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Thread: "Must Try" Edmonton restaurants

  1. #3001
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    19 HOT DINING SPOTS NEAR ICE DISTRICT
    Posted March 1, 2017 by Matthew Stepanic


    In search of a fine-dining spot to improve on a special evening out at Rogers Place? Want to celebrate after an epic Oilers’ win or rehash an incredible pop-star performance? These downtown dining destinations will serve you everything from a memorable meal to late-night entertainment!
    https://www.infoedmonton.com/article...-ice-district/

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    ^ The very fact that Sabor is not mentioned makes this list an epic fail. Quite a few other puzzling omissions too.
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  3. #3003

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    It's just a random list of a few places in the core. No Corso, no Sabor, no Black Pearl, no Tzin, no Blue Plate, no Kelly's, no Sofra, blah blah blah. If you want the exhaustive list, open your favorite map app, search "food" and zoom in on downtown. You'll get options.
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    Nut they mention stage104. . .

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    T'Zin is celebrating their 10th anniversary next week, be sure to drop by and raise a glass!
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    ^

    And if two of youz show up at the same time, one will have to sip his wine in the shitter.



    So Top_Dawg sees that Hard Rock Cafe on Younge Street is shutting down.

    https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/201...-location.html

    Remember when they had one at West Edmonton Mall for a short while ?

    Top_Dawg was there once with his ol' lady at the time.

    The food was absolutely horrible.



    In fact Top_Dawg remembers only two places where the food was so bad it was laughable.

    Hard Rock Cafe and the west end East Side Mario's.

  7. #3007

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    I lump Hard Rock in with all the other "Americana" garbage chains like Margaritaville, Bubba Gump, and so on. All marketing, pure processed garbage for food.
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    Any place termed the West End East Side Mario's deserves infamy as well as whatever it gets.

    Hard Rock café? Lets see, suck food, suck music in one of the worst possible decades for rock, a format lost in a timewarp. Cool trying to be wrapped up in a tired smelly franchise sock. "Really, this place is cool, feel the cool. we're cool, the MTV videos are cool." Not ironic that it was on Burpon street in the Mall. Kind of a perfect ******** irony to all of that.

    heh, but yeah, all those horrible junk chain franchises. The reality though is that this is what we will tend to look forward to (sarcasm) in further "must tries" around the arena district and DDW. Which I keep wanting to call DDT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    I lump Hard Rock in with all the other "Americana" garbage chains like Margaritaville, Bubba Gump, and so on. All marketing, pure processed garbage for food.
    Agreed on the other restaurants, but Hard Rock in the States are different, had may Great times drinking Everclear with lady friends over the years at many locations and continue to do so my states travel. Always find the local Hard Rock when I first roll into town. Bartenders are always hot and the easiest to roll with

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    I miss Planet Hollywood.
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    The Next Act ribs are my new standard, delicious.


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    Is that the cola ribs? Anyone been to Otto's beer and sausage?
    Last edited by Cardinal Fang; 18-03-2017 at 03:30 PM.
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    Yup, delicious.

    Tried it at the Chamber Sip, Savour and socialize with some Bent Stick beer, both bang on.
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    They look like side ribs. Baby back are better and more tender.
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    Corso 32 tonight, delicious as always with the app special incredible. Egg, fried, cheese crust.
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    Hit up Bundok Saturday night, group of 4 and we ordered a little over half the menu. Overall pretty good but was definitely pricey. As far as sharing plates go, I'd recommend Baijiu over this based on a single experience at each.
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    Love those times you get a chance to eat here


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    Love this place.


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    Those yellow things at the end of the bike stands are ugly. The whole thing looks really half assed. Love the sugar bowl but not so much the bike stands out front.

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    Huh... they are for visibility and far from half-assed.
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    Yeah, they're quarter-assed at best.
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    Yeah, Top_Dawg gave the Sugar Bowl a few chances.

    Place looks and feels like a cornholio party in the basement of somebody's rented house.

    Add in the aloof service and the fact they try and push their $hit import beer on you because they don't have any decent domestic bottles.

    No wonder the dweeb contingent from U of A thinks it's great.

    Not Top_Dawg's thing.

  23. #3023

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    Sugarbowl was a go-to 5 years ago. Now it's just another in a long list of OK places, with crap parking.
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    Yep, I'll pop in if I'm in the area but I won't deal with the hassle of Garneau just to patronize them. The Blue Plate is rapidly following the same downgrade path on 104th for me.
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    Tough crowd this Edmonton. Thankfully there are Milestones with ample, easy parking at SEC!
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    Tough crowd this Edmonton. Thankfully there are Milestones with ample, easy parking at SEC!
    The hyperbole! It hurts my eyes! Seriously, I can park on 104 St or 103 Ave 7 days a week and walk to a dozen better places. Sugarbowl had its time, but it's past its prime. This entire forum knows that I wouldn't eat at a dump like Milestones and despise big box retail, so you lose that argument immediately.
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  27. #3027

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    Hopped into Malt & Mortar on Saturday night with the girlfriend. We had the fish and chips and the duck club. Delicious, though the fish and chips was extremely greasy, would not get again for that reason. Much bigger establishment than I expected, and I can't wait to see what they do with that alley space in the summer.

