Food Notes for November 25, 2019

Chef Ben Staley to Launch New Restaurant

Chef Ben Staley has released more details about his forthcoming new restaurant, Restaurant Yarrow.

Described as a “place to interact with regional, seasonal cuisine and those who prepare it”, Yarrow seats 10 and will offer only tasting menus ranging between 18-22 servings. Tickets must be purchased in advance and cost $170 per person. Seatings are available starting January 3, 2020.

Chef Staley first made a name for himself at North 53 in 2014, where he created a menu using exclusively Canadian ingredients. Although he would depart the restaurant less than a year later, his next two ventures operated with similar hyper-local parameters. Alta, which opened in 2017, served small plates at room temperature or cold, but would close within months. Alder Room opened in the same year next door, offering elaborate tasting menus at a 12-seat bar. It garnered national acclaim, landing on enRoute’s Best New Restaurants list in 2017, but unfortunately, closed in 2018.


  • Downtown has a brand new coffee shop: Cafe Rosa is now open just above El Beso (10432 Jasper Avenue). They brew Rogue Wave Coffee, and offer baked goods sourced from Lock Stock.
  • Green Onion Cake Man has opened a second location downtown, at the kiosk above the Central LRT Station (10020 Jasper Avenue). It is open 11am-2pm on weekdays.
  • Bubble Cream is now open at West Edmonton Mall, serving up Hong Kong-style waffles and ice cream (they did have a kiosk at the Premium Outlet Collection by the airport for a time, but that had since closed).
  • Sepps Pizza, from the folks behind Leva Cafe, is the latest ghost kitchen to open in Edmonton. Orders for their “classic New York pie with a northern twist” can be made through their website or Uber Eats.
  • Jay Bee’s Diner is opening a second location on 127 Street north of 137 Avenue.

Upcoming Events

  • The University of Alberta has published a cookbook featuring 25 recipes and stories from their campus community. The official launch takes place on November 28, 2019 and is free to attend.
  • Whole Family Health has partnered with Chef Blair Lebsack of RGE RD to host an event titled Mindful Eating to offer tips about how eating more consciously can help prevent illness. The workshop will be held at RGE RD on December 1, ant proceeds from the $50 tickets will go towards Movember.
  • On the heels of their successful Filipino-focused special events, Filistix will be hosting “Jajan: an evening of Indonesian Cuisine” on December 11, 2019. It is an opportunity for two of their chefs of Indonesian heritage to present dishes from their country of origin. Tickets are $60.
  • The Marc will be offering a special brunch on December 29, 2019.


Local News

  • A handful of eateries were featured in enRoute’s Edmonton City Guide, including Baijiu, Biera, Bundok, Cibo Bistro, Partake, Prairie Noodle, and Woodshed.
  • Open Table released a list of the top 25 restaurants for solo dining in Canada, and Tzin made the cut.
  • Graham interviewed Chef Brad Lazarenko about his current venture, Culina To Go.
  • Jason Foster points out the unfortunate results of the annual Edmonton Journal Readers’ Choice Awards for “Best Craft Brewery”.
  • The Hotel Macdonald unveiled their 2019 gingerbread house earlier in the month – this year’s creation stands 20 feet tall.
  • Also from Graham, he wrote about his experience at the first Culinary Team Luncheon hosted by the NAIT chefs in preparation for the Culinary Olympics in Germany next year. NAIT will host two additional practice sessions on January 18 and February 1, 2020. The events are open to the public; tickets for the lunches are $20.95.
  • In commemoration of the Silver Skate Festival’s upcoming 30th anniversary, they’ve put together an ATB BoostR campaign to help manage the increasing costs of the event. A number of rewards offered are food-related, including a private tasting tour of their food event, Spirits on Ice, and a private dinner from the Chef Richard Toll of Under the High Wheel.
  • Sharman shared a recap of the recent Swine and Dine dinner hosted by Drift at the Shamrock Curling Club.
  • This video from the Alberta Motor Association features Darren and Sylvia Cheverie on the origin story behind their restaurant Chartier.
  • Sweet Lollapalooza was recognized with a silver and bronze at the 2019 International Chocolate Awards.
  • I learned about another new-to-me small batch coffee roaster based in Edmonton called High Horse Coffee. The product is available through their online shop, as well as at Save-On Foods.
  • The 5th annual Cookie YEGTweetup, supported in part by Cookies by George, raised $500 for the Christmas Bureau.

