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Category: Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Tom Goodchild’s Moose Factory is wonderful BY GRAHAM HICKS, POSTMEDIA NETWORK FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, MARCH 08, 2016

Moose Factory Calgary Trail, Edmonton Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $40; loaded, $70 There are restaurant owners who work hard at being contemporary, sending chefs to Vegas to copy the trends. And then there’s that rare animal, the restaurateur who knows, without consultants, without disturbing long-time customers, how to evolve with the times. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Tom Goodchild and his Moose Factory Prime Rib & Steak House. I have driven by the Moose Factory on Calgary Trail a thousand times, but hadn’t been inside for a decade. What a delightful surprise. Combining atmosphere, service, food and value, The Moose Factory is – full stop, end of discussion - the best steakhouse in Northern Alberta. One shouldn’t be surprised. Owner Goodchild may be well into his senior years, but the founder and guiding light of both the Moose Factory and the 10 Sawmill ri ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks’ Weekly Dish: Best fast-food burger in town BY GRAHAM HICKS, FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: TUESDAY, MARCH 01, 2016

Two years ago, the Weekly Dish went searching for the best fast-food burger in town. The Harvey's Angus Burger finished on top at 4.5 out of 5 Suns, pursued by the A&W Poppa Burger (4.25 Suns). Then came the pack: The Fatburger Baby Burger (3.5 Suns), a Burger King Double Whopper (3.25 Suns), Wendy's Bacon Deluxe Single (3 Suns), the McDonald's Quarter Pounder (3 Suns), and Dairy Queen's Grill Burger (2.5 Suns). Edmonton has since experienced an American burger invasion. Three franchises -- Five Guys, Smashburger and Carl's Jr -- have moved into the 'burbs. St. Albert's Jack's Burger Shack has made a name for itself, as has the two-outlet Rodeo Burger. Alberta's Burger Baron group started way back in the '60s. Part II of the War of the Classic Burgers, the rules: The venue had to be a burger joint, had to be fast-food The burgers had to have bacon and cheese with one big meat patty or a double. If there was a signature burger, that's what we ate. Have prices ever jumped! Burgers in 2014 wer ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: There’s charcuterie, then there’s Cured charcuterie BY GRAHAM HICKS, POSTMEDIA NETWORK FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2016

Cured Wine Bar 2307 Ellwood Dr. SW  (off 91 Street, south of Henday Drive) 780-756-3722 www.curedwinebar.com Food - 4 of 5 Suns Ambience - 4 of 5 Suns Service - 4 of 5 Suns Mon. to Thurs. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fri. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sun. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.   Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $32; loaded, $50 What’s the point, I’ve always wondered, of ordering charcuterie - cold-cuts and cheese served on a wooden cutting board – at a restaurant? Go to the Italian Centre, buy deli meats and cheeses and make a charcuterie at home for a third of the price! Then I heard about Cured Wine Bar on the South Side, so far south as to be closer to the International Airport than to downtown. Charcuterie is the entire focus of the restaurant, along with small plates, deserts, and mostly Okanagan wines by the bottle and glass. On Cured’s Enomatic wine prese ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Workshop Eatery a fulfillment of a dream BY GRAHAM HICKS, POSTMEDIA NETWORK FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 09, 2016

Workshop Eatery Mosaic Centre, 2003 91 St. SW (corner 91 Street SW and Savaryn Drive SW) 780-705-2205 theworkshopeatery.com Mon. to Wed. 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thurs. to Fri. 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sun. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns     Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $50; loaded, $90 This is not your normal Weekly Dish restaurant review. Knowing I am a hobby cook, Sun editor Phil Rivers had suggested Chef Paul (Sun food writer Paul Shufelt) and I should review each other’s food in side-by-side columns. The idea evolved into a fund-raiser, a two-part package presented in the 2015 annual ATCO Edmonton Sun Christmas Charity Auction. A few weeks ago, highest bidder Jody Fraser and his family, Chef Paul and his wife Kristine arrived at my home for dinner. Paul didn’t step foot in the kitchen. He served as table host, and, with input from Jody, Janice, Jo ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Million Thai Restaurant - unforgettable stir fry BY GRAHAM HICKS, POSTMEDIA NETWORK FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 02, 2016

Million Thai Restaurant Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 2.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Tuesdays millionthaiedmonton.com Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $25; loaded, $40 I’d love to write that Million Thai Restaurant is one of those hidden gems where great ethnic food is to be had in a dimly-lit diner with deteriorating Halloween-orange Naugahyde back-rests. Alas, in Million Thai’s case, the gem in the rough is only half true. Two of the main dishes were beautiful, fragrant, fresh and delicious. But of other two, one was passable and one not properly prepared. As a hole-in-the-wall prospect, Million Thai was tantalizing. It’s in Beverly at the east end of 118th Avenue, in a mildly dilapidated strip mall (parking out front) with a physiotherapy clinic on one side and a convenience store on the other. In short, the kind of area you expect to find a hidden gem. The kitchen, next to the restaurant, has i ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: Alberta Hotel Bar + Grill among the best BY GRAHAM HICKS, POSTMEDIA NETWORK FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2016

