Food Notes for December 5, 2022

Openings

Local News

What I Ate

  • We ordered from Panini’s Italian Cucina for the first time last week to satisfy a pizza craving. Chicken pesto is usually my go-to order, but I was particularly impressed with the loaded Italian. The Bolognese beef sauce made for a really flavourful base, and the meatballs were really tasty. We will definitely order rom them again in the future!
  • Panini’s

Loaded Italian and chicken pesto pizzas from Panini’s

Food Notes for November 28, 2022

Birdog on the Hunt for Repeat Customers Downtown

Century Hospitality Group has opened Birdog, its sixth restaurant and its third in Edmonton’s core, intending to complement the downtown food scene.

Century Hospitality Group owner Chris Lachance said he is always looking for opportunities to grow. While he has passed on more than two dozen offers to expand over the past few years because they weren’t right, Lachance was intrigued when he was contacted by a friend over the summer. He was an investor in Bottega 104 and shared with Lachance that it would close in September.

“I already knew the (Bottega 104) landlord, and he was very flexible and accommodating,” said Lachance. “And my friend stayed on as a partner at Birdog and made it easy to transition.”

The name of the restaurant came to Lachance in a dream. The term “bird dog” primarily refers to hunting dogs that fetch game birds after they are shot, but it is also a term in sales parlance for referrals in business. For Lachance, Birdog perfectly conveys what he is trying to achieve with the guest experience.

“It’s the relentless pursuit to get what you’re after,” said Lachance. “In the hospitality business, it’s the way you make people feel. So let’s do something great here, go after it, and let’s bring those guests back.”

Lachance said Birdog was designed to fill a gap he identified in the area. “We looked at what was missing downtown, and thought we could bring in a restaurant with a really cool lobby hotel feel,” said Lachance.

The restaurant at 10181 104 St. joins two Century restaurants downtown: Lux Steakhouse and The Parlour.

While Birdog retained Bottega’s long bar along one wall, the new layout opens up the space. There is also a private room in the back that accommodates up to 12, with its own private washroom. At present, Birdog is open for dinner Tuesdays to Sundays but will consider adding lunch and brunch depending on the response from the community.

While he is proud of the drink menu, Lachance was quick to emphasize that Birdog has a “serious kitchen.” Culinary leader Tony Le has created an approachable menu not out of step with other Century Hospitality properties.

For example, pizzas feature prominently on the menu, as Century retained Bottega 104’s industrious pizza oven. “It’s the Ferrari of pizza ovens,” said Le. “At Parlour, I had to learn how to control a wood-fired oven for our pizzas. Here, it holds a consistent temperature, so I don’t have to worry about it.”

In addition, Le highlighted the burger on the menu, a Minnesota-style “Juicy Lucy.” The beef patty is stuffed with American cheddar and served on Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls, brought in from Pennsylvania. They’re the same buns used at the popular American chain Shake Shack.

Korean-inspired dishes are also on the menu, with kimchi mac and cheese, kimchi wings, and Le’s version of Korean corn cheese. “Maybe I’ve been watching too much K-dramas,” laughed Le.

Experimentation with Korean flavours ties in well with Century Hospitality’s next project, Stingray, located in the former Delux space in Crestwood (Century Hospitality had sold its burger-focused property Delux a few years prior, but subsumed it over the summer). To open in 2023, Stingray will allow Le to flex his interest in pan-Asian cuisines, including tastes from his Vietnamese heritage.

Both Lachance and Le credit their loyal customer base as the reason they continue to thrive, in spite of several rough years during the pandemic. “It was the worst time in my life,” said Lachance. “But to see our guests coming out to ask what we needed, I cried. That’s what being rooted in the community is all about.”

Openings

  • From the folks behind Smokin’ Barrels comes Tropical Sweets Cafe, located at 10235 124 Street, Unit 100B.
  • Forno Flat Bread, offering “Mediterranean and Italian fusion”, is now open at 3418 99 Street.

Upcoming Events

  • Filistix is launching their Kusina Speaker Series on December 7, 2022. It features a multi-course meal from Chef JP Dublado and a presentation from him about his experiences in hospitality. Tickets are $90.
  • A reminder that the Edmonton Christmas Market kicks off on November 30 and runs until December 18, 2022 at Fort Edmonton Park. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for kids 6-17.

