Food Notes for April 5, 2021

More Hospitality Businesses Voluntarily Close to Indoor Dining

The number of COVID-19 cases in Alberta continue to rise. Numbers released on April 5, 2021 point to a provincial positivity rate of 9.9%, with 39% of active cases being variants of concern.

Some in the medical community continue to advocate for a return of restrictions. In an open letter to the Premier dated April 1, 2021, the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association recommends an immediate lockdown or circuit breaker, “advising people to only leave their homes for essential services or outdoor exercise.” In an interview with Global Edmonton, University of Alberta infectious diseases expert Dr. Lynora Saxinger expressed her concern about “places where, for example, people have to unmask to eat like in restaurants, food services and things like that.”

With escalating cases, some hospitality businesses are voluntarily and proactively closing indoor dining, mirroring the shift that took place back in November before the Alberta Government mandated in-person dining restrictions in December.

Arcadia, which opened their Manchester Square location in late November, suspended their indoor service on April 1, 2021. They remain open for patio service and take-out:

“This is a very difficult decision, especially being such a new business & still trying to get off the ground. But, the safety of our staff & you the customers is much more important.”

Similarly, Chartier in Beaumont closed to indoor dining as of April 5, 2021, but will continue to offer curbside pick-up and patio service:

“We understand that everyone may not agree with this move. And that’s ok. At the end of the day, we’d rather be remembered as the jerks who cancelled meemaw’s birthday vs. the jerks who played a part in meemaw’s COVID-19 infection.”

Some restaurants have remained closed to indoor dining since November, including Fleisch, NongBu, Northern Chicken, The Local Omnivore, and Jack’s Burger Shack in St. Albert.

COVID-19-related News

  • Sabor’s Downtown location is temporarily closed due a staff testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Transparency is so important for diner trust, so this example from Calgary’s Ship & Anchor Pub is perhaps one to follow in terms of notifying the public of possible transmission even when not required by Alberta Health Services.
  • Cerdo in St. Albert and Spinelli Bar Italia locations have re-opened for dine-in service.
  • Eat North rounded up responses from restaurant operators in the Prairies reflecting back on the year that was, including Chris Sills from Tres Carnales Taqueria and Tres Carnales Rostizado.
  • Alberta Loblaws and Sobeys stores are reporting new COVID-19 cases.

Openings

Upcoming Events

  • Sorrentino’s is hosting its 29th annual Garlic Fest, with cooking classes and wine dinners running throughout the month of April.
  • A free webinar called Restaurant Possible will be hosted on April 14, 2021 to provide information about mental health as well as strategies and tools for moving forward beyond the pandemic.

Local News

Beyond Edmonton

  • Joveena Holmes alerted me to a free cookbook download from Ikea called The Scraps Book, which features recipes to decrease household food waste.

What I Ate

  • Last week during a particularly sunny day I decided to treat myself to another #Eatson118 picnic. This time, I tried Jasmine Belle Cafe, which serves up Colombian cuisine. The patacon piaso was a delicious surprise – light and crispy fried plantain topped with fresh guacamole and chicken, it’s something I’d definitely order again.

Jasmine Belle Cafe

Patacon piaso from Jasmine Belle Cafe

  • Over the weekend, we enjoyed some eats from Culina On the Lake, including this tasty breakfast burrito.

Culina on the Lake

Breakfast burrito from Culina on the Lake

  • It’ll be hard to go back to a scratch-prepped meal after this – the A Capella Catering turkey feast was convenient and delicious, and for our family of three, will be enough for the week.

Acapella Catering

Turkey dinner from A Capella Catering

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