Food Notes for February 10, 2020

Hathaway’s Diner is on the market

Owners of the beloved Wellington restaurant Hathaway’s Diner have announced they are selling the business.

In a post shared on February 5, Pamela and Lyle Charlet wrote that they will be retiring: “With a heavy heart we are writing to inform you of our hopes to retire from our small but widely adored diner…The truth is we are tired and would like the opportunity for some much needed rest and relaxation before moving forward with some of the other dreams we have been holding on to.”

They are hopeful that someone new will step in to take over the business. No firm date has been announced, apart from the possibility of a transition by March 2020.

Openings

Upcoming Events

  • Hansen Distillery’s Northern Eyes whisky will be released on February 11, 2020.
  • Stump Kitchen LIVE! will be featured as a part of the Chinook Series on February 14, 2020 at the Arts Barns. Tickets are $22.
  • The Downtown Business Association is hosting a panel discussion on food and the food industry on February 25, 2020 at Campio Brewing. Panelists include Patrick Saurette of The Marc and Henry Song of Buok Fresh Kitchen. Tickets are $10 and include pizza and beer.

Reviews

Local News

Urban Agriculture and Farming

What I Ate

  • With the Hathaway’s announcement, Mack, Emily and I made a trip down to the diner over the weekend. It’s been some time since our last visit, but the hospitality is still something of a marvel. Emily and I shared some pancakes and eggs, but that didn’t stop her from eyeing up Mack’s eggs benedict.

Hathaway’s Diner

Eggs benedict with back bacon from Hathaway’s Diner

Food Notes for February 3, 2020

Doughnut Party Opens Second Location

Doughnut Party’s long-awaited shop south of the river opened last week in Ritchie.

Located at 9610 76 Avenue, it joins a number of sweet options available in the neighbourhood. Little Duchess, a smaller version of the popular bakery, opened last fall in Ritchie Market, and increased traffic to the building by 20%. Kind Ice Cream also opened last year.

Openings

  • BaoBao, offering “Shanghai street food” is now open at 10544 Jasper Avenue.
  • The Edmonton location of Peters’ Drive-In is working towards an April opening date.

Closures

  • Urban Tavern’s last day of operation was February 3, 2020. The Cabin will open in its place in March.
  • It sounds like several locations of Wetzel’s Pretzels have closed, including branches at West Edmonton, Premium Outlet Collection, and HUB Malls.

Upcoming Events

  • La Poutine Week runs February 1-9, 2020, with 8 participating restaurants in Edmonton who are featuring a special poutine for the event.

Reviews

Local News

  • The Writer’s Room is temporarily closed as they are looking for a new location after their building flooded.
  • Did you know Tres Carnales now has a catering arm?
  • Congratulations to KB and Company who are expanding to Kelowna with a location to open in March.
  • Three local chefs offer their tips for stress-free cooking – check out what Chefs Paul Shufelt, Jason Greene, and Lindsay Porter eat for dinner at home.

What I Ate

  • It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a year since Mack, Emily and I visited Route 99. Not surprisingly, not much has changed in our time away – it’s just as comforting of a greasy spoon as we remembered.

Route 99

Poutine at Route 99

Food Notes for January 27, 2020

City of Edmonton Makes Hawrelak Park Food Vendor Announcements

Last week, the City of Edmonton officially announced that Culina to Go will be the food provider in William Hawrelak Park. The contract length is one year.

Rhonda Norman, the Director of River Valley and Horticulture Facilities stated that, “We recognize the importance of working with local providers and we are excited to have Culina operating out of the park. This decision keeps in mind Fresh: Edmonton’s Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy.”

Culina to Go operator Brad Lazarenko had spoken publicly about Culina on the Lake back in December, and launched his crowdfunding campaign for “Edmonton’s only lakeside cafe” earlier this month. Culina previously operated concessions at the Victoria Golf Course, ACT Centre and Rundle Park, before losing those contracts in 2018, and they will resume operations at the Muttart Conservatory after renovations of that facility are complete.