Urban Agriculture and Farming

What I Ate

  • Mack, Emily and I were in Chicago last week and so I decided to take a break from the blog. We had a lot of great eats, much of which were Mexican owing to the neighbourhood my sister lives in. These tacos from Rubi’s, a vendor at the Maxwell Street Market, were amazing.


Tacos (with fresh-made tortillas!) from Rubi’s in Chicago

  • Upon our return to Edmonton, I tried several new-to-me restaurants. On the more casual side was DeRose Fine Foods, located in a light industrial area off 99 Street. They offer two breakfast dishes, but were no less busy because of it. The breakfast bowl ($12), featuring tater tots, a very tasty house-made brisket, and an over easy egg, was enough to feed two people. They also host Bagel Bar and offer a variety of meat cuts and sausages.

DeRose Fine Foods

Breakfast bowl from DeRose Fine Foods

  • Revel has flown under the radar for me for some time, but I was looking forward to trying it. Of the dishes I shared, the short rib was my favourite.


Short rib from Revel

  • Mack, Emily, and I had been to Filistix for dinner, but this weekend was our first sampling of their brunch menu, offered 11am-3pm on weekends. I always welcome the opportunity to have noodles for breakfast, and Filistix offers this and more! I particularly enjoyed the beef broth underlying my brisket noodle soup.


Beef brisket noodle soup from Filistix

  • Braven was my first taste of the new O & B run-restaurants at the JW Marriott. Service was excellent, and there’s something to be said about a well-designed room. We enjoyed all of the dishes, including the short rib, but this plate of roasted BC black cod was too pretty not to share.


BC black cod from Braven

    Food Notes for November 11, 2019

    Local Amateur Baker Wins National Baking Competition

    Edmonton-based Nataliia Shevchenko was crowned the winner of the third season of CBC’s The Great Canadian Baking Show. The show hosts ten amateur bakers from across Canada to compete in themed challenges.

    The finale aired on November 6, 2019, although the episode was actually filmed back in June. Although she works as an administrative assistant by day, she learned to love the kitchen by cooking with her mother.

    Nataliia plans to launch an online baking channel with Chris Koo, the other Edmonton-based contestant on the show this season.


    • Dorinku Osaka (the sister restaurant to Dorinku in Old Strathcona) is now open at 10328 Jasper Avenue. In addition to the main restaurant, there’s also a ramen bar called Osaka Noodle tucked in the back of the space.
    • The first of Century Hospitality Group’s ghost kitchens is now open. Orders for The Flying Dodough (serving pizzas, rotisserie chicken, and salads) are available only through Skip the Dishes and Uber Eats.
    • Apparently Tokeo Station, the long-awaited restaurant in the McLeod Building at 10009 101A Avenue, is finally opening on November 12, 2019.
    • Pablo (10432 Jasper Avenue), hosted a soft opening last weekend, but hasn’t yet announced  an official opening date.
    • Doughnut Party has moved the opening date of their Ritchie storefront back to some time in early 2020.

    Upcoming Events

    • The Christmas tree in Churchill Square will officially be lit on November 15, 2019, with roasted chestnuts, maple taffy on snow, bannock, hot chocolate, and cookies.
    • All is Bright returns to 124 Street on November 16 from 4-8pm; expect s’mores, food trucks, and a beverage garden. Thankfully, the organizers have decided to again close 124 Street for the festivities.


