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food

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' 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' 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 on Biz: Edmonton restaurateur putting restlessness to work By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, November 22, 2019

Brad Lazarenko of Culina to Go, one of the food-based tenants in the Oliver Exchange. Taken on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 in Edmonton.Greg Southam Greg Southam / 00086532A By GRAHAM HICKS If one thing is predictable about chef/businessman Brad Lazarenko, in the 30-plus years he has been active in Edmonton’s dining and food circles, it’s his unpredictability. He delights in left turns without signaling.  Once Lazarenko has launched and executed an interesting food concept, usually under his Culina kitchen brand, he’s thinking of his next move. Culina Mill Creek, Bibo Wine Bar, Passa Tempo in Osoyoos’ Spirit Ridge Resort, a wine bar in Nelson, B.C. a return to Edmonton to open Culina Muttart, the Culina Cantina in the downtown police station, helping his sister open Culina Highlands, catering, running the food outlets at the City of Edmonton golf courses, and now, his latest venture, the take-out-only  Culina To Go in Ivan Beljan’s newly renovated Olive ... 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: 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: Where to eat in Edmonton By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN: July 30, 2019

The Brome Lake Duck, yet another perfect dish from The Butternut Tree. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN It’s an obvious opener, when I am introduced or known to be a restaurant reviewer. “So you write the Sun’s Weekly Dish, eh?  We have a special occasion coming up. Where should we go?” I hate the “it depends” answer. But  it “depends.” Depends on your tastes – do you stick to the tried ‘n’ true? Do you like adventure? A buddy has the most boring tastes imaginable. But he’s a hotdog connoisseur. Depends on your wallet – Are you going to spend $20 or $100 per person? Do you want an extensive wine list, or is “red” or “white” perfectly acceptable? Depends on my memory – What’s most recently reviewed is usually top of mind. Two excellent meals currently loll about my taste buds – at The Butternut Tree in June, the Highlands Golf Course in July. Pampa’s Brazil ... Read the rest of entry »
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