HicksBiz Blog

Category: food


Hicks' Weekly Dish: Pizza, pizza, everywhere in Edmonton By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, March 19, 2019

Is the Pink Gorilla's namesake pizza - festooned with pastrami and pink-pickled daikon, colourful enough for you? Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/ EDMONTON SUN By Graham Hicks I woke up with a start, the sweaty smell of mozzarella and tomatoes oozing from my pores. What a dream! Imagine, drowning in a sloppy sea of pizza.  Nothing but pizza here, there and everywhere. Melted mozzarella clogging up my nose, tomato sauce waves crashing over my head, pepperoni rafts floating just out of reach! Eating five pizzas in four days had its consequences. In our town, pizza is everywhere. No other fast food is so available – even burgers and fries. STORY CONTINUES BELOW Pizza is good – extremely good – and relatively healthy. But there’s so much of it! Acknowledging the pizza trend, and curious about new toppings, The Weekly Dish did a trendy pizza blitz:  Pizzeria Rosso on Thursday, Blaze Pizza on Friday, Pink Gorilla Pizzeria on Saturday, Love Pizza on Sunday ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Just the Remedy for a long winter By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, March 15, 2019

Zee Zaidi, proprietor of the ever-growing Remedy Cafe chain, shows off his "chai factory" in the kitchen of his original 109 St. outlet. GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUNEdmonton By GRAHAM HICKS For the longest time, just one Remedy Café/Chai Bar graced our town, a comfy hang-out to meet friends and sip on something besides Starbucks/Second Cup/Tim Horton’s coffee. For 13 years, owner Zee Zaidi appeared content with that one Remedy Cafe. It was in a great location on 109 Street across from the Garneau Theatre, close to the University of Alberta and Old Strathcona. Then, in 2013, a second Remedy Café opened downtown, on Jasper Avenue at 103 Street. Then a third — on 124 Street, a fourth — on Whyte Avenue near 104 Street, a fifth – near Terwillegar Towne and a sixth — in Southgate Mall. STORY CONTINUES BELOW You can’t turn around these days, without seeing the distinctive, bright yellow and red Remedy Café/Chai Bar sign. The bigg ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Downtown Dining Week is smart marketing By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, March 12, 2019

With a delicious beef brisket option, the River City Revival House has introduced itself to the public through Downtown Dining Week,. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/ EDMONTON SUN By GRAHAM HICKS Among the detritus of discarded civic slogans, Edmonton once called itself Canada’s Smart City. In fact, the smartest Edmonton project of late has come from within. We are smack dab in the middle of the annual Downtown Dining Week, which superficially is about discounted dining in Edmonton’s downtown. Until Sunday, March 17, 2019, some 50 downtown restaurants are offering two-or-three course lunches and dinners, $18 for lunch, $30 or $45 for dinner. New this year are $18 two-course brunches at about a dozen restaurants. STORY CONTINUES BELOW A  three-course dinner for $45 is great value – about 40% off menu prices – especially at high-end dining rooms like Atlas, Hardware Grill, the Harvest Room, La Ronde, Madison’s Grill, Ruth’s Chris, Sabor, LUX, Chop ... Read the rest of entry »

Weekly Dish: BUOK Fresh Korean Kitchen — in search of soul BY GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN November 7, 2018

The BUOK Bibimbap bowl: rice, veggies, bulgogi beef, chili sauce all topped with an egg. PHOTOS BY GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUN BUOK Fresh Korean Kitchen 10707 100 Avenue 780-244-2865 buokfresh.ca Tues. to Fri. 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Thurs. and Fri.) Sat. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Sun./Mon. No listed delivery service Food:  3 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $20; loaded $50 By GRAHAM HICKS BUOK Fresh Korean Kitchen is disappointing, in a puzzling way. The restaurant has worked hard at creating soul. Hands-on owner Henry Song is in the kitchen every hour BUOK is open and proudly greets his customers. Song makes a big deal out of using his mother’s recipes, of making his sauces from scratch – especially the complex creation of BUOK’s in-house kimchi. The emphasis is on using fresh, fresh ingredients, as the name suggests. Yes, the food is fresh – good on BUOK. But ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: A FEASTival of fun! By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, September 25, 2018

The NAIT team's ribeye was one of the most impressive main dishes on offer at the FEASTival of Fine Chefs attended by over 1000 guests at the Shaw Conference Centre on Sept. 19, 2018. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUN FEASTival of Fine Chefs Show Conference Centre September 19, 2018 By Graham Hicks It’s called FEASTival, it’s been around 30 years, and it’s a lot of fun. On Sept. 19, the Shaw Conference Centre’s main exhibition hall is full. One thousand people have bought tickets or come as guests. Around the walls are booths representing just about every major hotel restaurant in town, along with a few other dining facilities such as the Royal Glenora Club. Every booth has a number. Every guest has a number. Master of Ceremonies Seanna Collins did a countdown. Three, two, one … GO! Immediately, every person jumps up to pick up the first of four courses, looking for the booth number that corresponds to the number they hold for the evening. The chefs a ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Hardware Grill shows cracks in the armour graham.hicks By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, September 18, 2018

