Food Notes for December 14, 2020

Latest Restrictions Shutter Indoor Dining

Effective December 13, 2020, indoor dining was prohibited in all restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes across Alberta at least until January 12, 2021. Businesses will be forced to rely on take-out and delivery for a period that, pre-COVID, would have been their busiest time of the year. Patrick Saurette of The Marc expects to lay off 95% of his staff due to the changes.

Some, such as Pho Tau Bay, have elected to close operations until they are permitted to offer dine-in services again. Others have pivoted back to offering meal kits, like DOSC and RGE RD.

The day after the restrictions were released, third-party delivery app Skip the Dishes announced a support package for small operators. This includes a 25% rebate on commission for independent restaurant partners also effective December 13. Some restaurants have been appreciative of this gesture, and given the frequency and volume of orders (Canada’s most prolific Skip customer lives in Alberta, having ordered 962 times so far this year), it will hopefully help hospitality establishments with their bottom line. When choosing to support local businesses, diners should still consider picking up their take-out, which ensures all of the profits go directly to the restaurant.

COVID-19-related News

  • Effective December 14, 2020, licensed establishments can serve mixed drinks through delivery and take-out, as well as offer virtual tastings. This decision has been lauded by Spirits Canada, a national organization representing the Canadian spirits industry.

Openings

  • It looks like Seoul Fried Chicken will be opening north of the river, taking over the space vacated by Royale on 104 Street.
  • Black Ship opened last week at 10251 Jasper Avenue (the former Hat space). They’ve since shifted to delivery and take-out only.

Reviews

Local News

  • DOSC has introduced a new burger menu under the banner Burger Brawl, introducing a new burger every week to “challenge” the others.
  • Northern Chicken just began offering a new gluten-free fried chicken sandwich, and it already has its fans.
  • Linda has an amazingly comprehensive list of where to order take-home Christmas meals this year.
  • Sonic 102.9 has a gift guide featuring local food and beer options.
  • Silver Skate has put together support local surprise bags featuring products from a variety of local purveyors. Bags start at $25 for delivery or pick-up from December 17-22, 2020.
  • Nai Nai Mie has started a crowdfunding campaign on ATB BoostR, in the hopes of raising $20,000 to scale up their operation.
  • Phil’s latest Best Dishes column features Drift’s mulligatawny soup.
  • The Journal featured the holiday boxes currently offered by EdmontonEats.
  • The current issue of The Yards is their annual Best in the Core issue, and includes categories of best outdoor eats and best business innovators (which feature several local food purveyors).
  • Ever wonder how to put together take-away pho? Linda has created a handy video reference.
  • Longtime green onion cake vendor Hongmei Chen has bid adieu to the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market.
  • Another LoveGood Food Exchange box has been set up, this time in front of the Edmonton Police Service headquarters downtown.

Beyond Edmonton

What I Ate

  • As the temperatures dip and the lockdown continues, I imagine the geography of our take-out map may shrink even further to those restaurants about a block or two away. Craving soup, we ordered from Ramen Misoya on Friday, conveniently just a few steps away from our condo.

Ramen Misoya

Order from Ramen Misoya

  • We made the best of a quick trip to Highlands on Saturday – curbside gifts from Majesty and Friends, picked out a book at Mandolin with Emily, and grabbed some bagels from June’s Delicatessen. Lots of opportunities to shop small on that block.

June’s Delicatessen

Cheese bagel from June’s Delicatessen

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