HicksBiz Blog

Category: food

food

Hicks on Biz: Reason VS passion in business BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, JULY 03, 2015

In the business world, reason always trumps passion. Doesn’t matter how much you love your new business idea or invention, so many factors must be carefully  assessed before any financial plunge:  The market, the competition, availability of capital and investor interest,  strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. But isn’t the final key to a successful startup also about passion? How can the entrepreneur work 24/7, against seemingly insurmountable odds, with no paycheque for months on end … without passion? How could successful entrepreneur Bob Holm have created the Strawman All-Natural Bison Farm and Mother’s Market (Edmonton’s first two-day-a-week indoor farmer’s market) without passion? Holm may look like a pint-sized biker, but he’s a bright, self-educated, experienced businessman. Having foreseen the global crash of 2008, he converted his considerable St. Albert real estate holdings into cash during the halcyon business day ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: NongBu Korean Eatery still needs work BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2015

NongBu Korean Eatery 8115 104 St. 780-989-0997 www.facebook.com/NongBuKorean Mon. to Sat. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Sundays Food: 3 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 2.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $30; loaded, $60 Graham Hicks 780 707 6379 graham.hicks@hicksbiz.com www.hicksbiz.com @hicksonsix NongBu Korean Eatery represents an ironic, yet entirely logical, evolution of ethnic-based restaurants. Until recently, most ethnic restaurants served Canadianized versions of ethnic dishes or simple “village” fare reflecting the food from back home ... 30 years ago. Hence Korean restaurants in town have traditionally featured bulgogi, kimchi and bibimbap. But for the next generation that has stayed in the hospitality biz, village and Canadianized dishes weren’t enough. Many studied food trends in their ethnic homelands or in Vegas/ New York to see what fusion was up to. And now there’s a counter-revoluti ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: The Cellar at Sofra a Turkish delight BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2015

The Cellar at Sofra 10345 106 St 780-423-3044 Facebook: Sofra Authentic Turkish Cuisine Tues. to Sun. 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Closed Mon Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $40; loaded, $60 Graham Hicks 780 707 6379 graham.hicks@hicksbiz.com www.hicksbiz.com @hicksonsix Sofra is the downtown’s go-to Turkish restaurant, located on the ground floor of a walk-up condominium building on 106 Street just south of MacEwan University. It’s been around for some time, and has a tumultuous relationship with its customers. Many discerning diners love the place, go back often, and swear by its Mediterranean/Middle East mix of yogurt, cooking cheeses and fruits, meatballs (kofte) and lamb. Others, like myself in a Weekly Dish review from three years ago, have been disappointed with a sloppy kitchen and indifferent service. “There was no presentation, no garnishes, just meat on a pl ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Padmanadi a vegetarian's delight BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2015

Padmanadi Vegetarian Restaurant 10740 101 St. 780-428-8899 padmanadi.com Tues to Fri, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (brunch), 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Mon Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $30; loaded, $60 Graham Hicks 780 707 6379 graham.hicks@hicksbiz.com www.hicksbiz.com @hicksonsix It’s inappropriate, I apologize in advance. But Padmanadi Vegetarian Restaurant makes me laugh and laugh. The second page of its menu is 100% dedicated to “vegetarian meat dishes.” Somewhere out there, some supplier makes a fake meat “base” out of grain and tofu and Lord knows what. It must be mixed like a dough, cut into meaty shapes and flavoured with non-meat, meaty flavours like lemon “chicken”, teriyaki “chicken’, spicy “shrimp”, Tom Yum “mutton” and even lemon “ribs ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Healthy eating spots the new norm By GRAHAM HICKS, FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: TUESDAY, JUNE 02, 2015

Healthy is the new norm Ninja Club 10324 82 Ave. 780-705-8008 Food: 3 Suns of five 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. closed Sundays Dinner for two: $30 Freshii 10322 Jasper Ave Food: 4 Suns of five freshii.com 780-757-4744 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dinner for two: $25 MyEmpanadas (take-out) 10631 51 Ave. 780-756-1345 Food: 3.5 Suns 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. 7 days a week Two empanadas: $8 Graham Hicks 780-707-6379 graham.hicks@hicksbiz.com www.hicksbiz.com @hicksonsix Graham Hicks/Edmonton Sun My doctor called with the results of my annual check-up. Lower the bad cholesterol, exercise, lose a few pounds. It’s been the same basic message for the past 20 years, the good news being nothing’s terribly wrong. What is truly good news for all of us is the increasing numbers of healthy, casual eating spots at near hamburger/French fries prices. No excuses left! Freshii — fast, casual, fresh The Freshi ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Fine dining at Fort Edmonton Park BY GRAHAM HICKS , EDMONTON SUN POSTED: TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014