    Baijiu again mid-week last week as well. I'm pretty sure this is my new favorite place. They nailed every dish and the service was great. Only gripe is I wish they had a better beer selection at some lower price points.
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    ^^ Exactly. What was once a unique draw worth the effort of getting to Garneau is now a mostly fungible experience that can be gotten at a variety of options, with less effort.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Yeah, Top_Dawg gave the Sugar Bowl a few chances.

    Place looks and feels like a cornholio party in the basement of somebody's rented house.

    Add in the aloof service and the fact they try and push their $hit import beer on you because they don't have any decent domestic bottles.

    No wonder the dweeb contingent from U of A thinks it's great.

    Not Top_Dawg's thing.
    Just to repost my past view that the whole Sugar Bowl thing is like the "Brunch" episode of Portlandia where a ton of hipsters want to go to the one place for Brunch and ridiculous lineups and people freaking and stressing about getting in and another has a great brunch for 2.99 and nobody there... lol that people will line up for an hour at Sugar Bowl and the much better High Level Diner is like steps away.

    meh, back in the day the best University place for food and drink was "The Powerplant" Library lounge was also a nice place to kick back and relax. We stayed away from the vomit factories that RATT and Deweys used to be with people seemingly drinking for the first time and projectile vomiting.
    Last edited by Replacement; 27-03-2017 at 10:24 AM.
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    Although Malt and Mortar is not Top_Dawg's kind of place he must say he was quite impressed with it the one time he popped in.

    The place is comfortable and a lot bigger than one would think it is from the outside.

    Extends back a long way.

    And Top_Dawg found the service surprisingly good for what he has come to expect from these type of joints.

    But O2's is still Top_Dawg's go to around there.

  31. #3031

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    It's not really any different than Hudson's, but with craft beer on tap.
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    ^^^^^ I have a hard time having fish & chips in any place other than Brits, where I can get a couple of good non-greasy pieces of halibut with my fries. It's not as hip and sexy as Malt & Mortar or the new Grandin fish & chips restaurant, but then again I care more about good food than about looking cool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Just to repost my past view that the whole Sugar Bowl thing is like the "Brunch" episode of Portlandia where a ton of hipsters want to go to the one place for Brunch and ridiculous lineups and people freaking and stressing about getting in and another has a great brunch for 2.99 and nobody there... lol that people will line up for an hour at Sugar Bowl and the much better High Level Diner is like steps away.
    Funny you should mention that.

    Last fall the bulls dragged Top_Dawg out to a lunch.

    They tried getting into the Sugar Bowl.

    To Top_Dawg's delight there was no available tables for a party that size.

    Since everyone already underwent the ordeal of finding parking in the area the bulls decided to go to High Level Diner.

    There was no problem getting tables and the food was excellent.



    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    meh, back in the day the best University place for food and drink was "The Powerplant" Library lounge was also a nice place to kick back and relax. We stayed away from the vomit factories that RATT and Deweys used to be with people seemingly drinking for the first time and projectile vomiting.
    Yeah, Top_Dawg felt the same way.

    Not at all a fan of either RATT or Dewey's.

    However, to Top_Dawg's recollection, back then The Power Plant was for grad students only, wasn't it ?

    Actually none of the joints operated by the Student's Union ever held much appeal to Top_Dawg.

    Today's students have it way better with on campus options like Earl's and Sherlock's.

    Top_Dawg actually pops into Campus Sherlock's if he's in the area.

    Although the drinks are on the expensive side.

    And Top_Dawg is also leery because he remembers that a few years ago, Newton Place had a bed bug infestation from hell on all the apartment floors above.

  34. #3034

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Just to repost my past view that the whole Sugar Bowl thing is like the "Brunch" episode of Portlandia where a ton of hipsters want to go to the one place for Brunch and ridiculous lineups and people freaking and stressing about getting in and another has a great brunch for 2.99 and nobody there... lol that people will line up for an hour at Sugar Bowl and the much better High Level Diner is like steps away.
    When Cora opened people lined up forever for the same crap that you could get at every other Denny's type place with the only difference being an extra apple slice and 20% higher prices.
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    Well Top_Dawg doesn't know about that.

    Top_Dawg has never been to Cora's in Emmonton.

    But he's been to one in Toronto.