    • Turqaz Kebab House gets more love from local media, this time from Graham.

    Local News

    • Edmonton business Caramunchies has launched a different kind of crowdfunding campaign – they’re hoping to raise $5,000 to help them host monthly suppers at a local soup kitchen.
    • Sweet Lollapalooza is a 2019 finalist in the International Chocolate Awards in two categories: flavoured dark chocolate and milk chocolate ganaches or truffles.

    Urban Agriculture and Farming

    • The Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market reopened the doors of their indoor location on Saturday after finally resolving their permit issues.

    What I Ate

    • Mack, Emily, and I finally made it to Woodshed Burgers, encountering a packed house on Friday night. While we had to try their now infamous fish sandwich, it was their namesake burger that we most enjoyed  – the tomato jam and the red wine braised onions sealed the deal! Emily, as predicted, preferred the fries.

    Woodshed Burgers

    The Woodshed from Woodshed Burgers

    • Although the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market is open, they still don’t have a coffee purveyor on-site. Thankfully, Peche Cafe is just a half block away. The sister cafe to Die Pie, they also offer an entirely plant-based menus (think soy, almond, and oat milk-based drinks). We tried some oat milk lattes (a first for us!), and a generously-sized dark chocolate scone. With great service and an inviting space, I hope more people discover it!

    Peche Cafe

    Dark chocolate scone from Peche Cafe

    • Mack, Emily, and I also stopped by Toast Culture on the weekend. The ahi tuna toast was good, but the real surprise was the pizza, featuring Meuwly’s soppressata. I appreciated the crust that was thin but sturdy enough for the toppings. Given pizza makes up approximately half of the evening menu, they could easily be called “Pizza Culture With a Side of Toast”, heh.

    Toast Culture

    Meuwly’s soppressata and pesto pizza from Toast Culture

    Food Notes for November 4, 2019

    Kanu Closes to Make Way for Plant-based Pizzeria

    Kanu, a partnership between local developer Sherry Schluessel and American chef Matthew Kenney, has transitioned to a new concept after just over a year in operation. Kanu re-opened as Doppio Zero on October 31, 2019, and joins Die Pie as the second plant-based pizzeria in Edmonton.

    When Kanu opened back in September 2018, it was heralded as a major step in the city’s embrace of plant-based cuisine, as it was the first higher-end restaurant of its kind. However, as told to the Journal, it appears Kanu struggled because of ingredient costs.

    “It was very difficult to manage because of some of the ingredients,” [Sherry Schluessel] says. “Especially the nuts. We don’t, for example, grow macadamia nuts here, and even some of the micro greens were very expensive. Keeping the quality of the dishes intact was just a bit more than we could afford, even if we had a faithful, repeat customer base who loved what we did. It just wasn’t sustainable for Edmonton.”

    This is the sixth Doppio Zero location (known as Double Zerio in the US), joining branches in New York, LA, Boston, and Baltimore.


    • Little Duchess (the smaller, sister location of Duchess Bake Shop) is now open in Ritchie Market, located at 9570 76 Avenue.
    • The Woodrack Cafe is opening a new location, taking over the Cafe Besos space in Lyon.
    • Thamel Bistro, offering Nepalese cuisine, is now open at 12413 118 Avenue.


    • Flamingo Restaurant, which has been operating for more than 40 years in west Edmonton, is closing on November 30 due to expropriation for the Valley Line LRT.

    Upcoming Events

    • Nowhere Kitchen is a new cooking class/workshop series that will be hosted by chefs of colour focused on their cultural identity and food justice. The first class will take place on November 10, 2019 and feature Chef Addie Raghavan at Get Cooking. Tickets are $30.
    • Linda is leading a Food Crawl and Instagrammable Walls walk in Chinatown/McCauley on November 17, 2019. Tickets go on sale November 5.
    • STEM Sisters will launch their first event on November 28, 2019 with an interview and tour with Lisa Davis of Yellowhead Brewery, one of the few female brewers in Alberta. Tickets are $10.
    • Save the date for the first Edmonton Christmas Market, organized by Wild Heart Collective (the folks behind the 124 Grand Market), on Thursdays to Sundays from November 28-December 21, 2019. It will be located Downtown at ATB Place.


