January 6th, 2018

Culinary Highlights: 2017 Edition

At the very least, compiling a list of some of my favourite food moments over the past year reminds me of how grateful I am to live where we do! It’s also a good opportunity to reflect on our travels, and how fortunate we were to be able to explore a bit more of our country.

Here are some of my favourite food-related memories from 2017:

Our favourite new restaurant was Otto. Mack and I love their approachable menu, simple but well-made food, friendly service, and accessible location (just one bus from work or home).

Otto

I love the Otto dog and fries

Zwick’s Pretzels was another new favourite – there’s nothing better than a fresh, savoury pretzel warm out of the oven.

Zwick's Pretzels

Trio of pretzels

We also had a fabulous meal at the chef’s table at Baijiu with Amanda and Jason in the fall.

Baijiu

Braised pork bao from Baijiu

My office moved to Alberta Avenue in the spring, so it was great timing that Eats on 118 continued this year. I had a blast at each of the food tours, but I had a soft spot for the bowling edition, where I was introduced to the wonderful Plaza Bowl.

Eats on 118

Plaza Bowl

Mack and I had a great time exploring more of our backyard last year as well, with trips to Lake Louise, Lacombe, East of Edmonton, Calgary, and Smoky Lake.

Eagle Creek Farms

Selfie at the Bowden Sun Maze

Continuing with the theme of visiting farms, a highlight was a tour of the Sunworks Farm, one of the producers we purchase from regularly.

Sunworks Farm Tour

Chickens at Sunworks Farm

Similarly, it was an special experience to be able to visit Doef’s Greenhouses as a part of this year’s Grand Taste Tour.

Doef's Greenhouses

Doef’s Greenhouses

Alongside a small team of volunteers, I enjoyed introducing many Edmontonians to Chinatown (and some of its culinary gems) through a series of walking tours. I’m happy this will continue into 2018 with Chinatown Dining Week.

Edmonton Chinatown Tour

Edmonton Chinatown walking tours

We did some travelling as well, with visits to Montreal, Toronto, Seattle, and Vancouver Island.

Schwartz's

Schwartz’s smoked meat sandwich was the best thing we ate in Montreal

Maison Christian Faure

Although I wish I had gone back for a second croissant from Maison Christian Faure

Wild Mountain

We did not expect to find a restaurant like Wild Mountain in Sooke on Vancouver Island

Red Fish, Blue Fish

The tacones at Red Fish, Blue Fish in Victoria lived up to my expectations

There is a lot to look forward to in 2018, so we’ll see what makes the cut next year!

January 4th, 2018

Epicureous in Edmonton: 2017 Year in Review

It was without a doubt a banner year for bakeries in the Edmonton area, with no less than ten shops opening up in the last twelve months. It’s been particularly great to see the range of businesses, including French-style patisseries (Macarons & Goodies, Chocorrant, Fan Fan Patisserie, Arno’s Fine French Pastry), fancy cakes and treats (Sugared and Spiced, Art of Cake expansion), and gourmet doughnuts (Doughnut Party, Destination Doughnuts, Frickin’ Delights Donuts in Devon, Ohana Donuterie). Speaking as someone who currently has quite the sweet tooth, it’s been wonderful sampling my way through different desserts and finding any excuse to pick up something new to try.

Sugared & Spiced

Here are a few other items that were notable to me in 2017:

  • It was a bit of a Jekyll-Hyde year for Ice District. After Rogers Place opened in the fall of 2016, it was assumed that it would be a boon for businesses within walking distance of the arena. While that proved to be the case for certain enterprises (Baijiu, Bundok, and Bottega 104 to name a few), it didn’t prevent some fairly high-profile closures in 2017, including Alta, Vivo’s Downtown location, and Transcend’s Mercer Warehouse branch.
  • Edmontonians seem to have a growing taste for charcuterie and well-made sausage, with Fuge Fine Meats blossoming alongside the opening of two fine meat boutiques in Meuwly’s and Porc Sale.
  • Korean cuisine (including the very popular Korean Fried Chicken) continued to stake its claim in the city, with restaurants including Miga, Yummy Chicken, Hanjan, Pelicana, Hansik, and Dookbaeki opening.
  • Similarly, when it rains, it poured for bingsu, also known as Korean shaved ice. Edmonton went from zero bingsu purveyors to at least four in Snowy Dessert, Snowy Village, Let Eat Snow, and Snow Bear, in addition to other cafes who’ve since added it to their menus.
  • On a smaller scale, the city was also introduced to the world of poke, with Splash Poke and Ono Poke opening up within two weeks of each other Downtown.
  • Those seeking vegan and vegetarian options were able to broaden their choices to include vegan pizzeria Die Pie, Vietnamese restaurant An Chay, quick-serve cafe Good Stock, and The Moth, sister restaurant to Old Strathcona mainstay Cafe Mosaics.
  • Many local restaurants were able to grow their presence with additional locations or concepts, offering diners more unique alternatives. Among them: Monument (Block 1912), Pip (Next Act, Meat), Holy Roller (El Cortez, Have Mercy), Grandin Fish & Chips (The Common), Ong Hanoi Style Fried Chicken (Jack’s Burger Shack, Cerdo Tacos), Salz (Elm Cafe, District, Little Brick), Amore Pasta and Bottega 104 (Cafe Amore, Black Pearl), Wishbone (Three Boars), Mercato Foods (Italian Bakery), Pampa, Farrow, Credo, and Remedy Cafe.
  • I’m always heartened when food truck operators or market stalls are able to transition into brick and mortar storefronts, and this trend continued over the last year. The list included some of the bakeries mentioned above, but also Casa 12 Doce’s La Patrona, Little Village’s take-out spot, and Calle Mexico’s restaurant on 107 Avenue.
  • Food tourism initiatives were another highlight this year: Edmonton Food Tours introduced tours focused on the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market and Downtown eateries, Urban Pedal Tours offered a unique spin on social drinking, and Edmonton Brewery Tours shed light on the history of brewing in our city.
  • It was interesting that despite the splash made by Cafe Linnea’s foray into no-tipping in 2016 (and their subsequent end to that concept in 2017) there haven’t really been many more examples of gratuity-included restaurants in Edmonton (Grain of Rice and Alder Room notwithstanding).
  • The Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission made a few welcome shifts, including their changes to licensed patios, and allowance of beer and spirits to be sampled and sold at farmers’ markets.

You can check out previous year in reviews here.

December 18th, 2017

Food Notes for December 18, 2017

It’s hard to believe Christmas is a week away – where has the time gone? I’m looking forward to some down time with friends and family, and of course, to the food! A heads up that I won’t be posting Food Notes next week. If you’re celebrating the holidays, all the best of the season to and yours!

  • Butcher Jeff Senger of Sangudo Meats is leading hands-on workshops on pork butchery and charcuterie on December 30, 2017. Tickets run $135-$295.
  • Deep Freeze, which runs January 13-14, 2018 on Alberta Avenue, is bringing back their tourtiere baking contest – they’re looking for entrants for your chance to win gift cards from Chapters (and the title, of course).
  • La Carraria, Edmonton’s newest gelato shop, is now open at 10067 109 Street.
  • The Rooster Cafe (which replaced Artisan Resto-Cafe at 10732 82 Avenue) is in its soft opening phase.
  • Congrats to Credo who opened their third location in the Kelly-Ramsay Building last week! Check them out at 10062 101A Street.
  • Did you know Bubba Gump Shrimp Company is coming to Edmonton? They’re opening at West Edmonton Mall in March 2018.
  • Some time in 2018, the cafe in Holt Renfrew will re-open as Colette Grand Cafe. I’ve been to the original in Toronto, and I think it’s safe to say it’ll fit in well with its surroundings.
  • On December 22, 2017, Urban Tavern is launching what they’re calling “Canada’s largest beer wall”, featuring self-serve taps (the same system found at Barney’s in Leduc).
  • The Butternut Tree will begin offering brunch on January 14, 2018.
  • The Yards annual “Best in the Core” features some suggestions on some secret food gems and where you can spice things up in Downtown and Oliver.
  • The Journal had a positive take on brunch at Vintage Fork, the new restaurant inside the historic Rutherford House.
  • YEG Cravings reviews the treats at Destination Doughnuts.
  • Vue Weely is the latest to check out YEG Burger.
  • Graham enjoyed the food at Loft Thai Eatery on the south side.
  • Crystal stumbled upon Mai Vietnamese Fusion located on BRBN Street in West Edmonton Mall.
  • Also from Crystal – she had a mixed experience at Little India Cuisine.
  • Taproot’s latest feature is all about food waste in Edmonton.
  • Jason Foster responds to the notion that Canada is reaching “peak craft beer”.
  • It’s been a while since my last visit to Viphalay, but their pad thai was just as good as I remembered! They’re one of the restaurants that will be participating in our inaugural Chinatown Dining Week (more details to come!).