Local News

  • Arcadia announced that “taking into account the ongoing human rights issues surrounding the World Cup this year, we cannot in good conscience promote the event”, and will not be showing any of the matches.
  • The Butternut Tree has adopted a policy RGE RD did last year, and as of earlier this month, introduced a $10 deposit fee per person to secure a reservation. The deposit is refundable upon arrival.
  • The more winter patios, the merrier, so it’s great to see that Fu’s Repair Shop has winterized their backyard! See other winter patios listed here.
  • Happy first birthday to the Downtown location of Jack’s Burger Shack.
  • The Downtown Business Association is launching a gift card on December 1 that will be accepted at more than 40 shops, restaurants, liquor and cannabis stores, venues, and hotels.
  • Taproot has the story behind an initiative from Converse and Cook: a new cookbook capturing how Edmontonians coped with the pandemic with comfort food.
  • Edmonton Eats has put together 5 cooking kits that benefit their cultural hosts. The kits cost between $8-20.

What I Ate

  • We celebrated American Thanksgiving with Jack’s turducken burger, a supremely satisfying combination of a turkey patty, chicken skin, and duck gravy. It was a special offered just that day, and sold out for good reason.
  • Jack’s Burger Shack

Jack’s turducken burger

  • I also cannot believe Elizabeth is three months old! I meant to share a photo earlier, but as parents know, better late than never!
  • Emily and Elizabeth

Emily and Elizabeth

Food Notes for November 21, 2022

Openings

  • Century Hospitality is opening a new property called Birdog in the space that formerly housed Bottega 104 (10181 104 Street).
  • Sauce Modern Caribbean Cuisine opened over the weekend, located at 13655 St. Albert Trail.
  • Dorinku Osaka has a new pop-up ramen shop called Tenjin Ramen, that opened over the weekend.
  • The Mash has opened their third location in the Edmonton area, this time in Old Strathcona (joining restaurants in Windermere and St.Albert). Find them at 10402 82 Avenue.

Closures

  • After 4.5 years in operation, Yelo’d shared that they are closing on December 23, 2022. In their announcement, they do hint at “amazing things” planned for 2023.
  • High Dough is closing their Garneau location (in order to concentrate their pizza operations at the Strathcona location). But they promise new life for the former Three Boars space.

Local News

  • I love local collaborations! This one sees Jacek partner with Kind Ice Cream to recreate three of their most popular ice cream flavours into chocolate bars. The bars are sold exclusively at Kind.
  • Another great collaboration is between Remedy and Alley Kat, to produce a Chai Latte Porter.
  • The Silver Skate Festival has brought back their Celebrate Edmonton Bags, surprise bags filled with goods sourced from local companies. I’ve purchased them in the past and have found them to be a delight.
  • After only a 7 week trial, the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market has decided to call it quits on opening on Fridays: “At this time we would like to focus on our current customer base who is telling us their preferred market days are on the weekend.”
  • Edify suggests places to watch the World Cup.
  • Also from Edify, they checked out brunches at Tiramisu Bistro and Versailles Cafe.
  • The University of Alberta held a forum to ponder what we might be eating in 50 years.

Urban Agriculture and Farming

  • Those looking for locally-grown lettuce can consider Vertical Roots Canada, who farm their greens in south Edmonton using aquaponics. Their product is available at the Bountiful Farmers’ Market.

What I Ate

  • There’s nothing like a morning pick-me-up from Rosewood Foods. Their breakfast sandwiches and potatoes are just so good.
  • Rosewood Foods

Chicken sausage sandwich from Rosewood Foods

Food Notes for November 14, 2022

Openings

Upcoming Events

  • Dalla’s Amano Holiday Market returns on December 3, 2022 from 11am-3pm. They will have roasted chestnuts and local vendors.
  • A Christmas version of the popular Filipino Sari Sari Mercado Market will take place on December 10 and 11, 2022 at 10505 106 Street.

Local News

What I Ate

  • While at Dalla for lunch last week, I couldn’t pass up the chance to have the scaccia again – I love the all of the layers of meat and cheese.
  • Dalla

Scaccia from Dalla

  • I have noted in the past that I do wish more meal kits created in the wake of the pandemic remained, but I am glad for those that are still available. This includes the frozen Vietnamese soups from Momma Tong, which are so handy when a craving for Bun Bo Hue hits.
  • Momma Tong

Bun Bo Hue from Momma Tong

Food Notes for November 7, 2022

I’m doing my best to keep to my weekly posting, but the reality is the return to having a newborn in our house has been a steeper curve than I expected! I know some of you missed my Food Notes last week, so here is a super-sized version to catch you up.