Openings

  • Woodrack Cafe is opening a second location, taking over Square One’s spot in the Premium Outlet Mall. They hope to open in mid-February.

Upcoming Events

  • Kind Ice Cream is hosting a fundraiser called Ice Cream for Breakfast for Momentum Walk-In Counselling on February 1, 2020. All proceeds from scoops sold from 9am-noon that day will go to the charity.
  • The Glenrose Foundation is hosting Charcuterie Night on February 12, 2020. Guests will learn how to put together a balanced charcuterie board; tickets are $99.
  • Prairie North’s February Cidermaking 101 workshop is sold out, but they have other workshops with spaces in March, including cider tasting.
  • The next Edmonton Eats event, a social enterprise featuring the cuisine of local host families, will highlight Somalia. Tickets for the March 21, 2020 dinner are $75.

Reviews

Local News

  • CBC highlighted Little Duchess that opened at Ritchie Market in October; in the story, the building’s owner shared that “Since Duchess came in we’re up 20 per cent year on year for the number of people coming through.”
  • Also from CBC, they analyzed restaurant inspection violations in the Edmonton area in 2018: poor cleaning cloth practices came up the most often at 18%. Inspection reports can be easily searched online through Alberta Health Services’ database.
  • This month’s episode of Avenue Magazine’s Sidebar Podcast features Phil Wilson, who discusses cold weather food and his experience as a judge on the Best Restaurants panel.
  • Local podcast Yeg.Me interviewed South Island Pie owner Jamie Scott about how he started the company and his work on the food business accelerator UpRoot Food.
  • Last week, I shared my (belated) 2019 Year in Review, summarizing what was notable to me over the year.
  • A forthcoming book called Tapping the West: How Alberta’s Craft Beer Industry Bubbled Out of an Economy Gone Flat covers the story behind Alberta’s craft beer boom. It is available for pre-order.
  • The sixth season of Kevin Kossowan’s From the Wild is now available to stream on demand.
  • Victor Hugo shared his recipe for maple-orange carnitas on the Passion for Pork blog.

Beyond Edmonton

What I Ate

  • Mack, Emily, and I finally stopped in at the new cafe on our street, A Bite of Brazil. They have a great deal right now: a medium brewed coffee and 3 units of cheesebread for just $3.95. The space is warm and inviting, the staff were super-friendly, and Emily couldn’t get enough of the cheesebread! We’ll be back!

Bite of Brazil

Cheesebread and coffee from A Bite of Brazil

  • We’ve started a tradition for Emily’s birthday gatherings to always include soft pretzels from Zwick’s, so while picking up our order, we also treated ourselves to some sandwiches. The McZwick really hit the spot.

Zwick’s

The McZwick’s is a thing of beauty

  • January can be a hard month to get through, but it is a little bit easier to do so with Love Pizza’s January feature – the mac and cheeza! We grabbed their 2 for $22 deal today on the way home for supper.

Love Pizza

Mac and cheeza from Love Pizza

Food Notes for January 20, 2020

Eat Local Magazine Announces New Editor

Eat Local just celebrated its one year publication anniversary, having launched their first print issue in December 2018. Within that short time, they tripled their print run from 3,000 to 10,000 copies.

This week, they announced that local freelance writer and CBC Food Explorer Twyla Campbell has joined the team as the new editor.

As she described to Eat North, “My role is to help tell the stories behind the pictures and to connect the reader to the good, conscientious chefs and producers who feed us all."

Her first issue will land in March 2020.

Openings

Upcoming Events

  • Starting January 22, 2020, Food4Good’s low-cost produce markets are relocating to Salvage Reclaimed Furniture (15308 Stony Plain Road) and will happen regularly every other Wednesday.
  • Culina Chef Brad Lazarenko has organized Pe Mitso, a collaboration dinner on February 9, 2020 celebrating the Indigenous roots of Brad, and Chefs Shane Chartrand and Scott Iserhoff. Tickets for the 5-course dinner are $85.
  • Winefest returns to the Edmonton Convention Centre on February 14-15, 2020. Tickets start at $87.
  • Join Avenue at their annual Best Restaurants event on March 16, 2020 at the Edmonton Expo Centre. Tickets are $60 and includes food and beverage tickets.