Viphalay

Pad Thai from Viphalay

  • On Friday, Mack and I commemorated the ten year anniversary of a fateful trip to New York. One of the first places we tried in Manhattan was the tourist-oriented Burger Joint, a quick-serve eatery tucked behind a curtain at Le Parker Meridien. So although a flight back to New York would have been better, the next best thing was to a trek to our similarly named but unrelated establishment in Edmonton. We appreciate their consistency, and the tarter dipping sauce that accompanies their fries helps them stand out.

The Burger Joint

Our meal at The Burger Joint

  • While the City Market is still our go-to farmers’ market, we switch it up a bit in the winter months with occasional trips to the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market. It’s a bit dangerous though, as we can combine those visits with the excuse to pick up something sweet from one of the many bakeries that have opened up in that neighbourhood in the last year. This weekend, it was a jaunt to Ace Coffee Roasters, where we were won over by their delicious brown butter donuts.

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Tempting display case at Ace Coffee Roasters

  • Mack and I headed to King Noodle House to properly fuel up before an afternoon of Christmas shopping on Sunday.

King Noodle House

Bun bo Hue from King Noodle House

December 11th, 2017

Food Notes for December 11, 2017

El Fogon

Beef and gouda arepa from El Fogon

  • The weather has been amazing so far this month – who knew it’d be warm enough to still be considered food truck weather! Mack and I happily shared some empanadas from Casa 12 Doce at the Holiday Bazaar this weekend.

Casa 12 Doce

Pork and potato empanadas

  • We don’t make it out to RGE RD as often as we’d like, but every time we do, we have a great experience. This weekend was no different – the food and service was stellar. Of note was the questionable bits we enjoyed: beef tongue pastrami.

RGE RD

Beef tongue pastrami from RGE RD

December 4th, 2017

Food Notes for December 4, 2017

  • Crash Hotel is hosting Beats n Brunch, a hip hop-themed brunch on December 10, 2017. The $20 ticket includes one brunch item and a cocktail.
  • There are lots of festive meal choices available at this time of year, including the Dickens Brunch at the Royal Glenora Club on December 10 & 17, with holiday carolers to help set the mood. The events are open to the public; adult tickets are $39.95.
  • The newest donut-focused bakery Destination Doughnuts is now open at 10548 124 Street.
  • Brown Butter Cafe, located at 1528 91 Street SW, is in its soft opening phase.
  • New Asian Village has added a new restaurant to their roster – Hyderabad Kabab & Biryani House is now open at Mill Woods Town Centre.
  • Dogwood Cafe, Culina’s takeover of the restaurant at the Victoria Golf Course, has returned for the winter. They’re open for supper Wednesdays to Saturdays and for brunch on weekends.
  • Blakbar Tavern, billing itself as “Edmonton’s newest alternative rock resto/bar” is now open at 10762 82 Avenue.
  • I hadn’t heard of Mezos Roastery, a local business specializing in dry roasting nuts and seeds.
  • ‘Tis the season for giveaways, but Linda has some amazing gifts that will span 24 days – check them out!
  • Nook Cafe allows people to pay it forward by buying a button someone in need can cash in for a coffee and a day-old pastry.
  • Ms. Hangry Foodie and YEGCravings both tried the phorrito (a pho burrito) at new Vietnamese restaurant Miss Saigon. It sounds gimmicky to me but there’s something for everyone!
  • Graham enjoyed the breadth of offerings at Holy Roller.
  • Phil reviews a trio of quick-serve pizza joints.
  • Crystal enjoyed the happy hour specials offered at Bar 94.
  • Vue Weekly paid Cafe Linnea a visit.
  • Congratulations to Karen Anderson, one of the authors of the forthcoming book, Food Artisans of Alberta. It’s now available for pre-order, and will be released in May 2018.
  • Eat Alberta announced their conference date for next year – April 29, 2018. Tickets are now available for pre-sale.
  • Global featured Camola Bakery, which features sustainable cricket “flour” in their products
  • If you’re interested in gardening in a vacant city lot, you’re encouraged to attend a workshop on December 6, 2017 to learn more about a pilot next year that will involve 150 empty lots.
  • I really should have made it a point to get to Pho Tau Bay earlier in the cycle of my cold last week – there’s really something about their broth.

