The countdown to the 30th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is on! Mack and I bought our Frequent Fringer passes and the program last week, so we’re all ready to go. The fun starts in Old Strathcona on August 11 and runs until August 21, 2011. On to this week’s food notes:
- Help spread the feeling for the Edmonton Food Bank! For every hug sent, Kraft will donate one jar of peanut butter to the food bank!
- The Queen Community Garden (11112 109 Ave) is hosting an open house on August 12, 2011 from 12-3pm. Tours will be offered on the hour.
- Madison’s Grill is hosting a farm to fork dinner on August 24, 2011. Producers will also be on hand to answer questions – check out the menu on the “features” tab.
- Congrats to Transcend Coffee baristas Ben and Josh for placing first and third, respectively, at this weekend’s Prairie Regional Barista competition.
- Speaking of Transcend, they just launched their exciting new food menu, which includes in-house made pastries like a savoury squash brioche. Street food-inspired items, including pupusas and arepas, will be introduced on August 10, 2011.
- We were sad to have missed the Drift and Molly’s Eats food truck meet-up on August 1, so it was great to read about it on Twyla and Carmen’s blogs.
- On the topic of food trucks, I really wish I could be in Calgary on Thursday for the official launch of their Food Truck Pilot Project. I’m optimistic that Mayor Nenshi’s efforts will help make it easier for trucks down south. And though it’s slow going here (something we’re hoping to change soon), I recognize that it could always be worse – we could be in Winnipeg.
- Jacquie shared her recent experience with Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton (OFRE).
- There was a great piece about Johnson Family Farm in Taste Alberta last week. I hear it caused quite the line-up for their products at Salisbury Farmers’ Market the following day!
- Musings on the slippery slope of local, sustainable food: “At a certain point, when only the relatively rich can afford to not ingest bovine growth hormone on a regular basis, appreciating food and where it comes from becomes a bourgeois endeavor akin to collecting Fabergé eggs.”
- This was one epic resignation letter from a disgruntled Whole Foods employee. You know it won’t be puppies and rainbows when it starts out like this, “I appreciated and respected what the company said it’s philosophies were at that time…However, it didn’t take long to realize what complete and utter bullshit they are.”
- Are you ready for The Chew, a daytime talk show all about food? It starts airing on September 26, but I’m excited to see Top Chef alum Carla Hall back on TV.
- No one’s happier about this than Mack: Oodle Noodle is expanding downtown, and will be opening up a location in the Birks Building on Jasper Avenue just off 104 Street. Look for it November 1, 2011.
Another Oodle Noodle, coming soon!
- Mack and I had dinner at Niche on Friday. It was quieter than I expected, especially compared with my last two experiences there. I was sad to see they had taken my favourite dish – the beef cheek and egg noodles – off the menu, but I didn’t mind trying something new (it was great to see that they’ve added a vegetarian entree to the menu, too). The cheese plate ($22) was okay but nothing special (and we were a bit surprised our server didn’t introduce the cheeses to us). My Spanish braised Pembina pork ($22) was a monster of a serving, but was just meltingly tender and easy to eat without a fork. I could have done with less Israeli couscous though, and more of the slaw. Mack ordered the special, halibut crusted in cornmeal and paprika ($25). He enjoyed it, but preferred to sneak bites off my plate. We’ll be back at some point, but in the meantime, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the beef cheeks will return to the menu…
Spanish braised Pembina pork
Halibut crusted in cornmeal and paprika
- On Saturday, our lovely dinner companions treated Mack and I to dinner at Bistecca. Our server was very patient with us as our party assembled, and great throughout the night. If I thought my serving at Niche was large, I’m not sure what to say about the veal osso buco. Though the meat was tender, the sauce definitely helped keep everything moist and tasty, and the side of risotto was cooked just perfectly. Mack ordered the night’s special, a house-smoked Nathan’s hot dog, served with lobster and risotto – there aren’t too many steakhouses that serve up hot dogs in Edmonton! The ‘dog ended up being the star of the show. Three of us ordered the crepes for dessert, mostly for the show. The crepes themselves were okay (the fig filling wasn’t our favourite), but the flame? Well, see for yourself.
Veal osso buco
Nathan’s Famous hot dog and lobster