Reviews

  • Graham opines that the food at Calle Mexico’s new south side restaurant is “very good”, but “conventional”.
  • Jonny offers some photologs on Korean restaurant Machef, China Burger BBQ in Old Strathcona, and old favourite Sunbake Pita.

Local News

  • The Tomato is accepting nominations for their annual Top 100 Best Things to Eat in Edmonton. Nominations close January 31.
  • Culina will be opening up an outpost called Culina on the Lake at Hawrelak Park. They’ve started a crowdfunding campaign with the hopes of raising $35,000 to help with expenses.
  • Cafe Linnea, along with some partner businesses, is sponsoring a free wedding, valued at up to $10,000. Interested couples have until February 17, 2020 to enter.
  • Bloom’s Valentine’s Day Cookie-Grams are back! They will deliver a box of their egg and dairy-free cookies for $35, with $5 from each box going towards the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton. Orders will be accepted until February 7, or until sold out.
  • Speaking of Valentine’s Day, Linda has some great food-related ideas to help you celebrate this year.
  • The Journal offers some background on Chef Ben Staley’s new venture, Restaurant Yarrow.
  • Smokey Bear had received many positive reviews over the past few weeks, but its reputation may have taken a hit after well-known LGBTQ academic and advocate Dr. Kristopher Wells shared his negative experience dining out at the restaurant this weekend.
  • It was reported that Planet Organic has racked up thousands of dollars of unpaid bills with some local vendors, including Honest Dumplings.
  • CTV’s series Josh Eats Edmonton finally has its own landing page – catch up on segments featuring Nello’s.
  • The University of Alberta’s podcast What the Job? interviewed restauranteur Nate Box (of District, Fox Burger, and June’s Delicatessen).
  • In case you’re on the hunt for cheap eats Downtown, The Yards has you covered.

What I Ate

  • It was definitely a soup kind of week, though I never need an excuse to return to Tau Bay for my pho fix.

Pho Tau Bay

My usual at Tau Bay

  • In the middle of the deep freeze, I met up with Su for dinner at another participating Chinatown Dining Week restaurant Youth BBQ. We didn’t end up ordering off the set menu as it was easy enough to put together our own sampling of their charcoal-grilled skewers (most only $2 each – it might possibly be one of the best deals in town). We both found their spicy and slightly sweet seasoning salt addictive, whether sprinkled on beef skewers or fried potato chips. We’ll be back!

Youth BBQ

Beef skewer from Youth BBQ

     

Food Notes for January 13, 2020

Local Talent on Western Living’s 40 Foodies of the Year

Several Edmontonians made this year’s Foodies of the Year list, put out by Western Living Magazine. While the list will crown the “top 10” on March 7, 2020, three individuals were included among the forty finalists.

Lindsay Porter was recognized for her take on British classics at London Local, Cyrille Koppert for his gem of a French restaurant in Partake, and Keenan Pascal of Token Bitters was highlighted for his line of locally-inspired bitters.

Openings

  • Restaurant Yarrow and its accompany 12-seat Bar at Yarrow opened in early January. It is Chef Ben Staley’s latest foray into the Edmonton restaurant scene, after Alta and Alder Room closed in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Dining at Yarrow requires a prepaid reservation at $170 per person for a meal ranging between 18-22 servings.
  • Lan Noodle is the newest hand-pulled noodle restaurant in Edmonton, located at 10475 82 Avenue.
  • Ice District has a new tenant – Delux Burger Bar in the Edmonton Tower is now open.
  • Japanese Village is now open on BRBN St. at West Edmonton Mall.

Upcoming Events

  • Kitchen by Brad is hosting Kitchen Suppers on Wednesdays until the end of February. They will be serving a 3-course, $35 dinner; reservations are recommended.
  • The third Nowhere Kitchen event will take place on January 26, 2020 with Chef Chris Tom-Kee, and focus on Chinese cuisine. As with their previous events, it is hosted by chefs of colour focused on their cultural identity and food justice. Tickets start at $30.
  • Filistix continues with its series of special events highlighting aspects of Filipino cuisine – this time, with a Kamayan Feast (“kamayan” translates to ‘eat with your hands’). Tickets for the January 31, 2020 dinner are $56.75 plus fees.