    Local News

    Urban Agriculture and Farming

    What I Ate

    • I was in Calgary with Mack and Emily last week, and was able try a couple of new-to-us restaurants. We always seem to stay in the East Village, but hadn’t yet sampled the fare at the historic King Eddy. Though we had to duck out before the live music started, they offer a very respectable mac and cheese – creamy, and nicely textured with breadcrumbs, bacon, and mushrooms.

    King Eddy

    Mac and cheese from King Eddy

    • Before we left the city, we had the chance to grab lunch at Chix Egg Shop, the latest addition to the Charcut/Charbar empire. It’s a cute, modern diner located in the Alt Hotel in the East Village, only open for breakfast and lunch. I enjoyed my hot fried chicken sandwich, and Emily loved the  shoestring fries. Calgary continues its brunch domination of Edmonton.

    Chix Egg Shop

    Hot chix sandwich from Chix Egg Shop

    • I don’t get to Brio Bakery nearly as often as I would like, but when I do, I load up on bread (their Prairie loaf is my favourite in the city), and add a cruffin for good measure.

    Brio Bakery

    Cruffins from Brio Bakery

    I was honoured this past week to be recognized as one of this year’s Top 40 Under 40 in Avenue Edmonton, in part because of my contributions to the local food scene. It’s been such a pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful community – thanks to all of you for reading and for supporting the events I’ve participated in.

    Food Notes for October 28, 2019

    Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market Opens Year-Round Location

    The Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market opened their new year-round location on October 26, 2019 in the GWG Building located at 10305 97 Street.

    This date came about after numerous delays and confusion. In March, it was first reported that the market would not return to 104 Street in the summer, and instead, would transition from their previous winter home in City Hall directly to their new digs in the Quarters. Then, after operating outdoors for a few weeks in May and June adjacent to the GWG Building, the market returned to 104 Street for the remainder of the summer season. Permitting issues delayed their move indoors in October, despite the market’s announcement of a grand opening party.

    Although the Downtown Farmers’ Market has plans to become a multi-day market (to operate on Saturdays and Sundays), for the time being, they will only be open on Saturdays until further notice.



    Upcoming Events

    • The next discount Fruit & Veggie Sale run by Food4Good is scheduled for October 29, 2019.
    • Seconds, Please, a web series documenting stories and traditional recipes from immigrant families is launching their newest Diwali-centred episode with a free event on November 6, 2019 featuring food, and a Bhangra dance workshop.
    • The next Swine & Dine event will be hosted by Drift at their winter home (the Shamrock Curling Club) on November 14, 2019. Tickets for the multi-course meal are $45.
    • As the NAIT Culinary Team continues its preparation for the Culinary Olympics, they are hosting a lunch on November 16, 2019 that will serve as one of their practice sessions. Tickets are $21 plus fees.
    • The final Winery Spotlight dinner at the Edmonton Expo Centre takes place on November 28, 2019. Tickets are $125 each.


    • Lydia had a positive experience at Japanese restaurant Kobachi in Sherwood Park.
    • Stephanie had a complimentary staycation at the JW Marriott that include sampling the fare at their bars and restaurants Alchemy, Kindred, and Braven.

    Local News

    Beyond Edmonton

    What I Ate

    • I attended Lit Fest’s sold out Food Matters event over the weekend at The Common. It was a great afternoon featuring an (all female!) panel of writers – Ann Hui, Lenore Newman, Twyla Campbell, and Giselle Courteau. Giselle even brought some macarons from Duchess to share!