Alberta Hotel Bar + Grill 9802 Jasper Ave 780-760-0062 albertahotelbarkitchen.com Mon. to Thurs. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to midnight Fri. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sat. 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday closed Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $60; loaded, $80 I was worried, but I ought not to have been. Worried that the Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen, burdened with expectation, could not win for want of trying. A few years ago, across Jasper Avenue from the Shaw Conference Centre, architect/developer Gene Dub replicated the once-fine Alberta Hotel, torn down in its declining years to make way for that pink palace known as Canada Place. On the main floor, architect Dub re-created the early 20th century ambiance of the original Alberta Hotel bar and restaurant. The Hardware Grill’s Larry Stewart leased the premise and soon opened Tavern 1903 with magnificent food and ambience. Somet ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Great value at Buco Pizzeria + Vino BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2016

Buco Pizzeria + Vino Shops at Boudreau Boudreau Rd. + Bellerose Dr. St. Albert 780-569-2826 bucopizzeria.com 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (later on weekends) Seven days a week Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $25; loaded, $50 It is a joy to experience a top-notch, reasonably priced restaurant – offering champagne quality at beer-tap prices. But of course: Buco Pizzeria + Vino in St. Albert is the latest offering from the Rago family’s Sorrentino Group of restaurants. The family, headed up by Carmelo and Stella Rago, have been opening restaurants in Metropolitan Edmonton some 40 years. Their down home style, upgraded by flair and fashion, has been expressed through the original Sorrento, all the Sorrentino’s Italian restaurants, Caffe Sorrentino, Bistecca, sports bars and the occasional pub. With the Rago’s three sons slowly taking over the show, it’s no surprise a new ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: HUMA Mexican Comfort's food just so-so BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2016

HUMA Mexican Comfort 9880 63 Ave. 780-433-9229 humamexicanrestaurant.ca 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. , closed Mondays Food: 3 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $30; loaded, $50 The atmosphere is authentic, the decorations and the menu truly reflect the down-home Mexican heritage of the mom and pop owners, now 10 years in Edmonton. The servers are charming. Ours was a second-generation Latino-Canadian, who knew the cuisine and was confident in her recommendations. Prices are very good. One person can eat well for $20. It’s just too bad that the food at HUMA Mexican Comfort, overall, is so-so. HUMA shares a commercial strip that bends around the northeast corner of 63rd Avenue and 99th Street. It’s charming, done up in bright Mexican colours, with lots of old-fashioned tables and chairs. On a cold Thursday evening, it was surprisingly busy. The HUMA menu is big, probably too big, with five pages of app ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Try the Prairie Noodle Shop for great ramen BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, JANUARY 05, 2016

Prairienoodleshop.ca (No reservations) Tues-Sat. 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sun. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Mondays Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $30; loaded, $50 If you build it, and build it right, they will come. Since the Prairie Noodle Shop opened four weeks ago, it has seen line-ups. Line-ups at 11 a.m. on a cold mid-week morning, line-ups at 5 p.m. before it re-opens for dinner, half-hour to 45 minute waits until a table opens up in the modern but cozy and bustling 32-seat ramen house. It’s about smart social-media marketing/messaging and an informal, welcoming décor. Until the next trendy, well-executed casual restaurant opens, The Prairie Noodle Shop is the current must-go eatery in town. But none of the above would amount to a hill of noodles, unless the food is bang-on. You can have all the social media in the world, but, in the end, a restaurant’s r ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Where to eat in 2016 BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2015

Don't you just hate it when people answer a simple, direct question with "it depends"? "Can you recommend a good restaurant?" Now there's a simple question often put to this restaurant critic, who, for review purposes, dines out at least once a week. But "¦ it depends! In the interest of "it depends," here are the Weekly Dish's socio-demographic-economic recommendations of where you might want to dine out in 2016. You want to impress him/her, you have $200 burning a hole in your pocket, you want the linen, the Downton Abbey cutlery, no background noise and a thoroughly professional waiter: The Hardware Grill, Characters, The Harvest Room (Hotel Macdonald), Ruth's Chris, Violino, Solstice Seasonal, Sorrentino's Downtown, Madison's. You want to impress her/him, you have $200 burning a hole in your pocket, but you want something a little more casual: Corso 32, Sabor, RGE RD, Woodwork, Vivo, Gini's, Red Ox Inn, Normand's, XIX, Bistecca, Cibo, Black Pearl, Wildflower Grill, The Marc. You w ... Read the rest of entry »