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Category: Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Urbano Pizza offers high quality, healthy fare BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, JULY 07, 2015

Urbano Pizza Co. 10220 103 St. 780-705-1885 urbanopizzaco.com 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays Closed Sundays Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Two 11-inch pizzas: $11.95 each You are so busy, it doesn’t hit you until the aircraft lifts off. Yes! Your holiday is actually underway! I had a similar realization, a chill down the spine as it were, sitting at one (of two) street-side patio tables outside the new Urbano Pizza Co. The early evening July sun was easing off, yet the downtown 103 Street was still bathed in light and warmth. Just a block north, in clear view, the new arena, girder by girder, is fast realizing its fabulous promise. A couple of storefronts away, the cranes were hauling up the exterior wall panels for another new condo tower. Days later, Connor McDavid scored five goals in a scrimmage at the Oilers development camp. It hit home. In just over a year, Rogers Place will be open for bu ... 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: There's nothing like the British pub BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2015

After 10 days hiking in England, 10 to 15 miles (16 to 24 kilometres for Canadians and Europeans) a day, I was back home. Hoping for even minimal weight loss, I sidled sideways up to She Who Always Disappoints, the bathroom scale. Nothing. Nada. Exactly the same poundage at which I’d left Canada, a slightly heavy 165 pounds. Blame it on three factors: The famous English breakfast, “authentic” English ale, and English pub food which, unfortunately, is much improved over the years but has never lost its love affair with the deep fryer. The walk itself followed the ancient Pilgrim’s Way/North Downs Way, winding its way from south of London due east to Canterbury and its towering cathedral via the white cliffs of Dover. This is Downton Abbey country — even if the famous TV show pretends that Lord Grantham and his family live up north in Yorkshire. The countryside is soft, lush and gently rolling. We took the easy way, shelling out multiple English pounds to a tour c ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Madison's Grill a hidden gem BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 2015

Madison’s Grill Union Bank Inn, 10053 Jasper Avenue 780-401-2222 unionbankinn.com Weekdays: breakfast, lunch and dinner to 10 p.m. Weekends: brunch, dinner Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two (just food): basic, $75; loaded, $110 Madison’s Grill deserves more respect. Here’s this gem of a fine dining restaurant in the heart of the downtown, in the beautiful and historic Union Bank Inn boutique hotel on Jasper Avenue. The waiter pulls out your chair for you, the linen is crisp, the cutlery lined up Downton Abbey style. And yet when Edmontonians think of downtown fine-dining elegance, they default to the Hotel Macdonald’s Harvest Room, The Hardware Grill, Characters and La Ronde in the Chateau Lacombe. They just don’t think of Madison’s. This could be about marketing or the lack thereof. Madison’s seems quite content out of the limelight. Since chef Blair Lebsack left five years ago to ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: The Bothy's fare won't disappoint BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2015

The Bothy (Downtown) Wine & Whisky Bar 10124 124 St. 780 760 8060 thebothy.ca Open 3 p.m. Closings: Sun.-Mon 9 pm; Tues 10 pm; Wed 11 pm; Thurs 12 midnight; Fri-Sat 2 am Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns The Bothy Wine & Whisky Bars have been around too long to be seen as a new phenomenon. The original on the south side was one of first pubs in town to introduce seriously good food along with an extensive selection of wines and whiskys. Today, dozens of establishments do the same thing, among them The Glass Monkey, the Fionn MacCool chain, the venerable Rose & Crown and, for wine and light eats, the Wine Room on Jasper Avenue. Bothy proprietor Doug Townshend was happy enough with the original Bothy south side to expand into the The Bothy Downtown in the heart of Edmonton’s latest dining precinct, 124 Street from Jasper Avenue to 108 Avenue. No doubt Townshend fell in love with the space just around the corner where Jas ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: It's Downtown Dining Week BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2015

Welcome to Downtown Dining Week and you’d be crazy not to take advantage of the best dining deals in town through this coming Sunday, March 22 - $15 for top-notch lunches, $28 for “normal” three-course dinners, $48 for three-course “executive” dinners that would normally cost $65 or more at restaurants the Weekly Dish routinely awards four Suns or more out of five. Restaurateurs are usually as co-operative as wolverines, given the intense competition for the dining dollar. This is a town with some 2,500 restaurants. At the high end, not that many folks can afford to routinely dine out at the $200-per-couple level. Last time I looked, most of us were middle-class, struggling with mortgage and car payments, raising kids. By the time the house was paid off, we’re saving for retirement. Somehow the Edmonton Downtown Association’s executive director Jim Taylor persuaded 33 of the downtown’s better eateries to love each other, hold hands and sing Kumbaya. Taylor ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Evil Dave's food heavenly BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, MARCH 03, 2015

Evil Dave’s Grill 622 Patricia Avenue Jasper, Alberta 780-852-3323 evildavesgrill.com 5 p.m. weekdays, 4 p.m. weekends Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns The name and the theme are a bit wacko, but the food is really, really good. Good thing we’d made a reservation at Evil Dave’s Grill on a Saturday evening in Jasper. The cheerful restaurant was packed, the ambience having much to do with the glow that skiers give off after a beautiful day at the nearby Marmot Basin ski resort. Amusingly, given the mildly adult tongue-in-cheek ‘hellish’ theme, the eatery was full of kids. The ski hill had been alive with munchkins, thanks to the Jasper Junior Olympics. Good food for the parents, kid-friendly staff and a kids’ menu bodes well for a loyal family clientele. It’s Jasper. There’s magic in the air at the best of times and Evil Dave’s had a great buzz on. Jasper has more than its share of excellent c ... Read the rest of entry »
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