Food Notes for June 29, 2020

Summer Food Festivals Make the News

It may not feel like summer in Edmonton this year without outdoor food festivals, but the Edmonton Heritage Festival has announced a component that may help with that feeling of withdrawal.

The multicultural performances will take place online, while up to 60 multicultural restaurants will be involved in providing diverse tastes. Heritage Festival Executive Director Jim Gibbon stated:

"We’re bringing in a bunch of local restaurants affiliated with a bunch of local cultural groups and we’re building it into our website that people can go on and for the entire month of August they’ll be able to get food from these local multicultural restaurants that maybe aren’t as well known as some of the bigger restaurants in town."

The festival had originally envisioned a drive-thru for food services but did not receive government approval in time; the Calgary Stampede was permitted to go ahead with their plan for similar services. More detail about their virtual festival will be available in July.

Events Edmonton, the organization behind the Taste of Edmonton festival, on the other hand, is making a public appeal to ensure the event can survive.

The cancellation of this year’s event “has greatly impacted 22 non-profit organizations Taste of Edmonton supports, the community, the festival industry and us at Events Edmonton. We are asking you, our fellow food and festival lovers, to donate and help us save Taste of Edmonton.” The next iteration of the festival has been postponed to July 2021. Each $100 donation will earn 40 Taste tickets for the 2021 festival.

In COVID-19-related News



  • Peche Cafe, opened by the folks behind Die Pie, is now closed. The owners chose to relocate Die Pie to this space (10255 97 Street), and are incorporating aspects of Peche Cafe into Die Pie’s menu. As was shared in their post, “This was a difficult choice for us, we were able to grow so quickly with all of the support and love that you have given to us. We chose to save Die Pie, it was our first love and our greatest passion.”
  • Smokehouse BBQ will be closing their Mayfield location at 15960 109 Avenue to focus on their food truck and catering.
  • The Downtown location of Nello’s (11520 100 Avenue) is now closed.
  • Vintage Fork, the restaurant inside Rutherford House, has now closed.

Upcoming Events

  • It’s great to see all the innovative activities small businesses have created during the pandemic, including Drift Food Truck’s “dinner and a show” with Edmonton Symphony Orchestra musicians. Their next event takes place June 30 in the Shamrock Curling parking lot.
  • The menus for Dine on the Ave, an event where food businesses showcase their specialties, are now updated. The event runs throughout July, and features 15 participating businesses this year.
  • Alberta Open Farm Days have been given the green light to go ahead, and will take place August 15-16, 2020.

Local News

  • Congratulations to Giselle Courteau, whose second cookbook, Duchess at Home, has been shortlisted for a Taste Canada Award under the “general cookbooks” category.
  • Jonathan Avis, half of the duo behind Meat Street Pies, passed away suddenly last week. My thoughts are with Thea and the rest of the family.
  • Kari Skelton has some sweet and salty ideas on how to celebrate Canada Day this year, sans fireworks.
  • Rogue Wave Coffee has started sharing more of their coffee knowledge through articles and videos on their website – up first, learn about the difference between natural and washed beans.
  • Great to see that Paraiso Tropical has rebranded with an eye-catching new logo!
  • Stephanie wrote a sponsored post about her recent box of local goods from Uproot Food Collective.
  • Alley Kat has continued their Back Alley Brews series of “limited edition one-off beers” with a release of SMaSH Session on June 25, 2020.
  • Tech Life has a profile on Arth Soni, one of the entrepreneurs behind EduEats, the food delivery service that served post-secondary campuses in Edmonton.

Urban Agriculture and Farming

What I Ate

  • I’m happy Lockstock Coffee is back open to satisfy my breakfast sandwich and kouign amann cravings.

Lockstock Coffee

Chorizo and egg sandwich from Lockstock

    • I was spoiled with a bevy of treats for my birthday last week! A friend surprised me with a brioche crown, among other things delivered from Duchess.


    Brioche crown from Duchess

    • My sister Felicia sent a box of Zwick’s Pretzels to our door – cheddar and pepper pretzels for the win!

    Zwick’s Pretzels

    My favourite pretzel from Zwick’s

      Food Notes for June 22, 2020

      Five Edmonton Restaurants Close Due to COVID-19 Cases

      Just over one month after Edmonton hospitality businesses were permitted to re-open for dine-in services, five local restaurants have voluntarily chosen to close due to positive COVID-19 cases of staff or customers.