    And it's different and better than Denny's, Smitty's, Albert's etc.

  36. #3036

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Just to repost my past view that the whole Sugar Bowl thing is like the "Brunch" episode of Portlandia where a ton of hipsters want to go to the one place for Brunch and ridiculous lineups and people freaking and stressing about getting in and another has a great brunch for 2.99 and nobody there... lol that people will line up for an hour at Sugar Bowl and the much better High Level Diner is like steps away.
    Funny you should mention that.

    Last fall the bulls dragged Top_Dawg out to a lunch.

    They tried getting into the Sugar Bowl.

    To Top_Dawg's delight there was no available tables for a party that size.

    Since everyone already underwent the ordeal of finding parking in the area the bulls decided to go to High Level Diner.

    There was no problem getting tables and the food was excellent.



    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    meh, back in the day the best University place for food and drink was "The Powerplant" Library lounge was also a nice place to kick back and relax. We stayed away from the vomit factories that RATT and Deweys used to be with people seemingly drinking for the first time and projectile vomiting.
    Yeah, Top_Dawg felt the same way.

    Not at all a fan of either RATT or Dewey's.

    However, to Top_Dawg's recollection, back then The Power Plant was for grad students only, wasn't it ?

    Actually none of the joints operated by the Student's Union ever held much appeal to Top_Dawg.

    Today's students have it way better with on campus options like Earl's and Sherlock's.

    Top_Dawg actually pops into Campus Sherlock's if he's in the area.

    Although the drinks are on the expensive side.

    And Top_Dawg is also leery because he remembers that a few years ago, Newton Place had a bed bug infestation from hell on all the apartment floors above.
    In University I had lots of connections. heh, a lot of grad student friends. You only had to get signed in to drink there. Anybody could go in have the great home cooking type food there. They didn't check. Large plates of everything you ordered. Was always the best deal on campus as befits grad students on a budget.
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  37. #3037

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    ^^^^^ I have a hard time having fish & chips in any place other than Brits, where I can get a couple of good non-greasy pieces of halibut with my fries. It's not as hip and sexy as Malt & Mortar or the new Grandin fish & chips restaurant, but then again I care more about good food than about looking cool.
    Sometimes the best places are the least attractive. I do plan to hit the other soon.

  38. #3038
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    Brits is definitely tops for fish and chips downtown for me. None of the other new places serving it have been all that great imo (including Grandin).
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  39. #3039

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Baijiu again mid-week last week as well. I'm pretty sure this is my new favorite place. They nailed every dish and the service was great. Only gripe is I wish they had a better beer selection at some lower price points.
    Baijiu has fantastic food and great drink. My biggest gripe is the volume of the place--it starts out with the music at a good volume and then steadily increases to the point where you can't hear each other talk as the evening wears on (I have the same issue with Rostizado next door) But then again, it is well established by now that I am a fuddy-duddy when it comes to staying out late, so perhaps that doesn't matter.
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    XO Bistro just okay. Food lacks flavour, vermicelli bowls need some work. Even Vietnamese coffee not that flavourful.

    I hope they can survive but mixed experience. Wait to be seated, but no one there except me. Not sure if it's a restaurant or bar. Loud rap music which suggests bar. But then why would I wait to be seated? I was a Monday so hoping they're doing well on game days. Plus they'll need to have a long term game plan cause there's years of construction yet in the area. Food needs to knock it out of the park to survive. I was hopefuly for a good Downtown Vietnamese.
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham View Post
    Brits is definitely tops for fish and chips downtown for me. None of the other new places serving it have been all that great imo (including Grandin).
    How about Back Home Fish and Chips on 124 St and 104 Ave?
    I feel in no way entitled to your opinion...

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    ^I recall it being pretty greasy, but the last time I had it was a decade ago.

    ^^Thanks for the review. Sounds like a hard pass for me.
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    I kinda like back home, but I've got to be in a very specific mood to want to go there. Haven't been for quite a while, though.
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    Best fish and chips is the two piece Sunday special at Atlantic Trap and Gill.

    If you can handle the tacky Newfie schtick.

    The few times Top_Dawg has had it he substituted salad for fries and remarkably the salad has always been fresh, unlike a lot of places.

    Just keep a healthy distance away from the big azz sea hags, both the ones tending the bar and their friends who have been partying all weekend, because by Sunday afternoon they are very desperate to get a baloney pony ride in before the end of the weekend.

    Bon appetit.

