Food Notes for January 17, 2022

News of Incoming American Chain Disheartens Local Business Owners

On January 13, 2022, it was announced that American chain restaurant P.F. Chang’s would be opening their first Alberta location in Edmonton later this year. To be located in the Currents of Windermere, this would be the chain’s third location in Canada, with existing operations in Montreal and Winnipeg.

Predictably, as has occurred when other international brands enter the Edmonton market for the first time, every media outlet in Edmonton released a story about the forthcoming P.F. Chang’s. At a time when local businesses are challenged because of an unrelenting pandemic with no end in sight, it was especially disheartening to the owners of small establishments.

“The only thing more depressing than trying to maintain your small independent biz during a pandemic is doing it while watching everyone & their dog get a raging hardon for yet another garbage US chain coming to town to serve you bowls of overpriced starch & commodity meat.” – Paul Shufelt, of Workshop Eatery, Woodshed Burgers, and The Greenhouse

“Watching a few more local restaurants close their doors. We are now in the “it’s not worth it” phase. I fear we are entering the death of the small business (under $1 million). When you buy yourself a job and take home all the pressures, unless your plan is to scale…..” – Jimmy Shewchuk, of Prairie Catering, Say Uncle, and May

“If it’s not one thing, it’s another…If you think I’m heartless or driven by profit that I express frustration, you’re mistaken. I’m speaking from a position of survival. And we will not unless this entire situation changes…like, now. We will continue to do what’s necessary to get us to the next checkpoint. We will continue to fight for the survival of our business. We will continue to serve our loyal customers. But fatigue is definitely setting in. And we’re getting tired.” Ariel del Rosario, of Filistix

“Whether or not they’re type of restaurant you personally enjoy, we can all agree that large multinational chains can afford their own advertising. Let’s try to offer more free media coverage to the openings/stories of small independents that make our community vibrant!” – Peter Keith, of Meuwly’s

June’s Delicatessen was the latest local business to announce their closure last week, after many more shuttered their doors in 2021.

COVID-19-related News

Openings

  • Ayco Cafe will be opening downtown at 10551 Jasper Avenue on January 19, 2022.
  • Honey Jam, which serves katsu & udon opened on January 14, 2022. They are located at 8130 Gateway Blvd.
  • Fuzed Kitchen + Bar is now open at 2335 111 Street (formerly a Brewster’s location).

Upcoming Events

Local News

What I Ate

  • Our first (of many) Chinatown Dining Week meals over the weekend involved pho from King Noodle House. It’s such a great deal for $18: large pho, spring rolls, grilled pork balls, and a drink!
  • King Noodle House

King Noodle House Chinatown Dining Week special

  • Mack thinks we’ve created a bubble tea monster in Emily! She tore through a majority of the two fresh fruit bubble teas we picked up from Tea Bar Cafe. They’re offering an amazing $10 Chinatown Dining Week special featuring a bubble tea + a bubble waffle.
  • Tea Bar Cafe

Bubble tea from Tea Bar Cafe

  • We followed that up with a Chinatown Dining Week meal from Syphay, who never disappoints! I love their pad Thai!
  • Syphay

Syphay Chinatown Dining Week special

  • Any day with Brio is a good day – I had been missing their Prairie loaf terribly. If you haven’t tried it already – their pre-order service is so convenient; it means you not only get to skip the line, but also means you don’t necessarily have to stop inside the shop if you prefer not to.
  • Brio Bakery

Goodies from Brio

  • We also stopped by the Green Onion Cake Man this weekend after taking in the Deep Freeze festivities on 118 Avenue. There’s nothing like a salty green onion cake right off the griddle!
  • Green Onion Cake Man

Green onion cakes from Green Onion Cake Man

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