      Earls (Tin Palace location), Greta, MKT, Round Two, and The Pint (Downtown location) have all temporarily shut down, and with some encouraging customers who dined at the restaurants to get tested.

      DOSC, who had only re-opened to dine-in service on June 5, has chosen to self-impose a closure for their indoor dine-in services as a “precautionary measure”. None of their staff have tested positive or shown any symptoms, and their patio remains open.

      These closures come on the heels of a provincial industry lobby group, the Alberta Hospitality Association (AHA), calling for a reduction to the two meter spacing rule between tables. They cite a recent study published in a medical journal that suggests one meter of spacing may be sufficient to lower the risk of catching the virus. The AHA argues that lowering the requirement would increase consumer capacity and help businesses become more financially sustainable.

      The Edmonton Independent Hospitality Community (EIHC) remains in favour of the two meter restriction. Chris Sills of Rostizado, a member of the EIHC who is quoted in the above article, said, “Regardless of what the science says, we’re here to make customers feel comfortable and they’re not comfortable with less than two metres.”

      COVID-19-related News


      • Fleisch, the sister delicatessen to Cartago, is now open in Forest Heights.
      • Woodshed Burgers has confirmed that they will be opening up a new permanent Woodshed South location to meet the demand.
      • Square One Coffee hopes to open their Glenora location (Unit 140, 14055 West Block Drive) in June.
      • An Italian restaurant Del Posto will be opening up in the former Pho Langs spot Downtown, at 10056 107 Street.

      Upcoming Events

      • Linda Hoang is hosting another of her popular Instagrammable Walls walks on June 27-28, 2020 in the Alberta Avenue neighbourhood. Tickets are $25 and include three food/drink stops, with 20% of sales donated to Black Lives Matter Edmonton Chapter.
      • The Plant Protein Alliance of Alberta is hosting a free virtual cooking demonstration on June 30, 2020. Chef Maynard Kolskog of NAIT’s Centre for Culinary Innovation will be preparing plant-based burgers.

      Local News

      Urban Agriculture and Farming

      • The City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Food Council are piloting a campaign called Veg Instead! that encourages Edmontonians to grow food in non-traditional areas of their properties.

      What I Ate

      • Mack, Emily, and I were out of town last week for a staycation at our favourite Alberta getaway, Prairie Creek Inn, near Rocky Mountain House. We had our own kitchen, and brought along a number of frozen entrees to lessen the time spent cooking – ramen from Dorinku, chicken pot pie from Duchess, and this comforting chicken alfredo lasagna from Milk Crate.

      Milk Crate

      Chicken lasagna from Milk Crate

      • It is hard to beat Prairie Creek’s breakfasts though, and we opted to have them delivered to our room so we could savour this view from our suite (and for the time being, continue to avoid indoor dining).

      Prairie Creek Inn

      Breakfast with a view

      Food Notes for June 15, 2020

      Edmonton Sun Columnist Graham Hicks Departs Publication

      Last week, two local food writers re-surfaced previously published reviews written by Graham Hicks in the Edmonton Sun. Carmen Cheng excerpted 2015 reviews of Korean restaurant NongBu, where Hicks questioned whether the restaurant is “too ethnic”, and another of Kazoku Ramen, where Hicks wrote that to make ramen, “Your momma could open a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, dress it up with oriental accessories and proclaim it ramen.” Cheng referred to the reviews as “racist” and as “whitewashing of content by food media.”

      The next day, Hicks announced in his final column that he was re-retiring from the Edmonton Sun without referring to the social media uproar. He also deleted his Twitter accounts that same day.

      Linda Hoang took issue with Hicks’ lack of accountability for his actions, tweeting, “This is truly an upsetting display of his own white privilege. By doing this, Graham is essentially telling everyone that he does not care if we think he’s racist. He does not care if his words hurt anyone. He will not learn from his mistakes (if they were unintentional).”

      In the wake of his departure, Hoang is hopeful that “the Edmonton Sun chooses to take this opportunity to consider whether a BIPOC writer’s perspective could better serve this space.”

