Buffets Greenlit to Resume
Buffets are now permitted to re-open for self-service in Alberta, following new protocols that featured input from a local buffet chain.
Staff from Buffet Royale Carvery, which has four locations in the Edmonton area, worked with Alberta Health Services on crafting guidance to maintain the health and safety of diners. These protocols include having dedicated staff to: require patrons sanitize their hands before entering the buffet line; dispense plates and utensils; and change out serving utensils after use by individuals or table groups.
Buffet Royale’s Sherwood Park location resumed dine-in buffet service on June 25, 2020.
- Lock Stock Coffee has resumed dine-in service.
- Melt has re-opened in the Bell Tower.
- A letter signed by multiple chambers of commerce estimates it could be up to 18 months before the food service industry returns to normal.
- Bodega Pantry is now open next to Sabor, and in addition to Spanish and Portuguese pantry staples, they also serve sandwiches, salads, and desserts.
- Fort McMurray-based Jomaa’s Pizza & Donair has opened a location in Edmonton at 15178 127 Street.
- Taste of Shangri-la has opened in the former Sloppy Hoggs location, at 9563 118 Avenue. They serve Indian, Chinese, and Nepali cuisine.
- The next #EatWithMeYEG event will be held on July 22, 2020 and will focus on black-owned restaurants.
- The second Alberta on the Plate festival takes place August 7-16, 2020, and will focus on restaurants who are highlighting local ingredients. In addition to multi-course dine-in menus, this year restaurants may also choose to offer takeaway menus. So far, Edmonton has four participating restaurants (High Level Diner, Smokey Bear, Why Not, XIX Nineteen), but more may be added. Menus will be live August 1.
- True North Picnic is offering “one-of-a-kind” picnic experiences in public parks. Prices start at $100 without food.
- Joey’s in the Bell Tower had been approached to be a part of the NHL bubble, but declined. Sabor has also been in conversation with NHL officials. So far, only Chop in the Sutton Place Hotel (one of the hotels in the bubble) has confirmed that they will be closed to the public, and catering only to players and team staff.
- Linda partnered with Alberta Chicken to feature ten chicken dishes to try in Edmonton.
- Alberta has expanded its liquor laws to allow diners to bring any type of alcohol or spirit to restaurants that permit it. It had only previously covered wine.
Urban Agriculture and Farming
- A Coaldale-based greenhouse called Whole Leaf has been selected to provide lettuce to all Wendy’s locations in Canada.
What I Ate
- Mack, Emily, and I finally had our first dine-in experience over the weekend, outside, and contained to our household: the weather was finally cooperative for us to try Fox Burger’s rooftop patio. While the food was good (the Fox cheeseburger was really tasty), a combination of the stress related to dining out during a pandemic and dining out with a toddler has made us reconsider the next time we’ll do it again, especially in restaurants we’ve never been to before.
Fox cheeseburger on the Fox Burger patio
- We have been doing our best to eat outdoors where possible, and this week, that meant taking my treat from Rosewood Foods to enjoy by the river!
Brown butter chocolate chip cookie from Rosewood Foods
- We also met up for a socially distant picnic with some friends at Hawrelak Park, and combined the outing with an excuse to try Culina on the Lake. The menu is basic concession fare, but my halibut burger was made fresh to order and the fries were hot and crispy. I did wish there were plexiglass screens to protect the staff in the small indoor space, given no patrons other than me were wearing masks.
Halibut burger and fries from Culina on the Lake
- I’ve been referring to many of the small food businesses popping up during these last few months as “pandemic kitchens” – it will be interesting to see how many will last through the current circumstances and transition into something more permanent. At any rate, we ordered from one such business and tried some Nai Nai Mie noodles (thanks Linda for the recommendation!). I enjoyed the texture of the noodles – great chew, and the chicken portion (while small) was delicious. It would be something handy to have in the freezer as a back-up meal.
Nai Nai Mie at home
- It’s no secret I miss the 104 Street market terribly; while we still patronize the indoor location, it really isn’t the same, and some of our favourite vendors have either left or been pushed out of the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market. Al Fresco on 4th will be filling a void for me – it runs on Saturdays from 11am-4pm until September 19, 2020, and features a number of food vendors, including Riverbend Gardens, Steve & Dan’s, and Stonepost Farms.
Al Fresco on 4th