Reviews

Local News

What I Ate

  • It was definitely a soup kind of week – I started with a warm-up at T and D Noodle House. Their bun bo Hue has perhaps replaced the two-colour vermicelli as my go-to dish!

T and D Noodle House

Bun bo Hue from T and D Noodle House

  • On the weekend, I met up with some friends at Chinese Hot Pot Buffet. I’d never been before, but I can see why they have many fans – the serve yourself (for most things) model means nothing stands in the way of you and getting food in your belly! I also appreciated the opportunity to have a chicken soup sauna for a couple of hours on a cold night, heh.

Chinese Hot Pot

Our (first of many) spreads at Chinese Hot Pot Buffet

  • Mack, Emily, and I went to Syphay’s Chinatown location for the first time for Chinatown Dining Week (which continues until January 19, 2020). They’re offering a great deal – either curry or pad Thai, plus soup and spring rolls for just $18. I really enjoyed the pad Thai, and Emily happily munched on the spring rolls.

Syphay

Chinatown Dining Week special at Syphay

Food Notes for January 6, 2020

CBC Names RGE RD and Corso 32 Best Restaurants of the Decade

CBC Edmonton released their fifth annual Best Restaurants list for 2019, and to help round-out the decade, included their picks for best restaurants of the decade.

Food Explorer Twyla Campbell chose RGE RD, who attributes their success to the fact that the restaurant is a genuine farm-to-fork establishment, where “the staff eat, live and breathe it, unlike others who profess to be, but fail to abide.”

Radioactive host Adrienne Pan and food writer Phil Wilson selected Corso 32, based on its standards and consistency, writing that the restaurant “ushered in a new standard for quality and flavour.”

The rest of the list includes neighbourhood-based categories, and a cheeky “don’t skip the dishes here”.

Openings

  • Calle Mexico’s third location (in the former Atlantic Trap & Gill) is now open at 7704 104 Street.
  • Barbarella is a new restaurant at 17115 100 Avenue (former Milestone’s). They completed their soft opening week on January 6.
  • The Delta Hotel has opened their fully renovated restaurant and cafe in Edmonton City Centre, rebranded as District 102. Interestingly, they offer a 15% discount to “neighbours”, which I take to mean Downtown residents.
  • New cafe alert: Take Care Cafe is now open at 9621 82 Avenue.
  • Also on the cafe front, Overflow Cafe has taken over Da Capo’s Whyte Avenue location (8135 102 Street).
  • Love Pizza announced a second Edmonton location on the south side at Rabbit Hill Crossing.
  • BaoBao is a forthcoming Chinese dumpling and noodle restaurant that has replaced Watari Express at 10544 Jasper Avenue.
  • Wing Snob, an American-based chain, is opening its first location in Canada in the Brewery District (11988-104 Avenue).
  • Chain Leopold’s Tavern will be opening in the revamped Strathcona Hotel this summer.

Closures

  • Holt’s Cafe closed on December 28. Liane wrote a beautiful tribute to the restaurant, incorporating the memories of lunching with her mother.
  • The Woodrack Cafe relocated to Old Strathcona, but that meant closing their original location at 7603 109 Street.

Upcoming Events

  • There’s still time to enter Deep Freeze Fest’s tourtière baking contest on January 12, 2020! The deadline to enter is January 11.
  • Chinatown Dining Week runs January 9-19, 2020. The event showcases 16 businesses in Chinatown who are offering $18 multi-course dinners or $10 take-away deals.
  • Silver Skate will be putting on a series of Long Table Dinners from February 7-17, 2020, featuring a number of Edmonton, Calgary, and Saskatoon-based chefs. Tickets for the 4-5 course dinners are $150 per person.