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    ^Should call it the hangover special except for those still sneaking shots of screech out of a paper bag. Man, that place has its special atmosphere, imported straight from the wrong part of Newfoundland. Some friends wanted to go to eat there. On a Sunday, we tapped out after 10mins. Didn't even drink the water. I could barely understand what nature of language and speech was going on in the place. Whatever it was it felt like the denizens had spotted us. It was like the hotel bar scene in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Whatever you do don't go to the washrooms. Or make eye contact.
    Last edited by Replacement; 28-03-2017 at 11:09 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    When Cora opened people lined up forever for the same crap that you could get at every other Denny's type place with the only difference being an extra apple slice and 20% higher prices.
    Only 20% higher?? What did you have a coupon?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    ^Should call it the hangover special except for those still sneaking shots of screech out of a paper bag. Man, that place has its special atmosphere, imported straight from the wrong part of Newfoundland. Some friends wanted to go to eat there. On a Sunday, we tapped out after 10mins. Didn't even drink the water. I could barely understand what nature of language and speech was going on in the place. Whatever it was it felt like the denizens had spotted us. It was like the hotel bar scene in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Whatever you do don't go to the washrooms. Or make eye contact.


    Yeah, Top_Dawg can totally understand your sentiment.

    Top_Dawg has some friends that say the one in Calgary is nothing like the one here.

    Anybody been to the one in Calgary ?

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    I totally forgot that Atlantic Trap and Gill was still around. The two Maritimers who used to host the Big Breakfast on A-Channel used to hang out there all the time.
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    I thought all the newfies went home after oil tanked.
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    Has The Hat recently changed ownership or management? I've always liked the room well enough, and the burgers were decent, but service has always been at best passable and occasionally non-existent. I popped in there last night to grab a beer and quick bite before the hockey game, as Kelly's was slammed. The Hat was I'd say a little over half full, with the majority of the tables occupied but no one at the wood. Maybe 30-40 people? I took a seat at the bar as I didn't see any open tables, and walked past a couple standing at the front waiting for a table. Not sure if there was a "wait to be seated" sign I didn't notice. As I sat down I overheard what I would guess is the owner/manager apologizing for the wait, as I think they must have been standing there unacknowledged for awhile or something. There was no music playing, nor were they playing audio from sports channel on the TVs. Just silence, other than people's voices. It was really odd. All the TV's looked to be playing standard def TV as well, which looks just unbelievably bad these days.

    After sitting at the bar for 2-3 minutes, and seeing no evidence of an actual bartender, the manager guy came over and gave me a menu and some cutlery before immediately turning to the table behind me without taking a drink order. I heard him apologizing to that table, as well, I would assume for food taking awhile or something. There did appear to be a waitress/bartender running food out to tables. So as far as I could see, they had 2 people serving about three dozen people at over a dozen tables. The menu has also changed, with a bunch more options instead of just burgers and a few appies. It's all over the map now.

    After sitting at the bar for close to 10 minutes with little hope of making a drink or food order, I left. Looks like a total disaster, whoever is running the place now.

    Ended up going to Metro instead. Service was passable, I guess. By then my friend had joined me. We wanted something quick as it was getting close to game time, so he ordered a Montreal smoked meat sandwich, and I just opted for a bowl of poutine. For some reason that took 25 minutes, I'm pretty sure 21 of which my poutine sat under a heat lamp. My friend's sandwich was "decent", at least.

    It's actually kind of surprising to me how few good options there are for a pre-game drink and food. Kelly's is generally the first choice, as their food is pretty decent. Mercer is fine if you're just doing a drink, they've never had good food. Joey's is slammed, I don't even bother going there. There's the places on Rice Howard, but l almost feel like I'm going the wrong way if head that way. In hindsight, we probably should have done Fionn MacCool's. It just seems like either the place is halfway decent and it's impossible to get a seat, or it's terrible and there's plenty of room. It's time for the terrible places to get their crap together or move out of the way for some new concepts.

  51. #3051

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    Excellent summary Marcel. Some natural selection will probably occur after the Entertainment district goes up. Some of the poorly run, inefficient establishments will simply whither up and die. No excuse for not having prompt service in the area. It needs to be that. How are places like Craft doing since the Arena has been up? They seem much better run. To me that's more like the commensurate big leagues. Better in everyway than the 104st slack establishments

    ps silence shouldn't be really odd, it should be golden..
    Last edited by Replacement; 29-03-2017 at 11:17 AM.
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    Thanks Marcel.

    Good story.

    The Hat sounds brutal.

    Well you were almost at Hawkeye's and you will get good food and service there.

    Top_Dawg also suggests Rose and Crown.

  53. #3053

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    Metro needs to invest in a renovation and some chairs that don't look like they were found in the dumpster behind BP's in the 90's. The size and location gives them every opportunity to be a money printing machine. Don't know about Hat, I thought it was overrated from day 1, though they get props for being one of the first to gamble on the rebirth of downtown (one of the first from Oil City group).