      COVID-19-related News:



      Upcoming Events

      • Food Bike Tours have branched out into offering online Chef Kitchen Tours, just in time for Father’s Day. Attendees will be guided through recipes in a 30 minute interactive session, using ingredients delivered to their door, at the price of $90 for two people. The first two chefs scheduled in June are from Sabor and Bodega.
      • 15 hospitality businesses located in Alberta Avenue are participating in this year’s Dine the Ave. They will be featuring special menu items available to order (including through Door Dash) all through the month of July.


      • Twyla returned to Narayanni’s, the first restaurant she reviewed for CBC 10 years ago. She had forgotten “how freaking delicious the masala chicken is…and how rich and hearty the cream-free curries are.”

      Local News

      Beyond Edmonton

      What I Ate

      • We’ve been meaning to order burgers from Wishbone’s pop-up restaurant Grey Mare for some time, but didn’t get to it until last weekend. We tried the Daisy Duke and the Nashville hot chicken – both were very tasty. The carbonara croquettes were the standout for us though! If you’re looking to try it, make sure to order soon as it’s their last week before reverting back to Wishbone’s menu!

      Grey Mare

      Grey Mare’s Daisy Duke in the park

      Twilight Picnic Experience at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden

      It is shaping up to be the summer of the staycation, with non-essential inter-provincial travel still up in the air, and international travel ill-advised. As a result, attractions close to home are getting a long second look from locals seeking an escape from the city or something to help break up the summer months. The University of Alberta Botanic Garden seized this moment, and put together a special event that combines access to nature with local food. A couple of weeks ago, Mack, Emily, and I were invited to attend a preview of the Twilight Picnic Experience they have begun offering at the Garden.

      Located 15 minutes southwest of Edmonton in Devon, the University of Alberta Botanic Garden covers 240 hectares, boasting cultivated gardens and plant collections, indoor showhouses, and natural areas. To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Botanic Garden was closed until recently; on June 1, 2020, they re-opened to visitors by reservation only.

      University of Alberta Botanic Garden

      Kurimoto Japanese Garden

      The Botanic Garden has offered food-inclusive events in the past – back in 2013, Mack and I enjoyed a carnival-themed date night catered by Elm Cafe. By comparison, the Twilight Picnic Experience presents an opportunity for a more intimate and romantic evening.

      That night, still without childcare options, and with a daughter who happens to love picnics, we brought Emily along. Before settling down for dinner, we chose to wander the grounds first, finding quiet solace in nature. It was such a privilege to have the spaces we visited to ourselves; when we were in the beautiful Aga Khan Garden this time last year, we were far from the only patrons present. Twilight Picnic Experience attendees will have exclusive access to Garden for two hours after 8pm.

      University of Alberta Botanic Garden

      Emily in the Aga Khan Garden

      Mack and I were able to observe some of the one-way signage and seating closures in place to encourage physical distancing, in preparation for busier occasions. Coupled with the Garden’s intentionality regarding guest limitations, we would feel more than comfortable returning again later this summer.

      We headed back to the Kurimoto Japanese Garden to collect our picnic box, and set up our blanket next to the water feature. The Gardens will be limiting the number of parties each night to 30, so there will be plenty of room to spread out.

      We weren’t sure what to expect from the picnic box, but upon opening, were immediately blown away by the presentation of the food. They’ve sourced sweet and savoury items from a number of local purveyors, garnished with edible flowers and herbs from the Garden itself.

      University of Alberta Botanic Garden

      Picnic box

      Our box featured products from many of our favourite small businesses and farmers’ market vendors, including fruit from Steve & Dan’s, charcuterie from Meuwly’s, sourdough from La Boule, and peppers and cucumbers from S4 Greenhouses. It was my first time trying the Happy Camel’s labaneh (yogurt cheese), a delicious spread on the accompanying fresh pita. Mack was particularly taken with the raspberry scone, while Emily devoured (and was subsequently covered in) the strawberries.

      University of Alberta Botanic Garden

      Family picnic

      For those looking for something a little more extravagant to nosh on, picnic baskets can be customized with caviar, smoked salmon, or foie gras for additional fees. As well, the Kurimoto Japanese Garden is licensed, so picnic-goers can also have a beer or some bubbly to sip along the way. Lastly, other extras are also available to enhance the evening, including bouquets of flowers and handmade cards.

      It looks like this concept of an intimate picnic at the Botanic Gardens has struck a chord with locals; all of June is already sold out!