Reviews

Local News

Beyond Edmonton

What I Ate

  • While I wasn’t intending on taking a break from the blog over the holidays, with family in town, it was a nice excuse to relax! It also meant we ate really well, and perhaps indulged a little too much. We started with a family brunch at OEB, which seems to have become a tradition for us.

OEB

My usual order of Confit de Canard

  • We also introduced some of my family to one of our Downtown favourites – Love Pizza! Emily is a fan.

Love Pizza

Our Meatatarian standard at LovePizza

  • My sister Amanda then introduced us to her favourite donair in the city, which she has to have while in town. Mack and I had never been to Swiss Donair, but clearly, based on the line-ups that day, it is well-known to the Edmonton community. We were amazed at how fast they were.

Swiss Donair

Mack attempted to finish the jumbo-size donair at Swiss Donair

  • We had a pretty great meal at Langano Skies; with such a big group, we were able to sample many of their meat and vegetarian dishes (I particularly loved the split peas with curry).

Langano Skies

Our beautiful platter from Langano Skies

  • We also had a chance to finally try the “bring your own soup pot”-style bun bo Hue from Calgary-based Bun Bo Hue Deli. Even after six generous bowls, the $40 pot my sister brought back yielded enough leftovers for at least another meal for four.

Bun Bo Hue Deli

Home-style bun bo Hue!

Food Notes for December 16, 2019

Chinatown Dining Week Returns for a Third Year

Chinatown Dining Week is back for its third annual celebration of delicious eats in one of Edmonton’s most underappreciated neighbourhoods. It will be the biggest event so far, with a total of 16 participating businesses, doubling last year’s total.

Running January 9-19, 2020, participating restaurants will offer $18 fixed priced 2-course dinner menus available after 5pm. In addition, a new category will feature other businesses that may not focus on the sit-down experience, and offer $10 takeaway packages. Full menus will be released the week of December 16, 2019 on edmontonchinatown.ca.

Disclosure: while Chinatown Dining Week is an entirely volunteer-run initiative, I am the co-founder and a part of the volunteer team.

Openings

Closures

  • The Downtown location of Doan’s is currently closed for kitchen renovations until the New Year. The southside location remains open.
  • Looks like the renovated Garden Cafe in Chinatown was never really able to get off the ground; it is now permanently closed.

Upcoming Events

  • Formosa Bistro is celebrating their second anniversary with lion dances and discounts on December 21 and 22, 2019.
  • The menu for The Marc’s special brunch on December 29, 2019 is now up; call the restaurant for reservations.
  • Save the date for Silver Skate’s new Battle of the Neighbourhoods event on February 12, 2020. Restaurants representing 4 neighbourhoods (Oliver, Ritchie, Downtown, Old Strathcona) will be judged on their best stew creations. Entrance to the event is free, but tickets will be required for food and drink samples.

Reviews

  • Graham reviewed Braven and states that it is “a satisfying replacement for the late, great Hardware Grill.”
  • Twyla raved about the traditional flavours served up in a modern way at Tiffin.
  • The Journal had a positive experience at Noi Thai (located in the former Viphalay space).
  • Stephanie shared her impressions of Brasserie Bardot after attending a media event.

Local News

  • In the Journal’s latest Food Notes column, writer Tom Murray sheds more light on Royale and Pablo (both opened by Kevin Cam, the man behind Baijiu and Little HK), and also shares his favourite bites of the year.
  • The Yards’ latest Best in the Core includes categories for best brunch, best date night, and best grab-n-go.
  • Avenue vouches for the seafood poutine at eatery FrenCheese (8943 92 Avenue).
  • Also from Avenue – check out their Christmas Day dinner guide if cooking isn’t for you.
  • Congratulations to Eat Local magazine, who just published their first anniversary issue!
  • Chris Lachance, the restauranteur behind the Century Hospitality Group, and designer Chris Kourouniotis commemorated their 20-year partnership this year.
  • The latest episode of “Josh Eats Edmonton” on CTV News features Old Strathcona mainstay Langano Skies.
  • The second episode of Global Family Favourites features Lisa MacGregor’s recipe for rosette apple pie.
  • Epicurean Adventure Tours founder Bryanna Kumpula-Yung started a pop-up called Adley’s Bakeshop in honour of her daughter; all proceeds will be directed to the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. Orders for cookies can be placed until December 19, 2019.
  • If you’re looking for holiday cocktail recipes, Avenue has some festive suggestions.

