberta, most are actually solitary bees. To help these bees, many organizations in Edmonton, including MacEwan University, are erecting bee hotels, which provide tunnels for the insects to lay their eggs in. The Edmonton & Area Land Trust has been promoting this as a way to help urban pollinators thrive, and has tips on how to build your own bee hotel, and a map of more than two dozen existing hotels in the city.

MacEwan Urban Beekeeping Tour

MacEwan’s bee hotel

From there, the group moved onto the third floor of MacEwan’s Building 5. From the windows of a classroom, we were able to observe the resident beekeeper Troy Donovan and his assistant Liam as they tended to the rooftop hives. It was certainly a sight to see, with the hives in the shadow of Rogers Place and the new Ice District skyscrapers.

MacEwan Urban Beekeeping Tour

MacEwan’s rooftop hives

The first of MacEwan’s four hives were installed in May 2016, and they have since grown to six hives. Troy (whose full time gig is actually in the University’s eLearning office) is able to monitor the temperature and the humidity of the hives through a bluetooth sensor. This is helpful particularly at this time of year as they are readying the hives for winter.

MacEwan Urban Beekeeping Tour

Resident beekeeper Troy Donovan

He also showed us the plastic flow frames they use, which allow them to collect honey directly from individual frames as opposed to the more traditional method involving a centrifuge. They’re able to fill a 2L jar in just 20 minutes!

MacEwan continues to harvest more and more honey each year – from 80 pounds that first year to 300 pounds in 2017. This year, they’re expecting to bring in 600 pounds. The honey is currently used by Food Services, and we were invited to purchase honey at the end of the tour. MacEwan Honey isn’t yet consistently available at the on-campus store, but will be at some point in the future. The next opportunity to pick up this local treat will be at the upcoming Harvest Fair on November 6, 2018.

MacEwan Urban Beekeeping Tour

MacEwan Honey

Because of the cooler temperatures, Kerstyn wasn’t certain that any more free beekeeping tours would be scheduled for this year. However, for those keen to check out all three Downtown hives before the snow flies, MacEwan is organizing an urban beekeeping tour by bike on September 26, 2018 (tickets are $20 for the general public).

Thanks again to MacEwan for offering this opportunity!

September 10th, 2018

Food Notes for September 10, 2018

It certainly feels like fall outside! And while it is my favourite season, it did seem to come much too soon. On to this week’s food notes:

  • The ninth annual Bacon Day Collaboration, hosted at Workshop Eatery, takes place September 15, 2018. 100% of the ticket sales will be donated to Youth Empowerment and Social Services. Tickets are $95, and include bacon-inspired food, two drinks, and a vote in their “tag team steel caged dessert battle royale”.
  • The next affordable Fruit & Veggie sale hosted by Food 4 Good will be taking place on September 25, 2018.
  • The Harvest Room at the Hotel Macdonald will be hosting a special Honey Harvest Dinner on September 27, 2018, featuring honey collected from their own hives. Tickets start at $55.
  • Save the date for Olde Towne Beverly’s first ever Dining Week, planned for October 5-13, 2018. Seven area restaurants are participating.
  • The Gold Medal Plates has been rebranded to Canada’s Great Kitchen Party. They will stop in Edmonton on October 17, 2018 at the Shaw Conference Centre. Tickets are $350, and as in the past, go towards supporting Canada’s elite amateur athletes.
  • This year’s LitFest Food Matters will be hosted by Liane Faulder and feature the authors behind Food Artisans of Alberta and Women Who Dig. The event will take place October 20, 2018. Tickets are $45, and include food and wine samples.
  • Partake, the new wine bar from the folks behind Manor Bistro, is set to open soon at 12431 102 Avenue (formerly La Favourite).
  • Al Centro, a Roman-style pizzeria yet to open at 99 Street & Jasper Avenue, is hosting a Da Capo pop-up in the meantime.
  • Whistler-based Green Moustache is the latest plant-based restaurant to land in Edmonton. They are now open at 11416 Jasper Avenue.
  • There’s a new coffee roaster in town called The Grizzlar Coffee and Records (10557 109 Street).
  • Louisiana Purchase has opened a second location on the north side, at 13503 St. Albert Trail.
  • Rostizado has introduced a new lunch menu to entice diners, which now includes a Latin-style hamburger.
  • Sorrentino’s annual Mushroom Harvest runs the month of September, with mushroom features on the menu at all locations. Graham has a preview of dishes to expect.
  • Bloom hopes their storefront bakery will be open by mid-October.
  • Tech Life shares the story behind Destination Doughnuts, and what sets their treats apart.
  • Crystal checked out Blowers & Grafton.
  • The Journal reviewed London Local.
  • Linda has become a regular at 124 Street’s Nuovo Bistro.
  • Lillian wanted to highlight a neighbourhood gem in Crestwood’s Cafe Blackbird.
  • Sharman recapped the recent Taste Alberta Prairie on the Plate dinner at Hotel Macdonald.
  • Down south, the Calgary Farmers’ Market announced a second 50,000 square feet location to open in the northwest community of Greenwich in 2020.
  • Mack and I took advantage of what seemed like the last patio-appropriate day this weekend and dined at Viphalay. I do enjoy their pad Thai!