      Thanks again to the University of Alberta Botanic Garden for hosting us that evening – it was a wonderful way to safely shake up our pandemic routine and experience some nature along the way.

      To book your own Twilight Picnic Experience, check out the University of Alberta Botanic Garden’s website.

      Food Notes for June 8, 2020

      Supporting Black-Owned Food Businesses

      In an effort to support the current Black Lives Matters protests, several local food bloggers have used their platforms to showcase local Black-owned food businesses.

      Some of the lists have referenced information gathered from Afro Biz and Black Owned YEG. Find links on Linda Hoang, YEG Cravings, and Eat with Sharon’s sites for a window into the variety of cuisines and products available throughout Edmonton. In New York, similar lists have been circulating for the last week, and some businesses have seen an uptick in sales during that period.

      On a related note, Calgary-based writer and cookbook author Julie van Rosendaal has offered to consult with aspiring BIPOC writers for free, to help ensure more diverse voices reach the mainstream.

      In COVID-19-related News:


      • Culina On the Lake, their Hawrelak Park outpost, officially opened in February, but closed shortly after due to the COVID-19 restrictions. It has since re-opened, and now has a patio to boot!
      • It looks like the Downtown location of Wayback Burgers at 10412 Jasper Avenue is still coming soon.

      Upcoming Events

      • AMA is hosting an Ask Me Anything with Taste Alberta on June 11, 2020 that will focus on how to shop local for barbecue season.
      • The Friends of the Royal Alberta Museum Society have partnered with Get Cooking for their next event on June 11, 2020. Kathryn Joel will be leading a virtual cooking class featuring Alberta’s official 7 ingredients.
      • The folks behind the 124 Grand Market are organizing a Food Truck Fest on June 12, 2020 from 4-8pm in the parking lot of Kingsway Mall.

      Local News

      Urban Agriculture and Farming

      • The City of Edmonton’s pop-up gardening initiative is moving forward with 350 containers to 29 sites.

      What I Ate

      • Edgar Farms asparagus is in season! The asparagus arrived late this year, so the season will unfortunately be even shorter than usual. Find them at Old Strathcona, Downtown Edmonton, Bountiful, St. Albert, and Callingwood Farmers’ Markets.

      Asparagus pizza

      Asparagus pizza

      Coffee Bureau

      Emily loves ice cream!

      Food Notes for June 1, 2020

      Oliver Neighbourhood Food Exchange Box First in Edmonton

      Edmonton has its first food exchange box, located in the Oliver area. Quinn Wade spearheaded the idea, inspired by the Little Free Library movement, which promotes book sharing. The box functions on the generosity of strangers – people contribute what they have to give, and those in need take from the box. Wade shared that people have been considerate of others:

      “One of things that COVID has really done is (show) there’s a lot of good in this world and there’s a lot of really good people.”

      More boxes to house donations in other neighbourhoods are currently in the works.

      COVID-19-related News



      Upcoming Events

      • The next Food Truck Drive-Thru will be on June 3, 2020 from 4-8pm at the WECA Church parking lot (6315 199 Street), featuring Drift, Casa 12 Doce and Jackie O’s.
      • Chef Levi Biddlecombe is the next local contestant on Food Network’s FireMasters. The episode featuring his competition airs on June 11, 2020, and he will be hosting a viewing party at The Provincial Kitchen & Pub to celebrate. Tickets are $21 plus fees, and includes a drink and some food.

      Local News

      • Sabor is offering a to-go Swine and Dine dinner for two on June 4, 2020. The cost is $70.
      • Congratulations to Milk Crate and The Baker’s Son for celebrating their one year anniversaries!
      • The Public, a forthcoming food business incubator and market, has launched some pre-set food boxes called Public Offering Boxes that can be picked up from the 124 Market or from The Public each week.
      • Sharon tried another new delivery-based food business called Graham’s Jerkhouse.
      • The current episode of podcast Don’t Call Me A Guru explores how some local businesses, including Milk Crate and the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market, are using social media during the pandemic.
      • The second season of CJSR’s That’s Food podcast kicks off by focusing on some easy to make dishes at home.
      • Cathy shares her love of the waffle puck from Old Strathcona and Bountiful Farmers’ Market vendor Cookie Crumbs.
      • Avenue interviewed Scott Messenger about his book, Tapping the West: How Alberta’s Craft Beer Industry Bubbled Out of an Economy Gone Flat.
      • Peter Keith of Meuwly’s has joined the Board of Directors of the Culinary Federation.

