Food Notes for November 7, 2011

Anyone else excited for the Christmas season? I know Mack won’t let me start decking the halls until after American Thanksgiving, but given the holiday lights have been up all over downtown, I can’t help but start looking forward to all of the lovely things that come with the season. On to this week’s food notes:

  • Olde Time Fair on the Square is back (albeit a little later than most years) on Saturday, November 13, 2011 from 10am-3pm. Expect carnival games, horse and wagon rides and food vendors! We checked out the festivities very briefly last year.
  • Cake Couture, the west-end cake and cupcake shop, has published a book, subtitled, “Modern Sugar-Craft for the Stylish Baker.” Join Annie Dam for the book launch at Century Grill on November 16, 2011.
  • Help Battista’s Calzones celebrate their first year in business on November 19, 2011.
  • NAIT is hosting a special dinner prepared by Julie van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan, authors of a new cookbook called Spilling the Beans. For $60, attendees will be provided with a 3-course dinner, and a copy of the book. Register prior to November 14 if you are interested.
  • It’s cookbook news galore, as Highlands Kitchen also announced that they are preparing a book, to be ready in 2012. A related note – they will be “posting a call for extras (diners) for filing January 10th & 11th via twitter and facebook” for their appearance on Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here. Keep your eyes peeled!
  • Can’t wait to celebrate American Thanksgiving? The High Level Diner will be serving up a turkey dinner perfect for ex-pats, or turkey fiends on November 24, 2011.
  • Hopefully, the wait is over: Bubba’s tweeted that he will be open the week of November 8.
  • Fat Franks must be doing well at the University of Alberta campus! They just opened a second kiosk at Lister Hall.
  • Congratulations to Packrat Louie, Guru and Café de Ville for winning gold, silver and bronze, respectively, at the Gold Medal Plates last week. The dishes, as usual, looked stunning. My only wonder is why the awards aren’t more visible to the typical diner. Given they have a cross-Canada reach, one would think the program could develop into a Michelin- or Zagat-style rating, especially with the amount of effort chefs and restaurants undergo to participate. Though I know the primary purpose of the awards is a fundraiser for Olympic and Paralympics athletes and not as a culinary showcase, it’s a pity the winners of the competition aren’t more revered in Canada.
  • Twyla reviewed Noorish, which is apparently leading the trend of serving up a side of yoga with your lunch.
  • I had no idea Oranj, the new sushi bar on Bourbon Street at West Edmonton Mall, was a part of the Albert’s chain. The Journal reviewed it last week.
  • If you haven’t already, Kevin’s post on seasonal eating (or as he calls it, “a forced abstinence”), is worth a read.
  • I missed this last week: Toronto joins Mississauga, Brantford and Oakville as municipalities that have banned the sale of shark fin. The bylaw, effective September 1, 2012, bans the sale, possession and consumption of shark fin and carries fines of up to $100,000.
  • Mack is pretty excited about the possibilities of Square, a “virtual card case” that will enable patrons to pay up without ever touching your phone or wallet.
  • How low will we go: now that the word “artisan” has been co-opted by Burger King, will it ever have the same meaning again? Grub Street tracks the word’s demise.
  • Duchess opened on Thursday in their new space. It looks great, with lots more seating. Apparently, it has been non-stop busy since that day! Mack and I stopped in on Saturday to check it out.

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The new Duchess

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We couldn’t resist picking up an exquisite passionfruit tart

  • I’ve written in the past of our enjoyment of unusual potato chip flavours. So of course we couldn’t pass up a bag of Lay’s India’s Magic Masala flavour that we came across at the Spice Centre in Little India. It was definitely spicier than most North American-produced Lays, and the thicker ripple-cut was reminiscent of Ruffles.

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India’s Magic Masala

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Mack’s favourite egg nog latte and my seasonal choice, the gingerbread latte

Have a good week!

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