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Category: Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Turkish wine and food an unexpected delight By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, May 14, 2019

Sofra's roasted Turkish-style lamb chops, duck breast and tenderloin are simply fabulous. Graham Hicks/Edmonton SunEdmonton Sofra Authentic Turkish Cuisine 10345 106 St. NW 780-423-3044 Facebook No listed delivery service Tues. to Sun. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Monday Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $30; loaded $90 By GRAHAM HICKS Turkish food in Edmonton does not get the respect it deserves. Here’s a culture, an ancient civilization that cradled the Greeks and the Romans. It’s among the world’s most moderate Muslim nations … with a food pallet as attuned to western meat ‘n’ potatoes as anything in Greece and Central Europe. Another interesting anomaly: Turkey’s geographical location and terrain would suggest the country ought to be a major producer of wine. Turkey is all about grapes, not wine. Grapes as a fruit, dried grapes as raisins, distilled gra ... Read the rest of entry »

Weekly Dish: London Local can teach the Brits how to cook By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, May 7, 2019

London Local owner/chef Lindsay Porter (foreground) and sous-chef Leslie Tannahill are bringing English cuisine back to life! Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN London Local 2307 Ellwood Drive SW 780-752-2244 London-local.ca Delivery: Doordash Tues. to Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (11 p.m. Friday) Sat. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sun. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Monday Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $35; loaded $70 By GRAHAM HICKS It’s no secret. The food at the “English-inspired” London Local is consistently delicious because the kitchen doesn’t believe in shortcuts. The sauces – Ketchup-style, HP-style, tartar, relish – are originals, conceived and made from scratch by owner/chef Lindsay Porter. The meats are ground/cured/tenderized in house. Even veggies get special treatment. Porter’s brussels sprouts are sautéed in a house-created ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Meuwly makes magnificent meats By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, April 30, 2019

Behind the Meuwly kitchen counter blenders, through a ghostly glass, primal meat cuts are being cured. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Meuwly’s 10706 124 St. 587-778-7615 meuwlys.com No delivery listed Mon. to Sat. 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Sat. to 5 p.m.) Closed Sunday Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience:  3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Lunch for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $17.50; loaded $30 By Graham Hicks In the good ol’ days, foods weren’t gussied up with  trendy names. “Charcuterie” was simply called cold cuts. “Prosciutto” was cured Italian ham. “Salumi” was salami. But in the good ol’ days, cold cuts were limited to Schneiders garlic sausage, Maple Leaf baloney and vacuum-sealed slices of wet ham. While the butcher who makes cold cuts is now a “charcuterie master” and any small independent food processor is an “artisan”, what’s available today by way of locally-mad ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: The re-birth of Revel By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, April 23, 2019

Revel's roasted cauliflower arrangement reminded this reviewer of the Game of Thrones' Wall. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Revel Bistro & Bar 9802 Jasper Ave. 587-524-3333 Reveledmonton.com  (reservations as well) No delivery listed Tues. to Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. (12 a.m. Friday) Sat. 4:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. Closed Sunday and Monday. Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 2.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $40; loaded $80 STORY CONTINUES BELOW By GRAHAM HICKS The Weekly Dish recently commented on very fine chefs working in Edmonton with little, if any, public profile. Here’s another one: Kunal Sawhney, now six months at the Revel Bistro + Bar as executive chef. A dinner at Revel – in the historic Alberta Hotel across from the Edmonton Convention Centre – was worthy of 4.5 out of 5 Suns for the food. Every Sawhney creation was a pleasing, exciting culinary a ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: The king of the green onion cake is back By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, April 16, 2019

Siu To has green streaks in his white hair. If youíre making green onion cakes, he reasons, then be the green onion cake. GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUNEdmonton The Green Onion Cake Man 9312-118 Ave. no website, no phone no delivery service (take-out counter at the restaurant) 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (closed Monday and Tuesday) Green Onion Cakes: 4.5 of 5 Suns Rest of Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $15; loaded $25 This is not about going to a restaurant. It’s a pilgrimage to a shrine. Not to the Green Onion Cake Man eatery itself. Heck, it’s only four months away from its first anniversary!! STORY CONTINUES BELOW Siu To’s new restaurant capitalizes on his reputation for making the best green onion cakes in Edmonton. No, the bricks and mortar are not the attraction. It’s to see, live, in person, flipping those green onion cakes, a human Edmonton shrin ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: The old and new in Vietnamese eateries, Pagolac and XO Bistro By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, April 9, 2019