Pad Thai from Viphalay

  • There’s something about mobile coffee carts that I love, and you won’t come across one cuter than How U Bean. We paid a visit to them this afternoon, while they were parked near the Alberta Legislature. They use beans from local company Roasti, and I appreciated that they offer decaf London fogs. Check them out while the weather is still somewhat cooperative!

How U Bean

How U Bean

September 3rd, 2018

Food Notes for September 3, 2018

  • The 4th annual “In the Spirit” of Festival Place takes place September 13, 2018. Expect drinks tastings, appetizers, and entertainment. Tickets are $65.
  • The Alberta Food Processors Association is hosting its annual FEASTival of Fine Chefs on September 19, 2018. The event is centered around a black box of ingredients that chefs have 24 hours to transform into a dish. Attendees are treated to a total of 4 of these dishes. Tickets are $150.
  • This is such a great story, shared by Julie Rohr – one of the Syrian refugees her church sponsored has opened a shop just a year and a half after arriving in Canada. It’s called Alqitta Nuts at 12130 161 Avenue, and offers freshly-roasted nuts and coffee (done without any oils), just like he had done back home.
  • A Scandinavian pub called Three Vikings will be moving into the space recently vacated by Daravara on 124 Street.
  • Filistix announced that they are closing their kiosks at MacEwan University.
  • Northern Chicken is now serving brunch! The menu looks great.
  • Edmonton Made covers the rise of ice cream businesses in the city over the last few years.
  • Great to see The Colombian showcased in this month’s issue of Avenue.
  • Avenue has the details on a number of new breweries opening soon in Edmonton, including Omen Brewing, Ale Architect, and Polar Park Brewing.
  • Graham was impressed by the food at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
  • Siu To, the creator of green onion cakes in Edmonton, will be teaching classes of how to make the addictive cakes through Get Cooking. Linda is giving away two tickets to an upcoming class on September 21, 2018.
  • Avenue highlights the work of culinary documentarian Kevin Kossowan, and features some chefs that are as comfortable in a garden as they are in the kitchen.
  • Have you heard about the #tipthebillchallenge, where diners tip 100% of the bill?
  • Should cities put limits on where drive-thru restaurants can be located? New research suggests there could be benefits to doing so.
  • The New York Times checks out some innovative grocery stores, including Nada, a Vancouver-based shop that offers packaged-free bulk food.
  • I met up with some friends at Bodega Highlands for brunch over the weekend. It was nice to have the full brunch menu to order from (unlike at the 124 Street location). The tortilla espanola was very generously sized, with two pieces of chicken served atop a Spanish potato omelette.

Bodega Highlands

The tortilla espanola from Bodega Highlands

  • We ended our visit to the neighbourhood with some end of summer soft serve from Be-a-Bella.


Sprinkle cone from Be-a-Bella

September 2nd, 2018

Recap: Canmore Travels

Felicia and Jeff’s wedding in the mountains a couple of weeks ago was the perfect excuse for Mack and I to spend a few additional days in Canmore. While we stopped in the town two years ago en route to Lake Louise, it was winter, so we were keen to explore some of what it had to offer in the peak of summer.

