Food Notes for September 16, 2019

Two Local Butchers to Represent Team Canada at World Butchers’ Challenge

For the first time, Canada will be sending a team to compete in the World Butchers’ Challenge in September 2020, taking place in Sacramento, California.

Two Edmonton-based butchers are on the team, selected after a “rigorous try-out process”: Corey Meyer of ACME Meat Market and Elyse Chatterton, currently a freelance butcher.

Over the next year, the team will be coming together to practice as a group, as well as gathering funds for uniforms, props, and practice proteins. They have launched a crowdfunding campaign in the hopes of raising $45,000 that will go towards expenses.

Openings

  • Greta, the rebranded Hudson’s at 10141 109 Street, opens September 20, 2019.
  • Midway Bar, featuring music, an arcade, and food, also opens September 20, 2019 at 6107 104 Street.
  • It looks like Campio Brewing (the new brew pub taking over the space formerly occupied by Characters) might be open by October 4, 2019.
  • Dalla Tavola Zenari (opened by the family behind the former Zenari’s in Manulife Place), revealed their floor plans for their forthcoming Enbridge Centre location. It will open in winter 2020.

Upcoming Events

  • Kitchen by Brad is hosting a pop-up brunch by Chef Tracy Zizek (formerly of Cafe deVille) on September 21, 2019. Tickets are $18.
  • The second annual Wein, Schwein & Dine, in support of the Edmonton Food Bank, takes place on September 29, 2019, featuring wine and spirits served alongside pork-based dishes from Ono Poke and Say Uncle. Tickets are $35.
  • The next Prairie on the Plate dinner will be hosted at Northern Chicken on September 30, 2019. Tickets for the family-style meal will be $65.
  • If you want a sneak peek of what Dalla Tavola Zenari has in store food-wise, they’ll be supplying the lunches for the Edmonton International Film Festival’s Lunchbox Shorts, on September 30-October 4, 2019. Tickets for the films and lunch are just $15!
  • LitFest’s Food Matters event on October 26, 2019 has added an additional speaker: Giselle Courteau of Duchess will be on the panel, and will be serving up treats from her new cookbook, Duchess at Home.

Reviews

Local News

  • The NAIT Culinary Team is hoping to crowdfund $5,000 that will go towards uniforms and food costs in preparation for the IKA Culinary Olympics in Germany in February 2020. Their campaign runs until September 18, 2019.
  • Filistix’s Downtown restaurant was featured in both The Tomato and The Yards this month.
  • Following Calgary’s lead, Edmonton is getting its first mobile grocery store that will bring affordable food to communities in need. The first location is the Clareview Community Recreation Centre on Wednesday evenings.
  • Food4Good is hosting its second annual Bowling4Good on October 20, 2019 at Plaza Bowl. Teams of 4 need to raise $1,000 to participate.

Urban Agriculture and Farming

  • The weather conditions haven’t been ideal this summer, and have had a particularly negative impact on local farmers. The Tomato interviewed Jenny and James Berkenbosch of Sundog Organics about the challenges they faced this year.

What I Ate

  • It seemed like a shame not to take advantage of the beautiful conditions last week for some time on a patio. Mack, Emily, and I hit up Say Uncle on Thursday for their $10 pizza special, made with dough fermented for 36-48 hours. The chorizo, roast peppers, corn, and cheese curds was our favourite.

Say Uncle

Pizzas from Say Uncle

  • We also took in our first Kaleido Festival over the weekend. There was so much to see all along the Avenue, but we also grabbed a bite to eat from Paraiso Tropical – the flautas were the perfect street food (and Emily loved them too!).

Paraiso Tropical

Flautas from Paraiso Tropical

Food Notes for September 9, 2019

Hardware Grill Announces Closure

Hardware Grill, one of the stalwarts of Edmonton’s fine dining scene, announced its closure on Saturday.

