HicksBiz Blog

Hicks Weekly Dish: Underwhelmed by Biera By Graham Hicks first published Edmonton Sun, March 10, 2020

Biera's Korean style ribs were not exceptional. GRAHAM HICKS/Edmonton SunEdmonton Biera 9570 76 Ave. NW 587-525-8589 biera.ca  (reservations) Wed. to Sat. 11:30 am to 11 pm Sun. 11:30 am to 4 pm Mon. closed Tues. 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Food: 3 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverages and tip:  Basic $60, loaded $90 Was it the particular evening? An off night? Was Biera executive chef Christine Sandford absent? Did we simply order the wrong dishes? How was it possible for our party of four to be so underwhelmed at Biera? This, after all, is a restaurant consistently listed on reputable Top 5 dining out lists (reputable meaning not open to voter manipulation, not being “bought”). STORY CONTINUES BELOW In Avenue Magazine’s just-published Best Restaurants 2020 edition, an independent judging panel named Biera as Edmonton’s Best Overall Restaurant. For years, Chef Sandford has been devising ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: Underwhelmed by Biera By Graham Hicks first published Edmonton Sun, March 10, 2020

Biera's Korean style ribs were not exceptional. GRAHAM HICKS/Edmonton SunEdmonton Biera 9570 76 Ave. NW 587-525-8589 biera.ca  (reservations) Wed. to Sat. 11:30 am to 11 pm Sun. 11:30 am to 4 pm Mon. closed Tues. 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Food: 3 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverages and tip:  Basic $60, loaded $90 Was it the particular evening? An off night? Was Biera executive chef Christine Sandford absent? Did we simply order the wrong dishes? How was it possible for our party of four to be so underwhelmed at Biera? This, after all, is a restaurant consistently listed on reputable Top 5 dining out lists (reputable meaning not open to voter manipulation, not being “bought”). STORY CONTINUES BELOW In Avenue Magazine’s just-published Best Restaurants 2020 edition, an independent judging panel named Biera as Edmonton’s Best Overall Restaurant. For years, Chef Sandford has been devising ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Oilers playoff anticipation brings March madness to Edmonton By Graham Hicks first published Edmonton Sun, March 9, 2020

Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) celebrates a goal on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) at Rogers Place on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020.Ian Kucerak / Postmedia It’s March, there’s still 13 games left in the regular season.  The Oilers aren’t guaranteed a playoff spot yet. But the city is already going playoff crazy. At last week’s Oiler away games, the bars, lounges  and sports pubs were full, even though it was mid-week, even though it’s the quietest time of the year for the hospitality business. Sales are piling up for Oiler jerseys, car flags, foam fingers, ball caps. The excitement grows. Because it’s apparent to hockey-savvy Edmontonians that the Oilers are fast becoming one of the league’s better teams – with two leading scorers, two dangerous forward lines, depth up front, a fast-maturing defensive corps and two goalies shooting out the lights. STORY CONTINUES BELOW The anticipation ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: No fighting over this food By Graham Hicks first published Edmonton Sun, March 3, 2020

A Filipino Kamayan/boodle fight feast is a treat for the eyes and the stomach. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Kamayan/Boodle Fight Festival Filistix Restaurant (special occasion) 10621 100 Ave. 780-716-4708 11 am – 2 pm, 4 pm to 9 pm (seven days a week, closed Sunday evenings) filistix.ca Kamayan Feast food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Festival dinner: $57 per ticket When is a fight not a fight? When it’s a boodle fight feast. This rural Filipino tradition has been around for a very long time. Whenever an occasion so warranted, large, flat banana leaves would cover the tables, serving as a combination serving platters/tablecloths. STORY CONTINUES BELOW For what was originally known as a Kamayan feast, food (other than soup) would be dished on to the table centre.  Guests on either side helped themselves, using their hands and rice as utensils. The tradition evolved into a handy way of feeding the troops, somehow tak ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: No fighting over this food By Graham Hicks first published Edmonton Sun, March 3, 2020

A Filipino Kamayan/boodle fight feast is a treat for the eyes and the stomach. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Kamayan/Boodle Fight Festival Filistix Restaurant (special occasion) 10621 100 Ave. 780-716-4708 11 am – 2 pm, 4 pm to 9 pm (seven days a week, closed Sunday evenings) filistix.ca Kamayan Feast food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Festival dinner: $57 per ticket When is a fight not a fight? When it’s a boodle fight feast. This rural Filipino tradition has been around for a very long time. Whenever an occasion so warranted, large, flat banana leaves would cover the tables, serving as a combination serving platters/tablecloths. STORY CONTINUES BELOW For what was originally known as a Kamayan feast, food (other than soup) would be dished on to the table centre.  Guests on either side helped themselves, using their hands and rice as utensils. The tradition evolved into a handy way of feeding the troops, somehow tak ... Read the rest of entry »

