Food Notes for December 5, 2011

It’s been a bit crazy at work these past few weeks, and for that reason, I’m grateful Mack’s been able to pick up the slack at home. It’s nice to have dinner waiting for you when return home after a long day. On to this week’s food notes:

  • You may remember soon-to-be-launched food truck Big City Sandwich has been taking over kitchens in restaurants around the city, to generate some income (and buzz) before the summer season. So it’s interesting to see existing truck Nomad do the same, for a similar reason – to tide them over in a city where winters are not necessarily hospitable to year-round vending. Their first dinner will be held at Yellowhead Brewery on December 20, 2011. There might be a few tickets left if you don’t blink!
  • Also on the evening of December 20, 104 Street businesses will be hosting a customer appreciation day. I’ll link to more information next week, but expect discounts like 10% off nearly everything at deVine’s, 25% off food at Blue Plate Diner, and complimentary treats all day at Queen of Tarts.
  • Maybe the most exciting news to me this week was finding out that 104 Street really is becoming Edmonton’s artisan coffee district – Roast Coffee will be setting up shop in the Mercer Warehouse on 104 Street and 104 Avenue, to be open some time in 2012. Great to see a small local business set up in the heritage building!
  • Will Jasper Ave eventually have its own chocolate district (near Kerstin’s Chocolates)? Bernard Callebaut will be opening up a new retail store (with a cafe) on Jasper next year.
  • Liv wrote about Cafe Coral de Cuba on Whyte Avenue.
  • The Journal reviewed Nola, the newest Creole restaurant in Edmonton. It’s quite a negative review, with such a different opinion than what others have told me about their experience. I’ll definitely have to check it out myself.
  • I haven’t been watching Recipe to Riches myself (is it odd to anyone else that Jesse Palmer is the host of that show?), but I know I was wondering if the products were actually worth buying. Foodie McPoon has been trying them all out, week by week, so you can get a second opinion first.
  • With another Wild Earth open on the west side at 14238 85 Avenue (and another one to come at the Epcor Tower), I wonder if people are confusing that cafe with the similarly-named Good Earth, which is also rapidly expanding?
  • Smashburger, deemed “America’s most promising company” by Forbes, is expanding to Edmonton. Makes me wonder why Five Guys hasn’t been more aggressive in northern Alberta.
  • Price check: this is an interesting post on the price comparisons between products at Planet Organic and Earth’s General Store.
  • Lots of great gift suggestions for the food lover in your life: cookbook recommendations from the NYT, and gadget picks from America’s best chefs.
  • 362 slices and two and a half years later, a man who vowed to eat his way through Manhattan’s pizzerias is now done.
  • Taste of Lebanon, the second Cafe Beirut location on Jasper Avenue and 112 Street is now open!

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Taste of Lebanon/Cafe Beirut

  • I had no idea Viphalay was moving to the house formerly occupied by Karma 99 Avenue and 105 Street.

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Viphalay

  • Though the second downtown Oodle Noodle is on the horizon, Mack and I headed to the 109 Street and Jasper Avenue location on Friday to help celebrate its 1st birthday. We loved the decorations (who doesn’t love helium-inflated animal balloons?).

Oodle Noodle

Or dragon-shaped cupcakes?

  • At Ikea this weekend, we stumbled upon the most adorable fruit and vegetable shaped stuffed toys. Mack didn’t have a choice but to pose with his new broccoli friends.

Mack with broccoli friends

Green is good

5 thoughts on “Food Notes for December 5, 2011

  1. Your last photo is hilarious! Mack is such a great sport! OK – I see I am going to be here for awhile checking out these links, as usual. YOu probably already reported that Katouki is now in the University area… I bumped in yesterday going to see my doctor needing change for the meter. It is on 82 ave and right now lacks customer parking – but will be a great place for me to meet friends for lunch as I see my doctor every other Monday at 2!
    🙂
    V

  2. I disagree with the so called “review” of NOLA. Granted, my visit wasn’t perfect and had issue of its own; however, I won’t go to the way Alan described it. In fact, if he is a paid writer, I would certainly be shaking my head in disbelief.

    As for my issues, they were “personal”, not much of a major issue per se. For example, I thought it was too noisy for a conversation; however, that was because the band was playing. Likewise, for two, the table felt a bit on the small side (we had to shuffle side dishes around to make space). The major “disappointment” was the fact we went the day the menu changed, i.e., we were hoping to order some dishes just to be told they were no longer available.

    As for his issues, in the case of the cornbread, it partially depends on how it is made: if only cornmeal is used, it tends to crumble a lot easier compared to when a mix of flour and cornmeal is used. As for tapas, find me a handful of Spanish restaurant in Edmonton and I think there is enough reasons to complain. Else, it is a trend a lot of people follow. As for the dishes ordered, granted, more dishes were ordered than in my visit but and he did try the key dishes. But, what about the mash potatoes? Nothing? They were killer! And the fried chicken (which they didn’t order), I thought it was REALLY good (the only caveat is that the chicken might not look fully cooked but it is). My experience with the jambalaya was completely different; however, mine didn’t have salmon but crawfish (which was a bit overcooked; however, given crawfish is not something easily found here, I would let it slip). Finally, the beignet…

    Sorry, I think they went on an off night and, if Alan is worth his paycheck, he should have done a revisit.

    OK, I went a bit overkill with NOLA so I will stop there…

    The Recipe to Riches products have been mixed for me. The lemon tart was decent; the cookies were meh (I would have gone for the bacon cookie!). The kulfi karma was meh.

    BTW, only broccoli? No carrot??? 🙂

  3. Another coffee house on 104 Street! That’s great news for everybody that lives and works near this street.

    Not great news for everybody else! C’mon coffee entrepreneurs … spread the coffee love around downtown. The rest of us are stuck with Starbucks and Second Cup.

  4. Valerie – had no idea Koutouki has a Whyte location. Thanks for the heads up. And yes, Mack is always a great sport!

    Kim – great to hear a dissenting opinion; I really hope the review doesn’t negatively impact Nola’s business so early on (even though I suspect it might). Will have to give it a try.

    And of the three stuffed produce, the broccoli was the most adorable, in my opinion!

    Buddha Pest – you’ll have to lobby harder! Though as I mentioned – some Wild Earths and Good Earths are popping up in other, less central neighbourhoods. They fall within the “third wave” distinction, but not sure if you’re just hoping for a Credo or Transcend instead :).

    FoodieMcPoon – thanks for reading, as always!

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