    You are right though that pre-game there aren't many standard pub options, however there's Denizen Hall (closed Sun-Mon though), Rose and Crown, and Chop right there as well. Fionne MacCool's would probably have been your best bet if you wanted proximity.
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  54. #3054
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    Yeah, I overlooked Underground as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz
    Metro needs to invest in a renovation and some chairs that don't look like they were found in the dumpster behind BP's in the 90's.


    Actually, it looked like a fair amount of their furniture was brand new, or very recently purchased. But it was oddly placed and laid out, I thought. And they did some sort of suspended lighting accent over top of the bar that looked silly and makes little sense. The place looks slapped together.

  55. #3055
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Has The Hat recently changed ownership or management? I've always liked the room well enough, and the burgers were decent, but service has always been at best passable and occasionally non-existent. I popped in there last night to grab a beer and quick bite before the hockey game, as Kelly's was slammed. The Hat was I'd say a little over half full, with the majority of the tables occupied but no one at the wood. Maybe 30-40 people? I took a seat at the bar as I didn't see any open tables, and walked past a couple standing at the front waiting for a table. Not sure if there was a "wait to be seated" sign I didn't notice. As I sat down I overheard what I would guess is the owner/manager apologizing for the wait, as I think they must have been standing there unacknowledged for awhile or something. There was no music playing, nor were they playing audio from sports channel on the TVs. Just silence, other than people's voices. It was really odd. All the TV's looked to be playing standard def TV as well, which looks just unbelievably bad these days.

    After sitting at the bar for 2-3 minutes, and seeing no evidence of an actual bartender, the manager guy came over and gave me a menu and some cutlery before immediately turning to the table behind me without taking a drink order. I heard him apologizing to that table, as well, I would assume for food taking awhile or something. There did appear to be a waitress/bartender running food out to tables. So as far as I could see, they had 2 people serving about three dozen people at over a dozen tables. The menu has also changed, with a bunch more options instead of just burgers and a few appies. It's all over the map now.

    After sitting at the bar for close to 10 minutes with little hope of making a drink or food order, I left. Looks like a total disaster, whoever is running the place now.

    Ended up going to Metro instead. Service was passable, I guess. By then my friend had joined me. We wanted something quick as it was getting close to game time, so he ordered a Montreal smoked meat sandwich, and I just opted for a bowl of poutine. For some reason that took 25 minutes, I'm pretty sure 21 of which my poutine sat under a heat lamp. My friend's sandwich was "decent", at least.

    It's actually kind of surprising to me how few good options there are for a pre-game drink and food. Kelly's is generally the first choice, as their food is pretty decent. Mercer is fine if you're just doing a drink, they've never had good food. Joey's is slammed, I don't even bother going there. There's the places on Rice Howard, but l almost feel like I'm going the wrong way if head that way. In hindsight, we probably should have done Fionn MacCool's. It just seems like either the place is halfway decent and it's impossible to get a seat, or it's terrible and there's plenty of room. It's time for the terrible places to get their crap together or move out of the way for some new concepts.
    Mike still owns it, good guy. He has had a few long time servers leave him in the last few months, at least two I know for sure who were excellent. That is my pre-game stop also, and it sucks he hasn't found better replacements as we definitely noticed it the last time we were in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Metro needs to invest in a renovation and some chairs that don't look like they were found in the dumpster behind BP's in the 90's. The size and location gives them every opportunity to be a money printing machine. Don't know about Hat, I thought it was overrated from day 1, though they get props for being one of the first to gamble on the rebirth of downtown (one of the first from Oil City group).

    You are right though that pre-game there aren't many standard pub options, however there's Denizen Hall (closed Sun-Mon though), Rose and Crown, and Chop right there as well. Fionne MacCool's would probably have been your best bet if you wanted proximity.
    Or Match. There's usually a line in the 90 minutes before the game, but it goes quickly enough and it's actually right in the casino so you can have a drink while you wait.

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    If you were at the Hat, could have also just gone to Three Amigos, Remedy or Bricco. Along 101 St there's also State & Main and LUX (their 94 lounge in Commerce Place).
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    We've been going to Bistro Praha pre-game now for a while. Food and service is great! Helps that I work in Scotia Place and park for no extra charge.

  59. #3059

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Yeah, I overlooked Underground as well.
    You said RHW was in the wrong direction so I didn't suggest this, but that's easily my top place for a beer downtown. If you're going that far then you have Craft and Sherlock Holmes.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  60. #3060

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    Other pre-game options include Red Star, Rocky Mountain Ice House, The Needle, Crash Hotel, Denizen if you're looking for something similar.
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    Thanks Greener.

    But for Top_Dawg can you include just one option that isn't a total cornholio bath house.


  62. #3062

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Thanks Greener.

    But for Top_Dawg can you include just one option that isn't a total cornholio bath house.

    Too much for that loose o-ring of yours?
    I feel in no way entitled to your opinion...

