Food Notes for September 7, 2020

Restauranteur Pushes for Regulations to Support Winterizing Patios

As temperatures recede, restaurants across the country are considering options to maintain outdoor dining spaces into the cooler months. Some businesses have relied heavily on patios during the pandemic to boost sales, but as the seasons change, the need to winterize spaces is becoming apparent.

In response to Rachel Notley’s tweet last week asking restauranteurs what they would need to enable this, Cartago and Fleish owner Katy Ingraham made some suggestions:

“We need temporary patio permits made permanent or extended past Dec 31st, snow and ice clearing a priority, relaxation of restrictions for structures and fires, a culture shift to active and vibrant winter cities, money to activate plans and marketing to support the industry.”

Winter patios are not new to Edmonton; in fact, Winter City Edmonton (the City’s initiative to encourage citizens to appreciate and enjoy the outdoors, even during the winter) has been promoting winter patios for several years, including tips on how to design a four season patio. Cafe Bicyclette has had perhaps the most successful all-season patio, a combination of a set-up that protects from some winds, and their investment in space heaters and cozy blankets. For the majority of restaurants (and diners), it will be interesting to see just how many take the plunge to embrace an extension to the outdoor dining season.

COVID-19-related News

  • Ace Coffee Roasters in Garneau has re-opened.
  • The Tomato has a great photo essay featuring restaurants who have honed in on the art of take-out (Corso 32, The Butternut Tree, Glass Monkey, and Japonais).
  • CBC checked in with some businesses, including Blue Plate Diner and Spice Centre, about mask compliance at their establishments.

Openings

  • Find new Norwood restaurant Belge Cafe at 11307 95 Street.
  • Bistro 99 has taken over the space formerly occupied by a Starbucks at 99 Avenue and 105 Street.

Closures

Upcoming Events

  • NorQuest is hosting food trucks every Monday to Thursday in September from 11am-1pm on 108 Street and 102 Avenue.
  • Action for Healthy Communities is hosting YEG International World Tour Market on September 19, 2020 from 1-5pm at 10578 113 Street, featuring a number of food vendors.
  • Wild Heart and Kingsway Mall are again hosting a food truck festival on September 25, 2020 from 5-9pm, featuring up to 10 trucks.

Local News

  • Tech Life Today has the story behind the partners attempting to revive the Transit Hotel. It’s first phase, if all goes well, will see the main-floor family-friendly smokehouse restaurant open in the fall.
  • A listicle from Narcity points to a dozen alternatives to Starbucks that also serve pumpkin spice lattes.
  • The Edmonton Public Library has a video session all about the science of sourdough, led by Christine Gue from FiddleSticks Bread.
  • Russell Bird from You Need a BBQ is the guest on this week’s episode of the Eat More Barbecue podcast.
  • The Root Seller Greenhouse in northeast Edmonton is now bordered by residential communities as opposed to farmland when it first opened.

Urban Agriculture and Farming

  • Reclaim Urban Farm pivoted in March when their restaurant orders tanked, and have stayed afloat due to their partnership with the Organic Box and by offering fresh flower bouquets.
  • Jerry Kitt of First Nature Farm, a long-time vendor at the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market, is retiring. His last market day is October 3, 2020.

What I Ate

  • I foresee many trips to T and D Noodle House over the next number of months when working out of the office – their bun bo hue always hits the spot for me.

T and D Noodle House

Bun bo hue from T and D Noodle House

  • Mack and I got out for an afternoon date over the weekend, and stopped by Dorinku Osaka for some warming ramen (I do enjoy their tonkotsu). A patio along a four-lane section of Jasper Avenue isn’t the most pleasant place to eat, but I appreciated their effort to enclose the space with picturesque planter boxes.

Dorinku

Iekei Tonkotsu from Dorinku Osaka

  • Emily, Mack, and I headed out to Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village on their last operational weekend. I’m not sure Emily could yet appreciate the history (especially given all of the buildings were closed as a part of their COVID precautions), but she certainly loved the perogies!

Ukrainian Cultural Village

Platter from Ukrainian Cultural Village

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