Travelling with a baby can be tricky, but as we’re learning, giving yourself a lot of time, and going with the flow are the lessons we’ve taken to heart so far. It has meant not doing as much as we were used to on vacations past – one or two activities per day are more than enough. So we’ve had to choose even more wisely!

It was still pretty smoky while we were in Canmore, so we limited ourselves to one hike. The Grassi Lakes hike seemed to be one of the more reasonable ones, recognizing that Mack would be carrying a 16 pound weight up the slope. It was a nicely shady path for the most part, which we appreciated for Emily (and for us!).


Hiking with baby

We’ve also found that it’s often more convenient to have meals at home, so we’re definitely eating out a lot less when travelling. However, we did plan to visit the Canmore Mountain Market, which was within walking distance of our AirBnB.


Canmore Mountain Market

While they didn’t have the breadth of vendors I was expecting, I always enjoy browsing the stalls and seeing what local products are on offer. It was also clear there are many regulars who frequent the market, not just tourists like us.


Crepe with curried beef and mustard greens

We bought lunch from a couple of the food trucks, and my savoury crepe with curried beef and mustard greens turned out to be the best thing I had to eat in Canmore. Mack couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sample a coffee from The Rocky Bean Co., which brews its coffee in a converted VW van.


The Rocky Bean Co.

We did venture out to Blake for dinner one night (also within walking distance of our flat). Their kitchen was really quick, but overall, we found the portions to be small and quality inconsistent (the fried chicken, for instance, was disappointingly dry). The most interesting dish was their ramen cacio e pepe – the noodles were a touch overdone, but the flavours were there.


Ramen cacio e pepe from Blake

On our way out of town, we had lunch at Rocky Mountain Flatbread. The prices were reasonable at lunch (not something that can be said of all establishments in Canmore), and while we did appreciate that they sourced many of their ingredients locally, the pizzas weren’t particularly memorable.


Pizzas from Rocky Mountain Flatbread

The highlight of our stay surprisingly had nothing to do with food. I’d had my eye on doing a workshop tour at the Rocky Mountain Soap Company factory for some time, but the timing hadn’t worked out prior to this trip. Although the tour tickets are priced at $25, the value is more than covered – $20 is returned in the form of a voucher that can be used at any of their stores, while the product samples we received exceeded the remaining $5 cost.


We learned that edible, cornstarch-based packing peanuts exist

It was a neat experience to tour the factory and see where all of the products are made. Some aspects definitely reminded me of food – the racks of soap bars drying, for instance, recalled the cheese aging rooms I’ve visited in the past.


Soap drying room

I was astonished to see just how much of their products are made and packaged by hand (their bath bombs, for instance, are all individually hand-pressed). It is undoubtedly a part of their brand, but it’s something hard to fathom as most companies are moving towards automation, not away from it.

We also had the opportunity to make our own bath salts, customizing with our choice of essential oil scents and herbal add-ins.


Making lavender and orange-scented bath salts

I’d definitely recommend the tour! As a bonus, a couple of other noteworthy businesses are located in the same vicinity as the factory, so it makes it a worthwhile trek just outside of town. After the tour, we walked over to Valbella (known for their meat products), and Mountain Blends Coffee Roasters to pick up some food souvenirs for home.

It was a quick trip to be sure, but won’t be our last to the mountains with Emily!

August 27th, 2018

Food Notes for August 27, 2018

There’s definitely a fall chill in the air this week – I’m glad we were able to make the most of what was left of summer in the mountains last weekend for my sister’s wedding! Back with a catch-up edition of Food Notes:

  • Northern Bites has organized an event on September 4, 2018 that combines a visit to an apple orchard and a pie making lesson. Tickets are $20.
  • Eat North’s second annual Prairie Grid Dinner Series will take place in Edmonton on September 29, 2018. Tickets for the 5-course dinner start at $140.
  • Just a Little Night Market returns for a Dash of Oktoberfest October 5 and 6, 2018 at the Aviation Hangar. Expect a beer garden, food, and other vendors.
  • Market stalwart Bloom Cookie Co. has announced that they’re opening a storefront on 124 Street and 103 Avenue. Sign up for their newsletter for updates.
  • Japanese restaurant Iruka Grill & Bar is new to Old Strathcona, located at 10354 82 Avenue.
  • I just noticed the Koutouki Restaurant on the south side, at #540, 3803 Calgary Trail.
  • The Downtown Business Association released the winners of their Downtown patio contest – the Hotel Macdonald was named the best overall patio.
  • Keep abreast of the contenders in Snack Checker, Edmonton AM’s quest to find the city’s ultimate snack.
  • The Journal reviewed the brunch at Cacao 70.
  • Crystal shared reviews of DOSC and Station on Jasper.
  • Sharon was disappointed with her meal at Bottega 104’s Whyte Avenue location.
  • Graham paid visits to Vintage Fork and Cafe Linnea.
  • Vue Weekly raves about Wishbone.
  • I’ve never had an apple fritter from Hazeldean Bakery but Lillian has convinced me that I need to try one.
  • Sharon was among a group invited to attend a tour of the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market.
  • CBC had a story about the rise of millennials purchasing local food.
  • MacEwan University is offering an urban beekeeping immersive experience on September 5, 2018. The session includes the opportunity to not only learn about beekeeping, but also to extract honey from a hive yourself! Tickets are $50.
  • Free tours of the Northlands Urban Farm continue into September – dates include September 9 and 23, 2018.
  • Voting for Sustainable Food Edmonton’s first annual Golden Wheelbarrow Awards is now live. Help select the recipients of awards including “favourite ‘locavore’ restaurant”.
  • One shot from Felicia and Jeff’s wedding – the menu, created by Chef Nicole Gomes, was as beautiful as the tablescape. I may or may not have eaten half a dozen lemon arancini on my own.



  • I enjoyed the final What the Truck?! of the season on Sunday, at the family-friendly Edmonton Ballpark venue. Among the dishes I had that day were the sopes from Calle Mexico.

What the Truck?!

Sopes from Calle Mexico

    August 13th, 2018

    Food Notes for August 13, 2018

    My sister is getting married this weekend, so a heads up that there won’t be any Food Notes next week. I hope you’re making the most of these last few weeks of summer too! On to this week’s food notes:

    • The Fringe starts later this week – if you’re curious about the food available, consider subscribing to Taproot Edmonton’s Fringe roundup. I have it on good authority that edible fare will be mentioned!
    • Why Not’s Art & Brunch Club is back with a hip-hop edition on August 26, 2018.
    • The final Eats on 118 this year takes place on August 29, 2018, and will tour four female-led businesses in the neighbourhood. Tickets are $47. I attended the first event earlier this summer and had a great time.
    • Congratulations to Biera, Bundok, and Kanto who made the long list of En Route’s annual Best New Restaurants list.
    • The Sweet Pea Cafe and Playhouse is now open at 14238 85 Avenue.
    • Smokehouse BBQ has relocated to 15960 109 Avenue.
    • The Alder Room has closed its doors, but chef/owner Ben Staley is hopeful the restaurant will return in the future in a new location.
    • Transcend Coffee’s Garneau location has undergone a makeover.
    • Graham has nothing but praise for Wildfred’s.
    • Crystal checked out the happy hour specials at Silk Bar & Kitchen.
    • The Journal reviewed Sherwood Park’s La Patrona.
    • Vue Weekly paid a visit to Sweet Mango.
    • Sustainable Food Edmonton is organizing a community bike tour of four local gardens on August 25, 2018. The activity is free, but pre-registration is required.
    • A report for the Edmonton Regional Metropolitan Board indicates that the agriculture system in the area may be “reaching a tipping point”. The board will be voting on an agricultural vision this fall.
    • The perfect opportunity to finally try Cacao 70 came in the mail – a coupon offering a free chocolate-dipped cone! The sweltering conditions also made it a great day for ice cream.

    Cacao 70

    Dark chocolate dipped cone at Cacao 70

    • I love the brunch at Meat – my go-to beef brisket benny never disappoints.