It still remains a culinary secret, even though Johnson’s Café has been open for over 10 years in the Hotel Selkirk at Fort Edmonton Park.

Why would this very good dining room, in the height of summer, only have a few tables occupied on a lovely Thursday evening?

Location, location, location.

It’s the café’s biggest strength and weakness. The historic Hotel Selkirk is in Fort Edmonton Park, accessible by a side road after the park closes. The site is so beautiful, it’s Jasper without the three-hour drive.

But destination diners don’t think of Johnson’s Café. And if they did, they’d be unsure how to get there and uncertain of its hours.

This will change. Fort Edmonton Park soon plans to be open year-round with upgraded services. Leading the changes is new food services supervisor and master chef Jasmin Kobajica, who’s already raised the bar on park food.
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Hicks' Weekly Dish: It's all about the Meat BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN POSTED: TUESDAY, JULY 08, 2014

Meat, recently opened in Edmonton's Old Strathcona district in Alberta, Canada,  is one of the best, fully thought-through restaurants I’ve had the pleasure of entering.
It’s full of contradictions. Yet, from the initial impression, to décor, to food and menu, it’s one delicious whole.
Whoever has heard of a BBQ smokehouse parading as a tea room!
This slightly dainty, new-age establishment is serving up mounds of mouth-watering beef brisket, pulled pork and smoked chicken! It’s the opposite to the stereotypic “y’all chow down now, y’hear?” smokehouse. In fact, there’s not a smokehouse cliché to be seen.


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Hicks' Weekly Dish: Tasty Tomato is all about classic comfort food BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN POSTED: TUESDAY, JULY 01, 2014

Tasty Tomato Italian Eatery 14233 Stony Plain Road 780-452-3594 www.tastytomato.ca Open evenings, with lunch Thursday and Friday. Closed Sundays Food: 3 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3 of 5 Suns Service: 3 of 5 stars If it ain’t broke, why fix it? I can’t bear witness, as last week was my first visit to the Tasty Tomato Italian Eatery. But by all reports, not much has changed in 20 years, other than Angelo and Mirella Amendola are older, and son Joe is now a full partner in the family-run restaurant. To which Angelo would shrug his shoulders and say, why change? The restaurant is full on weekends and obviously has a loyal clientele that spans generations. Tasty Tomato has a comfy ‘80s feel. It’s not the least bit trendy, but is in no need of a makeover. Which also describes the menu — as classic Canadian-Italian as you’ll find, with 18 pasta selections, veal and chicken entrees, starter tomato salads, calamari, eggplant, escargot and brusc ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks’ Weekly Dish: How not to run a restaurant BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN POSTED: TUESDAY, JUNE 03, 2014

The Weekly Dish talks about some of the basics in providing a satisfying dining experience ... and how many small restaurants are lacking in many departments! 

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Hicks' Weekly Dish: The Parlour offers quality for everyone BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

The Parlour Italian Kitchen & Bar 10334 Capital Blvd. (108 St.) 780-990-0404 Centuryhospitality.com/parlour Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tips and taxes: Basic, $35; loaded, $80 Edmonton’s Century Hospitality restaurant group (Century Grill, Lux Steakhouse, Hundred, MRK and two Delux Burger Bars) knows the secret to its undeniable success. It’s so smart. It deliberately stays about 30% behind the culinary sophistication of high-end bistros like The Red Ox Inn or the Three Boars, knowing those outlets attract a very small market of high-end discerning foodies. But the Century group venture far beyond the predictable conventions of the big-box chain restaurants. It presents, and presents well, something for everybody at the table — from the I-know-what-I-like crowd to the adventurous foodie out with friends and family. Even the tried ‘n’ true — pizza, steak, hambur ... Read the rest of entry »