Food Notes for March 22, 2021

Hospitality Workers Call for Vaccination Priority

The Edmonton Independent Hospitality Community (EIHC) and the Alberta Hospitality Association released open letters calling on the Government of Alberta to prioritize hospitality workers in the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. From the EIHC letter:

“Without mandatory rated PPE for hospitality workers in Alberta, the increased risk of being indoors with unmasked patrons for prolonged periods of time poses a significant risk that can not be overstated.”

On March 22, during Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s regular briefing, she shared instances of restaurants being the site of outbreaks:

“We have seen, for example, very rapid spread in some restaurants where individuals had the variant, were infectious, went to multiple restaurants and spread the virus very quickly in multiple locations in one night.”

In other provinces, including Ontario and Prince Edward Island, restaurant workers will be included in phase two vaccinations.

At present, if Alberta hospitality workers do not have a chronic condition or are above a certain age, they will have to wait until phase three for a vaccine, in spring or early summer.

COVID-19-related News

Openings

  • Banh Mi Cali, offering California-inspired Vietnamese sandwiches, is now open at 10503 Kingsway Avenue.
  • Canadian chain Pur & Simple will be opening up their first Alberta location in Kingsway Mall.
  • It looks like Hoang Long is moving into the space vacated by Prairie Noodle on 124 Street.
  • Ghost kitchen Katsu, operated by SoJu, is now open, serving up breaded and fried meat and seafood.

Upcoming Events

Local News

  • Yelp released their Top 100 Places to Eat in Canada list, sourced from their online community. Edmonton ended up with six restaurants on the list, including Battista’s Calzones, the Italian Centre Shop, The Bedouins, Padmanadi, An Chay, and Hathaway’s Diner. The owner of Battista’s Calzones was floored they made #45 on the list.
  • CBC Radioactive’s latest Best Dishes column focuses on sweet treats available from CH. Cafeteria.
  • The Journal profiled micro-meadery Stolen Harvest, based in Grovedale, Alberta.
  • Siu To, operator of Green Onion Cake Man and the person who is credited with introducing the green onion cake to Edmonton, received some exposure from American food writer Mark Bittman.
  • In the wake of the shootings in Georgia last week, there continues to be discussion about racism towards Asian communities, overt and otherwise. Chef Mai Nguyen posted about one example of this, surrounding the campaigns against and perceptions of MSG.
  • Congratulations to Cask and Barrel, who is marking their ninth year in business this April!
  • NOSH Food Fest, which ran over the weekend in Sherwood Park, was a success. Organizers are planning another event in September.
  • It’ll be interesting to see if businesses like EasyRoutes, which helped design efficient routes for Uproot Food Collective’s delivery drivers, will become more commonplace.
  • Uber Eats has expanded its services to Spruce Grove.
  • More grocery stores in walkable areas are always welcome: a “boutique-style” Safeway will be taking over the former Planet Organic location on Jasper Avenue and 122 Street, while Ottewell residents are joyful about the No Frills that opened in their community.
  • The first FreshCo (the discount chain of the Sobeys/Safeway brand) opened in Edmonton last week at 2011 111 Street.

What I Ate

  • Mack and I have been trying to build in the occasional breakfast and lunch dates as daytimes are the only time we have to ourselves. Last week, we grabbed lunch from MilkCrate – the poutine was the star of the show; I am still thinking about that gravy!

MilkCrate

Sandwiches and poutine from MilkCrate

  • I had forgotten just how much I missed picnics until our first one this year. On Friday, we picked up Eats on 118 take-out from Flava Cafe and Green Onion Cake Man to enjoy at Eastwood Park – everything tastes better al fresco!

Flava Cafe and Green Onion Cake Man

Take-out from Flava Cafe and Green Onion Cake Man

  • We also grabbed a bag of bagels from Green Onion Cake Man – it’s an interesting pandemic pivot from a restaurant serving Chinese cuisine, but the bagels weren’t bad. Plain, but it had a pleasant chew.

Green Onion Cake Man

Green Onion Cake Man bagels

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