Food Notes for July 19, 2010

I still can’t believe The Hills pulled that kind of ending on us. Six seasons and four years later, they choose the series finale to tease the audience with the suggestion that everything was staged? Sure, I’ve acknowledged that it was a “scripted reality” from the start, but why not just continue the charade? Sigh. On to this week’s food notes:

  • One more week to work on your entries for the Wild Boar & Beer Scavenger Hunt! If you’re not inclined to participate, you can purchase tickets for the event online here.
  • Does the Taste of Edmonton menu excite everyone? Something needs to change about the event – it seems to be the same every year. Also – interesting to see Krua Wilai still participating (as The Marc is taking over their storefront) – did they move?
  • Capital Ex released the details of their take on marathon food last week – the Monster Burger, made of 1kg of Spring Creek Ranch beef, plus bacon and other toppings, takes 20 minutes to cook, and costs $39.50…unless you can finish it all on your own (it is meant to feed six to eight people).
  • Kelly wrote a great post about the limited edition chicken and Eva Sweet waffle sandwich Elm Café offered on Saturday. It sounds like it will be back, due to popular demand!
  • A new Vietnamese sub shop is coming soon to the space next to Sweetie’s Cafe on Rice Howard Way.
  • Looks like Press’d in Edmonton City Centre is targeting an August 2010 opening.
  • The Dish is expanding into the Electrum Design Studio! They will have additional seating room, or if the doors are closed, private space for up to 30 people
  • MRKT, the newest lunch spot in the core, gets more blog love, this week from Liane.
  • The Journal wrote an article about the first location of a Tim Hortons in Edmonton that has been equipped with a Cold Stone Creamery.
  • Also in the Journal, the newest foodie profile – on the Edmonton Community Foundation Executive Director, Martin Garber-Conrad.
  • Did you know people are knocking down the doors of Dahlia’s Mediterranean Bistro for their meatballs? I didn’t, until I read the profile of owner/operator Fadi Smaidi in Vue.
  • The Queen, a community garden in Queen Mary Park (111 Street and 109 Avenue, just north of the Edmonton Chinese Baptist Church) is having an open house on Sunday, July 25, from noon-3pm! Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions, and the CommuniTea Infusion Van will also be there for the festivities.
  • Also on the subject of community gardens, Jennifer Cockrall-King continued her series on urban gardens in Edmonton, with posts about two gardens just west of downtown (I love the Oliver garden, for the record!).
  • Marianne wrote about Country Cuisine’s Taste of Summer event (a great alternative to the Taste of Edmonton) that took place recently. Look for their other popular event, Tomato Fare on August 15 – I enjoyed it last year.
  • Always great to see new local blogs pop up – welcome, GourmAndrea!
  • Are cupcakes saving New York’s economy?
  • How’s this for a foodie twist on the traditional matching sites – Salad Match strives to pair you up with someone based on your salad affinity. Would the Alberta equivalent be “Burger Match”?
  • Eva told me about Teaopia that opened in Kingsway a few months back. We finally came across it while shopping at the mall on the weekend. We didn’t explore it (I will freely admit I don’t know much about tea), but on a different day, I’ll be back.

Teaopia

Teaopia

  • Mack and I are such suckers for novel potato chip flavours (not a new topic). This time, we were sucked into buying a bag of “Late Night” Doritos, which are supposed to taste like cheeseburgers. The verdict? There are hints of ketchup, cheese, mustard and pickles – and the combination does remind us of cheeseburgers!

Doritos Late Night

Mack poses with our new favourite chip flavour

  • We haven’t been eating out on the balcony as much as I would like, but we did take a moment outside with some treats I picked up from Whimsical Cupcakes the other day. Yum!

Whimsical Cupcakes

Hurrah for cupcakes!

11 thoughts on “Food Notes for July 19, 2010

  1. Taste of Edmonton honestly needs to try to attract some new restaurants to participate, particularly some smaller ones (if possible, which I know it might be difficult for a smaller restaurant to stay open and man a booth at the fesitval at the same time). I think it’d be a great way to attract new customers to your place.