    Macaron treats at Food Matters

    • Mack, Emily, and I are in Calgary for a few days as I’m attending a work conference. It’s been an excuse to get some take out, and we ended up going back to Pow Pizza for their Detroit-style pizza.

    Pow Pizza

    Italian street meat from Pow Pizza

    Food Notes for October 21, 2019

    Edmontonians Win Big at National Coffee Competition

    Two Edmonton-based baristas were recognized at the 2020 Canadian National Brewers Cup in Montreal over the weekend. Organized by the Canadian Chapter of the Specialty Coffee Association, they sanction regional and national-level competitions that feed into World Coffee Events.

    Ply Pasarj of Rogue Wave Coffee won first place, while Santiago Lopez of The Colombian took third. Ply will go on to compete in the 2020 World Brewers Cup Championship in Melbourne, Australia in May.


    • Shojo in the Brewery District is Edmonton’s newest izakaya, located at 10425 121 Street.
    • The Grand Cafe (located at 10802 124 Street) is now open. It is located on the ground floor of the new development situated on the site of the former Colonel Mustard’s.
    • Plant-based restaurant Gidget’s is now open in St. Albert (125 Carleton Drive, #101).
    • A new Korean restaurant called Banjoo is open at 3212 Parsons Road.
    • Mini Kitchen and El Gringo, offering ready-to-eat Indian, Thai, and fusion Mexican food has opened a storefront at 9729 42 Avenue. They’re a familiar face at farmers’ markets in the city, and in addition to their reheat and serve dishes, they’ll also have a small deli.


    • All Alberta locations of Red Robin will close by December 8, 2019.

    Upcoming Events

    • High tea at Ernest’s is back on October 26, 2019. Tickets are $46 per person.
    • Vignettes is offering a Dinner Series involving chef-led cooking classes on October 26 and November 2, featuring Chefs Blair Lebsack from RGE RD and Chef Mariana Yanez Sanchez from Bottega 104, respectively. Tickets are $125 per person.
    • Chef Larry Stewart will be preparing Hardware Grill tribute dinners at XIX19 on November 3-4, 2019. Tickets to the 3-course dinner are $145.


    • The meat at Woodshed Burgers gets a thumbs up from Twyla, with a note to work on their buns.
    • Woodshed also received a positive review from Graham, but he was looking for more from Fox Burgers.

    Local News

    What I Ate

    • Emily and I met up with the Chinatown Dining Week team last week at Boualouang in preparation for the third iteration of this event, coming in January 2020. Among the dishes we shared was a delectable mango salad – even Emily approved!


    Mango salad from Boualouang

    • Mack, Emily, and I tried one of our new neighbourhood additions on Friday. Dagu Rice Noodle has had consistent line-ups since opening a month ago, so we were lucky to get seated right away. They make their rice noodles fresh on-site, and feature no MSG in their broths. I tried the rice noodle soup with braised bone-in beef ($14.99). I did enjoy their broth and noodles, but I would have hoped for some more vegetables. Still, their service was fast and friendly, so we’ll be back!

    Dagu Rice Noodle

    Rice noodle soup with braised bone-in beef from Dagu Ride Noodle

    Food Notes for October 14, 2019

    First Time Competitor Wins Great Kitchen Party

    Canada’s Great Kitchen Party held their annual fundraiser and food competition in Edmonton on Thursday. Nine chefs vied for gold, and a newcomer to the contest topped the podium. Competitions are held in a dozen cities across the country, with proceeds supporting amateur athletes, children’s music programs, and community food centres in Canada.

    Chef J.P. Dublado, of River Cree Resort and Casino won with a dish of terrine made with char siu foie gras, cured duck egg yolk and truffle, and a dumpling comprised of ube and chicken rillettes. It is Chef Dublado’s first time competing in the event. The Executive Chef at the River Cree, Shane Chartrand, has competed in the Gold Medal Plates (the previous incarnation of the Great Kitchen Party) four times, winning gold in 2017.