    Beef brisket benny

    • I had lunch at Wishbone for the first time today; their double beef burger is a beauty. The brioche bun and processed cheese made it stand out.


    Double beef burger at Wishbone

    August 12th, 2018

    Open House: Sundog Organic Farm

    Those who frequent the outdoor City Market on 104 Street are likely familiar with Sundog Organic Farm. Operated by Jenny Berkenbosch and James Vriend, their booth is arguably the most visually appealing at the market. Their variety of fresh produce is always artfully arranged in wooden crates, beautifully displaying what the season has to offer. Mack and I have been buying from Sundog Organic for years (one of my favourite photos from our wedding day was taken in front of their booth), and have always wanted to be able to check out the farm itself. At the end of July, an open house provided the perfect opportunity to do so.

    Sundog Organic Farm

    Sundog Organic Farm

    Although Jenny and James originally started farming on his father’s land about ten years ago, they’ve been on their current property for eight years. Located just outside of Edmonton in Sturgeon County, near Gibbons, it was a lot closer to the city than I expected – it was about a 45 minute drive from 104 Street.

    Sundog Organic Farm

    Jenny Berkenbosch

    We arrived a little late, but joined a group of about two dozen people who were already being led around the farm by Jenny and James. Their farm spans 14 acres, with about 6 of it being farmed at the moment. We learned that Sundog uses green manure practices to amend the areas they are rotating between seasons, meaning they plant crops like clover or oats to help renew and manage the health of the soil. Their property also happens to be near the Sturgeon River, which they are able to tap into for irrigation purposes.

    Sundog Organic Farm

    Gorgeous lettuce plants

    We also saw evidence of how the farm has grown over time – they used to store vegetables using a combination of a very small shed in addition to borrowing the storage capacity at James’ parents farm, but now, have been able to construct a building that is finally big enough for their current needs.

    Sundog Organic Farm

    New storage and sorting building

    It was great to be able to see their crops first hand. For me, it was especially neat to see where they grow their heirloom tomatoes, which I anxiously await the arrival of every summer.

    Sundog Organic Farm


    I’m also a sucker for berry patches of any kind, and strawberries are a particular treat! There’s really nothing like being able to eat sun-warmed  fruit straight off the vine.

    Sundog Organic Farm

    Strawberry field

    Of course, it was also nice to bring Emily along for her first farm visit! It will be one thing for her to see our very small community garden plot, but another to appreciate all of the work that goes into a farming operation. We look forward to bringing her along to more farms when she’s older, too.

    Sundog Organic Farm

    Farm selfie

    Thanks to Jenny and James for opening up your gates!

    If you’re interested in visiting a local farm, make sure to check out Alberta Open Farm Days, which runs August 18-19, 2018 this year.

    August 6th, 2018

    Food Notes for August 6, 2018

    • Get Cooking’s final Burger Club on August 8, 2018 is a Prairie on the Plate feature, with four Alberta raised proteins on the menu.
    • Alberta Local Food Week could be a good excuse as any for a road trip to check out what we can grow in the province – check out the list of events running August 12-19, 2018, including Open Farm Days, August 18-19.
    • Speaking of Open Farm Days, Northlands has consistently offered the best, most value-driven farm tours, particularly attractive for those who can’t, or would prefer not to, drive to area farms – the cost is just $5 or $10 per person. Check out the line-up of tours this year, and read about the tour I attended last year.
    • Kingsway Mall is hosting their first ever Food Truck Fare on August 17 and 18, 2018, in the parking lot by Homesense and Starbucks.
    • The last What the Truck?! of the season will take place on August 26, 2018 at RE/MAX Field (formerly known as Edmonton Ballpark), with 15 trucks to whet your appetite.
    • Great to hear that Filistix will not only continue to have a kiosk at the University of Alberta campus (in the Students’ Union Building), but they will also be opening a location Downtown at 10621 100 Avenue later this year.
    • Look for a Downtown branch of Amore Pasta to open in the Oxford Tower (100 Street & 102A Avenue) this fall.
    • Buok Fresh Korean Kitchen is now open at 10707 100 Avenue.
    • The first (but likely not last) of the “ghost kitchens” we’ll see in Edmonton – La Mision (from the folks behind Tres Carnales and Rostizado), are offering their burritos exclusively through Foodora.
    • The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald’s “hot dog cart” is the nicest such cart I’ve ever seen – hopefully it’ll be out more before summer’s end.
    • Vue Weekly casts a spotlight on the recently opened DOSC (Drunken Ox, Sober Cat).
    • Learn more about Camola, the bug-based vendor found at numerous local farmers’ markets.
    • Twyla is the latest to review Blowers & Grafton, and their menu of “Halifax street food”.
    • Graham was impressed by the “timeless, yet contemporized” menu at Halley’s Club, the 20s-inspired restaurant/dance hall at West Edmonton Mall.
    • Avenue recommends the brunch at Greenland Garden Centre in Sherwood Park, and highlights St. Albert’s Riverband Bistro.
    • Congratulations to Rogue Wave Coffee who hope to be opening up their cafe and roasterie this week at 11322 119 Street (check their social media for confirmation). We stopped by on Sunday, and though they weren’t officially open, we were welcomed into the space anyway. Check them out!

