Food Notes for July 27, 2009

The countdown to the 28th annual Edmonton International Fringe Festival begins – programs go on sale Tuesday at noon! I’m looking forward to it. Onward with this week’s notes:

  • News was released this week about Loblaws acquiring T & T. I actually shop at Superstore less than I have in the past, so I can’t report firsthand whether or not their distribution has improved as they had set out to do, but if not, I hope it doesn’t affect T & T’s ability to be a reliable source of Asian goods.
  • Paula tweeted about a new bubble tea shop in Chinatown called, well, Bubble Tea Cafe located at 97 Street and 106 Avenue. It seems Flirt Cupcakes on Whyte will also have a new neighbour called Bubble Juice, which is coming soon.
  • Liane posted about the new cafe in the recently renovated Muttart Conservatory. On that note, I can’t wait until the new Art Gallery of Alberta opens in the fall with a brand new restaurant/cafe. Places to dine without need to pay admission will make age-old city attractions appealing again to residents and not just tourists.
  • Richard Helm reviewed a new-ish Turkish restaurant called Istanbul Mediterranean Cuisine (12918 82 Street, 780-478-8881) on Saturday. A “rebuttal” of sorts was posted on Chowhound the same day.
  • Anyone know what happened to Cargo and James in Edmonton? Though the Whyte Ave store looked closed indefinitely, I just passed by the “for lease” signs in the window this week.
  • The Greater Edmonton Alliance is currently looking for a local food systems research intern, to help, among other things, prepare a presentation to Council and expand the Good Food Project.
  • Cupcakes have officially jumped the shark in Vancouver: the W Network is casting for a reality show about the pint-sized treats at Cupcakes by Heather and Lori.
  • Elana Safronsky over at Food for Thought posed an interesting question about “unladylike” food, and shared her experience about being chastised for having a big appetite.
  • I have to admit I don’t know much about the subject of food irradiation, so I appreciated this primer.
  • I must admit I like to occasionally wander through supermarket aisles just to see what new products are greeting our aisles. When confronted with smiling images of Wolfgang Puck on cans of soup, I had to wonder – cookware lines are one thing, but soup at $3 a can?


Wolfgang Puck soup – seriously?

  • I also noticed that Safeway has started labelling “organic” products with small white text tags. I wonder if stores will begin migrating towards using the new CFIA-sanctioned logo as markers at some point?


Organic labels at Safeway

  • And just for fun – this sign outside Polly Magoo’s made me laugh. I wonder if any restaurants would instigate such a discount?


Cluck like a chicken, fool!

11 thoughts on “Food Notes for July 27, 2009

  1. Re: Cargo and James – I’m assuming they’ve gone the way of the dodo bird, because the one in Sherwood Park Mall has been gone for quite some time …

    And hey – don’t knock the Wolfgang Puck soup … it’s pretty good stuff – albeit kinda pricey … 🙂 … where’d you find it for $3/can??

    And I was horrified to discover that T&T had been bought out … I have a very bad feeling about this …

  2. The soup might have been $2 a can…I probably should have taken a picture of the price as I have a horrible memory!

  3. I was chatting with the manager (possible the owner? He was the one paying the rent, anyway) of C&J on Whyte before they closed ‘for inventory’, and he told me that the rent for the location there and the location in City Centre mall had gone up enormously in recent months. Don’t quote me on this, but I think I remember him saying something around a $5000 increase – per month! As far as I can tell, he was in negotiations with the owners of the building while selling off the inventory, and he must not have gotten what he wanted. (For what it’s worth, I believe something similar happened to Morse Code on Whyte.)

    They’ll be missed. The fellow in question was always very pleasant and happy to recommend a tea. He also introduced me to maté, for which he has my eternal gratitude.

    There is, as far as what I know from what he told me before the Whyte Ave location closed, one remaining Cargo and James, in St. Albert. I believe it’s operated by the same person, so maybe he’d be able to tell you more than I can. Afraid I didn’t catch his name, though.

    Also, Polly Magoo’s has the best sales. There have been sales based on singing or dancing before, as well as their usual colour-themed ones.

  4. I’m not sure what happened with C&J, but they did have great tea. There used to be a wonderful songwriter’s stage there, the only downfall being that it was on Whyte and out-of-towner’s like me just don’t know where to park.

    I’ve heard really good things about the Wolfgang Puck soups – and I think they’re better priced than the Amy’s brands. I’ll definitely have to pick some up sometimes, but I still think you can never go wrong actually making your own soup. In the end it’s better for you and way cheaper than buying store bought.

  5. I’d love to know what happened to C&J as well. I live just off of Whyte and it was so nice to pop over for a cup of tea. (And for my loose teas too)

  6. I loved the ‘rebuttal’ on chowhound. Made me laugh.

    Do you think I could score an extra discount if I not only made a cat sound, but used the cat costume? 😮

  7. The Chowhound “rebuttal” to Helm’s review was pretty funny. I’m not sure if I trust it or not, but I certainly don’t trust Helm’s review. Half of the review is self-aggrandizing fluff that adds nothing to the article. Of course, that describes most of Richard Helm’s restaurant reviews, doesn’t it?

  8. Stephanie and Kristilyn – I agree, Edmonton could use a few more specialty tea shops.

    Chris – I’d hope so, but unfortunately, I think the joke would be lost on everyone else :).

    Adam – Indeed. When I see Helm’s name, I brace myself before reading the review.

  9. Sharon, I noticed that the neon ‘open’ sign was lit up on the the new bubble tea joint next to Flirt on my afternoon bike ride.

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