HicksBiz Blog

ADOPT-A-TEEN: The Christmas charity volunteer armada is on its way! By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun December 12, 2018

John Paul Janssens (right) and John Marks load gifts on to Janssens truck during the second day of deliveries for 630 CHED's Santas Anonymous in Edmonton, Alberta on Sunday, December 18, 2016. Volunteers through the charitable organization deliver gifts and Christmas cheer to families in need across the city. Ian Kucerak / Postmedia FileKucerak, Ian / Postmedia By GRAHAM HICKS A volunteer armada is about to descend on our city. The upcoming weekend (Dec. 15 and 16, 2018) is delivery day(s) for two of the three Edmonton Christmas charities  that work hand-in-glove to make sure every child in the city, from toddler to 17-year-old, has a Christmas gift, that every family can sit down to a delicious Christmas dinner without worrying about the cost. Thousands – literally – of volunteer drivers will rally at the Santa’s Anonymous new permanent home in the  Jerry Forbes Centre (12122-68 Street – close to the now-closed Coliseum), to pick up and delivery toys to ... 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 »

ADOPT-A-TEEN Trio of charities helps ensure families have a Christmas By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun December 7, 2018

Debbie Mears is helped with the icing on the Adopt-A-Teen gingerbread house by three-year-old Lidia Lee. The Christmas Bureau launched its 78th campaign with a gingerbread house decorating challenge in Ford Hall at Rogers Place.Shaughn Butts / Postmedia Images linger in my head. Teens for whom Christmas is the toughest day of the year. Their peers may be showered with gifts, but their parents (often one parent or guardian) can’t give them a thing. Kids — for that is what teens are — who just wish Christmas would go away, because it hurts too much. Think of their families. So many different situations for the parents or guardians — newly arrived immigrants, single parents, recently laid-off, disabled and unable to work. They all love their children — especially those often-non-communicative teens! But they are all struggling to make ends meet. That’s why it is so easy to ask you, in this season of giving, to support The Edmonton Sun’s Ado ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Good projects if we can afford them By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun December 7, 2018

The JW Marriott hotel in the Edmonton Ice District reaches into the clouds on March 19, 2018.Shaughn Butts / Postmedia, file By GRAHAM HICKS Enough of this pipeline doom ‘n’ gloom! ‘Tis time to be a tad optimistic about Edmonton’s future.  (I’ll try to be optimistic. In my heart of hearts, I am dead worried about the future of my children in this province.) Three major land-use projects are underway in the downtown. If properly done, prudently funded, they should gently contribute to the city’s economic wellbeing and quality of life. The one I like best — the Central Warehouse Park — is well underway. The City of Edmonton is creating a big (1.4 acres — about a square city block) new, traditional city park in the downtown. It’s north of Jasper Avenue, from 106 Street to halfway between 107 and 108 Streets. Think of the surface parking lots behind the big Boston Pizza building (at Jasper and 106 Street), behind Audr ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Good projects if we can afford them By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun December 7, 2018

The JW Marriott hotel in the Edmonton Ice District reaches into the clouds on March 19, 2018.Shaughn Butts / Postmedia, file By GRAHAM HICKS Enough of this pipeline doom ‘n’ gloom! ‘Tis time to be a tad optimistic about Edmonton’s future.  (I’ll try to be optimistic. In my heart of hearts, I am dead worried about the future of my children in this province.) Three major land-use projects are underway in the downtown. If properly done, prudently funded, they should gently contribute to the city’s economic wellbeing and quality of life. The one I like best — the Central Warehouse Park — is well underway. The City of Edmonton is creating a big (1.4 acres — about a square city block) new, traditional city park in the downtown. It’s north of Jasper Avenue, from 106 Street to halfway between 107 and 108 Streets. Think of the surface parking lots behind the big Boston Pizza building (at Jasper and 106 Street), behind Audr ... 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 on Biz: How much more can Alberta’s government spend? By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, November 30, 2018

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley (Right), United Conservatives leader Jason Kenney (Left) By GRAHAM HICKS What in God’s name is this spend-until-we’re-bankrupt socialist Alberta government doing, announcing a purchase of $350 million worth of railroad oil tankers to move an extra 120,000 barrels of dilbit (diluted bitumen oil) a day – about 4% of Alberta’s current daily oil output? Look – we all knew the oilsands crisis was going to happen, as sure as night follows day. And now the day of reckoning has arrived. Oilsands production has grown. New extraction plants started before the 2014 oil-price collapse are now on stream. The ability to move additional oil from Fort McMurray via pipeline, as has been explained ad nauseum, has not. The smart oil-patch money knew this would happen. They knew the soft and wishy-washy Justin Trudeau federal government, for political reasons, would passively allow this economic crisis to happen. The smart oil-patch money – l ... 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 on Biz: Stop the Spending! By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, November 23, 2018

Premier Rachel Notley speaking at the Rural Municipalities of Alberta at the Shaw Conference Centre on November 20, 2018 in Edmonton.Shaughn Butts / Postmedia By Graham Hicks FINALLY! In Calgary, the taxpayers finally spoke with a loud, clear voice. No Olympic bid! We can’t afford it! For once, the madness of profligate government spending has been curbed. The irresistible attraction of politicians like Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi to firmly fix their fingers around glittering baubles with no realistic return has been thwarted. Imagine! Spending unnecessary millions/billions when Calgary’s commercial tax base has dried up due to half-empty office towers, when Calgary has such a high unemployment rate — not necessarily among the lesser-skilled, but also of skilled professionals. Imagine!  This drowning-in-debt New Democrat party, that will govern Alberta for at least the next six months, was prepared to spend yet another $700 million (that it did not have) ... 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 »