Food Notes for January 18, 2021

Curated Samples of Local Goods Provide Positive Exposure

Many consumers are looking for ways to support small businesses, and there are a couple of recent examples that offer compiled collections of local goods.

The Alberta Box, an initiative of Sobeys, is a package of 22 locally-produced products, including candy, soda, soup mix, and oats. Participating companies, including Gramma Bee’s Honey, appreciated the exposure. Priced at $49.99, the boxes were very well-received and are 90% sold out. As a result, Sobeys will be releasing an additional box featuring new vendors in the spring.

The Silver Skate Festival has created its own version of an Edmonton box, in the form of Celebrate Edmonton surprise gift bags. The bags not only support the suppliers highlighted, but also the festival itself. This promotion ran over the Christmas holiday (I picked up a bag and was pleasantly surprised by the range and quality of items), and was so popular that the festival has brought it back again for Valentine’s Day. Vendors for this version include Caramunchies, Smokey Bear, Acquired Taste Tea, and Token Bitters. Bags start at $25 and orders must be placed by February 9, 2021.

COVID-19-related News

  • Love Pizza’s Spruce Grove location is temporarily closed due to a staff testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Northern Chicken has re-opened again after a temporary closure due to a COVID-19 positive staff member.
  • Bundok has chosen to remain closed until at least January 21, 2021.
  • The Calgary-based Alberta Hospitality Association is asking the government to consider allowing in-person dining to resume and to commit to no further shutdowns.

Openings

  • Farrow’s fourth location is now open in the former Wishbone storefront at 10542 Jasper Avenue.
  • East African restaurant Rayyan is now open in Chinatown (in the space formerly occupied by Garden Bakery, 10019 106 Avenue).
  • Sunflower Eatery is now open at 10014 104 Street.
  • The Express Chef, offering Indian fusion food, is now open at 10534 111 Street.
  • Ayco, a local artisan bakery, opened in West Edmonton Mall back in December.
  • Bubble tea chain Presto Tea added a location to Southgate Centre.

Closures

  • Cacao 70’s Ice District location has been closed since March 2020, but for some reason remains on the company website.

Upcoming Events

  • Celtic Kitchen is still taking orders for Robbie Burns dinners for pick up on January 23, 2021.

Local News

  • Chinatown Dining Week has received some great press in the last week. The event runs until January 24, 2021.
  • The Journal profiled Alberta BBQ Collective, which delivers smoked meats of all kinds.
  • New Asian Village’s Sherwood Park location has been experimenting with fusion-style dishes, including a popular tandoori fried chicken.
  • Vote for your favourite Edmonton cafe in the Th3rd Wave Awards – in categories including coffee shop of the year, best new coffee shop and best new coffee roaster.
  • Edmonton chef Mai Nguyen is back in the MasterChef kitchen for a second chance in MasterChef Canada: Back to Win. It begins airing on February 14, 2021.
  • Kirsta Franke of Wild Heart Collective and Aga Wajda-Plytta and Nina Karpoff of Good Goods Co. were highlighted as a part of EDify’s first class of Edifiers.
  • CTV covered Kind Ice Cream’s recent foray into learning American Sign Language and about Deaf culture. It was driven partly because mask-wearing has made it more difficult for their Deaf or hard of hearing customers.
  • Long-time Old Strathcona Market vendor Hendrickson Bagel has retired.
  • Edmonton’s Food Bank is commemorating 40 years of community service.

What I Ate

  • Mack and I took advantage of the sun last week to walk over to On the Edge, a new cafe located in the Co*Lab space in the Quarters. We loved the welcoming yellow paint and fixtures outside, and it was a good chance to pick up some beans from the new-to-us local roaster 8 Acres Coffee.

On the Edge Coffee

Coffee from On the Edge

  • Our Friday night takeaway was from King Noodle House, our first Chinatown Dining Week meal so far! The soup definitely hit the spot for me, and Linda’s tip about ordering uncooked noodles made a world of difference.

King Noodle House

Chinatown Dining Week combos from King Noodle House

  • We finally ordered some bread from Bonne Vie Bakery – the Sturgeon River Cereal sourdough was dense and hearty, and definitely will lead me to try their other products! I also loved how the loaf was presented with such care.

Bonne Vie Bakery

Beautifully presented loaf from Bonne Vie Bakery

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