Openings

  • Vintage Fork’s tea shop in the historic Barto Residence is now open at 11425 95A Street.
  • Asymmetrical Brewing is opening their new space on November 9, 2022. They are located in part of the storefront that formerly housed Two Sergeants Brewing, 11821 105 Avenue.
  • Rigoletto’s is moving to the CKUA Building (9802 Jasper Avenue), aiming to re-open in mid-November.
  • Bodega is opening their sixth location in Ellerslie in mid-December, located at 916 103A Street SW.
  • After closing their Downtown pop-up, Fawkes Coffee & Doughnuts has shifted their pop-up across the river to 10507 Saskatchewan Drive.
  • Bubble tea shop Boba Bar opens in Sherwood Park on November 8, 2022 at 540, 3850 Sherwood Drive.
  • Taiwan-based bubble tea chain Kung Fu Tea has opened in Edmonton at 14250 23 Avenue.
  • Loblaws City market in Ice District officially opens on November 9, 2022. It is located at 10324 103 Avenue.
  • A new “dessert experience” is coming soon to Old Strathcona, called Phat Bar Bakery, located at 101, 10813 82 Avenue.

Upcoming Events

  • The inaugural ICE District Chili Cook-Off will be hosted at the Molson Hockey house on November 10 from 5-8pm. The entrance fee is a $10 donation to the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and includes 8 sampling tickets and a vote for the People’s Choice Award.
  • The Butchery is hosting a Christmas Market on November 27, 2022. $15 tickets include food and wine samples, and a $5 credit towards any purchase at The Butchery.

Local News

Urban Agriculture and Farming

  • Has the City’s food and urban agriculture strategy moved the needle at in the decade since coming into being? Not much, some urban farmers told Taproot.

What I Ate

  • Leopard finally began offering take-out, so we finally were able to try their pizza! I’m sure the pie would have definitely been better eaten hot out of the oven, but I loved the chew in the crust. We’ll definitely have to go back in person one day.
  • Leopard

Paulie’s from Leopard (we appreciated that they honoured our request to put olives on only half the pizza, too)

  • We’re always grateful to have Tiffin so close – to be able to walk out with a meal in minutes definitely helps on some of those extra busy nights.
  • Tiffin

Take-out from Tiffin (I especially love their mango paneer!)

Food Notes for October 24, 2022

Presenting: Edmonton Food Faves We Crave

While both Linda and I have maintained long-standing blogs which include weekly suggestions for dining options, we are often still asked for recommendations and to share our “favourite” restaurants. As a result, some time ago, Linda and I started to think about how we might put together a list of some of our favourite places. Edmontonfoodfaves.ca was born, with 15 categories of our #YEGFoodFaves, with three suggestions under each.

We want to make it clear that this list (like all “best of” or “top” lists) is completely subjective to our tastes, not at all exhaustive, and reflects our biases.

To help launch our list, we’ve put together an “Edmonton Food Faves We Crave Passport” you are invited to follow for a chance to win prizes, while supporting local restaurants and eating some pretty tasty food along the way!
From Oct.19-Nov. 16, 2022, visit places on our Food Faves list and share about where you’ve gone and what dishes you’ve tried to be entered to win gift cards to our favourite places! More details about how to enter are on the page.

We hope you’ll enjoy eating your way through #YEGFoodFaves as much as we enjoyed putting together our list!

Openings

  • Chain Yushang Rice Noodle is now open at 10167 109 Street.
  • Oomami Dog, offering Asian-inspired kurobuta pork hot dogs and seafood rolls, is now open inside the south side location of Splash Poke (4112A Calgary Trail).
  • NV Restaurant opened about a month ago in Edgemont (20015 Lessard Road).
  • Walmart has opened in Kingsway Mall (having relocated the location from Westmount Centre).

Upcoming Events

  • Beverly Dining Week returns October 21-30, 2022, with 10 participating restaurants offering menu specials priced at $15-$30.