A certain famous Oiler always orders the Hardware Grill's signature sea bass, and with good reason! Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUN Hardware Grill 9698 Jasper Avenue Hardwaregrill.com 780-423-0969 Reservations: opentable.com Mon. to Thurs.  5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Fri. and Sat. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Sundays No listed delivery service Food:  4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes and beverages: Basic, $70; loaded $130 By GRAHAM HICKS A bit of slippage here, Mr. Stewart. Not that any other restaurant will knock the Hardware Grill off its perch as THE downtown place for corporate dining, special occasions, or simply to enjoy a dinner for two based on surprisingly well-priced small plates. But last Friday’s dinner for four — at least the tenth time I’ve dined at executive chef/owner Larry Stewart’s fine restaurant — was not as effortlessly perfect as in years past. The at-table service wa ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: JOEY Bell Tower continues tradition of great, upscale-casual cuisine By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, May 22, 2018

JOEY's signature lettuce wrap is a delicious, nutritious starter. GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUN JOEY Bell Tower 10310 101 St. 780-990-5639 Joeyrestaurants.com 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week (Sundays, 11 a.m. to midnight) No advertised delivery Food:  3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverage and tip: Basic $50, loaded $80 By GRAHAM HICKS They remain the best of breed. Nobody does casual, up-scale and comfortable like the four JOEY restaurants in town. Of the four, the downtown JOEY Bell Tower gets extra marks as the latest and most chic. Nobody else … other than Earls (six locations in town, the flagship being Earls Tin Palace) and Cactus Club (two locations): They may have different “brands” and slightly differing ownership, but all three chains have more-or-less the same menus and the same commitment to quality.  The three restaurant groups are intertwined, owned or influenced as they are by th ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Corso 32 continues to offer some of Edmonton's best food By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN: May 8, 2018

Corso 32's chicken skin is both crisp and balsamic in a pomegranate sauce. GRAHAM HICKS/ EDMONTON SUNEdmonton Corso 32 10305 Jasper Ave. 780-421-4622 corso32.com 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week (11 p.m. Friday and Saturday) No advertised delivery service Food:  5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  3 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverage and tip: Basic $60, loaded $120 By GRAHAM HICKS This is Corso 32’s third Weekly Dish review in the Edmonton Sun, both the restaurant and this column having debuted in 2011. In a remarkable tribute to hands-on executive chef and owner Daniel Costa, for the third time the Weekly Dish has awarded Corso 32 with an unprecedented five out of five Suns for its food.  Believe me, there has been no special treatment. Reservations are made through regular channels months in advance, under a different name. The bill is presented and paid in full.  I barely know Costa. He barely knows me. Yet, after another perfect re ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Koutouki lacks quality of past By Graham Hicks, first published Edmonton Sun: May 1, 2018

Koutouki's sliced lamb needed more flavour and juices. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTONSUN Koutouki 10719  124 St. 780-452-5383 koutouki.ca 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m., Sunday 9 p.m.) Closed Monday Delivery: doordash.com Food:  3 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverage and tip: Basic $50, loaded $90 By GRAHAM HICKS Have you ever had a restaurant meal that was just a meal? As the dishes arrived, they were okay, okay, okay, not bad, chewy: When you left, you had a hard time remembering just what you ate. So it is with the current Koutouki Greek Taverna on 124 Street. It’s not-bad, generic Greek cooking in a cheerful Greek atmosphere. The atmosphere is fun. But the food, as far as Greek cooking goes, is ultimately bland, certainly nothing to write home about. And the fact is it is still called Koutouki. The larger-than-life Yanni Psalios made his Koutouki Taverns (he opened and closed them at the d ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Montana’s BBQ & Bar offers tasty food in comfy confines by GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, March 6, 2018

Montana’s BBQ & Bar 10330 G.A. MacDonald Ave. (Calgary Trail south of Whitemud Drive) Six other Montana’s locations in Greater Edmonton 780-434-2886 Sunday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Dinner for two, not including tip, tax or beverage:  Basic, $30; loaded, $50 Food – 4 of 5 Suns Ambience – 4 of 5 Suns Service – 3.5 of 5 Suns Edmonton hard-core foodies, this Weekly Dish review is not for you. Montana’s BBQ & Bar has close to 100 locations across Canada, seven in Greater Edmonton alone. Executive chefs do not create specialty dishes on location – line cooks make the same ribs and wings and fries in every single Montana’s. Montana’s market is about moms ‘n’ dads ‘n’ kids going out without dressing up, about ball caps and pick-up trucks and team gatherings after the game. Montana’s competition isn’t the fancy-schmancy downtown restaurants.  It&r ... Read the rest of entry »
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