XO Bistro's pork and shrimp grilled combo was everything you could ask for in a Vietnamese rice bowl. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Pagolac (Downtown) 10566 97 St. 780-425-1540 pagolacrestaurant.com Delivery: SkiptheDishes.com 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Fri. + Sat.) Closed Tuesdays Food: 3 of 5 Suns Ambience:  3 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns XO Bistro + Bar 10236 103 St. 780-761-9696 Delivery: SkiptheDishes.com, doordash.com Tues. to Fri. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (1 a.m. Fri.) Sat. noon to 1:30 a.m. Sun. noon to 11 p.m. Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Both restaurants, dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $30; loaded $45 STORY CONTINUES BELOW By Graham Hicks Is it ‘make new friends, but don’t forget the old?’ Or ‘out with the old and in with the new?’ It’s an interesting choice these days with Vietnamese restaurants. The style is long-established in Canada. Canadi ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Villa Bistro searches for an identity By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUNMarch 26, 2019

Villa Bistro's lamb "popsicles' are heavily seasoned and well-cooked but still tender and juicy. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Villa Bistro 10014 104 St. 780-497-7784 villabistro.ca Delivery: doordash.com Reservations: opentable.ca Mon. to Sat. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (9 p.m. Mon. + Tues.) Closed Sundays Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $35; loaded $70 Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience:  2.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns By Graham Hicks A survey, released this week by the Restaurants Canada Association, claims one-third of Alberta’s restaurateurs have considered closing because of falling revenues combined with rising costs – specifically the provincial minimum wage hike from $10 to $15. STORY CONTINUES BELOW The word “considered” tempers my reaction. Most of us have “considered” drastic options at one time or another. Rarely have we acted on the same. But there’s no denying these are tough days fo ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Pizza, pizza, everywhere in Edmonton By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, March 19, 2019

Is the Pink Gorilla's namesake pizza - festooned with pastrami and pink-pickled daikon, colourful enough for you? Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/ EDMONTON SUN By Graham Hicks I woke up with a start, the sweaty smell of mozzarella and tomatoes oozing from my pores. What a dream! Imagine, drowning in a sloppy sea of pizza.  Nothing but pizza here, there and everywhere. Melted mozzarella clogging up my nose, tomato sauce waves crashing over my head, pepperoni rafts floating just out of reach! Eating five pizzas in four days had its consequences. In our town, pizza is everywhere. No other fast food is so available – even burgers and fries. STORY CONTINUES BELOW Pizza is good – extremely good – and relatively healthy. But there’s so much of it! Acknowledging the pizza trend, and curious about new toppings, The Weekly Dish did a trendy pizza blitz:  Pizzeria Rosso on Thursday, Blaze Pizza on Friday, Pink Gorilla Pizzeria on Saturday, Love Pizza on Sunday ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Downtown Dining Week is smart marketing By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, March 12, 2019

With a delicious beef brisket option, the River City Revival House has introduced itself to the public through Downtown Dining Week,. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/ EDMONTON SUN By GRAHAM HICKS Among the detritus of discarded civic slogans, Edmonton once called itself Canada’s Smart City. In fact, the smartest Edmonton project of late has come from within. We are smack dab in the middle of the annual Downtown Dining Week, which superficially is about discounted dining in Edmonton’s downtown. Until Sunday, March 17, 2019, some 50 downtown restaurants are offering two-or-three course lunches and dinners, $18 for lunch, $30 or $45 for dinner. New this year are $18 two-course brunches at about a dozen restaurants. STORY CONTINUES BELOW A  three-course dinner for $45 is great value – about 40% off menu prices – especially at high-end dining rooms like Atlas, Hardware Grill, the Harvest Room, La Ronde, Madison’s Grill, Ruth’s Chris, Sabor, LUX, Chop ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Formosa Bistro worth a trip to the south side By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN: February 26, 2019

Formosa Bistro's gua bao, with its airy dough exterior and egg and pork belly within, is a delicious winner. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUN Formosa Bistro Taiwanese Restaurant 9314 34 Ave. 780-603-0110 Formosabistro.com Online reservations: opentable.ca (or Formosa website) Delivery: Skipthedishes.com. Tues. to Thurs. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fri. Sat. and Sun. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Mondays Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $20; loaded $42 Food:  4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns By GRAHAM HICKS A few weeks ago, thanks to the Chinatown Dining Week festival, two more “authentic” 97 Street restaurants were added to my list of excellent hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurants Cui Han Gui Lin Noodle House and Fuqing Lanzhoo Noodles are small, family-run operations with no marketing, no interior design, little else but excellent, bargain-priced regional dishes. Before Christmas, CBC re ... Read the rest of entry »
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