    Silver went to Chef Serge Belair of the Edmonton Convention Centre, and Chef Doreen Prei from Zinc Restaurant took the bronze.

    Chef Dublado goes on to represent Edmonton in the Canadian Culinary Championships in Ottawa, to be held January 31-February 1, 2020.



    • A number of Edmonton Starbucks locations have shut down, including stores in High Street and Garneau.

    Upcoming Events

    • Giselle Courteau of Duchess will be releasing her new cookbook this week and will be hosting a cookbook launch on October 16, 2019. She spoke to the Journal about what type of recipes to expect.
    • The Edmonton Food Bank is hosting a fundraiser called the Harvest Luncheon on October 24, 2019. Tickets are $50.
    • The second Bayanihan Dinner, a collaboration between some of Edmonton’s best Filipino chefs, including Kanto 98 Street’s Edgar Gutierrez and JP Dublado of SC at River Cree Casino (fresh off his Great Kitchen Party win), is taking place on October 30, 2019. Tickets are $85.


    Local News

    • Graham interviewed Larry Stewart about the Hardware Grill closure; Stewart says the closure relates most to the debt accumulated from the opening of Tavern 1903.
    • Natalie Hanke has spearheaded a campaign to encourage diners to “bring your own to-go box” when eating out at local restaurants.
    • Let’s Do Coffee, a NAIT podcast that interviews local entrepreneurs, featured Chef Levi Biddlecombe in the latest episode.
    • A local catering company Acappella now offers a “take and bake” dinner pack for those looking for a more convenient way to prepare dinner over the holidays.
    • Fresh Routes held their first mobile market selling affordable produce and grocery products at Clareview Recreation Centre last week.

    Urban Agriculture and Farming

    What I Ate

    • Mack, Emily, and I have been in Yellowknife over the weekend, spending Thanksgiving with Mack’s parents. It’s been a pretty relaxing trip, but one of the only things we really wanted to do was eat at Bullocks. It’s the most famous restaurant in Yellowknife; in the past it was known for questionable service, but since changing hands, it’s become more about the food quality. They serve fresh fish caught in nearby Great Slave Lake, and diners can choose the preparation method – deep fried, grilled, or pan-fried. Mack and I both chose the latter, and eating at the counter, we had a front row seat to the cooking process. While the herbs and spice recipes are proprietary, we could see that loads of butter, wine, and Guinness also play prominent roles. Whatever it was, the fish was delicious, and met all of our expectations.

    Bullocks Bistro

    Pan-fried white fish from Bullocks Bistro

    Food Notes for October 7, 2019

    Beverly Dining Week Returns for a Second Year

    The Beverly Business Improvement Area and Wild Heart Collective are bringing Beverly Dining Week back for a second year.

    Running from October 17-25, 2019, the event highlights restaurants in the northeast Edmonton neighbourhood located on 118 Avenue between 30th and 50th streets. This year, Beverly Dining Week will feature 10 restaurants (up from 8 in 2018), including some area stalwarts like Uncle Ed’s Restaurant and Swiss2Go, and relative newcomers such as Chicken For You and Mumbai Dakar Restaurant.

    Menus have yet to be released, but check the BIA website for updates.


    • Brasserie Bardot opened in late September in the former Manor Cafe space (10109 125 Street). It’s described as a “chef driven cocktail brasserie paired with a traditional Parisian cafe”, and is operated by the family behind Violino Ristorante and the Mayfield Inn.
    • Congratulations to Meat Street Pies on the opening of their brick and mortar storefront, located at 800 Broadmoor Boulevard in Sherwood Park.
    • I missed the opening of Paramo Cafe last year, a Venezuelan-based coffee chain. It is located at 9940 137 Avenue, #110.


    • Paws the Cat Cafe is closing on October 27, 2019.