The following message, signed by owners Larry and Melinda Stewart, is up on its website:

“Dear Customers & Friends,

It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we inform you that Hardware Grill is permanently closed for business. We apologize for the impact this will have on our employees, customers and community. Our employees were hardworking and dedicated and we are grateful for their service. Thank you to each and every customer who we had the chance to serve and entertain. Edmonton, we thank you for the support this community has given us for the last 20+ years.”

Hardware Grill opened in 1996. The Stewarts also opened Tavern 1903 in 2013; it was well received but short-lived, closing before the end of 2014, due to a dispute with the landlord.

Openings

  • OEB’s second Edmonton location at 10240 124 Street has pushed their opening date to September 11, 2019.
  • The Alley, a bubble tea chain that boasts handcrafted tapioca, will be opening their first Edmonton location on September 19, 2019 at 6183 Currents Drive. They will be offering 10% off beverages on September 19-20, 2019.

Closures

  • The Sbarro Pizza, Vera’s Burger Shack, and Pinkberry locations inside the Grand Villa Casino at Rogers Place are now closed.

Upcoming Events

  • Sorrentino’s is offering its 25th annual Mushroom Harvest, with special menus, cooking classes, and dinners that celebrate all things fungi.
  • The next Food4Good discount Fruit & Veggie Sale will take place on September 24, 2019 at the Glendood Community League.
  • In line with the Downton Abbey movie, the Hotel Macdonald have planned some special afternoon teas on September 21 and 22, 2019, priced at $55 per person.

Reviews

Local News

  • Chef Shane Chartrand’s episode of Iron Chef Canada aired on September 4, 2019; he spoke about his experience with The Journal. It was a close battle, but Iron Chef Lynn Crawford eked out a win. The full episode is now online.
  • Last week, The Journal published their first Food Notes curated by Tom Murray (who has taken on this role since Liane Faulder stepped away from the food beat).
  • Alberta Health Services has issued a public advisory for diners who ate at London Local on certain dates in August due to possible exposure to Hepatitis A.
  • Where Edmonton is collecting submissions for their People’s Choice Award for Best New Restaurant (covering restaurants that opened between November 2018 and October 2019). Entries will be accepted until November 15, 2019.
  • Congratulations to Pampa, who has expanded to a fifth location in Red Deer! They also have three restaurants in Edmonton and one in Calgary.
  • Inabuggy is a new grocery delivery service now operating in Edmonton, partnering with Costco, Safeway, Wal-Mart, and M&M Meat Shop. The delivery cost is $19.99 for picking, packing, and delivery from one store.

Urban Agriculture and Farming

  • CBC featured Gruger Family Fungi.
  • Northlands has launched two 4-H clubs in Edmonton this fall for youth aged 6-20 with an interest in gardening, beekeeping, cooking, archery, photography, scrapbooking, woodburning, or electronics.

What I Ate

  • Mack, Emily, and I spent the weekend in Rocky Mountain House. We usually try to rent places with kitchens for ease of meal times with Emily, and took along some frozen food for convenience. It was a good excuse to finally try the resurrected Culina TV Dinners, available at Culina To Go. There wasn’t much selection the day we went, so we ended up with the roast chicken and dill-feta mashed potatoes ($16). The chicken was so moist and flavourful (I loved the pan juices), and I’d never thought to enhance mashed potatoes with dill and feta but I am definitely doing so in the future.

Culina TV Dinner

Roast chicken and mashed potato Culina TV Dinner

    Food Notes for September 2, 2019

    Duchess to open second bakery in Ritchie Market

    Ten years after Duchess Bake Shop popularized the macaron in Edmonton, they will be opening a second location south of the river later this fall.

    Located in Ritchie Market next to Transcend Coffee, Little Duchess will be offering a condensed menu and selected Duchess Provisions products.

