Food Notes for September 14, 2009

You may have read on Mack’s blog that Twestival Local 2009 raised $565 for the Youth Emergency Shelter Society – thanks to everyone who came out! On another fundraising note, Mack and I will both be participating in the AIDS Walk for Life on Sunday. Brittney wrote an awesome post for “Team Sharon” last week – please consider sponsoring either myself or Mack. On to this week’s food notes:

  • Congrats to Chad and Josh from Transcend who placed third and fourth, respectively, in the Prairie Regional Barista Championships this weekend in Calgary. They’ll both be at nationals!
  • Nate Box’s new endeavour in the space that was previously Hulbert’s will be called Elm Cafe (7601 115 Street), and will be open for three meals a day. Look for it (fingers crossed) in mid-October.
  • Kelly posted about a new Indian restaurant on the city’s burgeoning southwest side called Zaika Indian Bistro. Looks sleek.
  • Christopher Thrall (who formerly edited and contributed to Vue Weekly’s Dish section) is Metro‘s Edmonton Urban Foodie – I look forward to seeing your reviews every Thursday, Chris! Meanwhile, food blogger Andree Lau has taken up Metro Calgary’s Urban Foodie post.
  • September 15 is the last day to get early bird admission tickets for the upcoming Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival, running November 5-7.
  • Vue Weekly had an article about Belle Valley Farms, an alpaca farm in Alberta – I’m not sure we’ll be seeing the demand go up just yet, but I’d be willing to try more of it.
  • Chris LaBossiere wrote a thought-provoking post about a potential redevelopment plan for the land currently occupied by the Valley Zoo. He suggests turning the area into a world-class community garden with teaching spaces for school children and culinary arts students alike.
  • Can a steakhouse be sustainable? An interesting question for Alberta, where steakhouses are a dime a dozen.
  • I had no idea Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups taste different depending on which side of the border they’re sold. Sounds like we Canucks have the better kind, though.
  • Can you say lunch envy? Some chef’s children have it good – I wish I had such good lunches when I was a kid.
  • Julie & Julia author Julie Powell’s new book seems even more contrived than the chapter excerpt I read, at least according to this Eater post.
  • Browsing in Damon J in Old Strathcona last week, I was handed a coupon book called Cheque Out Whyte. In it are some pretty sweet coupons, including a $15 “cheque” for Devlin’s, and a $10 “cheque” for Packrat Louie. It’s a neat promotion for area businesses to collectively offer.

Cheque Out Whyte

  • Just off Whyte (in the strip mall with Henry and Shoppers Drug Mart), I spotted a forthcoming restaurant called Taiwan Express. It will offer bubble tea, along with Taiwanese dishes.

Taiwan Express

  • A few of us helped May celebrate her birthday two weekend ago. We had dinner at Wildflower Grill, one of my favourite restaurants in the city. I have to say I wasn’t as enthralled with this experience as with past meals, and much of that had to do with our waiter, who was much too pushy with alcohol that night. Service aside, the food was okay. The star on my halibut entree was not the fish itself (which was actually overcooked), but actually the polenta, perfectly seasoned and cooked in a way that absolutely melted on my tongue. Mack’s steak was over-sauced, but he did enjoy his baby crock pot of truffled mac and cheese.

Goat cheese mousse amuse bouche

Halibut

Steak (any further details would have required some notation…of which I did not make)

7 thoughts on “Food Notes for September 14, 2009

  1. Last time I was at Wildflower for dinner we also found the waiter quite busy about our alcohol consumption that night. More than once he made the comment that we should order a bottle to share even though I was drinking red wine and one of my companions was drinking white. I still enjoyed my meal but his attitude towards our table took away from the over all experience šŸ˜¦

  2. Wildflower Grill is definitely one of my top three restaurants in Edmonton. That said, I’ve noticed a change in the food since Chef Yoshi Chubachi left. While the menu has finally been updated, some of the dishes lack the refinement they used to have.

    And I know what you mean about the alcohol pushing. Sometimes when I go I get no problems, but other times they really push it. I’ve read about this from other diners on forums (ie. Chowhound) too. I understand they hired a sommelier at opening – wonder if that’s him being so aggressive? Either way, I will say that most of the time the food is indeed worth it. Try the lobster and crab stuffed salmon medallions next time – the ice wine sauce it comes with is incredible!

  3. Jon – I didn’t know Chef Chubachi left. Sorry to hear you and others have also faced the alcohol-pushing issue. It really leaves a negative mark on the whole dining experience – I hope the management realizes that they may end up pushing people away.

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