      Urban Agriculture and Farming

      What I Ate

      • Thanks to The Glass Monkey for gifting me one of their beautiful sourdough loaves this weekend! They recommend pre-ordering for those interested.

      Glass Monkey

      Sourdough from Glass Monkey

      • Craving pizza, this week’s take-out was from Campio Brewing. Though the toppings were great (I loved their cheekily named “PB & J” – pineapple, bacon, and jalapenos), the Detroit-style crust could have used more time in the oven.

      Campio Brewing

      PB & J pizza from Campio Brewing

      Food Notes for May 25, 2020

      Filistix the First to Undergo “Permanent Pivot”

      There have been many stories about how local restaurants have adapted to the COVID reality out of necessity, offering take-out and delivery, meal kits, and opening up their pantries. And though some food businesses have decided to re-open their dining rooms again, one local restaurant has decided their new model will be here to stay.

      Filistix, who was due to celebrate the one year anniversary of their Downtown storefront on May 26, 2020, has chosen to permanently pivot away from full service dining. After two months of positive response to their in-house delivery service, and in light of their need to plan for the future of the restaurant, they will be focusing on delivery, take-out and fast casual dining.

      Ariel del Rosario, co-owner of Filistix, wrote,

      Are we set up for success? Are we going to come out of this unscathed? Only time will tell.  But I am confident that we are putting ourselves in a good position to weather the storm.  It was already an immensely tough challenge to break an unfamiliar, unpopular cuisine to the Edmonton masses.  We don’t serve pizza, or burgers, or sushi.  We serve Filipino food and the curve is steep to bring it to the level of acceptance as our Asian counterparts.  One thing we learned from our food cart days is that to survive, we had to adapt and evolve.  How we come out of this, we look at it as another chapter in our story, another adventure on our journey.

      Find Filistix here.

      In other COVID-19-related news:


      • A new food cart is now open in Edmonton, called Street Tacos.

      Upcoming Events

      Local News

      Beyond Edmonton

      • A Kansas-based pizzeria owner gamed Door Dash and made $75 by ordering his own pizzas.
      • Is physical distancing enough to prevent another outbreak? The Atlantic tackles how COVID-proofing restaurants may look like.
      • From Restaurant Business: is the buffet dead?

      Urban Agriculture and Farming

      What I Ate

      • Chilly weather last week had me craving bun bo Hue, so take-out from King Noodle House was in order!

      King Noodle House

      Our usual from King Noodle House

      Food Notes for May 18, 2020

      Hospitality Businesses Welcome Dine-In Customers

      The Government of Alberta lifted restrictions for restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bars on May 14, 2020 to resume dine-in services.

      While capacity of these businesses was limited to 50% (among other guidelines), many restaurants in the Edmonton area chose to re-open their dining areas to patrons. Some, including Canadian Brewhouse, Joey’s, and Hudson’s, aren’t surprising, given the space they have in their establishments to spread out.

      But many smaller, independent businesses have also resumed eat-in service, such as Pampa, Hart’s Table, Ramen Misoya, Kelly’s Pub, Rocky Mountain Ice House, The Underground, Hanjan, dessert bar Snowy Village, and neighbourhood gem Old Beverly Cafe.

      However, other businesses have stated that they aren’t yet ready to open their dining rooms, and will continue offering take-out and delivery for the time being.

      Prairie Dog Brewing, a Calgary-based brewpub, posted a thorough account detailing all of the considerations behind a decision to re-open – it is worth a read, and seems to articulates many of the factors stacked against small restaurants at this time.

      In other COVID-19-related news:


      • The location of The Greenhouse based at Victoria Golf Course is now open. It comes from the folks behind Workshop Eatery and Woodshed Burgers.
      • While the dining room at Boxer – Alberta Kitchen & Bar (the former Holy Roller space) is not open yet, they have been offering curbside take-out. Find them at 10315 83 Avenue.
      • The Colombian now has a coffee truck! Follow The Coffee Mule to find out where they’ll be next.


