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Category: Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Hicks' Weekly Dish: The craft-beer pub craze By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, November 26, 2019

Campio brew-pub makes an excellent, super-crunchy Korean fried chicken sandwich. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUNEdmonton Polar Park 10416 80 Ave. 855-934-2337 polarparkbrewing.com Reservations: opentable.ca Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Hours:  Wed. 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thurs. 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fri. 2 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sat. 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sun. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Closed Mon./Tues. Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tip and taxes: Basic, $30; loaded, $70 Campio 10257 105 St. 587-635-1953 campiobrewingco.com Reservations: opentable.ca Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Hours:  Sun. to Wed. 11:30 am to midnight; Thur. to 1 am; Fri./Sat. to 2 am. STORY CONTINUES BELOW Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tip and taxes: Basic, $30; loaded, $70 By GRAHAM HICKS There is much joy in all the new craft/artisan in-house brewpubs opening in Edmonton. At least until the market works its magic, an ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Toast Culture is curiously bland By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN November 12, 2019 Updated:

While "toast" is the name on the game, Toast Culture makes fabulous pizzas, such as the potato, capicola and truffle oil pictured above. PHOTOS BY GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Toast Culture | Food + Drink 11965 Jasper Ave. 780-761-4482 Toastculture.com Seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Mon. and Tues. to 4 p.m., Fri and Sat to 10 p.m.) Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverages, taxes and tip:  Basic, $18,  loaded, $48 By GRAHAM HICKS Toast Culture is soft and soothing. But don’t go looking for bold flavours, new or unusual tastes. STORY CONTINUES BELOW It’s a peculiar situation at this pleasant, modern and casual restaurant on Jasper Avenue West. Owner/operators Josh Wilhelm and Joel Margolus present a menu that’s all toast ‘n’ toppings, “artisan” pizza and salad. There’s also an extensive craft beer/cocktail and spirits list, designed to attract an ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: Turquaz Kebab House by GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, November 5, 2019

The Turquaz Trio - left to right, chicken, beef kafta and lamb with fries, rice, salad, hummus and garlic spread. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Turquaz Kebab House (Turkish & Lebanese Cuisine) 13310 137 Ave. 780-476-4511 turquazkebabhouse.com Seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 9:45 p.m., 10:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two:  Basic, $25,  loaded, $50 By GRAHAM HICKS The city’s Arabic/Middle Eastern community, both Christian and Muslim, is resolutely concentrated north of 132 Avenue. STORY CONTINUES BELOW Its better-known restaurants, some eight to 10, each with particular specialties within the broad category of “Mediterranean”, rarely advertise outside that ethnic/geographical community. Consequently, outside of donairs, shawarmas and baklava, mainstream Edmonton is little exposed to Middle Eastern fare. A great pity. The food – kebab cubes, fatouche, ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Pie time at Jason Gregor’s Pizza Pigout By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, October 29, 2019

Panini's Italian Cucina's healthy thin-crust pizza was a favourite at Jason Gregor's Pizza Pigout. GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUNEdmonton By GRAHAM HICKS It was a splendid fund-raising idea for Kidsport, albeit borrowed from Calgary. Jason Gregor’s Pizza Pigout, hosted by the popular TSN radio show host, was held last week in The Molson Canadian Hockey House (in Ford Hall, in turn in Rogers Place). In the “best pizza” contest, 30 pizzerias donated six or more pizzas each, in return for bragging rights if named to any of the nine “people’s choice” categories.  Plus four judges – ex-Oiler Andrew Ference, CBC  reviewer Twyla Campbell, Phil Wilson the Baconhound and yours truly – each picked our three pizza favourites. Several hundred folks showed up – and why not?  The Pigout was an inexpensive way to help a charity ($50 for one drink and all-you-can-eat pizza) enjoy an early-evening social gathering with entertainment, and discover new ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: The wit and wisdom of Chef Shane Chartrand By GRAHAM HICKS first published EDMONTON SUN October 22, 2019

Chef Shane Chartrand, SC Damn Good Food Restaurant at River Cree Resort & Casino, holds a plate of pan-seared strip loin steak, fingerling potatoes and broccolini.Larry Wong / POSTMEDIA NETWORK By GRAHAM HICKS Many years ago, at the opening of the West Edmonton Mall Cactus Club, mall owner (with his family) Nader Ghermezian couldn’t stop singing the praises of a young indigenous chef recently placed in charge of the dining room at the mall’s Fantasyland Hotel. It culminated, a few weeks later, in one of the best multi-course chef’s dinners I have ever eaten. All kinds of wonderful edible things were going on – like meats literally being smoked at the table. The chef was none other than Shane Chartrand, barely out of his ‘20s and already making his mark on the city’s culinary scene. Chef Chartrand’s story was all the more interesting, as he is Cree First Nation, adopted into loving Metis family from Southern Alberta at the age of six. ST ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: A tale of two burger joints By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN October 15, 2019