    Openings

    • If one new bakery wasn’t enough, Doughnut Party will also be opening a second location in Ritchie at 9610 76 Avenue.
    • RGE RD will be opening a standalone location of The Butchery next door to their restaurant, offering a new “one-stop-shop featuring whole animal butchery and all things meat”.
    • Smokey Bear, a “wood-fired eatery”, is expected in the Old Strathcona space formerly occupied by Accent Lounge at 8223 104 Street.
    • A cocktail lounge is slated to open this fall at 10432 Jasper Avenue called Pablo.
    • OEB’s second location will be opening over the next few weeks in the former North 53 space (10240 124 Street).

    Closures

    • Rush Bowls was short-lived; their Edmonton location in Old Strathcona has closed.

    Upcoming Events

    • Some of Edmonton’s finest Filipino chefs, including Chefs Edgar Gutierrez of Kanto and Ailynn Santos and Jason Wong of Yelo’d, are collaborating on an 8-course dinner at Filistix on September 18, 2019. Tickets are $85.
    • Bacon Day, an annual fundraiser hosted by Chef Paul Shufelt, is celebrating its 10th anniversary on September 21, 2019. This year’s event will raise money for In the Weeds, a charity founded to support positive mental health in the hospitality industry. Tickets are $95.
    • LitFest has some great food-related events in October, including Food Matters with authors Twyla Campbell and Ann Hui, and a chat with Chef Shane Chartrand, whose cookbook is being released this fall.

    Reviews

    • Graham published an early review of Lyon Restaurant, helmed by former Packrat Louie alumni Chef Jan Trittenbach and manager Jodh Singh.
    • Sharon posted an early review of Country Coco, Edmonton’s newest Korean fried chicken restaurant.
    • Also from Sharon, she reviewed her experience at Ramen Misoya, and wasn’t a fan of their broth style.
    • Leduc paid a visit to Made by Marcus.

    Local News

    Urban Agriculture and Farming

    • The City of Edmonton put together a Local Food Map containing links to one place about community gardens, urban bees and hens, farmers’ markets, edible yards and trees, and urban agriculture development permits.

    What I Ate

    • I was fighting a cold for most of this week, so it’s always super handy to have T and D Noodle House just down the street from my office for a pick-me-up lunch.

    T and D Noodle House

    Bun bo Hue from T and D Noodle House

    • When I’m craving pastries in the morning, it’s a blessing to be just a block away from Lockstock Coffee. Nothing beats a kouign amann with my coffee to start the day.

    Lockstock

    Kouign amann and herb and cheddar scone from Lockstock Coffee

    • On the weekend, I met up with some friends for lunch at Blowers and Grafton, which offers “Halifax street food”. I had to order their OG Halifax donair to see what the fuss was about (the donair was apparently invented in Halifax). It was pretty tasty, particularly because the meat had been thoroughly topped with their B&G sweet sauce. I’d come back to have it again!

    Blowers and Grafton

    The OG Halifax Donair from Blowers and Grafton

    Food Notes for August 26, 2019

    The Edmonton Journal Downgrades Food Coverage

    Liane Faulder, who has been reporting on the food beat for The Edmonton Journal since 2008, shared that she will no longer be writing about the food scene. While she will remain with the paper (contributing a weekly city column, theatre reports, and news features), the Journal’s food coverage has been diminished to a food notes column by freelancer Tom Murray to be published every two weeks, and occasional reviews.

    Some may recall that back in January 2016, Liane was originally among the staff laid off by Postmedia. This was short-lived, as she was re-hired less than two weeks later, and remained on the food beat.

    Openings

    • Blue Plate Diner is now open in their new location at 12323 Stony Plain Road. In addition to the restaurant (they’re currently only serving breakfast and lunch until they get their liquor license), they’ve added a cafe section to their space.
    • Lyon Restaurant has opened in the former Packrat Louie space in Old Strathcona (10335 83 Avenue), helmed by former Packrat alumni Chef Jan Trittenbach and manager Jodh Singh. And yes, the lemon pizza is back on the menu.
    • Richmond-based Chef Tony has opened a restaurant in Edmonton, located at 14821 Stony Plain Road. Thanks to Stephen for the heads up!
    • The former Sobeys building continues to pick up new food establishments – the latest is El Beso, a Mexican style restaurant at 10432 Jasper Avenue slated to open in September.