      Upcoming Events

      • In support of Canadian potato farmers, Sabor is offering 2 pieces of Piri-Piri chicken with fries and aioli for $14 on May 19, 2020. Pre-ordering is required.
      • The Chefs from Milk Crate and Why Not are going head-to-head in a Burger Battle for a second time on May 20, 2020. Diners try two take-out burgers and vote for their favourite. Pre-orders are due at 4pm on May 19; burgers are to be picked up at Milk Crate in the Epcor Tower.
      • The Common’s popular Hip Hop Brunch is going virtual on May 24, 2020. Those interested should pre-order; included along with the food are colouring sheets, crayons, and a link to the live brunch stream.

      Local News

      • Chef Doreen Prei is the next Edmontonian to appear on Food Network Canada’s Firemasters program. Watch for her appearance on May 21, 2020.
      • Sharon wrote about some small food-based businesses that have started up during the pandemic, including Malay Bakery, Nai Nai Mie, and The French Creperie. QuaranTeas & Sweets is in the same vein, offerings sweets and drinks through delivery. It’ll be interesting to see if these businesses are able to sustain themselves when and if diners return to eating in restaurants again.
      • Sea Change Brewing followed through on their offer to deliver a pallet of beer using a forklift. After Highlands Liquor placed a large order, they made the 10km trip on a small, pink forklift, documented the journey, and have pledged a portion of the beer sales for Edmonton’s Food Bank.
      • Local startup Commerce Owl has submitted their recipe app for a Shopify competition in the hopes of snagging a prize.

      Urban Agriculture and Farming

      • While farmers’ markets have been classified as “essential services” and have remained open during the pandemic, their transition to outdoor spaces has come with some restrictions.
      • Riverbend Gardens shared that for the first time since 2004, they will not be among the summer vendors at the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market. They indicated that “the market made the decision that no vendors with products similar to permanent indoor vendors would be allowed in the outdoor portion of the market.” This is incredibly disappointing, short-sighted, and unfortunate given the market had the wonderful opportunity to fully showcase the possibilities of having both indoor and outdoor components this summer. I look forward to supporting Riverbend Gardens through their other market locations.
      • Alberta Open Farm Days has updated their list of farms who offer farmgate sales or delivery options.
      • The City of Edmonton is hoping to increase the number of community gardens by creating 350 gardening plots in 30 temporary garden sites. The deadline to submit applications is May 18, 2020.

      What I Ate

      • We still haven’t exhausted our take-out options within walking distance of our home! Friday’s craving for Thai meant kicking off the weekend with food from Viphalay. The pad Thai and green curry are staples for us, but we tried the drunken noodles for the first time too – I was unprepared for how spicy they were!


      Our spread from Viphalay

      Food Notes for May 11, 2020

      Some Restaurants Gearing Up to Reopen

      The Government of Alberta’s relaunch strategy is set to shift to stage one on May 14, 2020, which will allow some businesses, including restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bars, to resume dine-in services.

      Guidance on risk mitigation was released today. The document details include: seating capacity must be limited to 50% (including outdoor patios); 2-meter distances must be maintained between tables; group sizes are capped at 6 patrons; and all dining must be table service only.

      So far, only a few restaurants have publicly posted that they will be accommodating eat-in customers as of May 14, such as Pampa’s west end location, and Woodshed Burgers on 124 Street.

      Others, like Blue Plate Diner and The Next Act/MEAT/Pip, have shared that they will remain open only for take-out and delivery for the time being, in order to maintain the safety of their staff and guests.

      In other COVID-19-related news:


      • The Edmonton location of Peter’s Drive-In is now open at 5151 Calgary Trail, though for the time being, only for drive-thru services. Cars have been lining up and blocking traffic on Gateway Boulevard ever since.
      • Cup Bap on Rice Howard Way is now open at 101, 10115 100A Street, serving up Korean rice bowls and fried chicken.


      Local News

      Urban Agriculture and Farming

      • The 124 Grand Market is set to debut this summer on May 14, 2020, with some precautions, including limiting the number of patrons at any time to 50, no dogs, and encouraging the wearing of masks.
      • The Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market is reopening their outdoor portion (adjacent to the building on 103 Avenue) on May 16, 2020.
      • The St. Albert Farmers’ Market will reopen on June 6, 2020 in a new location to allow for greater spacing between vendors. They will be located in the parking lot of Servus Credit Union Place at 400 Campbell Road.
      • Community gardens are set to re-open this year, with some requirements to facilitate social distancing and sanitation requirements.
      • Sturgeon County-based farm 2BK Vegetables will be offering online ordering and curb-side pick-up this summer.
      • Angela Santiago, CEO of Edmonton-based The Little Potato Company, shared how her company has stepped up to meet the demand for their product.