Local News

What I Ate

  • We started our month of #YEGFoodFaves with a return to King Noodle House. I love noodle soups year-round (as evidenced from the list!), but the cravings especially kick in when the weather takes a turn. We made the brisk walk over on Friday to pick up our take-out of my go-to Bun Bo Hue.
  • King Noodle House

Our King Noodle House order

Food Notes for October 17, 2022

Openings

  • Remedy opened a new location in HUB Mall at the University of Alberta.
  • Sauce, offering “modern Caribbean cuisine” is opening soon at 13655 St. Albert Trail.

Upcoming Events

  • LitFest’s annual Food Matters on October 22, 2022 is about the Chinese diaspora and identity this year, featuring author and film documentarian Cheuk Kwan, and Hungry Zine’s Kathryn Gwun-Yeen Lennon and Kyla Pascal. Tickets are $25 in advance.
  • The next Swine & Dine event will be hosted at RGE RD. Tickets for the family-style feast are $65 per person.
  • The Edmonton Christmas Market returns at Fort Edmonton Park, from November 30-December 18, 2022. Admission starts at $15 plus fees for adults and $10 plus fees for children 6-17.

Local News

What I Ate

  • It had been a while since our last order from Syphay, so it seemed time to reacquaint ourselves with their pad Thai and green curry. It definitely hit the spot!
  • Syphay

Take-out from Syphay

  • We had to take to the trails on such a glorious weekend. And it really was the perfect day for a cool treat, so we couldn’t pass up some Pinocchio ice cream from the River Valley Adventure Co.
  • Pinocchio

Pinocchio ice cream break

  • I’d been curious about Dosi Rock after passing them at the Legislature grounds countless times, and given this might just be the last nice week of fall, it was a good time as any to give them a try. They were super efficient (the order was prepared in two minutes flat), and I really enjoyed the flavour of the bulgogi.
  • Dosi Rock

Bulgogi from Dosi Rock

Food Notes for October 10, 2022

Openings

Closures

Upcoming Events

  • The Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival celebrates 25 years with their annual event at the Edmonton Convention Centre on November 4-5, 2022. Admission starts at $27.28 but does not include sampling coupons needed to obtain food and drinks.

Local News

What I Ate

  • Not all takeout is made equal. Some dishes just aren’t suited to delayed consumption. But the Nish Klik from Pei Pei Chei Ow held up well, enduring the bus ride home. The two breaded pork cutlets stayed crispy, and were well served by the horseradish aioli and pillowy brioche bun. It is definitely worth grabbing for takeout!
  • Pei Pei Chei Ow

Nish Klik from Pei Pei Chei Ow

Food Notes for October 3, 2022

Openings

  • Cav Cafe is now open in the former Burrow space located inside Central LRT station
  • Miss Korea Cafe is now open at 10335A 100 Avenue.
  • Khazana opened their third location last week, in north Edmonton, located at 184 Mistatim Road.
  • Thai Corner opened recently at 9314 34 Avenue.
  • Another location of Blowers & Grafton opened in Sherwood Park last week (#500, 7000 Emerald Drive).
  • The Banquet in Ice District will open on October 15, 2022.

Closures

Upcoming Events

  • YEG Food Masters is “a Black Box competition where competitors will be challenged to cook their best dish in 1 hour using 3 secret ingredients which will be required to be used in the dish.” Tickets are $180 for 2 people, and include cocktails and 3 dishes, and tastings of the Black Box dishes. The first event takes place October 12 at El Beso.

Local News

What I Ate

  • The cruffin from Brio Bakery is one of my favourite treats in the city! Their filled cruffins are great, but more often than not the cinnamon sugar is my go-to.
  • Brio Bakery

Cinnamon sugar cruffin from Brio Bakery

  • It’s great to have Northern Chicken in #yegdt! Our family of four enjoyed the patio there last week, though truth be told we only lasted about ten minutes with the food before baby Elizabeth forced us to pack it in. Thankfully, we didn’t have far to go!
  • Northern Chicken

Our spread from Northern Chicken

Food Notes for September 26, 2022

Openings

Upcoming Events

  • The Telus World of Science “becomes Edmonton’s largest food and drink laboratory” for their fundraising even Where Science Meets Cocktails. Tickets are $109 and include cocktail-inspired science activities and food from restaurants including RGE RD, Filistix, and Guru.

Local News

What I Ate

  • It had been too long since my last Kasey Ramen order (and the first where I could actually eat the egg!). The tonkotsu broth was so creamy and supremely satisfying.
  • Kasey Ramen

Kasey Ramen tonkotsu