HicksBiz Blog

Category: food

food

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 »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Highlands Golf Club dining room a hidden gem By GRAHAM H ICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, July 16, 2019

The gorgeous view from the Highlands Golf Club dining room. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Highlands Golf Club Dining Room/Spike Lounge 6603 Ada Boulevard 780-474-4211 Highlandsgolfclub.com Reservations by phone no listed delivery Open to the public 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until late fall Dinner for two, excluding tips, taxes and beverages:  Basic, $25; Loaded, $50 Food:  4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns By GRAHAM HICKS Pssst. I’m letting you in on an Edmonton dining-out  secret. The best food in the city, taking into account quality, variety, price and view, is at The Highlands Golf Club Dining Room. The list of restaurants with scenic river valley views is distressingly short. Downtown are the Chateau Lacombe’s La Ronde, the Hotel Macdonald patio, the Courtyard by Marriot Riverside Bistro (where the food/service is mediocre at best), and a partial view from The Butternut Tree. On the South Side are some t ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Mimi's shows the strength of a quality neighbourhood pub By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, July 9, 2019

Mimi's "Al Capone" pizza: eggplant, mozza, ricotta, olives, tomato and lots of basil. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Mimi’s 11403-40 Ave. 587-490-8952 Mimispub.com No listed delivery Reservations by phone Mon. to Fri. 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sat./Sun. noon to closing Food:  4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding tips, taxes and beverages:  Basic, $25; Loaded, $60 By GRAHAM HICKS The neighbourhood pub is making a come-back. Not those stuffy, grubby, hole-in-the-wall pubs in that once littered the landscape. These new ones are beautiful. Million-dollar treatments , all glass and design, with attractive furniture, countertops, open kitchens, and craft beers on tap. These new “pubs” are family restaurants, operated by experienced hospitality pros. The food is actually more important than the booze. Century Hospitality group led the way, opening Hart’s Table and Grill on 23 Avenue to service deep Riverbend. Cent ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Vivo Ristorante Windermere a people pleaser By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, July 2, 2019

Vivo's sea bream comes with a host of complimentary veggies. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Vivo Ristorante & Bar Windermere 6143 Currents Dr. NW 780-244-5920 Vivoristorante.ca Delivery: Skipthedishes.com Reservations:  OpenTable.ca 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (12:30 a.m. Fri. + Sat.) Food:  4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding tips, taxes and beverages:  Basic, $30; Loaded, $80 By GRAHAM HICKS The owners of Vivo Ristorante Windermere call their concept  “modern family dining – with authentic, real food.” Which is right on the money.  This stylish, contemporary restaurant in the city’s deep southwest, across from the Cineplex Odeon Windermere, does the near impossible. It’s all things to all people. Friday evening, the restaurant was full of multi-generational families. A previous visit during happy hour saw an adult crowd scarfing down 97-cent meatballs and $1.50 aranchini  with a ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Perfection, thy name is The Butternut Tree By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, June 18, 2019

The Brome Lake Duck, yet another perfect dish from The Butternut Tree. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN The Butternut Tree 9707 110 St. (Ledgeview Tower, main floor) 780-760-2271 thebutternuttree.ca Reservations:  Opentable.com No takeout listed Tues. to Sat. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sun. and Mon. closed Food:  5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 5 of 5 Suns Service: 5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding tips, taxes and beverages:  Basic, $70; Loaded, $140 By GRAHAM HICKS The Butternut Tree is a gastronomic delight, a feast for the eyes, for the nose, for the mouth. It is fine dining at its very best in this city. While the food itself is always at the epicentre of fine dining, everything else must also be perfect – the décor, the service, the view, the lighting, the rhythm, the plating, the presentation, the wines … Owner/chef Scott Downey has long marched to the sound of his own drum. He left St. Albert at a young age to wander and be educated within the internatio ... Read the rest of entry »
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