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Category: Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

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 »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Oliver & Bonacini brings AAA quality to JW Marriott By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, August 6, 2019

Braven's slow-roasted and smoked short rib is served over the creamiest of polentas. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN The restaurants of the JW Marriott – Edmonton ICE District 10344-102 St. NW Braven 780-784-8580 Reservations: opentable.ca no listed delivery 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week Dinner for two (excluding tips, beverages and taxes): Basic, $100; loaded, $200 Kindred 780-784-8576 Reservations: opentable.ca no listed delivery 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. seven days a week Dinner for two (excluding tips, beverages and taxes): Basic, $40; loaded $100 RATINGS – for both restaurants Food:  4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4.5 of 5 Suns By GRAHAM HICKS There’s an enormous attraction to brand new – be it a vehicle, a house, a fancy appliance. When it’s a restaurant, the experience intensifies. Carpets are as clean as bed sheets, windows glisten, cutlery, glasses, furniture and decor are all brand new. The experience ... 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: Taste of Edmonton satisfies every which way By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN: July 23, 2019

Wishbone's nappa salad is finished with roasted peanuts. Graham Hicks/Edmonton SunEdmonton Taste of Edmonton Festival July 18 to 28, 2019 Capital Plaza (99 Avenue and 108 Street) 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily (9 p.m. July 28) By GRAHAM HICKS After 35 years, the Taste of Edmonton, if you’ll pardon the pun, has become a well oiled machine. The number of grease pits in the food booths and food trucks continues to decline. The food variety is such that not a French fry, burger or pizza slice is to be found on the grounds. Hooray. The popular annual food festival, which started July 18 and runs through Sunday, July 28, is taking full advantage of its temporary Capital Plaza location at 99 Avenue and 108 Street. Capital Plaza is more compact than Churchill Square — currently serving as a storage depot as the new surface LRT inches its way into the downtown. But it is most pleasant, and its defined perimeters have enabled — gasp! — the free and open drinking of (on-site purchased ... 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 »

Hicks`Weekly Dish: Filistix reflects a new Canadian cuisine By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, June 11, 2019

Filistix's Nasi Goreng fried rice is a meal unto itself. Filistix 10621 100 Ave. 780-716-4708 Filistix.ca Facebook 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (11 p.m. Fri and Sat, 9 p.m. Sun), seven days a week Delivery pending, reservations by phone Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two: Excluding drinks and tip, basic $30, loaded $50 By GRAHAM HICKS Ariel del Rosario and Roel Canafrance had no grandiose business plan when they started selling Filipino-style barbecue skewers out of a food truck some 10 years ago. Yet Filistix has evolved as a textbook study in growing a hospitality business, culminating in the recent opening of its first sit-down, full-service Filipino/Asian fusion restaurant in the city’s downtown. Del Rosario and Canafrance are cousins — second-generation Filipino-Canadians raised on the excellent Filipino cooking forever emerging from their moms’ and lolas’ (grandmothers) kitchens. They were among the firs ... Read the rest of entry »
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