Food Notes for May 3, 2021

Edmonton Approves New Places To Enjoy Alcoholic Beverages Outdoors

This summer, Edmontonians can look forward to enjoying a cold one at a local park or at the zoo.

On Monday, City Council approved a pilot permitting alcohol at 47 designated picnic sites in seven parks. Running May 28-October 11, 2021, certain sites in Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Whitemud, William Hawrelak, Government House, Victoria, Gold Bar, and Rundle Parks will allow alcohol. Sites include both bookable and “first-come, first-served” sites, and permit responsible alcohol consumption from 11am to 9pm daily.

A survey had been conducted earlier this year that found 71% of respondents were favourable to alcohol consumption in parks. Councillor Jon Dziadyk was among those in favour of the pilot.

“For a city of a million people with a short summer, but a beautiful summer, I think this is one way to get out and enjoy parks,” Dziadyk said.

Last week, Prairie Catering, operators of Sandwich & Sons and 40 Acres Cafe at the Edmonton Valley Zoo, received a license permitting the consumption of alcohol at the Zoo anywhere where food and beverages are allowed.

Prairie Catering owner Jimmy Shewchuk believes this will make the Zoo more appealing to a wider demographic, and brings the facility in line with broader trends.

“You see events like music festivals moving away from strict consumption zones every year,” said Shewchuk. “Being able to walk around and enjoy your beverage at your own pace is much more in line with responsible consumption. I think it will help the Zoo become a new date night hot spot.”

The Edmonton Valley Zoo is currently open with restrictions.

COVID-19-related News

Openings

  • The local craft breweries just keep on coming – the latest to open is Longroof Brewing, located at #104, 9916 72 Avenue.
  • Hoang Long’s Rice and Noodle Shop location at 10350 124 Street (in the former Prairie Noodle Shop) opened in April.
  • Bodega just announced that they will be opening an outpost in Sherwood Park at 410 Baseline Road.

Closures

  • Graziano’s Catering is closing on May 31, 2021.

Upcoming Events

Local News

  • Whimsical Cake Studio owner Darcy Scott appeared on The Food Network’s baking competition show The Big Bake last week.
  • Glenora restaurant Upper Crust Cafe has joined the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market as a vendor.
  • El Gringo Foods is offering a Cinco de Mayo sampler box featuring 1 bag of chips and 6 jars of salsa. Proceeds from each purchase will result in meals provided to 2.5 families in need. Orders include free delivery in Edmonton.
  • Another way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo is with cochinita pibil from Tres Carnales. Twyla wrote a sponsored post about the special tacos, quesadillas, burritos and tortas available that day.
  • The latest episode of CBC’s Best Dishes column focuses on Kind Ice Cream.
  • To recognize their positive experience working with City of Edmonton staff, Remedy Cafe is providing a 10% discount to all City employees in the month of May.
  • Happy 15th birthday to Downtown stalwart Sofra.
  • Linda interviewed Rochelle Ignacio of Black Owned Market Edmonton. She has some great insights on how to support BIPOC-owned businesses: “Are there new local artists you can support? Can you try a new restaurant? Can you find a gift for a friend at a business you aren’t frequently visiting? Challenge yourself to spread out your dollars.”
  • The latest episode of Startup Edmonton’s podcast The Get Started Show features Vinson Luong of Food Search Inc.
  • Two concepts from Miami-based chef Michael Lewis will be available in Edmonton starting May 6, 2021. Food from breakfast concept Laid Fresh and Chikin (offering Korean Fried Chicken) will be available on Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes, and Door Dash through ghost kitchen Reef Kitchens.
  • Outdoor farmers’ markets are back! The first to return is Callingwood Farmers’ Market.
  • An Edmonton location of Sobeys has an in-store vertical farm, providing fresh herbs and greens year-round.
  • The St. Albert Food Bank held its inaugural food drive over the weekend.

Beyond Edmonton

  • On the heels of Epicurious’ announcement that they have since phased out beef-related content, world-renowned New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park will be going entirely plant-based moving forward.

What I Ate

  • We picked up a pair of chicken parm sandwiches from Bar Bricco’s new take-out concept Zio’s on Friday. We loved the focaccia bun and the generous portion of fried chicken, but found by the end the sauces impeded our ability to enjoy the lovely, crispy breading. We hope to try the baked pasta some time though!

Zio’s by Bar Bricco

Chicken parm sandwich from Zio’s

Smokehouse BBQ

Pulled pork poutine from Smokehouse BBQ

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