    Honestly though, the menu looks very similar to last years, both restaurants and the items the restaurants are offerring. The festival is getting stale and could do with a bit of change.

    BTW, I was told by Marty Quon (of The Lingnan and the show “The Family Restaurant”) that they are putting together a food truck, possibly to target the after bar crowd in Edmonton. They’re also in the midst of filming Season 2 as they have been picked up by Global TV.

  2. I’m glad Dahlia’s is getting some good press! I’ve never had the meatballs but their shawarmas and sandwiches are awesome. And Fadi is pretty much the nicest guy ever!

  3. Regarding A Taste of Edmonton:

    I’ve been around since the first year of A Taste of Edmonton and noticed that it hasn’t changed all that much since then, except for the few restaurants that have changed year to year. I don’t doubt that it is a very successful event for each restaurant and Events Edmonton.

    Who can argue with its success when you see the crowds and happy faces at the event.

    I would agree that the event is a bit stale and could use some change. I only go every second year or so and even at that rate, I don’t notice that much that is new.

    I think that the length of the event (10 days) is part of the reason for the lack of new restaurants. 10 days is a long time for a business to commit for the event. Granted, it’s almost guaranteed success, but that success also takes away from the existing business that has to be maintained during those 10 days.

    A Taste of Calgary only runs 4 days (Aug 12-15) and A Taste of Saskatchewan only runs 6 days (July 20-25). That shorter time may draw a bigger crowd each day and may be less of a strain on each business. This may then have the potential to draw newer businesses to the event.

  4. Eva – thanks for the tip about the Lingnan’s upcoming food truck! If they’re serving up Amy’s chicken, you can bet Mack will be a regular customer!

    Simon – I tried the lentil soup, and it was amazing! I’ll have to go back for the meatballs.

    Buddha Pest – I agree it might be too long for restaurants to commit, but if you take a look at the schedule, some restaurants only commit for a few days (Hotel Mac, Padmanadi). I also have to wonder if it does draw additional business to the restaurant – some of the items the restaurants may choose to serve may not be their most popular/best items, but work for the temporary kitchen set up. For example – I know the Sutton Place can do better than their annual chocolate-dipped strawberries and shooter cups, but you can’t blame them for serving something that’s easy to transport.

  5. Cheeseburger chips! Oh Doritos, what will they come up with next.

    Does the Taste of Edmonton menu excite anyone? I can’t remember a year, besides maybe the first, that I was excited. Gone are the days that I’m going to line up for deep fried ice cream and green onion cakes. I think if anything, it just provides for a more entertaining place to meet friends/co-workers for lunch. Although working out in Nisku makes this virtually impossible.

  6. Chris – I agree, it does make for a fun lunch hour, and the crowds are smaller during the day. Still, I’m not planning to make the trek over this year.

  7. Hi Sharon, I noticed today at the Parade, that the Garage burger bar (next to Metro) is undergoing renovations!

  8. So we went back to Taste of Edmonton tonight. Much better than the salty fare we had last weekend.

    Hotel Macdonald had two good options, their wild mushroom bisque and mac scone with whip cream and a Saskatoon berry compote were both generous and tasty.

    The most interesting thing we found was a BBQ Beef Rib we from Chef’s Grill and Bar (never heard of it before today). The ribs were tender, delicious and fall off the bone! Which begs the question, have you heard of a good bbq beef rib place in Edmonton?

    We googled it and only came up with Tony Roma’s (mostly pork, one beef option, but mediocre from reviews on Urban Spoon) and Smokey Joe’s (which has apparently gone “downhill”). Does such a place exist? Has anyone heard of or do Southern BBQ in Edmonton?

  9. Eva – hm, Chef’s Grill must have been a new/late addition – I don’t remember seeing them on the list of booths. I remember having the bisque one year, and while it was good, I think Hotel Mac has served the same two dishes for years.

    I watch “Diners, Drives-Ins and Dives” with envy. I’ve heard the same thing about Smokey Joe’s, but they seem to be it for southern BBQ. Anyone else have an idea?

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