Winning a comparison between the Fox and Woodshed craft burger eateries was Woodshed's "The Woodshed" burger. Photos by GRAHA M HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Woodshed Burgers 10723-124 St. 780-752-2874 thewoodshedyeg.com Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3 of 5 Suns 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week  (11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 9 p.m. Sundays) Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tips and taxes: Basic. $28; loaded, $52. (No publicized delivery service) Fox Burgers 6423 112 Ave. (Gibbard Block) 780-250-0369 foxburger.ca Food: 3 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Monday to Sunday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., closed Tuesdays Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tips and taxes: Basic. $36; loaded, $50 STORY CONTINUES BELOW (No publicized delivery service) By GRAHAM HICKS I liked this idea, a comparison of Edmonton’s two new “craft burger” restaurants. Two well-known chef/entrepreneurs are behind two new, updated, ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: The demise of the Hardware Grill By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN October 8, 2019

Larry Stewart in the remodeled Hardware Grill in Edmonton in this file photo.John Lucas / Edmonton Journal BY GRAHAM HICKS All things must pass. The best restaurants start as exciting culinary adventures. They flourish, lasting much longer than the trendy, all-flash-no-substance eateries. But, eventually, the founders tire.  Other restaurants catch up. Competition increases. The biggest factor will always be the local economy. When it morphs – as Edmonton has done – from buoyancy to stubborn stagnancy, customers rein in their former free-spending ways. STORY CONTINUES BELOW All of the above would have played into the unexpected shutdown of Edmonton’s long-acclaimed Hardware Grill last month. But the biggest culprit, as detailed below,  was debt. The Hardware Grill closure sent shock waves through the city’s hospitality sector. This wasn’t just any restaurant. For 23 years, owners Larry and Melinda Stewart’s pride and ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: From the ashes of Packrat Louie arises Lyon Restaurant By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN August 27, 2019

Lyon's lamb shoulder rack is excellent and, at $20, extremely good value: Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Lyon Restaurant 10335 83 Ave. NW 780-433-0123 Lyonrestaurant.ca Reservations: Lyonrestaurant.ca/reservations no listed delivery service Mon. to Sat. 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., closed Sundays Food:  4 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 3 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tips and taxes:  Basic, $40; loaded, $90 STORY CONTINUES BELOW Welcome back, Packrat Louie! Lyon Restaurant is, in reality, the latest incarnation of the fabled Packrat Louie restaurant in the historic former warehouse in the heart of Old Strathcona. Legendary Swiss chef Peter Johner opened Packrat in 1993. Its reputation, until recently, never faltered. Johner retired in 2006, selling the large restaurant (dining room, lounge, patio) to local investors represented by operating partner Jodh Singh. Singh kept the Packrat Louie kitchen up to standards over the y ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: The Jollibee phenomenon By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, August 20, 2019

The Valdez family from Leduc waited in a three-hour lineup to eat at the new Jollibee: Left to right, Nathan, 9; dad Ray; The Jollibee mascot, Maechiel, 12; Reychelle, 15; mom Ritchiel. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Jollibee 3803 Calgary Trail jollibeecanada.com 586-405-1333 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week No specified delivery service Ratings – (within fast food category) Food : 4 of 5 Suns Ambience:  3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Fast-food dinner for two:  Basic, $15, loaded $25 By GRAHAM HICKS I’d wait a week or more before visiting this phenomenon known as Jollibee … unless you are prepared to wait in line for THREE HOURS! Wowee zowee, you’d think this Jollibee is some kind of superstar, a Connor McDavid, an Oprah Winfrey or the most famous Filipino alive, boxer Manny Pacquiao. Are all these Filipinos lined up to get a superstar’s autograph? Nope. At the end of the long and patient wait is simply the Jollibee brand’s ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Say Uncle; bringing Grandma's cooking up to date By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN: August 13, 2019

If the beef was less chewy, Say Uncle's stroganoff would have been a winner. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/ EDMONTON SUN Say Uncle 10184 104 St. 780-540-5369 sayuncle.ca Reservations by phone No listed delivery Mon. to Sun. 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. (earlier on Sundays) Food:  3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tips and taxes:  Basic, $25; loaded, $40 By GRAHAM HICKS I can see what Say Uncle’s culinary team is trying to get at, but they are not quite there. It’s about creating a dual identity: a comfy restaurant with an extensive craft-beer selection by day, a funky, bright, clean bar with deliberately rustic snack food by night. The food is interesting and quite adventurous. Think of your grandmother’s cooking made contemporary, highlighting root and leafy veggies, lots of fermentation, tenderized cheaper beef cuts, sours and pickles … including pickled eggs like the ones that sat in the big glass ... Read the rest of entry »
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