  63. #3063

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Thanks Greener.

    But for Top_Dawg can you include just one option that isn't a total cornholio bath house.

    Needle and Denizen seem like they would be rather palatable to you.
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    Red Star is a good call. Rocky Mountain Ice House I gave up on soon after it opened, the food was terrible. Maybe they've improved. Needle is a great live music venue, but the food is not very good and service has been terrible the couple times I went there, with the bartender outright telling us not to order anything other than a pizza, essentially (and the friend I was there with, who had a long history in hospitality, was reasonably confident that most of the wait/serving staff that evening were high. And not pot high. I personally didn't notice, but I wasn't looking for it). Haven't done food at either Crash or Denizen, I'll have to see how those are.

    I guess what I'm getting at, is that there's a lot of places, especially in and around the warehouse zone, that really need to get their crap together.

  65. #3065

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    Seems to me the last thing people would want is going to smallish places before or after a game. Those are going to be overwhelmed. That's why I'd look at larger operations like Craft than can handle some volume or Chop that doesn't get enough crowds.

    Its booze, who cares where it is, I would avoid the trendy places and lineups. Also I think you have to get away from visual line of sight of Rogers to get better service right now. The places right by like Mercers or Kellys are probably inundated and don't have quick service to begin with.

    To me Craft seems just right. Quick walkers can get out there before the postgame crowd hits. The McLeod Tavern right next to it seems like a Suits kind of place. Thought it was pretty stuffy. I didn't get the vibe. Too bad, its in a very nice building.
    Last edited by Replacement; 29-03-2017 at 03:23 PM.
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  66. #3066

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    What are the Canadian Brewhouse, Red Robin, and 1st Rnd like after a game? I could seeing them busy, but also being able to handle the volumes. I know 1st Rnd will let you park for the duration of an event, if you register your vehicle there. My mother complained about the distance when she went with family to Garth Brooks a while back, but she is getting on in years, and I could see younger people managing the walk within a reasonable amount of time.

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    I doubt they see much of a bump after a game. Maybe Brewhouse would, but Red Robin and 1st Rnd are a pretty decent hike from the arena. 15-20 minute walk, anyways. I would think most of the post-game crowd will get captured before you cross 109th. Even at the Mercer, I've chatted with a few bartenders who are acquaintances and sometimes on weekday game nights they hardly see much of a bump after the game.

    All bets are off during the playoffs, though.

    edit: I was actually surprised to see that Hudson's/The Pint are pretty much the same distance from Roger's as 1st Rnd. The whole long street blocks and short avenue blocks messes with the perception of distance.
    Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 29-03-2017 at 05:10 PM.

  68. #3068

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    ^Try Crash. I think you'll be very pleased. Nathan Bye of Ampersand 27 is working there now. It has an ol' school bar vibe. Denizen has always been compatible to Kelly's or Mercer for me in the way of food.
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  69. #3069

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenSPACE View Post
    XO Bistro just okay. Food lacks flavour, vermicelli bowls need some work. Even Vietnamese coffee not that flavourful.

    I hope they can survive but mixed experience. Wait to be seated, but no one there except me. Not sure if it's a restaurant or bar. Loud rap music which suggests bar. But then why would I wait to be seated? I was a Monday so hoping they're doing well on game days. Plus they'll need to have a long term game plan cause there's years of construction yet in the area. Food needs to knock it out of the park to survive. I was hopefuly for a good Downtown Vietnamese.
    Not to play the thread police, but...why is this in "Must Try" Edmonton restaurants thread if you didn't like it much?
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  70. #3070

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Mercers or Kellys are probably inundated and don't have quick service to begin with.
    Still shocks me that both of these places can be so perfectly located yet be so terrible at their core business of pouring beers. Both of them could make piles more cash if they just got a little better at what they do.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  71. #3071

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Mercers or Kellys are probably inundated and don't have quick service to begin with.
    Still shocks me that both of these places can be so perfectly located yet be so terrible at their core business of pouring beers. Both of them could make piles more cash if they just got a little better at what they do.
    Yeah, not sure theres even such a thing as a hammer tavern anymore. The type of place that server comes to your table every 10-15mins and keeps em coming. One reason for that is you just won't get service staff anymore that makes that kind of an effort. They want premium tips, better pay, but on **** service. Whether its drinks, food, whatever. I can see that servers are told under proserve guidelines not to serve or take orders as frequently as used to be the case but theres no excuse for not coming around for an hour or making people wait when they sit down. Remember the places that would have your drinks at the table almost the moment you sat down? Never happen now.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  72. #3072

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    Quote Originally Posted by Idealistic Pragmatist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenSPACE View Post
    XO Bistro just okay. Food lacks flavour, vermicelli bowls need some work. Even Vietnamese coffee not that flavourful.

