Food Notes for October 12, 2020

Indoor Dining Continues as COVID-19 Cases Rise in Edmonton

Alberta’s COVID-19 case counts continue to increase, with last Thursday’s total recording as the highest single day case count since the start of the pandemic. With a majority of new cases in Edmonton, Dr. Deena Hinshaw imposed additional voluntary measures last week in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

These restrictions included limiting family and private social gatherings to no more than 15 people, and recommending masks for all indoor work settings where social distancing is not possible. The restrictions do not include closures of some in-person services such as indoor dining, which was the direction taken by Quebec for certain jurisdictions at the end of September, and by Ontario last week for regional hot spots.

Even if indoor dining service continues to be an option in Edmonton, some patrons will continue to seek alternatives. As fall sets in, restaurants continue to ponder whether the investment in a winter patio will bear fruit as temperatures drop. Others, such as Little Brick, have already shored up their outdoor seating with tents and heaters.

Openings

  • Love Pizza’s Spruce Grove location opens on October 13, 2020. It is located at #314, 11 Westwind Drive.
  • There’s a new restaurant at West Edmonton Mall called Five and Dive (modelled after a dive bar), where all of the food is priced at $5.55 or less. It opens October 15, 2020.

Upcoming Events

  • Like most other festivals this year, LitFest is completely virtual. The launch of a book called Beyond the Food Court, an anthology of literary cuisines, takes place on October 15, 2020 and is free.
  • The Butternut Tree is hosting a high tea on November 15, 2020. Tickets are available for $65 per person.

Local News

  • A reminder that the episode of Food Network’s Wall of Chefs, featuring Edmontonian Alexis Hillyard (of Stump Kitchen fame), airs on October 13, 2020. She will be reacting to the show on Facebook live.
  • Tres Carnales Rostizado is aiming to re-open with a new look, new menu, and expanded hours on October 19, 2020.
  • Amy’s famous dry spicy chicken is now available frozen through Uproot Food Collective. When it was first released in September, it sold out within 48 hours.
  • Cibo Bistro teased a forthcoming project from Chef Rosario Caputo called Impasto Lab.
  • Duchess and RGE RD have collaborated to make tourtiere, made with high-quality pork from small-scale producers. It is available frozen from both Duchess locations, and through their delivery service.
  • Chef Steven Brochu of MilkCrate has started a culinary video series called Brochu + You. The first video features a recipe for a one-pan Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Lincoln Ho of YEGventures is collecting nominations for his “Best of Edmonton 2020” list, which includes categories for different cuisines of food, and as fitting for this year, “restaurant with the best pandemic safety measures”. Nominations will be accepted until October 31, 2020.
  • The latest episode of NAIT’s Mawji Centre Let’s Do Coffee podcast features Nevin and Kara Fenske of Drift Food Truck.
  • There’s a new distillery in town called Lone Pine Distilling.
  • An episode of Serena Mah’s podcast Untold Stories highlights the Pandemic Planting Project launched by a lawyer and vice-chair of the Edmonton Food Bank that yielded 100,000 potatoes for those in need.

Beyond Edmonton

  • Linda shared a sponsored travel guide of Stony Plain (just 30 minutes west of Edmonton), including where to eat.
  • Karen Anderson of Alberta Food Tours launched Alberta Food Finder, an innovative way to explore Calgary’s Kensington area. The mobile-based app encourages players to “discover clues, solve puzzles and complete fun challenges while experiencing the best tasting food and atmosphere Kensington has to offer.” It costs $45 per team, and is designed in a way that follows public health guidelines. Expansion of this initiative could include Edmonton in the near future.
  • Uber Eats has launched an Eats Pass for $9.99/month, which provides subscribers with $0 delivery fee and 5% off orders over $15.
  • Canada has released a plan to ban six single-use plastic items by the end of 2021: checkout bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery, and food ware made from hard-to-recycle plastics.
  • Yelp has instituted a new alert that will flag businesses who have reports of racist conduct.

What I Ate

  • I was disappointed that the turkey sandwich was already sold out by the time Mack and I made it to Melt Sandwich Co. in the Bell Tower on Friday, but their Cubano was still pretty satisfying.

Melt Sandwich Co.

Cubano from Melt Sandwich Co.

  • To satisfy a pasta craving, we walked over to Amore Pasta downtown. The staff were incredibly efficient, and we were out with our order in less than 15 minutes. My “show me the balls” mac and cheese hit the spot.

Amore Pasta

“Show me the balls” mac from Amore Pasta

  • Mack and I were able to get away for a lunch date this weekend, finally trying Yoshii Express, which experienced a social media bump over the summer. The owner Alan was gracious and hospitable. We enjoyed our steaming bowls of tonkotsu ramen on the patio (nothing says shoulder season better than soup!). Unfortunately for Alan, business has slowed down again, with less foot traffic as the temperature has dropped.

Yoshii Express

Ramen on the patio at Yoshii Express

  • We capped off our Thanksgiving weekend with an annual tradition – enjoying the Lovesgiving pizza from Love Pizza (featuring mashed potato spread, pulled turkey, stuffing, cranberry chutney, gravy, and brie cheese drizzle). Emily happily ate all of the cranberries off our pizzas.

Love Pizza

Lovesgiving pizza from Love Pizza

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