      What I Ate

      • Before the pandemic, we made weekly trips to the Italian Centre as a part of our grocery run. Now, we’ve been using their delivery service (free for orders over $75) over the past month. It’s not only convenient, but amazingly efficient – both times, our orders were processed and delivered the next day. Their ordering system isn’t set up like the big grocers, but if you’re not that picky (or are a frequent shopper like us and know what you want), it’s a great way to shop local.

      Italian Centre

      Our recent Italian Centre grocery order (and Emily’s feet!)

      • Our Friday night take-out was courtesy of Rosewood Foods – an amazing chicken katsu sandwich with crispy potatoes, and maple cinnamon crullers. I can’t wait for their restaurant to fully open on Rice Howard Way – it’s a great little spot we can walk to! Currently, they’re open for pick-up orders from Wednesday to Saturday.

      Rosewood Foods

      Chicken katsu sandwich from Rosewood Foods

      • For Mother’s Day, we delivered an order of brisket and pulled pork from MEAT to my Mom (she’d been craving southern barbecue!). For ourselves, we ordered The Next Act’s take on donairs, made using the brisket from MEAT – they were delicious!

      The Next Act

      MEAT brisket donair from The Next Act

      Food Notes for May 4, 2020

      Food Establishments May Re-open Next Week

      The Government of Alberta released its Relaunch Strategy last week, and indicated that some restrictions on cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars may be lifted as soon as May 14, 2020.

      Dependent on the approval of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, stage one would allow food establishments to re-open for public seating at 50% capacity.

      Patrick Saurette of The Marc responded to this possibility in an interview with City TV, and indicated that although it may be permitted, his restaurant may decide not to open because staff and diners may not feel safe.

      In other COVID-19-related news:


      • Sister cafe to Sugarbowl Eleanor & Laurent is now open next door (10926 88 Avenue), and offers French pastry and fresh breads.
      • Century Hospitality has expanded their ghost kitchens to include concepts Nooch, offering protein bowls, and Chuck, offering burgers and milkshakes.
      • Brew and Bloom is a forthcoming cafe opening this summer. In the meantime, they are offering 25% off their food items for delivery.
      • A new food business called Malay Bakery is offering Malaysian curry puffs and rolled pandan for delivery.
      • Nico’s Cookie Co., run by a 10 year old boy, is also a relatively new business that offers porch pick-up in Parkland County.


      Upcoming Events

      • The next #EatWithMeYEG takes place on May 6, 2020 and will feature The Local Good’s current #LocalGoodnessYEG project which highlights small businesses.
      • The Food Truck Drive Thru returns with its second edition and six trucks on May 9, 2020 in the parking lot of Southgate Centre.

      Local News

      Urban Agriculture and Farming

      • Northlands, through its Alberta Flavour initiative, is conducting a survey to determine how the current disruptions in the food system can be managed.
      • Liane wrote about a number of local community supported agriculture projects that have escalated in popularity in recent weeks, including Sparrow’s Nest, Prairie Gardens, and Riverbend Gardens.
      • Local farmers, including Rock Ridge Dairy and potato growers, are feeling the effects of the pandemic on their bottom line.
      • “Meat is the new toilet paper” – or so say some Alberta meat producers who have seen their demand increase as meat packing plants have been forced to close, impacting supplies at grocery stores.

      What I Ate

      • We love having so many restaurants within a five minute walk of our place – many that we’re finally getting to for the first time! Friday night take-out was from Bao Bao – we especially enjoyed the traditional pan-fried bao (with pork bone soup inside) and the sweet and sour pork rib dry noodle. They also accept phone orders to bypass third-party apps for pick-up!

      Bao Bao

      Our order from Bao Bao

      • On Saturday, after meeting a friend’s baby for the first time (through a window!), we swung by Jack’s Burger Shack on the way home. It wasn’t planned, but we decided to eat our meal while it was still hot at a nearby park. The hangover burger really hit the spot, and Emily loved the fries!

      Picnic with Jack’s Burger Shack

      A quick picnic with Jack’s