Food Notes for January 31, 2011

It’s always bittersweet when a friend leaves your workplace for another opportunity, but at least in Jill’s case, she’s only a few blocks away! Still, I’m going to miss you and our coffee breaks, fellow grapefruit club member! On to this week’s food notes:

  • Probably the biggest food news in the city this week was the announcement that Transcend is opening up downtown, in the space formerly occupied by Axis Cafe (10349 Jasper Avenue). Look for the T3 to open up in March, with a full food menu to boot.
  • Another Japanese Village is set to open in south Edmonton at 2940 Calgary Trail (which most recently housed Blush, among other things) – thanks for the tip!
  • Congrats to Liane and Kevin, two Edmonton winners of the first instalment of the Canadian Food Blog Awards!
  • Save the date! Slow Food Edmonton is planning its first annual Eat Alberta Food Conference April 29-30, 2011, to be held at the Yellowhead Brewery. The day will feature lots of hands on sessions like sausage and bread making, as well as various tastings. More details to come!
  • Perhaps this is the way to engage the next gen set at the community league level: host a wine and cheese for Valentine’s Day (Oliver is doing it on February 12, 2011).
  • Joel Salatin (of Polyface Farms/Omnivore’s Dilemma fame) is coming to town at the end of June.
  • The Journal wrote about how social media helps bring diners into local restaurants, like Elm Cafe.
  • Also from the Journal – looks like Alberta lamb is on the upswing (it does seem to be more readily available as of late, but then again, I’m probably just looking for it more).
  • The City of Edmonton invites you to complete a survey regarding their Corner Store Revitalization Project (trying to help reverse the immense tide away from neighbourhood-based shops). I’m not that optimistic, but I do support it – anything to make the city more walkable.
  • I love Councillor Henderson’s idea of closing off 104 Street in the summer and turning it into a “big patio”. C’mon Council, make it happen!
  • How could you not love CHARCUT’s alley burgers (aka, gourmet burgers, served out of their back alley)? I know what I’m lining up for the next time I’m in Calgary. Both Andree and Julie wrote about their recent back alley foray.
  • Watch for a new farmers’ market in southeast southwest Edmonton, at the Lillian Osborne High School (2010 Leger Road), to be launched some time this spring or summer.
  • Check out the hydroponic tomatoes that came out of Maki’s basement. Gorgeous.
  • 700 columns later, The Minimalist is over! Mark Bittman will still be writing for the NYT, but ended his weekly recipe column last week.
  • I’ve been reading a lot about “pop-up” restaurants lately – establishments that open up temporarily for a few days or a few months. How’s that for finicky diners – here today, gone tomorrow…

Have a good week!

8 thoughts on “Food Notes for January 31, 2011

  1. Great food notes as usual. I’ve been wanting to try CHARCUT for quite some time-planned on going to Calgary a few months ago, but I got really sick. Next time, it’ll be on my list as well. I also want to try the Ladybug Bakery and m for macaron in Calgary (

  2. Sharon, Lillian Osborne school is in southwest Edmonton, not southeast. Just an FYI! 🙂

  3. I hear from @zoomjer ‘s blog post Charcut got over 50 people last time, over twice their usual! Wish we had a neat ongoing event like that here in Edmonton.

  4. It’s great to hear that Alberta lamb is gaining popularity. Hopefully, the industry will grow to accommodate this popularity. Fresh, local lamb is SOOO much better than the frozen stuff imported from New Zealand.

    Restaurants seem to almost brag about the fact that their lamb is from New Zealand, but most lamb-lovers I know much prefer the local stuff, if only because fresh food tends to taste better.

    If I see “Alberta Lamb” on a menu, I’m in. If I see “New Zealand Lamb,” I may still be in, but I’ll definitely see what else is on the menu, first.

  5. The first time I ever heard of “pop up” restaurant was on Top Chef. I wonder about the expense of such an enterprise. It’s a huge production to get even a small independent bistro started; if successful, how does a chef close down for good knowing that they were profitable (and considering that is a rarity the first year in business and that a majority of restaurants close down unwillingly)? I suppose then this would only be an option for established chef “personalities.”

  6. I love how helpful Anonymous always is!
    ALSO FOLKS – (sorry Sharon, I cannot help myself) Don’t forget to think about SAUSAGE MAKING with your sweetheart – or just a pal – on Valentine’s Saturday Evening …. register with us over at the Taste Tripping Link on my site! It will be the best Valentine’s (Almost) Day you have ever spent!
    Great updates, Sharon! I am still onto some links!

  7. Hey Sharon,
    I’m already missing the coffee breaks too! Thanks for the shout out. And I saw Noodle Maker from the window of our staff room – didn’t quite realize it is so close!!

  8. FoodieMcPoon – hadn’t heard of either of those places. I will have to add them to the list!

    Anonymous – sigh. Can you tell I am directionally-challenged? Thanks.

    Eva – indeed, it’d be great for Edmonton to have something like that! Its so awesome that even in the winter CHARCUT can attract so many people.

    Adam – I’m with you on Alberta lamb. I just tried lamb from a small producer at an event yesterday, and it was amazing – Culina will be serving their product (the farm is called Tangle Ridge Ranch).

    Lea – yeah, pop-ups might not be an option for those without some other kind of “guaranteed” capital. Bruni wrote a great starter piece on it earlier this year:

    Valerie – no worries! I hope people take advantage of an alternative to the usual V-day dinner.

    Jill – we will meet up for lunch soon!

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