HICKS ON BIZ: Lots more oil still to come By Graham Hicks, first published Edmonton Sun, February 28, 2020

The Aspen Oil Sands Project, Imperial Oil’s $2.6 billion, new in-situ oilsands project will eventually produce 150,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd). It is under construction. Foster Creek Oil Sands Expansion Project — Cenovus — $2 billion, adding 40,000 bpd — under construction. Lewis/Meadow Creek East/Meadow Creek West SAGD Oil Sands Projects — Suncor — $2 billion, around 200,000 bpd from different projects — proposed. Narrows Lake In Situ Oil Sands Project — Cenovus — $1.6 billion — 130,000 bpd — proposed, currently deferred. What is our problem here? Why the tears and teeth-gnashing over the indefinite postponement of the TECK Frontier open-pit bitumen mining proposal in the oilsands, when environmentally acceptable in-situ oilsands projects are lined up around the block? STORY CONTINUES BELOW A quick oilsands refresher: There are two ways of extracting heavy oil (bitumen) from the oilsands, open-pit mining a ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Japanese Dining – one good, one bad By Graham Hicks first published Edmonton Sun February 25, 2020

Veggies, shishito peppers, and braised ribs on the Gyu-kaku Edmonton table grill. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ 10404 Jasper Ave. 587-416-0957 gyu-kaku.com 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Fri. and Sat. to 11:30 p.m., Sun. to 10 p.m.) Reservations, Open Table Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding gratuities and beverages: Basic, $30; loaded $50 STORY CONTINUES BELOW Kobachi Japanese Cuisine #125, 200 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park 780-570-5858 kobachi.ca Dinner, Wed. to Sat. 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Sun. to 8:30 p.m.) Lunch, Wed. to Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Closed Monday Reservations by phone Food: 2.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding gratuities and beverages: Basic, $50; loaded $75 Two Japanese dining experiences, with paradoxical outcomes. One was a long-awaited treat that was disappointing at best. The other restaurant was entered with low ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Japanese Dining – one good, one bad By Graham Hicks first published Edmonton Sun February 25, 2020

Veggies, shishito peppers, and braised ribs on the Gyu-kaku Edmonton table grill. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ 10404 Jasper Ave. 587-416-0957 gyu-kaku.com 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Fri. and Sat. to 11:30 p.m., Sun. to 10 p.m.) Reservations, Open Table Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding gratuities and beverages: Basic, $30; loaded $50 STORY CONTINUES BELOW Kobachi Japanese Cuisine #125, 200 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park 780-570-5858 kobachi.ca Dinner, Wed. to Sat. 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Sun. to 8:30 p.m.) Lunch, Wed. to Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Closed Monday Reservations by phone Food: 2.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding gratuities and beverages: Basic, $50; loaded $75 Two Japanese dining experiences, with paradoxical outcomes. One was a long-awaited treat that was disappointing at best. The other restaurant was entered with low ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Fact is it's a Goldilocks economy By Graham Hicks first published Edmonton Sun February 22, 2020

Crews walk past the polypropylene reactor and the giant crane being used to raise it into position at the Heartland Petrochemical Complex in Fort Saskatchewan on Thursday, March 7, 2019.David Bloom / Postmedia, file Do we laugh or cry over the state of Alberta’s economy? We are so swayed by the latest headlines, especially the enormous conflict between Western Canadian oil and natural gas versus the youthful/progressive/protest cry for a no-carbon-fuels world. Our bitumen, and now B.C.’s natural gas, has become symbolic of a global fight to the death between unspoiled nature and evil global capitalism. The captains of Alberta’s No. 1 industry are the baddest dudes of all. On the one hand, despair. The global energy companies, huge pension funds, and our fellow Canadians want nothing to do with our No. 1 industry, if only because they will be blocked by climate warriors and our federal government at every turn. On the other … The Alberta government has an excelle ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Fact is it's a Goldilocks economy By Graham Hicks first published Edmonton Sun February 22, 2020

Crews walk past the polypropylene reactor and the giant crane being used to raise it into position at the Heartland Petrochemical Complex in Fort Saskatchewan on Thursday, March 7, 2019.David Bloom / Postmedia, file Do we laugh or cry over the state of Alberta’s economy? We are so swayed by the latest headlines, especially the enormous conflict between Western Canadian oil and natural gas versus the youthful/progressive/protest cry for a no-carbon-fuels world. Our bitumen, and now B.C.’s natural gas, has become symbolic of a global fight to the death between unspoiled nature and evil global capitalism. The captains of Alberta’s No. 1 industry are the baddest dudes of all. On the one hand, despair. The global energy companies, huge pension funds, and our fellow Canadians want nothing to do with our No. 1 industry, if only because they will be blocked by climate warriors and our federal government at every turn. On the other … The Alberta government has an excelle ... Read the rest of entry »
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