Pho Tau Bay

My usual

  • Mack and I made it to Salz on Friday for some comfort food. I really liked my brat in a bun, alongside some cheesy spätzle and caraway slaw.

Salz

Mack with his brat on a plate

  • A shopping excursion on 124 Street wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Zwick’s Pretzels, where we found ourselves on the weekend.

Zwick's Pretzels

A duo of pretzels from Zwick’s

November 27th, 2017

Food Notes for November 27, 2017

It’s less than a month away to Christmas! We’ve put up our external winter lights, but have yet to deck the halls indoors – I’m looking forward to doing so this weekend! On to this week’s food notes:

  • Effing Seafoods is hosting a Movember fundraiser at Northern Chicken on November 29, 2017 from 5-10pm (or until sold out). Menu items include crispy haddock sandwiches and mussels with Mill St. beer broth served alongside fresh baked bread.
  • Why Not Cafe & Bar (the new restaurant from Chef Levi Biddlecombe) will be hosting tasting menus on December 1 and 2, 2017. Tickets for the 6 course menu with custom cocktails are available for $95.
  • Northern Lands is organizing a Prairie Collective Gourmet Holiday Market in partnership with Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm on December 3, 2017. Expect holiday fare, whiskey tastings, and activities for the kids. Family admission is $10.
  • There are a lot of holiday markets to choose from at this time of year – including The Holiday Bazaar, which will be taking place on December 8 and 9, 2017 in the former ReUse Centre space. Organized by the folks behind the 124 Grand Market, expect a beverage garden, local food pop-ups, and vendors.
  • A dozen of Edmonton’s chefs are raising funds for the Bissell Centre on December 10, 2017 in a dinner titled Too Many Cooks. Tickets for the 12-course meal are $200.
  • Ragazzi Bistro in Bonnie Doon is back open today after being closed for renovations.
  • Mercato Foods, a grocery store/deli from the folks behind Edmonton’s popular Italian Bakery, is now open in St. Albert.
  • Calgary-based OEB will open in the Kelly Ramsey Building in Spring 2018 – check out a rendering of what to expect.
  • Mikado is celebrating 45 years of business, offering 20% off food items December 4-7 and 11-14.
  • Linda is the latest to review Avila Arepa in Old Strathcona.
  • Also from Linda, she shares her lunch and brunch experiences at Bundok.
  • Graham was very impressed with the food at The Butternut Tree.
  • Twyla reviewed the set-course meal at Alder Room.
  • Jonny was disappointed with the bistro fare at Juniper Cafe.
  • Lydia at YEGCravings offers a review of takeout from Tang Bistro.
  • Crystal checked out the Brewery District location of Nando’s.
  • I hope Calico Bakery bounces back soon after a fire over the weekend damaged their building.
  • Will Church Street be the home to more frequent farmers’ markets? A pharmacy owner in the area hopes that will be the case.
  • Just in time for the holiday season, the Kitchen Magpie is giving away a “foodie edition” of #YEGBox. Contest closes December 1, 2017.
  • How has the provincial government’s changes to Alberta’s beer laws impacted the local brew scene? Jason Foster shares his take.
  • Also from Jason – more suggested itineraries for brewery road trips, this time off-the-beaten QEII path.
  • A trademark dispute between Calgary food blogger Julie van Rosendaal and Ottawa-based Beaver Tails had a happy ending, resulting in a $3,000 donation to Calgary’s Food Bank.
  • I really should sample more of the menu, but I can’t ever pass up the New York Mama on visits to Battista’s Calzones.

Battista's Calzones

My usual at Battista’s Calzones

  • There’s just something about the poutine at Route 99 that makes it our go-to comfort food.

Route 99

Gluttony at its finest

November 20th, 2017

Food Notes for November 20, 2017

District Cafe & Bakery

Kale and apple salad from District

November 16th, 2017

Exploring our Backyard: Highway 2 Detours

Mack and I usually end up popping down to Calgary at least a few times a year for a mini-break. Back in August, we did so, but made sure to plan some more unique stops on the way down and back up to Edmonton.