    Closures

    • The landlords have terminated the lease held by the folks behind Holy Roller, due to outstanding rent.
    • Kallin Restaurant at 10534 109 Street has closed.
    • It looks like the Red Robin location on 104 Avenue is now closed.

    Upcoming Events

    • Edmonton VegFest takes place on September 14, 2019 at ReMax Field. Admission is free and features vegan food, beverages, and vendors.
    • The Prairie Grid Dinner Series returns to Edmonton on September 21, 2019. The evening features a meal prepared by chefs representing restaurants from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg. Tickets are $145.
    • Tickets for Canada’s Great Kitchen Party (formerly known as Gold Medal Plates) to be held at the Edmonton Convention Centre on October 10, 2019 are now available. Individual tickets are $350.
    • Formosa Bistro is hosting an event on October 20, 2019 which will provide an overview of Taiwan’s history. The $10 ticket will go towards covering a meal at the restaurant.

    Reviews

    Local News

    Urban Agriculture and Farming

    What I Ate

    • After a foray at the Fringe, Mack, Emily and I finally made it to Made by Marcus. I love that the shop is accessed through an alley, with lots of outdoor seating. I really enjoyed my double cookies and cream, while Mack sampled the sea salt & goat milk caramel. Emily loved the waffle cone!

    Made by Marcus

    Ice creams from Made by Marcus

    Food Notes for August 19, 2019

    Jollibee Opens in Edmonton to Much Fanfare

    The most anticipated restaurant opening of the year finally took place last week. Jollibee, often referred to as the “McDonald’s of the Philippines”, opened its first location west of Winnipeg on Friday. The storefront is located at 3803 Calgary Trail.

    A local man helped break a company record after waiting in line for nearly three days for the restaurant to open; Jollibee’s previous record stood at around 20 hours.

    Openings

    • Country Coco, offering Korean-style BBQ chicken, will open on August 20, 2019 at Unit 2, 9621 34 Avenue (in K-Mall).
    • Sian City BBQ Bar is now open on the south side at 5728 104 Street.
    • Highlands Liquor, the first of the Gibbard Block’s hospitality businesses, opened on August 17, 2019. It is located at 6427 112 Avenue.
    • Sandwich and Sons opened at the Edmonton Valley Zoo (13315 Buena Vista Road) back in June. Their shop is accessible before the paid admission gates at the zoo.
    • The Grand Cafe & Bistro is opening soon on the main floor of the building that replaced the former Colonel Mustard’s space at 10802 124 Street.

    Closures

    Upcoming Events

    • Zoobrew, a fundraiser for the Edmonton Valley Zoo, takes place on August 23, 2019. Attendees will be able to purchase beer, spirits, and food to enjoy alongside the animals. Admission is for adults only; tickets are $25.
    • St. Albert’s food festival Dig In is in its 6th year, and runs from September 12-18, 2019. Tickets are now available.

    Reviews

    Local News

    • I love this idea – Sugared and Spiced is hosting an “unsanctioned Fringe production” which sees them set a 10 minute timer starting at 6pm, which they reset if someone buys something. The shop closes when the timer goes off or they sell out.
    • It’s great to hear that some Mojo JoJo Pickles products, including pickled asparagus, carrots, and Caesar Mix are now available at Safeway.
    • Pre-orders are being accepted for Giselle Courteau’s second cookbook, Duchess at Home. It will be released on October 16, 2019.
    • The Downtown Farmers’ Market, Boyle Street Community League, and the Chinese Benevolent Association hosted a long table dinner for 1000 people in the Quarters on Sunday.

    What I Ate

    • In anticipation of Alberta Open Farm Days (and the new Alberta On the Plate festival), Mack, Emily and I attended a launch event at the 124 Grand Market on Thursday. Among the food we tried were slider versions of The Woodshed’s signature burger, served up by Chef Paul Shufelt.