Urban Agriculture and Farming

  • Exceed Solar is working with the University of Alberta to “study and perfect cold climate greenhouses in an effort to increase locally grown food supplies in colder climates.” The project includes building a solar powered off-grid greenhouse at the U of A Students’ Union’s community garden.

What I Ate

  • Continuing to taste our way around Chinatown, the Chinatown Dining Week crew tried Shijing Taste Mixer last week, one of only a few restaurants in Edmonton offering Malatang street food. Named after a spicy mala sauce used to flavour the dishes, orders can be customized to include a variety of meat, other proteins, and vegetables, which are then stir fried with noodles and the sauce. It was a tasty and warming dish perfect for a cold night!

Shijing Taste Mixer

Chinatown Dining Week special from Shijing Taste Mixer

  • We don’t order Skip the Dishes very often, but a craving for Padmanadi on the same day as their infamous Christmas Buffets meant I was more inclined to choose the delivery option in favour of line-ups.

Padmanadi

Padmanadi delivery

  • The kouign amann from Lock Stock is easily my favourite pastry in the city, and it’s a treat every time I’m early enough to snag one. Mack also tried their snegl (a Swedish cardamom bun).

Lockstock Coffee

Lock Stock pastries

    Food Notes for December 9, 2019

    Dine Under the Stars Coming to Edmonton

    An international event series is coming to Edmonton in 2020. Dine Under the Stars organizes pop-up 4-course dinners that take place in unique locations, with diners seated inside weather-resistant Garden Domes. The events have taken place in cities across Canada, the United States, and Europe.

    In Edmonton, the domes will be situated on the terrace of the Edmonton Convention Centre, with spring and fall event dates listed, from April 15-May 15, 2020, and September 10-October 11, 2020, respectively. Dome reservations run $110 without a promotional code, with food costs priced at an additional $92 per guest plus gratuity.

    Dine Under the Stars held one successful event in Calgary this past May at Fish Creek Provincial Park, with another that was planned to take place at Deane House in September. Ultimately, the fall event was cancelled because the venue had been flooded, and prospective diners have been experiencing challenges acquiring full refunds.

    It is also worth noting that the Riverside Bistro at the Courtyard Marriott has similar weather-resistant domes on their river valley terrace.

    Openings

    Closures

    Upcoming Events

    • The Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market is hosting a series of gingerbread making workshops on December 14 and 21, 2019 led by Meat Street Pies. Each kit sells for $27 and includes $5 in market bucks.
    • For a taste of the holidays, The Associazione Giovani Italiani Di Edmonton will be roasting chestnuts on an open fire outside of the Italian Centre in Little Italy on December 15 and 22, 2019.

    Reviews

    • Lydia was invited to try new Japanese restaurant Tokeo Station.
    • The Journal’s wine columnist Juanita Roos paid Old Strathona’s Smokey Bear a visit.
    • Graham enjoyed the “French-inspired” fare at Brasserie Bardot.

    Local News

    Beyond Edmonton

    • A new report states that the average Canadian family will pay up to an additional $487 for food in 2020. The anticipated increase is mainly tied to climate change causing unpredictability with crops.
    • This Toronto-based article captures some prevailing threads in the food world related to the marginalization of certain cuisines based on conscious or unconscious racial bias.

    What I Ate

    • In search of a cold remedy last week I ended up at King Noodle House for their comforting bun bo Hue.

    King Noodle House

    Bun Bo Hue from King Noodle House

    • Mack, Emily and I were invited to check out the Edmonton Christmas Market at ATB Place over the weekend. We loved the light installations and the beautifully-crafted vendor huts outside. While there weren’t as many warm food options as I was expecting, they did have a hot beverage menu reminiscent of European Christmas markets. Thanks again to Wild Heart for having us! The market takes place from Thursday to Saturday until December 21, 2019.