Southbound, we visited Eagle Creek Farms in Bowden, which claims only one of two sunflower mazes in all of Canada.

Bowden Sun Maze

Sunflower Maze

Although the maze wasn’t quite at their full height, it was still a sight to see.

Eagle Creek Farms

Sunflower selfie

It resembled more of a sunflower patch with pathways not as defined as the corn mazes we are more used to, but it was definitely eye-catching and visually stunning, especially with the number of bees buzzing in and around the flowers.

Bowden Sun Maze

The field was abuzz with activity

Eagle Creek also boasts a few other maze options (including corn, hay bale, and tree mazes), in addition to a small u-pick vegetable and flower selection. We were disappointed the strawberry patch wasn’t quite ready yet, but we did take the opportunity to harvest some zucchini, peas, and chard to take home with us.

Bowden Sun Maze

Ready to harvest!

Afterwards we stopped for lunch nearby at the Starlite Diner Car, which we have blown by on Highway 2 countless times. We’re suckers for retro diners, so the classic interior, with bright red booths and a long counter, was right up our alley.

Starlite Diner Car

We love diners

We didn’t expect the alien-themed menu, but all of the classic dishes you’d expect to find were available to order (their milkshakes were on high demand that afternoon). While the food wasn’t exceptional, our monte cristo and hot turkey sandwiches hit the spot. Service was also better than we anticipated.

Starlite Diner Car

Hot turkey sandwich

What did come as a surprise was the fact that one of the fellow diners at the counter had paid our bill! We’ve never experienced a pay-it-forward situation before, but after this, will have to return the favour ourselves.

Onward to Calgary, we had booked an AirBnB in the East Village neighbourhood, an area that would definitely be on our shortlist if we ever moved south. Mack’s favourite amenity is the Phil & Sebastian’s in the Simmons Building (which we took advantage of the next morning), but being within walking distance of Village Ice Cream isn’t bad, either.

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We are all Villagers

The East Village Junction Pop-up was also taking place just across the street from the condo building. The vacant lot had been populated with a dozen shipping containers transformed into retail outlets (some local, some national chains), but also featured a food truck, seating areas, and a programmed stage.

containR EV Junction

East Village Junction Pop-up

It was a neat way to encourage more foot traffic, and an idea that we’ve heard may eventually make its way to some underserved areas in Edmonton.

East Village Junction Pop-up

Mack was right at home

We hadn’t yet been to Studio Bell, so took advantage of our proximity on this visit. The architecture of the building was a draw for us, and we learned that the landscape of the prairies (including the hoodoos), as well as the curvature of musical instruments, was his inspiration for the designs.

National Music Centre

Performance Hall

Like most modern museums, there were lots of open spaces, lookout points, and areas where natural light could filter in.

National Music Centre

Fun with instruments

The museum offered a good variety of interactive exhibits, and we could see how it would appeal to music explorers of all ages. My favourite exhibit was the theatre organ that was used to create a live soundtrack for silent films screened in the 20s and 30s.

National Music Centre

Kimball Theatre Organ

GlobalFest had been on our list for some time, but the timing had never before lined up. A fireworks competition combined with cultural showcases, aspects of GlobalFest reminded us of a scaled down version of Heritage Days.

Calgary GlobalFest

GlobalFest

Over two dozen countries were represented with food, clothing, or cultural artifacts. In addition, multiple stages dotted the grounds, hosting musical and dance performances throughout the evening. I liked the passport idea that the festival had developed as a means of encouraging attendees to visit as many pavilions as possible (in exchange for the chance to enter to win a prize).

Calgary GlobalFest

One of three stages

In every other festival year, the fireworks each night are themed around a country. This year, in honour of Canada’s sesquicentennial, a region of the country was celebrated instead. That evening, the Prairies were in the spotlight.

The theme wasn’t obvious from the fireworks display, as some of the musical choices were outside of artists born on the Prairies. That said, I could appreciate the selection of certain firework varieties and colours that were paired with particular musical interludes – the shimmering fireworks were a great choice to accompany a Chantal Kreviazuk’s ballad. Overall, GlobalFest was a lovely way to spend a summer evening outdoors.