    Woodshed Burgers

    The Woodshed’s Chef Paul Shufelt

    • We also couldn’t leave the market without a taste of Drift’s poutine (Emily loved the fries!).

    Drift

    Poutine from Drift

    • I was eagerly anticipating the end of Tau Bay’s summer break, and finally satisfied my pho craving on the weekend!

    Pho Tau Bay

    My usual at Pho Tau Bay

    Food Notes for August 12, 2019

    Edmonton Chef to Battle in Kitchen Stadium

    For years, it seemed like Food Network Canada was ignoring the culinary talent based in Edmonton, with casting that seemed instead to favour chefs from Calgary. While our neighbours to the south haven’t disappeared off the map, it’s encouraging to see some local content finally being highlighted.

    Chef Shane Chartrand, the Executive Chef of SC at the River Cree Casino, will be competing on Iron Chef Canada this summer. New episodes will air starting August 28, 2019.

    Chef Alexei Boldireff of Baijiu was featured earlier this year as a contestant on Top Chef Canada.

    Openings

    Closures

    • The YEG Coffee Can announced that they’ll be closing up for the year, due to the damages they experienced after a break-in earlier this summer. They hope to be back next summer.

    Upcoming Events

    • The Hotel Macdonald is hosting a long table patio dinner on August 20, 2019. Tickets are $69 for the 4-course meal, which includes a glass of wine.
    • Festa Italiana (formerly known as Viva Italia Viva Edmonton) is taking place on August 25, 2019 at Giovanni Caboto Park. It will feature food vendors, and cooking demonstrations, including a conversation and Q & A with Chef David Rocco.
    • The Chinatown Business Association is hosting their annual Moonlight Carnival on August 25, 2019, which includes mooncake making workshops.

    Reviews

    Local News

    Urban Agriculture and Farming

    • If you have surplus fruit in your backyard, consider donating it to Prairie North. They will turn this fruit into craft cider, and donate $1 per every liter sold to the Edmonton Food Bank.

    What I Ate

    • Part of Sabor’s Seafood Festival this year are their Fish & Chip Fridays, in support of the Bissell Centre and the Ronald McDonald House of Northern Alberta. From 11am-2pm every Friday for the rest of August, $10 cash will get you an amazing 2-piece fish and chip deal. The ingenious packaging makes it the perfect street food, too!

    Sabor

    Fish & chips from Sabor

    • Meeting up for lunch with Linda was the perfect excuse to revisit El Fogon. I will never get tired of their beef and gouda arepas!

    El Fogon

    Beef and gouda arepa from El Fogon

    • Mack, Emily, and I attended the second Pastor Party at Get Cooking on Friday, hosted by Chef Victor Hugo. While it was a tad chillier than ideal for the patio, the food and atmosphere made up for the weather! Stay tuned for the dates of future Pastor Parties.

    Get Cooking

    Pastor and vegetarian tacos from Get Cooking’s Pastor Party

    Food Notes for August 5, 2019

    New Culinary Festival Celebrates Local Food and Drink

    Alberta on the Plate is a new culinary festival that is running from August 9-18, 2019. Bringing together chefs and producers from across the province, the festival features special events and fixed price menus highlighting locally grown products at participating restaurants. In Edmonton, 10 restaurants have signed on, including London Local, Lux Steakhouse, The Marc, Three Boars, and Prairie Noodle Shop.

    3-course menu prices range from $19, $29, and $39, while a few restaurants are also offering multi-course kids menus.

    Openings

    • Yoshi Sushi opened earlier this summer at 10009 107 Street in the former Wildflower Grill storefront. It appears to be the second location of the restaurant, joining a more longstanding branch in Sherwood Park.
    • Soleilki Japanese Fusion is now open in Old Strathcona, located at 10828 82 Avenue (the former Seorak Teppan Bar).
    • Another Korean restaurant will be opening this month in K-Mall called Country Coco, to serve Korean-style chicken and tapas. It is located at 9261 34 Avenue.