    Rogue Wave Coffee

    Rogue Wave Coffee

    • Liberia, Venezuela, and Eritrea, were recognized for their food at this year’s Heritage Festival. While I didn’t try anything from the first two countries, I can vouch for the stewed meat and lentils (served with injera) from Eritrea.

    Heritage Festival

    Stewed meat and lentils from Eritrea

    • While running errands last week on the south side, Mack and I stopped at Artistic Bake Shop for the first time. The soft pretzels have to be one of the most underrated deals in Edmonton – just $1.50 and delicious!

    Artistic Bake Shop

    Pretzel from Artistic Bake Shop

    August 4th, 2018

    Preview: 5th Annual Sabor Seafood Festival

    Sabor is known as one of Edmonton’s best seafood restaurants, and every August, they choose to highlight the freshest products and flavours with their annual Sabor Seafood Festival. In its fifth year, 2018’s iteration welcomes the collaborative touch from Hawaii. Chef Lyndon Honda (of Sheraton Maui) and Chef Tom Muromoto (of Ka’anapali Beach Hotel) worked with Sabor Chef Lino Oliveira to design a menu inspired by a wide range of tastes, reflective of the Korean, Japanese, Filipino, Puerto Rican, and Portuguese roots of Hawaiian cuisine.

    Earlier this week, I attended a media preview of the festival, which runs from August 7-31, 2018.

    Among my favourite dishes that night was the ahi tartare, served on a taro chip. Prepared poke style, this appetizer couldn’t be trendier in the city, and the taro chip itself was crunchy and addictive.

    Sabor Seafood Festival 2018

    Ahi tartare

    I loved the grilled prawns, dressed in a coconut taro leaf curry. The smoke was apparent in the plump prawn, and I enjoyed the subtle sweetness in the curry. Of all of the plates I tried, I’m pulling for this one to appear on the final festival menu!

    Sabor Seafood Festival 2018

    Grilled prawns

    I’d say Spam is under appreciated in mainstream North American culture, and Chef Lino deftly incorporated it as a chorizo substitute in his Portuguese sausage Spam ‘n clams dish. I doubt any other restaurant in Edmonton would be daring enough to serve this.

    Sabor Seafood Festival 2018

    Spam ‘n clams

    The Ko’ala lamb chops was another highlight. Prepared to a perfect medium rare, I adored the mango mint chutney underneath. The chefs weren’t wrong when they said this dish could sway anyone uncertain about lamb.

    Sabor Seafood Festival 2018

    Ko’ala lamb chops

    Doughnuts seem to be all the rage in the city at the moment, so it wasn’t a surprise that one made its way to us as dessert. But it wasn’t your typical doughnut – here, the malasada (Portuguese fried dough) was stuffed with Pinocchio’s coconut ice cream, and topped with a decadent mango cream. I may have been full, but I found room to polish off the plate.

    Sabor Seafood Festival 2018

    Coconut ice cream stuffed Malasada

    The full Seafood Festival menu is still being finalized, so check the Sabor website for details! Thanks again to Bonafide Media for the invitation, and for organizing a wonderful evening.