Food Notes

  • I noticed the other day that Essence Organic Tea Bar (10011 102 Ave) has shut down for good; it lasted about a year. I think their somewhat hidden location and no evening hours didn’t help matters.
  • Mack sent me a link about the Art Gallery of Alberta‘s Request for “Expressions of Interest from qualified restauranteurs to create, lease and operate a casual fine dining restaurant/café and provide catering services for the facility.” I hope the restaurant is at least partly situated in the space that juts out and overlooks Churchill Square. And depending on the restaurant that ends up in the gallery, the view may only be one aspect to be excited about.
  • With options like Thai Express and Oodle Noodle that are so much better, I am still left scratching my head at why Edmonton has so lovingly embraced Wok Box. Apparently, we are going to inflict sub-par food on visitors to our fair city too – Mack sent me a link about an upcoming Wok Box opening at the airport in December.
  • I don’t often post about bars or clubs on my blog, but Play Nightclub (10233 103 St), the new queer club to hit the scene, will be offering up their space to non-profit and community groups when not in use. That definitely warrants a mention. The group partly behind Play (who also runs Oil City Roadhouse, The Globe, and Fluid among others), is also behind the upcoming restoration of The Silk Hat.
  • Mark your calendars: Hundred Bar & Kitchen (10136 100 Street, 780-425-0100), the new Century Hospitality venture, will open its doors on October 2.
  • Another one from Mack – local restaurants will be donating their leftover fare to the Edmonton Food Bank to help feed the hungry.
  • Bistro began a new monthly section called “Trade Secrets” last week, where culinary experts will answer pressing reader questions on anything from proper ingredient preparation to dish ideas.
  • Funny how places that are community favourites can so easily fall under the radar. Happy Garden is an example, reviewed in the Journal this weekend.
  • Mack and I wandered around the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market on Saturday. It’s been a while since I’d been there (I prefer open-air markets when possible), and I was surprised at how much larger it was than I remembered. We picked up some produce from Peas on Earth for my Mum and some Catfish Coffee Roasters for us. After the City Centre Market shuts down for the season, I may have to sneak back – for the produce and the atmosphere.


Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market




Catfish Coffee (thanks, Adam, for the pointer)


Fall harvest from Riverbend Gardens

8 thoughts on “Food Notes

  1. Man, Essence was such a rip. I’m not surprised it closed. I stopped there one day for a shaken tea last summer, instead of doing my usual chain run of Starbucks. I was rewarded with a shaken ice tea that was mostly head/froth, and quite a bitter tea that had been brewing too long. It made me sad, and I never returned. I hope some funky wine or dessert bar opens in the space instead.

    More news on Bacon closing/reopening:

  2. I had a blended tea/milk drink from Essence just after it opened, and found it all right. Just wasn’t able to go back during its operating hours.

    Thanks for the link – I read it this morning too. I think it’s interesting that the article doesn’t even mourn the passing of Bacon in the slightest.

  3. I think I may have been one of only three people in the city that did not enjoy Bacon. I found the service erratic, the food over-hyped and under performing, and the menu a bit limited.

    Don’t get me wrong; I wish there were more places with the same ideals as Bacon. I was hopeful when I first heard about it. Local products, homey food and in fun areas of the city; but I think ultimately Bacon failed in many aspects.

    Juliana Mimande had some grand ideas but I have a feeling the business side really affected her running of the restaurant. I read an interesting article the other day detailing some of the novice mistakes she made in the early days of Bacon. ( I’m not surprised it’s going through transition.

    That was just a teaser online the other day by the way. As you’ve probably already seen, Liane has mentioned Bacon a bit more in today’s piece in Bistro.

  4. Kelly – I actually only went to Bacon once, for dinner over a year ago. I found the food all right, but the interior charming and like you, really gravitated towards the ideals of the restaurant. Thanks for the link to the Unlimited article; I hadn’t seen it before.

    Adam – we were offered a sample of the Medium or Dark. We chose the former, and liked it enough to buy a half-pound bag. Being without a grinder at Mack’s place meant we haven’t yet had a chance to try it at home though :).

  5. Thought you might want to know… both Italian Markets have beautiful coloured peppers for sale, including some very funky looking purples ones (the insides are greenish-white!). $1.39 per pound makes them worth the trip on its own!

  6. I have seen the peppers in boxes by the door. They do look interesting, though the colors are decidedly less vibrant than the red, orange, and yellow varieties that we are more used to seeing. Do they taste the same?

  7. Pretty much. The peppers are a bit thin fleshed, but are good still. Used 7 different kinds in my chili this weekend!

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