Food Notes for January 11, 2021

In-Person Dining Restriction Extended

Last week, the provincial government announced that the public health restrictions that had been introduced in mid-December would be extended until at least January 21, 2021. This includes restrictions on in-person dining.

Some restaurants are doing their best to maintain take-out during this period, but are finding it challenging. Chef Paul Shufelt of Workshop Eatery and Woodshed Burgers has had to lay off staff, and isn’t certain when, even after restrictions are lifted, whether he will re-open indoor dining again. He shared:

“I don’t know if it’s actually going to be the 21st of January that we can reopen or if it’s going to be mid February or later. Furthermore, I don’t know, just because of the province says it’s OK for us to open, will I feel safe for us to make that decision for the sake of our staff and for the sake of our customers.”

Other restaurants are choosing to close outright due to the length and unpredictable nature of the restrictions. DOSC and Sober Cat Cafe have decided to close as of January 11, “due to the financial burdens of the pandemic.” They hope to re-open for dine-in when it is safe to do so. Their ghost kitchen Burger Brawl will continue to operate for limited hours on Fridays and Saturdays.

COVID-19-related News

Openings

Local News

  • Chinatown Dining Week starts later this week, and runs from January 14-24, 2021. I was interviewed on CBC Radioactive alongside Phong Luu of Kim Fat Market to help promote the event.
  • The Tomato is collecting nominations for their annual list of Top 100 Best Things to Eat in Edmonton. Submissions are accepted until January 31, 2021. The folks at Jack’s Burger Shack have a suggestion on the types of businesses to nominate – “Vote for a restaurant that opened in 2020. Vote for a restaurant owned by immigrants. Vote for a restaurant with no social media presence. Vote for the mom & pop’s.”
  • The most recent episode of Radioactive’s Best Dishes column focuses on the brisket donair and the nacho kit from The Next Act.
  • Local baker Larry Harris will be on the next season of CBC’s Great Canadian Baking Show. He is also continuing to offer loaves and baked goods through his microbakery, Bonne Vie.
  • Sugared and Spiced turned some bad politics into some tasty treats, and will be serving up Hawaiian-themed desserts for the month of January.
  • The Moth Cafe was included on this Eat North list of vegan restaurants.
  • The Ritchie Community League has launched a hyper-local monthly subscription service that supports businesses in the area.
  • The Muttart Conservatory (and Culina Cafe inside) has been delayed in re-opening after its modernization due to current public health restrictions.
  • Restaurant Yarrow celebrated their first birthday last week.
  • The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald is welcoming Executive Chef Jiju Paul to their team. He was most recently the Executive Chef at the Edmonton Expo Centre.
  • The staff at Kind Ice Cream are taking workshops on basic ASL to be more inclusive with the Deaf community.
  • The latest from MilkCrate Listens involved a conversation with Chef Andrew Fung of XIX Nineteen about maintaining positive mental health during the pandemic.
  • Congratulations to Caramunchies for partnering with Sobeys (bringing their retail partners to 35).
  • The Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market is the last year-round market to add curbside pick-up as an option.

What I Ate

  • We finally tried El Beso for the first time on Friday. Mack had the carnitas tacos while I chose the enchiladas. They definitely didn’t skimp on the meat, and their website made ordering pick-up a breeze. If dining restrictions lift, we hope to snag a seat one day on their great Beaver Hills patio in warmer climes.

El Beso

Takeout from El Beso

  • Mack, Emily, and I continued our outdoor dining streak with Jack’s Burger Shack. Their Quebecer poutine burger really hit the spot.

Jack’s Burger Shack

Quebecer from Jack’s Burger Shack

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