    Local News

    Urban Agriculture and Farming

    Beyond Edmonton

    What I Ate

    • It was a soup kind of week for me, partly because I was hoping to ward off the colds going around my office. First stop: T and D Noodle House for their Bun Bo Hue. As always, great service, and their kitchen is really efficient.

    T and D Noodle House

    Bun Bo Hue from T and D Noodle House

    • Next up was the prairie pork shio from Prairie Noodle Shop. I particularly enjoyed the smoked pulled pork.

    Prairie Noodle Shop

    Prairie pork shio from Prairie Noodle Shop

    • While the mac and cheeza remains my ultimate favourite, the Lovesgiving feature at Love Pizza is also a great deviation from more traditional toppings. Here, the mashed potato spread, pulled turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce offer a different version of turkey dinner – it’s available for the month of October.

    Love Pizza

    Emily says “Happy Thanksgiving!” at Love Pizza

    Food Notes for September 30, 2019

    Chef Celebrates his Indigenous Roots in New Cookbook

    Chef Shane Chartrand, fresh off an appearance on Iron Chef Canada, has just released his first cookbook (co-written with Jennifer Cockrall-King).

    tawâw, Cree for “welcome, there is room”, features seventy-five recipes and chronicles his journey from childhood to award-winning chef at SC Restaurant at the River Cree Resort and Casino.

    Containing “personal stories, interviews with Chartrand’s culinary influences and family members, and contemporary and archival photographs of his journey, tawâw is part cookbook, part exploration of ingredients and techniques, and part chef’s personal journal.”

    The book is available now, and will also be highlighted at an event at LitFest on October 19, 2019 at the Royal Alberta Museum.


    • The folks behind Die Pie have opened up their second venture, a vegan cafe serving up breakfast and lunch called Pêche Café. It is located at 101, 10255 97 Street.
    • Alchemy, the new bar located in the JW Marriott (10360 102 Street), opens to the public on October 3, 2019.
    • Another Filipino-based chain is now open in Edmonton at West Edmonton Mall: Potato Corner specializes in all sorts of fries. It’s the first Canadian location.
    • Ice District will be adding two new establishments to open in winter 2021: a flagship location of The Canadian Brewhouse, called The CANADIAN ICEhouse, which will feature Edmonton’s largest rooftop patio, and The Banquet, a restaurant that also hosts bowling lanes, shuffleboard, and ping pong tables.
    • Dirtbelly, a Calgary-based salad chain, will be opening its first Edmonton location at Southgate Centre.


    • They were “temporarily closed” for some time, but Sweet Jesus couldn’t make it work in the Edmonton market. Both Southgate Centre and West Edmonton Mall locations closed before their one year anniversaries.

    Upcoming Events


    Local News

    • Congratulations to Ply of Rogue Wave Coffee who was named the 2019 Aeropress Canadian Champion last week. He will be representing Canada at the World Aeropress Championships in London later this year.
    • It sounded like the chefs behind the recent Edmonton stop of the Prairie Grid Dinner Series made the most of a small and non-ideal ad hoc kitchen.
    • Linda shared a sponsored post about the fall menu offerings at The Rec Room.
    • Learn about the inspiration for the collaborative Filipino multi-course dinner that took place earlier this month; the organizers say the Bayanihan Dinner Series may return as early as October!
    • The latest Fast Food webisode features Wishbone Chef Lasha Gust’s recipe for perogies.
    • Just in time for fall – The Marc has shared their recipe for pumpkin soup.

    Beyond Edmonton

    • Calgary’s City Palate is shutting down after 26 years.
    • A contentious new study seems to reverse guidelines and advice that limiting red and processed meat may not be scientifically supported.

    What I Ate

    • Mack, Emily, and I finally made it to Blue Plate Diner’s new location just off 124 Street. Walking in, we were amazed how they managed to replicate the relaxed, low-key vibe in a new space. Service was great, and Emily gobbled up most of my gnocchi (and wanted more!).

