HicksBiz Blog

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Memphis Blues Barbeque House offers great value BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 06, 2015

Memphis Blues Barbeque House 5317 23 Ave. NW 780-428-6328 (also locations in Sherwood Park and Castledowns) Seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Sundays, noon to 9 p.m.) Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $25; loaded, $50 The Memphis Blues Barbeque House all-meat platter is a delight for the eyes … and for the wallet. Five hungry adults looked in awe at the Memphis Feast platter as it made its triumphant arrival to our table in the small chain’s Mill Woods outlet. Clock-wise around the platter, all nice ‘n’ hot ‘n’ looking so tasty, were BIG portions of various meats – a fine slab of ribs, beef brisket, smoked sausage, rib ends, pulled pork, BBQ chicken, French fries, three pieces of corn bread and, in the centre in four bowls, BBQ pit beans, coleslaw, potato salad and the in-house BBQ dipping sauce. How much food? We were a party of five hungry adults ... Read the rest of entry »


The Dog 9567A 118 Ave. 780-424-6823 Tues. to Sun. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Mondays Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $20; loaded, $35 The lowly hot dog ascends, from a kids’ birthday party staple, to Fat Franks hot dog stands, to the crazy Asian fusion dogs at the It’ Dog. And now the hot dog arrives to its full magnificent glory.  The Dog is a sit-down  hot-dog emporium on 118 Avenue where you can order 23 kinds of hot dogs – at least 14 variations based on excellent locally made beef and beef/pork dogs, then hot dogs built from  kangaroo, elk, wild boar and alligator sausage, and even three vegetarian dogs!  The Dog shares its building and ownership with the best BBQ house in town, Sloppy Hoggs Roed Hus, which means it shares the quirky creativeness of over-all owner Bjorn Cochran. Cochran has had a lot of laughs creating The Dog. You’d associate the ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Edmonton's easier to get around now than it's ever been BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2015

Good news! Edmonton’s transportation system is in really, really good shape … besides the potholes.  Complain though we will, our new and upgraded roads and bridges, our airport, public transit and private ride-sharing (Uber, not taxis) has never been better.  Automobiles (Roads):  The Henday Ring Road is the biggest single improvement, on time, on budget, three-quarters done with completion of the northeast leg next year. The end is in sight for the massive road re-construction on Hwy 216 (the Henday between Edmonton and Sherwood Park) from the Hwy 16/Hwy 216 interchange south to the Whitemud Drive. The widening and upgrading of the Whitemud’s Quesnell Bridge (across the North Saskatchewan River) has done the trick. Barring accidents, traffic now flows smoothly across that bridge at all hours of the day.  Likewise the Calgary Trail/23rd Avenue interchange has cleaned up a former mess.   The Queen Elizabeth II/41st Ave. SW interchange, weeks away from ... Read the rest of entry »


Cafe Amore 10807 106 Ave. 780-477-7896 www.cafeamorebistro.com Mon.- Fri: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Friday to 11 p.m.) Sat. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Sundays Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $30; loaded, $60 You’d think it’d be easy to run a good restaurant. Cook good food, have pleasant servers, charge reasonable prices. Surely the world will beat a path to your door. Of course it’s not easy at all. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult businesses imaginable – to have consistently excellent food  and service no matter how busy or how empty the restaurant, no matter if the cook just walked out the door in a hissy fit, no matter if hung-over servers don’t  show up. Café Amore is one of the very few restaurants in this town able to do just that – always have great food, always have pleasant, professional servers, always give excellent value ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: How do we keep Big Brains in Alberta? BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2015

You have marvelled at the speed of Google search engines, at self-teaching robots.  You’ve been dumbfounded when, on your first visit to a medical specialist, she or she casually pulls up a program containing your entire medical history from the past 10 years. “Machine learning” uses big data and the ability of today’s computers to sort through and arrange billions upon billions of “data sets” through mathematical formulas. The processes are also referred to as artificial intelligence or, more colloquially, Big Data.  The ability of massive computer power, harnessed by brilliant machine-learning scientists, is driving the 21st Century. The latest wave of global corporations– Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Lockheed Martin, Yahoo and that great survivor, IBM are all on the leading edge of machine learning. Edmonton doesn’t have a Google or a Yahoo in our midst – the closest might be global video game producer Bioware, now a division of an ev ... Read the rest of entry »

icks Weekly Dish Numchok Wilai Thai Restaurant good but not great BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2015

Numchok Wilai Thai Restaurant 10623-124 St. 780-488-7897 numchokwilai.ca Mon.-Sat: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Friday 9:30 p.m., Saturday 10 p.m.) Closed Sundays Food: 3 of 5 Suns Ambience: 2.5 of 5 Suns Service: 2 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $30; loaded, $60 Graham Hicks 780 707 6379 graham.hicks@hicksbiz.com www.hicksbiz.com @hicksonsix There’s a category of family-run restaurants in Edmonton, and I suppose in every metropolis, that is frustrating. Mom and dad originally start the restaurant as immigrants willing to work all the time for the sake of their children. Years later, the next generation takes over. The parents are now old. Dad is now gone, but mom still helps in the kitchen and the signature dishes are still her recipes. The next-gen, however, doesn’t do much. The décor becomes dated, no thought is given to modernization. Table service is by whoever happens to be around. The food&rsqu ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Edmonton City Hall, taxi companies need to get with the (Uber) times BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

e live in two solitudes. Not the old ethnic/income divides, but the established “old” way of doing things, and the techno-savvy “new”.  On Sept. 4, the “old” tried to accommodate the “new”.  Proposed revisions to the city’s Vehicle For Hire Bylaw were introduced as a compromise between the “old” highly-regulated taxi system and “new” self-regulating taxi systems, i.e. Uber. Public hearings on the draft bylaw are being held at city hall on Sept. 16 and 17. On Sept. 9 and 10, the “new” celebrated its own identity and business culture at the Edmonton Economic Development-driven Ignite Festival. The gap between “old” and “new” is quite magnificent. The “new” are 100% comfortable with the cascade of new computer-enabled technologies. The “new” are comfortable with being contractors rather than employees. The “new” expect to have multiple c ... Read the rest of entry »