Calgary GlobalFest

Fireworks display

We couldn’t leave Calgary without a visit to one of our favourite restaurants – Blue Star Diner in Bridgeland has become our go-to brunch favourite.

They’ve made some minor tweaks to my favourite stuffed French toast dish since our last visit, but I’m happy to report it’s still equally delicious, and the white cheese whiz (in place of hollandaise) was addictive.

Blue Star Diner

Mack’s Bridgeland breakfast bowl from Blue Star Diner

Our the way to Red Deer, we stopped at the infamous Torrington Gopher Museum. It’s been on our bucket list for some time, and we can safely say it’s well worth the half hour detour. Photos really can’t do this bizarre attraction justice.

Torrington Gopher Hole Museum

The hunted or the hunter?

For just $2, visitors can take in the various dioramas that have position stuffed gophers in scenes capturing town life. Most are based around local businesses, but there are a few more politically incorrect ones as well.

Torrington Gopher Hole Museum

Albert GoFur, who made a trip to the Vancouver Olympics

The staff on duty was so obviously proud of the museum, and though she’d likely run through the introduction countless times, was happy to do so with each group entering the facility.

My favourite diorama was Moonlight Romance, featuring a gopher dressed in an adorable poodle skirt (the top visitor’s choice in 2015), while Mack couldn’t resist the church scene with a suspended gopher angel (the top pick in 2014 and 2016).

Torrington Gopher Hole Museum

Gopher wedding

We needed to stretch our legs before dinner, so stopped in Red Deer’s Gaetz Lake Sanctuary first. The 4km trail can be leisurely completed in an hour, even with multiple stops to admire birds on this federally-sanctioned migration route.

Kerry Wood Nature Centre

Gaetz Lake Sanctuary

We were, however, unprepared to witness the tree damage caused by 140km an hour winds earlier in the year. Because of the park’s status as a migration route, staff could only ensure the fallen logs were cleared from the path, but not removed.

Kerry Wood Nature Centre

Tree damage

I can safely say the more time we spend in Red Deer, the more aspects I find to appreciate – it definitely has more to offer than Gasoline Alley would suggest!

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Lookout point

I had my eye on Red Boar Smokery for a while, among a cluster of interesting restaurants and shops in downtown Red Deer. It’s also a good sign when their frequent updates on social media relate to selling out of product!

The interior is casual, with communal picnic table seating, and instead of actual plates, they offer strips of butcher paper. We chose the “barnyard special”, which was an ideal way to sample a variety of their meats and sides.

The pulled pork was the standout, with a great smoky flavour, while the pork belly was also notable, as the fat just melted away in our mouths. The accompanying sauces were fun to sample, with the honey mustard in particular winning our vote.

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Barnyard Special from Red Boar Smokery

Mack was happy we snagged the last bit of mac and cheese, but the apple slaw was actually the better of the sides; the tartness was needed to cut through the richness of the meat.

All told, we had a great time further exploring some attractions in our own backyard – we’re looking forward to what we will discover next!

November 13th, 2017

Food Notes for November 13, 2017

  • Jacek Chocolate is celebrating the grand re-opening of their Sherwood Park location on November 18, 2017 from 10am-6pm. The renovated space is equipped with a tasting room and a cacao sorting/roasting room.
  • Prairie Noodle Shop is hosting a fundraiser for the Edmonton Food Bank on November 26, 2017. Tickets for the two-course meal are $20.
  • Lure cookbook author Chef Ned Bell will be preparing a four-course, wine-paired dinner at NAIT on November 18, 2017. Tickets are $120.
  • Meat Street Pies want to help you get into the Christmas spirit with gingerbread house workshops at the City Market! Kits are $25 and are still available for December 2 and 9, 2017.
  • Salz, the latest restaurant from the folks behind Elm Cafe, District Cafe, and Little Brick, is now open at 10556 115 Street.
  • Greek restaurant Cosmos is back on 124 Street, open in the former Smokehouse BBQ space at 10812 124 Street. Cosmos is joined next door by Passport Resto Bar, who will be hosting their grand opening on November 18, 2017.
  • Strathcona Spirits will finally be able to open their doors to the public for tours and sales on November 16, 2017.
  • Whisk Dessert Co. will be opening a location in Kingsway Mall.
  • American vegan cinnamon bun chain Cinnaholic is expanding to Canada, including Edmonton in Spring 2018.
  • Twyla was impressed with the savoury and sweet offerings at Devon’s Frickin’ Delights Donuts.
  • Graham sampled ramen from several restaurants in the city, including Tokiwa, Prairie Noodle, and Nudoru.
  • Just in time for your holiday planning – High Level Diner is again offering frozen tourtiere.
  • Vue Weekly puts together a beer-focused road trip for your consideration – a two and a half hour drive can bring you to eight breweries outside of Edmonton and Calgary, including Alberta’s youngest brewery, Fitzsimmons Brewing in Airdrie.
  • Congratulations to Alan and Nicola Irving of Irvings Farm Fresh on the grand opening of their farm store, taking place November 18, 2017 from 10am-4pm.
  • Our Servings is an app that hopes to crowdfund $10,000 to connect grocery stores and restaurants with excess food to agencies who could use it to feed the hungry.
  • It’s been some time since I’ve had my go-to dish at Blue Plate Diner – the lamb shepherd’s pie with a side of sweet potato fries. Nothing like comfort food to warm up on a cold day!

