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Category: Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Tipping is outta control By GRAHAM HICKS first published EDMONTON SUN, January 1, 2019

By GRAHAM HICKS Tipping in the restaurant business and elsewhere  is getting ugly. It’s gone from an act of appreciation for excellent service to a cat-and-mouse game,  squeezing a maximum tip out of the customer through suggestion, guilt or credit card payment options. My family – 14 of us — enjoyed a holiday brunch. The server was friendly and efficient. But it was a buffet. Besides collect the dirty dishes, all she had to do was serve coffee and tea. The bill, when presented, included a mandatory “service charge” – i.e. an automatic 18% tip for large groups – or $66.51.  The aforementioned server, however, quietly mentioned it was a “group tip” distributed to all the restaurant staff.  If I wanted to give her an additional personal tip, she wouldn’t refuse. Blindsided and guilt-tripped, I added another $25.  Which worked out to a 25%  tip — over $90! Yes, it was voluntary.  Did I feel pres ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: OEB Breakfast Co — the power breakfast has arrived in Edmonton! By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, December 18, 2018

The Farmer John's Delight omlette is one of 70 items on the trendy new OEB downtown breakfast spot. GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUNEdmonton OEB Breakfast Co. 10174 100A St.  (Kelly-Ramsey Building) 587-520-0936 eatoeb.com Reservations: by phone weekdays, weekend wait list No listed delivery service Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Weekends and holidays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Breakfast for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $25; loaded $50 Food:  4 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4.5 of 5 Suns By GRAHAM HICKS The biggest problem at the OEB Breakfast Company (besides trying to remember if it’s OEB, EOB or BEO – it stands for Over Easy Breakfast) is where to start? The new downtown  breakfast emporium has 70 different dishes – everything under the prairie sky, as long as it has some connection to eggs, waffles, French toast or bagels. At lunch (it’s open until 3 p.m.) you could even order a Moroccan-Style Alberta Lamb Burge ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Dizzying descent of Solstice Seasonal Cuisine By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, December 11, 2018

Solstice Seasonal Cuisine's wild boar rillette was a splash of flavour in an otherwise uninspiring evening of dining. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUNEdmonton Solstice Seasonal Cuisine 10723 124 St. NW 780-488-4567 solsticefood.com Reservations: Opentable.ca Delivery: Skipthedishes.com Monday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Fri. and Sat. Thurs. 11 p.m.) Lunch-times – Delivery only – Skipthedishes.com Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $50; loaded $130 Food:  3 of 5 Suns Ambience:  3 of 5 Suns Service: 3 of 5 Suns By GRAHAM HICKS How perplexing. How could a restaurant that earned a rave review from the Weekly Dish four years ago have spiraled down to ho-hum with the same (according to its website) executive chef, sous chef and front-of-house manager? How did Solstice Seasonal Cuisine, on 124 Street, become so quickly dated and old-fashioned? Solstice Seasonal chef Jan Trittenbach was the talk of town when he won the 2015 Edmonton Gol ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Kanu Cafe earns a perfect five By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun December 4, 2018

Udon noodles like you have never had before. Delicious!Edmonton Kanu Café: Plant-based Cuisine 10803 Jasper Avenue 780-760-5268 kanucafe.ca Reservations: Opentable.ca No listed delivery service Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Thurs. and Fri. 11 p.m.) Saturday and Sunday, 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.  (11 p.m. on Sat.) Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $40; loaded $60 Food:  5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns By GRAHAM HICKS Never in a million years would I have thought a vegetarian restaurant worthy of a perfect — i.e. five out of five Suns — food score. But here we are.  Canada’s first Kanu Café: Plant-based Cuisine, at Jasper Avenue and 108 Street, is worthy of the honour:  Five out of five for food it is. Even more exceptional:  Not only is Kanu vegetarian/vegan etc., etc. it’s  a (sort of) franchise! Celebrity American vegetarian chef/personality Matthew Kenney ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: All things vegetarian in Edmonton, Part II By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, November 28, 2018

Good Stock's vegetarian linguini alfredo with borscht soup. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUN Weekly Dish for Wednesday, November 28, 2018 – All things vegetarian, Part II Good Stock Restaurant 11409-40 Ave. (Petrolia Plaza) 587-499-8793 Goodstockrestaurant.com 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (closed Tuesdays) No listed delivery service Food:  3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages, basic $25; loaded $40. Green Moustache 11416 Jasper Ave. 780-540-0026 greenmoustache.com 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Sat. + Sun. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) No listed delivery service Food: 2.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, basic $20; loaded, $30 By GRAHAM HICKS As noted in this column last week, “plant-based” restaurants are the latest dining-out trend in Edmonton. This is the second of a three-part series, exploring some of these recently-opened plant-based eateries. I make no judgement ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Die Pie and all things vegetarian by GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, November 20, 2018