    Upcoming Events

    • Wishbone is hosting a fabulous women-led evening of dinner and drinks called Cook Like a Girl on Augusg 18, 2019. They’ve assembled 24 of Edmonton’s female chefs and bartenders for a WIN House fundraiser. Tickets are $200.

    Reviews

    Local News

    • Congratulations to the Liberian pavilion at Edmonton Heritage Days for coming in first in the food category for a second year in a row! Scandinavia, Pakistan, and Russia came in second, third, and fourth.
    • Graham’s column this week is a list of where to eat in Edmonton.

    What I Ate

    • What a beautiful weekend for Heritage Days! We ate our way through the festival over the weekend, including this fabulous plate from the Ethiopian pavilion.

    Heritage Days

    Combination plate from the Ethiopian pavilion

    • Mack has been craving Lee House for some time now, so we headed into Chinatown for our fix. I am partial to their their jap chae.

    Untitled

    Jap chae from Lee House

    • It took us long enough, but Mack, Emily, and I made it to Say Uncle. Their patio is a great addition to 104 Street, and I enjoyed the burger, a classic with American cheese, pickles, iceberg lettuce, and thousand island dressing.

    Untitled

    Burgers and poutine from Say Uncle

    • We also finally stopped in at Kind Ice Cream for a treat (and thankfully, were met with a very short line!). I had my heart set on sampling their (sadly sold out) salted caramel, but made do with their seasonal “camping” flavour (think s’mores). I enjoyed the chocolate, but didn’t enjoy the texture of the disintegrated graham cracker. We’ll be back to try a few other flavours!

    Untitled

    “Camping” ice cream from Kind

    Food Notes for July 29, 2019

    Taste of Edmonton Considering Festival Location

    The Taste of Edmonton, which just wrapped up its 35th festival on Sunday, is considering its site options.

    Although the festival had only planned on being at Capital Plaza by the Alberta Legislature for two years (to ride out the construction around Churchill Square), the organizing team and most visitors seem to prefer this location. However, if they do decide to remain at Capital Plaza in 2020, the festival will have to foot the bill for the additional costs to produce the event at this site, such as portable washroom rentals and special cleaning fees, which were covered by the City of Edmonton over the past two years.

    Organizers haven’t yet committed to either location, but are still soliciting feedback.

    Openings

    • Braven, the most formal of the forthcoming restaurants in the new Ice District JW Marriott, opens on August 1. The menus are up now, and if you include “OEG25” on your online reservation under special request, your food for up to a party of 4 will be discounted by 25% in August.

    Upcoming Events

    • The latest in the Hotel Macdonald’s Classic Series dinners will highlight the cuisine of Greece on August 1, 2019. The multi-course dinner is $75.
    • Nigerian-born Blessing Okpala is hosting Savoury Bites and Jazzy Vibes on August 17, 2019 at Cafe Lavi, and will serve a blend of Canadian and African flavours. Tickets for the 4-course meal are $65.

    Reviews

    Local News

    • Beaumont restaurant Chartier officially introduced their new Executive Chef, Tamara Solon, who has been with the team since the beginning. Chef Tony Krause, who had been announced as the previous successful candidate, was let go after two days (thanks Linda for the heads up!).
    • Ritchie is the focus of Liane’s latest food-centric neighbourhood feature, with profiles on new ice cream purveyor Kind and hot dog cart Hans’ Wurst.
    • Leduc recapped the ‘Tempt Your Taste Buds’ tour he attended led by Epicurean Adventure Tour in the 124 Street area.
    • The latest episode of CBC’s Fast Food web series features a recipe for Hotel Macdonald Chef Mridul Bhatt’s chicken tikka pita taco.
    • You can now vote for your favourites in Sustainable Food Edmonton’s annual Golden Wheelbarrow Awards. Categories include favourite “locavore” restaurant and favourite agriculture business.
    • The Journal covered a social enterprise called Fresh Routes Calgary that may be launching in Edmonton this fall, bringing fresh produce and groceries to food deserts in the city through mobile markets.
    • Every week, Global is again soliciting votes for their “Best of Summer” list. Earlier in July, Julio’s Barrio on Whyte was voted Edmonton’s best patio, and this week, Bully Food Truck was voted Edmonton’s best food truck.
    • A nice write-up in travel magazine Fathom about things to eat and drink in Edmonton.

