Food Notes for August 24, 2009

I started my day off this morning with fantastic news – Edmonton’s Fringe reigns supreme! Stage a Revolution absolutely smashed Winnipeg’s 81,000 record – 92,100 tickets were sold this year. Way to go Edmonton! Now on to this week’s food notes:

  • I finally finished reading Julia Child’s My Life in France. Though this was my second attempt at reading it, I have to say watching Julie & Julia gave me the needed push to finish the book. It’s a lovely memoir, filled with vibrant prose and hilarious accounts of Julia’s trials at Le Cordon Bleu and her decade long struggle to publish Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I loved her use of words (“marketing” and “cookbookery”), and do think the movie undercuts how much work really went into Mastering (for example, I cannot imagine communicating exclusively via air mail…in this age of technology, I can’t fathom anything less than instant). I appreciated the glimpse into the making of an American legend, and reading about the absolute joy that Julia found in cooking.
  • On the topic of books – Edmonton Public Library is having their back-to-school booksale this weekend – pick up some new reading material for next to nothing, and perhaps a new cookbook or two!
  • The Endless Feast is a PBS show that explores “the connection between the earth and the food we eat, one incredible feast at a time”. They will be filming an upcoming episode in Edmonton on Friday at Peas on Earth and at the City Centre Market on Saturday. It’s awesome that an American show will be featuring our city in all its glory.
  • I missed out on Mary Ellen and Andres’ picnic on their Greens, Eggs and Ham Farm this year in favour of the Fringe and another local food event, but I was happy that Valerie wrote a detailed account of it.
  • This is old news by now, but in case you missed it – Transcend Coffee’s second location is official: they will be taking over the Garneau space formerly occupied by Pharos Pizza. The cafe is set to open in January 2010.
  • Speaking of coffee – Vue Weekly had a short piece about the relatively new JoJo’s Cafe, located inside La Piazza Dasee, this week. Turns out the barista learned his chops from Transcend (every new cafe seems to have a tie to Transcend, eh?). On a related note – the Edmontonian reviewed some of JoJo’s brunch offerings here.
  • The Journal had a piece on Saturday featuring the results of a gelato taste test. The unlikely winner? Chocolate Exquisite. I’ll have to make a point to stop by sometime soon.
  • If you’ve walked past Rice Howard Way, you probably noticed this sign on Co Co Di’s doors – it reads: “Co Co Di will be reopening later this year. We look forward to serving you in our new location on Jasper Avenue between 114 & 115 Street, north side”. I hope they get some foot traffic with the move west.
  • Janice tipped me off that there will be a third location of Famoso in South Edmonton Common (in the area with the new Gap and Banana Republic outlets). They do already have an address and number ready to go – 1437 99 Street, 780-468-0000.
  • President Obama said that he would like to see a farmers’ market set up in front of the White House. Who knows if that would ever happen, but how cool is it that POTUS made mention of it?
  • The second artsScene Party took place at Latitude 53, and allowed us to scope out what is billed as the “only downtown rooftop patio”. Being at the top of a two-storey building wasn’t what I had in mind, but it still picked up a nice cool breeze. Of course, the gallery itself has a few pretty cool exhibits right now, including Trespass Act and a community gallery featuring this striking work by a Victoria High School student titled “Between Liberty and Freedom”.

Latitude 53 Rooftop Patio

  • On our way to the City Centre Market on Saturday, we stopped to gawk at the new community garden in Mack’s neighbourhood. It’s beautiful, with circular paths in between plots, benches, and perhaps even a future water feature.

Oliver Community Garden

  • Starved and with only $5 cash between us, Mack and I wracked our brains for something affordable to eat on the Fringe grounds on Sunday. Luckily, we remembered Chicago Deep Dish (8114 104 Street, 780-413-8866). At $2.50 a slice, it’s still the most economical purchase on Whyte.

Ham & Pineapple Slice from Chicago Deep Dish

  • Chris had mentioned something food-related was under construction next to Bubble Juice on Whyte. Turns out, he was right – Irie Foods will be open on September 1, 2009. It looks like they have another location in Mill Woods – anyone know if this is replacing that store or is an additional one?

Irie Foods on Whyte

  • It will be hefty competition for TZiN, but Kelsey seemed to know it was coming: Lit Wine Bar will be opening up on the ground floor of one of the Icon Towers.

LIT Wine Bar on 104th Street and Jasper Avenue

  • There’s also a new bubble tea place in Chinatown on 97th Street. What downturn?

Bubble Tea Cafe

9 thoughts on “Food Notes for August 24, 2009

  1. I’m excited for Transcend to come up near my neck of the woods, and I’m totally pumped about that Caribbean place opening right by my house.

    That strip is becoming quite the interesting food spot.

  2. Speaking of Chicago Deep Dish and other inexpensive pizza places, I recently checked out Steel Wheels on the recommendation of some friends (Gateway and…84 Avenue, maybe? It’s around the corner from New York Bagel Cafe). The pizza is pretty good, and you get 2 slices for $3.

    It’s about the same quality as Chicago Deep Dish, but you get a bit more for your money. Plus, they have Bulgoki pizza! Pretty weird sounding, but it’s pretty good.

    It was a much better choice than the $5 slices of pizza they were selling next to the beer tent at the Fringe (and the pizza vendors looked SHOCKED that we had pizza from someone other than them).

    They’ve also got really cheap beer ($3 a bottle). It’s a bit of a dive but, then, so is Chicago Deep Dish. It definitely worth checking out if you want an inexpensive meal and don’t mind that the place looks like a shitty basement apartment.

  3. Latitude 53 does NOT have the only rooftop patio in Edmonton. I can think of two others off the top of my head: Chili’s on Whyte and Koutouki on Calgary Trail. They should do a bit more research before claiming that.

  4. Jeff – indeed that area is picking up.

    Adam – I have passed Steel Wheels many a time (and read a blog post about it recently, actually). I will keep it in mind, thanks!

  5. Hey Sharon. Just stopped in for a quick peak this afternoon at Irie Foods on Whyte as they finally opened. The son, of the woman who runs the Millwoods location, is running the house. Entree’s are in the $16-$20 range, including oxtail and curry goat. Jamaican patties and johnny cakes are still available.

    Quite a step up from the prices in Millwoods, it is classier though..and on Whyte. I’m going to try and grab a bite there soon.

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