    Blue Plate Diner

    Green pea pesto gnocchi with chicken at Blue Plate Diner

    • Mack and I had brunch at Cafe Bicyclette over the weekend to celebrate our five year wedding anniversary. Service was indifferent at best, but thankfully the food more than made up for the front of house staff. We enjoyed both dishes – the brunch poutine was as indulgent as we had hoped for, and the eggs benedict (served over a croissant) was well-made.

    Cafe Bicyclette

    Brunch poutine and eggs benedict at Cafe Bicyclette

      Food Notes for September 23, 2019

      New Social Enterprise Highlights Edmonton’s Diverse Community

      Edmonton Eats is a new social enterprise that will offer locals the opportunity to learn more about different cultures through food.

      They will be hosting their first event, a Taste of Libya, on October 19, 2019 at NAIT. The traditional menu will be prepared by chefs at Ernest’s based on recipes provided by a newcomer family, and will include 6 food stations, and a tea ceremony. The family will also deliver a presentation about Libya. Tickets are $65, with a $26 charitable receipt.

      Founded by Maureen Murphy-Black, Edmonton Eats combines her interests in “learning about new cultures, hearing peoples stories, building welcoming communities.” Funds collected from the events will go to the families hosting the dinner.

      Future events this year will feature Somalia, East Africa, Eritrea, and Mexico.


      Upcoming Events

      • The second annual Harvest Fest, organized by the Downtown Business Association, features special events and menus from October 17-20, 2019. This year, 24 restaurants are offering $18 brunch, and $30 or $45 dinner menus.


      Local News

      • Two local amateur bakers, Chris Koo and Nataliia Shevchenko, have been chosen to compete on season 3 of The Great Canadian Baking Show.
      • The third annual Gifted catalogue, featuring products made by Edmonton-based companies, is now available. It features over a dozen local food-related products, including El Gringo Foods, Chicks-n-Chaps mustards, and Herbologie.
      • Honest Dumplings just returned from the first all Canadian FoodTech Trade Event in Chicago to launch an investment round.
      • Teresa Spinelli did an interview with The Tomato in conjunction with the Italian Centre’s 60th anniversary, where she shared that she’d like to open another store in Edmonton and two more in Calgary.
      • A bit of a shameless plug – I was a guest on my friend Nadine Riopel’s podcast, Welcome to Town, on an episode all about food, where I talk about how the local food scene has evolved, and some of my favourite restaurants in Edmonton.

      Urban Agriculture and Farming

      • The Downtown Farmers’ Market is relocating to the GWG Building on October 12, 2019, and will continue to be open on Saturdays and Sundays over the fall and winter months. It seems the market hasn’t yet decided on whether they will remain indoors next summer, or return to 104 Street.

      What I Ate

      • Any week when I get to Pho Tau Bay is a good week. Given the number of colds going around my office, the visit was a preventive measure.

      Pho Tau Bay

      My usual at Tau Bay

      • Mack, Emily, and I went to Amore Pasta for the first time. We love the idea of build-your-own-pasta, but on this occasion, we stuck with their menu of creations. I enjoyed the Amore Classic, with a sweet sambuca rose sauce, mushrooms, chicken, and green onions, and Mack chose the Show Me the Balls mac, with 3 meatballs, rose sauce, provolone, and gruyere. Service was great, and the portions were large enough for leftovers, too. We’ll be back.

      Amore Pasta

      Amore Pasta for dinner

      • I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Hotel Macdonald for their special Downton Abbey-themed afternoon tea over the weekend. It was such a beautiful day that we were able to enjoy it out on the terrace. They launched their new afternoon tea menu in August, which features a honey-lavender cheesecake, made with honey harvested from the Hotel’s beehives.

      Hotel Macdonald

      My Mum and our tea tray

      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.


      • 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.


      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