    Urban Agriculture and Farming

    • The 6th annual Grand Taste Tour organized by Wild Heart Collective will be taking place on August 17, 2019, with a visit to Stonepost Farms and a dinner prepared by Chef Paul Shufelt of Workshop Eatery and Woodshed Burgers. Tickets for the full tour and meal are $125.

    What I Ate

    • Mack, Emily, and I returned to Taste of Edmonton over the weekend to use up the rest of our tickets. My favourite plate that day was from Nyonya Malaysian Cuisine, a food truck who vends at the City Market. Their lemongrass rendang chicken in a turmeric pancake was so flavourful, and plated nicely.

    Nyona

    Lemongrass rendang chicken in a turmeric pancake from Nyonya

    • A friend and I met up for dinner at Tzin, and among the plates we shared, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to indulge in their bacon. It’s also great to see that dish is listed as a Mealshare item – for every plate ordered, a meal is given to a youth in need.

    Tzin

    Bacon from Tzin

    • Lastly, Mack and I tried the new ramen restaurant on our street, Ramen Misoya. They offer two types of miso – “gold” which is fermented for 6 months and “silver” which is fermented for 3 months. We both chose the silver, after the server told us it’s a bit lighter and creamier in flavour. I ordered the Silver Shiro Chashu ($16.75, plus $1.50 for a miso egg). The bowl was on the pricey side, but I did find the portion size matched my expectations. The kitchen was quick, which I appreciated, and though it wasn’t my favourite ramen in the city it would work in a pinch.

    Ramen Misoya

    Silver Shiro Chashu

    Food Notes for July 22, 2019

    Burgers to Fill 104 Street Vacancy

    After Blue Plate Diner vacates their 104 Street location in favour of their new digs on 124 Street, Royale is moving in.

    Helmed by Alexei Boldireff (also the chef at Baijiu), they will offer classic burgers with house-made buns. They aim for a fall opening.

    Royale comes on the heels of another burger-focused restaurant, Woodshed on 124 Street.

    Openings

    Upcoming Events

    Reviews

    Local News

    Urban Agriculture and Farming

    What I Ate

    • I forgot to include this last week – we checked out the 124 Street Grand Market on Sunday, and loved the gruyere and chive bread we picked up from Erica Vliegenthart’s new venture called Laneway Bakery (she used to be the lead baker at District). She’s currently only vending at the Sunday 124 Market, and seems to sell out every week!

    Laneway Bakery

    Erica of Laneway Bakery

    • Mack, Emily, and I stopped at the Hotel Macdonald’s hot dog cart over the weekend and tried their lemonade ($5 for a large cup) and their Loaded BBQ Dog ($6) with hot sauce, house pickles, crispy potato, onions, and mustard. It was a bit of a wait (they make everything to order), but it was great to be able to enjoy the food on their beautiful patio. There were numerous families doing the same – their hot dog and ice cream cart is doing wonders to democratize their patio this summer. It’s open every day from 11am-6pm.

    Hotel Macdonald

    Loaded BBQ Dog from Hotel Macdonald

    • We took in K-Days on Sunday, along with what seemed like half of Edmonton! Those Little Donuts are a summer tradition for us; I was glad to see them in town, especially after learning they didn’t make the stop in Calgary for the Stampede.