Die Pie's black garlic & truffle vegetarian pizza is an earthly slice of heaven. PHOTOS BY GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUN Die Pie 11215 Jasper Ave. 780-760-7272 diepie.ca Tues. to Sun. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Thurs. and Fri.) Closed Mondays Delivery: Skipthedishes.com Food:  4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic (one pizza), $20; loaded $50 By GRAHAM HICKS Let’s be realistic. Edmontonians are not abandoning meat-based proteins. The vast majority of us love a great T-bone steak, even if it’s as expensive as a new BMW. We appreciate a slow-cooked pork belly, all velvety fat. We crave Korean-style deep-fried chicken, a seared halibut filet, herbed pork shoulder hot off a rotisserie … What’s new, and exciting, is the city-wide interest in encompassing more than a meat-based menu. Not to stop eating meat, but to eat a little less – ounces rather than pounds: To consider veggie an ... Read the rest of entry »

Weekly Dish: Halifax street food brought to Edmonton By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, Nov. 13, 2018

Cool on cool: Blowers & Grafton's toasted, then cooled, mini-lobster rolls. GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUN Blowers & Grafton – Halifax Street Food 10550 82 Ave. 780-250-3663 blowersgrafton.com Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4.5 of 5 stars Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic (i.e. pizza for two), $20; loaded $50 Delivery: Skipthedishes.com 11 a.m. to midnight seven days a week; Fri. and Sat. to 2 a.m. Blowers & Grafton is an intersection in downtown Halifax. Haligonians flock to “Pizza Corner” as the bars close down to soak up internal alcohol via pizzas and donairs – originally from three competing pizzerias, today from many more nearby street food outlets. This is not mythology: Friends who have studied in Halifax attest to many a late-night pizza/donair party around Blowers & Grafton. It’s also true that what’s now known as a donair – a North American variation on the Turkish doner ... Read the rest of entry »

Weekly Dish: BUOK Fresh Korean Kitchen — in search of soul BY GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN November 7, 2018

The BUOK Bibimbap bowl: rice, veggies, bulgogi beef, chili sauce all topped with an egg. PHOTOS BY GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUN BUOK Fresh Korean Kitchen 10707 100 Avenue 780-244-2865 buokfresh.ca Tues. to Fri. 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Thurs. and Fri.) Sat. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Sun./Mon. No listed delivery service Food:  3 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $20; loaded $50 By GRAHAM HICKS BUOK Fresh Korean Kitchen is disappointing, in a puzzling way. The restaurant has worked hard at creating soul. Hands-on owner Henry Song is in the kitchen every hour BUOK is open and proudly greets his customers. Song makes a big deal out of using his mother’s recipes, of making his sauces from scratch – especially the complex creation of BUOK’s in-house kimchi. The emphasis is on using fresh, fresh ingredients, as the name suggests. Yes, the food is fresh – good on BUOK. But ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Crazy hours but the best of food in Spain By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, October 30, 2018

How could you not enjoy food consumed in such beautiful surroundings, being Seville in Spain. GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUNEdmonton By Graham Hicks Either Spain has it all figured out, with a fabulous lifestyle when it comes to food, drink and the timing thereof … or the Spaniards have the most cockamamie eating habits on Earth. My wife and I are back in Edmonton after four weeks in Spain with a side-trip to Italy. Maria loves Spain and Spanish food and the café culture.  But her stomach works on North American time – she needs her morning snack, lunch at noon and dinner by 6:30 p.m. at the latest. That is not how Spain operates:  “how do Spaniards manage to dine at midnight,” once wrote former Sun columnist Eric Margolis of the mysteries of Europe, “hit the discos afterwards, then go to work the next morning?” The Spanish do not rise before 8:30 a.m.  (at this time of year, the dawn does not break before 8 a.m. and night falls by 8 p. ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: A FEASTival of fun! By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, September 25, 2018

The NAIT team's ribeye was one of the most impressive main dishes on offer at the FEASTival of Fine Chefs attended by over 1000 guests at the Shaw Conference Centre on Sept. 19, 2018. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUN FEASTival of Fine Chefs Show Conference Centre September 19, 2018 By Graham Hicks It’s called FEASTival, it’s been around 30 years, and it’s a lot of fun. On Sept. 19, the Shaw Conference Centre’s main exhibition hall is full. One thousand people have bought tickets or come as guests. Around the walls are booths representing just about every major hotel restaurant in town, along with a few other dining facilities such as the Royal Glenora Club. Every booth has a number. Every guest has a number. Master of Ceremonies Seanna Collins did a countdown. Three, two, one … GO! Immediately, every person jumps up to pick up the first of four courses, looking for the booth number that corresponds to the number they hold for the evening. The chefs a ... Read the rest of entry »
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