    Edmonton Christmas Market

    Mack and Emily at the Edmonton Christmas Market

    Food Notes for December 2, 2019

    Local Businesses Remedy Cafe and Tiffin Continue to Expand in Edmonton

    Many in the hospitality industry are struggling in this current economic climate, but two local businesses are continuing to expand their footprint in the Edmonton area.

    Remedy Cafe opened its seventh location in Sherwood Park on November 27, its first outside of Edmonton. Located in the Savona Centre at #110, 200 Festival Lane, founder Zee Zaidi has even committed to hiring only Sherwood Park residents for that branch. Additional locations are in the works, including another Downtown in the Bell Tower.

    Tiffin expanded to its third location on November 30, adding a storefront in Windermere at 6089 Currents Drive. This is the second new storefront for the fast casual Indian restaurant this year; they opened their “flagship” restaurant on 104 Street back in May.

    Openings

    • Royale, the new burger-focused restaurant from the folks behind Baijiu, will open this week; details to come. Royale is located in the former Blue Plate Diner storefront at 10145 104 Street.
    • Adding to the idea that 104 Street is the new “burger district” in Edmonton, chain Wayback Burgers will be opening its first Alberta shop on Jasper Avenue & 104 Street.
    • Calle Mexico will be opening a south side location at 7704 104 Street.
    • Polar Park Brewing opened after a lengthy renovation period in Old Strathcona (10416 80 Avenue).
    • Also in Old Strathcona, wood-fired eatery Smokey Bear is now open. The Journal has information on what to expect at the restaurant.
    • Whyte House Cafe opened in the space formerly occupied by Gama Cafe (10813 82 Avenue).

    Upcoming Events

    • The Alberta Beer Guide is launching their Winter edition on December 4, 2019 at Dirtbag Cafe. Tickets will be available at the door.
    • The annual Christmas Market held at La Cite Francophone will be held on December 6, 13, and 20, 2019 from 5-9pm, and will feature roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, in addition to vendors and music.
    • Filistix has organized a Christmas edition of their popular Bayanihan dinner series on December 18, 2019, which again brings together more than a half dozen Edmonton-based Filipino chefs. Tickets for this 8-course dinner are $85.

    Reviews

    • The Journal had a positive experience at Shojo Izakaya, with “well-priced small plates” to share.
    • Twyla offered a mixed review of Braven; while she enjoyed her mains, she felt “shortchanged” on the service end.
    • Graham reviewed a pair of fairly new brew pubs – Campio and Polar Park. He preferred the food at the latter.

    Local News

    • Phil started a new web series called Through the Pass, which will explore some of the “stories behind our favourite foods.” The first episode focuses on the chefs at Panini’s Italian Cucina, who happen to be from Eritrea.
    • A vlogger with a travel and food YouTube channel called Cup of TJ toured Edmonton; her visits to the Green Onion Cake Man and Yelo’d were highlights.
    • Ever wanted to re-create the famous University of Alberta Tuck Shop cinnamon buns at home? Here’s your chance.
    • Food Network will debut a new culinary competition show featuring amateur cooks called Wall of Chefs on February 3, 2020. Among the 33 professional chefs who will be part of a rotating judging panel is Edmonton’s own Chef Shane Chartrand.

    What I Ate

    • I’ve been spending a lot more time in Chinatown as of late, as we gear up for the third annual Chinatown Dining Week, January 9-19, 2020 (more details to come!). We had a planning meeting last week at one of my favourite Chinatown restaurants, Gui Lin. I love their fried noodles with pork.

    Gui Lin

    Fried noodles with pork from Gui Lin

    • I was back in Chinatown over the weekend, and picked up one of my favourite grab ‘n’ go lunches – a $5 combo sub from Nhon Hoa. They make their own bread, too.

    Nhon Hoa

    Combo sub from Nhon Hoa

    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.

    Openings

    • 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.

    Reviews

    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.

    Rubi’s

    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.

    Revel

    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.

    Filistix

    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.

    Braven

    BC black cod from Braven