    Those Little Donuts

    Those Little Donuts

    • Taste of Edmonton returned to the Federal Plaza for a second year – although it is more costly for the festival to rent this space, it will be a hard sell for some to return the event to Churchill Square. The grounds were packed during our visit tonight, though I was sad to see that the fountains were off (hopefully only temporarily!). We tried a handful of items, and really enjoyed the jerk chicken on rice from Irie Foods and the passionfruit and mango sorbet from Little Bear Gelato. We also returned to a few tried and true favourites: the spicy lentils from Langano Skies and the dry spicy chicken from The Lingnan. Speaking of The Lingnan, it was great to learn that Miles Quon will be stepping into the role of Chair after more than ten years of serving on the board.

    Taste of Edmonton

    Dry spicy chicken from The Lingnan

      Food Notes for July 15, 2019

      H-Mart Opens to Large Crowds

      H-Mart, an American-based Asian grocer specializing in Korean products, opened in Edmonton on July 11, 2019. Located at 570, 3803 Calgary Trail, it took over the space that had been vacant for some time after Whole Foods cancelled their plans for its first store in Edmonton.

      South Park Centre is becoming a hub for Asian groceries and food, with the city’s first Jollibee location to open soon, and a T & T Supermarket a few blocks south.

      Openings

      Closures

      • Salz is now closed; they decided not to renew their lease, but indicate that they are “on the lookout for a bigger, better shop from which to sling bratwurst and pour Alberta craft beer.” (Thanks to Sharman for the heads up!)

      Upcoming Events

      • The next Food4Good low-cost fruit and vegetable sale is taking place at The Big Picture Block Party on July 25, 2019 at Butler Memorial Park (15715 Stony Plain Road).
      • Sabor’s annual Seafood Festival runs August 3-30, 2019. They’ll have a number of special ticketed dinners. including a Food Day Canada collaboration kick-off dinner on August 3, 2019 with Julie Van Rosendaal and Emily Richards.
      • Alberta on the Plate is a new culinary festival “celebrating Alberta local food and drink”, and runs August 9-18, 2019. Participating restaurants will be offering multi-course fixed priced menus highlighting local producers.
      • Farm open house and culinary experience details are now up on the Alberta Open Farm Days website. The event runs August 17-18, 2019.
      • The annual Culinaire Treasure Hunt returns to Edmonton on September 7, 2019. Teams of two can register for $75, and individuals for $47.50.

      Reviews

      Local News

      Urban Agriculture and Farming

      What I Ate

      • Mack, Emily and I had the privilege of attending a media event at Melt Sandwich Co. last week. Located on the pedway level of the Bell Tower, Melt was opened by the folks behind Cookie Love back in February, and serves up breakfast and lunch. We were able to try nearly all of the sandwiches they offer. My favourite was the burger melt (one of their best-sellers, along with the dill fried chicken and the Cubano), while Mack continues to have a soft spot for their mac and cheese sandwich.

      Melt Sandwiches

      Burger melt from Melt Sandwich Co.

      • Last week, I had lunch with colleagues at Mama Asha, a Somali restaurant just off 118 Avenue. Their chicken suqaar wrap at $10 is a great value; most of us struggled to finish it. My favourite part was that it was made with sabayad, a delicious flatbread similar to roti.

      Mama Asha

      Chicken suqaar wrap at Mama Asha

      • A go-to for work lunches, I was back at T & D Noodle House today. My usual is their 2-colour vermicelli bowl with grilled chicken and spring rolls.

      T & D Noodle House

      My regular at T & D Noodle House

      • Ritual, an app that allows diners to pre-order food at cafes and restaurants, has launched in Edmonton. To celebrate, they are running a $1 Food Fest Downtown, with more than two dozen participating establishments. Mack and I have been eating our way through the deals, but the best one has to be La Mision’s “small” burrito – an incredible steal at just $1. The Food Fest runs until July 19.

      La Mision

      Picnic at Alex Decoteau Park with our burritos (Emily is not impressed I interrupted her dinner)