Blue Plate Diner

Lamb shepherd’s pie at Blue Plate Diner

  • I tried the instant noodles with minced pork at Gui Lin Noodle House for the first time over the weekend and really enjoyed it! I usually defer to noodle soups, so this was a delicious change of pace.

Gui Lin Noodle House

Fried instant noodles with minced pork at Gui Lin

  • Mack and I stopped by London Local for their weekly Sunday roast menu. It’s a great deal – 3 courses for just $30. The desserts really stood out for us: a delectable Eton mess, with warm custard and meringue, and a rich sticky toffee pudding that wasn’t too sweet. We’ll be back on a different day to sample their regular menu!

London Local

Eton mess at London Local

London Local

Sticky toffee pudding at London Local

November 6th, 2017

Food Notes for November 6, 2017

Winter’s really digging in it’s heels, isn’t it? I hope you’re staying warm through this first real blast of cold. On to this week’s food notes:

  • Want to learn more about permaculture and perennial growing systems? Join Permies at the Pub on November 16, 2017 at Yellowhead Brewery. Early bird tickets are $10 for non-members.
  • Save the date for Jacek Chocolate Couture’s grand reopening of their Sherwood Park boutique on November 18, 2017.
  • It’ll be interesting to see what other restaurant goes into the Kelly Ramsey building to join Credo and OEB opens.
  • Old Town Pub took over the former Elephant & Castle space (10314 82 Avenue) in Old Strathcona earlier this fall.
  • Graham was optimistic after his first few visits to Revel.
  • The Journal was impressed with the tasting menu offered at the Alder Room.
  • Jonny enjoyed his experience at Bottega 104.
  • Vue Weekly spends more time musing about the art than the food in a review for Pasta Brioni.
  • The Tomato now has a podcast! The latest episode features Doris and Patrick Saurette from The Marc.
  • It’s great to see a local home baker, Terri Thompson, featured on The Great Canadian Baking Show – I hope she gets far!
  • Just in time for your holiday shopping, Knifewear is holding a fall garage sale in-store and online from November 6-12, 2017.
  • There are also two local chocolate advent calendars to choose from this season – pre-orders are now being accepted for calendars from Jacek Chocolate Couture and Violet Chocolate Company.
  • Alberta Flavour spotlights Honest Dumplings as a case study in scaling up a small local food business.
  • Mack and I combined business with pleasure last week, and snuck in a few good meals while in Calgary. The best meal was at Calcutta Cricket Club, a hip spot from the folks behind Native Tongues Taqueria. We sampled a few dishes, the most unique being their kati rolls (paratha wraps).

Calcutta Cricket Club

Paneer and tandoori spiced chicken kati rolls

  • We also enjoyed our visit to Banana Leaf Tropical Cuisine, though to be honest, the laksa was a few notches spicier than I could comfortably handle. The kitchen was extremely generous with the meat portions, too.

Banana Leaf Tropical Cuisine

Curry beef brisket laksa and roti

  • Back home, we hit up Farrow’s second location in Ritchie after running errands nearby. It’s been too long, grick middle.

Farrow

The grick middle from Farrow