    I hope they can survive but mixed experience. Wait to be seated, but no one there except me. Not sure if it's a restaurant or bar. Loud rap music which suggests bar. But then why would I wait to be seated? I was a Monday so hoping they're doing well on game days. Plus they'll need to have a long term game plan cause there's years of construction yet in the area. Food needs to knock it out of the park to survive. I was hopefuly for a good Downtown Vietnamese.
    Not to play the thread police, but...why is this in "Must Try" Edmonton restaurants thread if you didn't like it much?
    The converse of that, assumedly, is "Must Try" anywhere else...

    jk aside its natural to give good and bad reviews in a thread like this. Which is actually just as much a service to readers.
    Last edited by Replacement; 29-03-2017 at 06:30 PM.
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  73. #3073

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    ^ Oh, I absolutely agree that it's great to give bad reviews too! But there are other threads to do that in than the "must-try restaurants" one. I'm just saying there's a whole subforum for restaurants and eating, not just this one thread, so let's not clog this specific thread with all of the other stuff (as useful as it also can be).
    “It’s so beautiful. What sort of bird is that?”

  74. #3074

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Remember the places that would have your drinks at the table almost the moment you sat down? Never happen now.
    Ah the good old server-has-ESP days...

    Do you always go to the same places and have the same drink?
    I feel in no way entitled to your opinion...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Seems to me the last thing people would want is going to smallish places before or after a game. Those are going to be overwhelmed. That's why I'd look at larger operations like Craft than can handle some volume or Chop that doesn't get enough crowds.
    Not sure about Chop – buddy of mine went pre-game at season's start and found the staff overwhelmed and the service brutally slow. (On the bright side, they comped his entire bill in recognition of it.) Perhaps they have the situation sorted out by now, though?

    Denizen has decent food (original menu was created by Nate Box, I believe, although they've change it up a bit since then) – I can't say I've had a bad experience there. If I'm pre-gaming, though, I usually hit up Red Star (rather overlooked, imo, by the Oilers crowd, which is part of the reason why I go!) or even Common/District on 109 if I'm willing to suck up the extra hike or LRT ride.

    You're right on the money, though, Marcel; lots of establishments DT need to step it up.
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  76. #3076

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    Quote Originally Posted by Idealistic Pragmatist View Post
    ^ Oh, I absolutely agree that it's great to give bad reviews too! But there are other threads to do that in than the "must-try restaurants" one. I'm just saying there's a whole subforum for restaurants and eating, not just this one thread, so let's not clog this specific thread with all of the other stuff (as useful as it also can be).
    Ya, I could have put it in another thread. I don't often give bad reviews, I wanted to like it. Maybe thread name should be changed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    I doubt they see much of a bump after a game. Maybe Brewhouse would, but Red Robin and 1st Rnd are a pretty decent hike from the arena. 15-20 minute walk, anyways. I would think most of the post-game crowd will get captured before you cross 109th. Even at the Mercer, I've chatted with a few bartenders who are acquaintances and sometimes on weekday game nights they hardly see much of a bump after the game.

    All bets are off during the playoffs, though.

    edit: I was actually surprised to see that Hudson's/The Pint are pretty much the same distance from Roger's as 1st Rnd. The whole long street blocks and short avenue blocks messes with the perception of distance.
    1ST RND pushes its proximity to the arena pretty hard. I even saw a sign saying "just a 1000 steps away"!
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  78. #3078

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    Also, Blue Plate diner has $5 pints 3-7pm pre-games.
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  79. #3079

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Remember the places that would have your drinks at the table almost the moment you sat down? Never happen now.
    Ah the good old server-has-ESP days...

    Do you always go to the same places and have the same drink?
    When I was young and frivolous I worked on a Construction crew, so yes, wherever we were it took the waiters maybe a few days before they knew your order AND your pace. Back in the day there wasn't 913 types of beer either. So it was easier then to get an order right. But the main point being attentive service. Its become a rare quantity. Wherever we go now the servers are more interested in interacting with each other than serving customers. The goals seem to have changed. Rather than work its about hanging out and being part of the tap crew or whatever so that every establishment is a social club of sorts for the people working there. Used to be about service.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  80. #3080

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenSPACE View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Idealistic Pragmatist View Post
    ^ Oh, I absolutely agree that it's great to give bad reviews too! But there are other threads to do that in than the "must-try restaurants" one. I'm just saying there's a whole subforum for restaurants and eating, not just this one thread, so let's not clog this specific thread with all of the other stuff (as useful as it also can be).
    Ya, I could have put it in another thread. I don't often give bad reviews, I wanted to like it. Maybe thread name should be changed.
    I vote no. I like having a specific "these are the restaurants you REALLY can't miss" thread (which is why I'm harping on this). There could definitely stand to be a different "went in with high expectations that weren't met" restaurant thread, though.
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  81. #3081
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    My pregame spots:

    Crash Lobby
    Rose and Crown
    Red Star
    Kellys
    Sherlocks

    etc.
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  82. #3082
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    ^

    Thanks for buying Top_Dawg a coupla beer last time at the Rose.

  83. #3083

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    Quote Originally Posted by Idealistic Pragmatist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenSPACE View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Idealistic Pragmatist View Post
    ^ Oh, I absolutely agree that it's great to give bad reviews too! But there are other threads to do that in than the "must-try restaurants" one. I'm just saying there's a whole subforum for restaurants and eating, not just this one thread, so let's not clog this specific thread with all of the other stuff (as useful as it also can be).
    Ya, I could have put it in another thread. I don't often give bad reviews, I wanted to like it. Maybe thread name should be changed.
    I vote no. I like having a specific "these are the restaurants you REALLY can't miss" thread (which is why I'm harping on this). There could definitely stand to be a different "went in with high expectations that weren't met" restaurant thread, though.
    In reality this thread has rarely delivered on "must try"
    Instead its focused on new restaurants, which is indicative of how much turnover there is in the restaurant industry here. Its even focused a lot on fastfood. Something that should never be on must try lists. Or things like pho. Virtually 80 of the content of the thread topic is pretty unremarkable food recommendations. When it isn't just Ian telling us what he had for lunch.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

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    Looks like I'll have to add Crash and Red Star to the pre-game list. Good suggestions, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz
    Still shocks me that both of these places can be so perfectly located yet be so terrible at their core business of pouring beers. Both of them could make piles more cash if they just got a little better at what they do.


    Kelly's is fine for what it is. The food is pretty decent pub grub. Draught beer selection has a good mix. Service is generally decent, although when it's really busy it can get a bit slow. And their business reflects that. I virtually never see the place less than half or even three quarters full, whether for lunch or the evening crowd. I don't know how they could do much better than they already are. Mercer definitely has it's issues, very much agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Idealistic Pragmatist
    ^ Oh, I absolutely agree that it's great to give bad reviews too! But there are other threads to do that in than the "must-try restaurants" one. I'm just saying there's a whole subforum for restaurants and eating, not just this one thread, so let's not clog this specific thread with all of the other stuff (as useful as it also can be)


    I'm probably to blame as it was my recent post that kicked off the most recent discussion. I looked in the forum and this thread is the more or less de-facto restaurant review thread. Most of the other threads haven't been posted on in months and didn't seem any better of a fit. And I didn't see the need to start a new thread, either.

    Meh.

  85. #3085

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    I think it's safe to say that this thread turned into a "Edmonton restaurant" megathread, and I'm fine with that. I love all the dialogue. If it were just reviews we'd get the odd post, mostly one-liners from Ian saying his latest frittata was great (which is fine!)
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    I've sent the Admin a message requesting a thread title change. Wouldn't hurt for the rest of you to do likewise!
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    ^^^^^ I have a hard time having fish & chips in any place other than Brits, where I can get a couple of good non-greasy pieces of halibut with my fries. It's not as hip and sexy as Malt & Mortar or the new Grandin fish & chips restaurant, but then again I care more about good food than about looking cool.



    Wow was Top_Dawg ever enveloped by a cloud of grease.

    He was crossing 109 street at 99 avenue and it was like walking into a deep fryer.

    Top_Dawg can only imagine what one's clothes would smell like if ever one was to eat at Grandin Fish & Chips.

    Would cling to you for days.

  88. #3088

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    I've sent the Admin a message requesting a thread title change. Wouldn't hurt for the rest of you to do likewise!
    That would make me cryyyy.

    I would love it if the other threads in this forum saw some action, though, including some of the critical ones. Or if new ones were created!
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    Graham Hicks review of Grandin Fish & Chips
    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2017/04/0...ips-done-right

    I guess I'll keep an eye on their Fish of the Day and make the plunge accordingly.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  90. #3090
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    Great neighbourhood amenity, that's for sure.

    Alta has really challenged us... are you ready?


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  91. #3091

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    A growing number of people have dietary restrictions, gluten free, celiac, etc.

    Just like to mention that Pearl River Chinese restaurant (99st, just north of Whitemud) do an excellent job attending to dietary restrictions. This being one place that are gracious, appreciate you letting them know of restrictions and they enjoy their customers. Clearly they want their customers coming back, they get a lot of regulars, easy to see why. I'm celiac, never had a reaction eating there. That said I never have any deep fried food(which is breaded and in fryers) and stick to stir fries and rice and the like. Its a nice pleasant space as well. A trip to the Wild Bird store is nice after. They have a lot of interesting, and eclectic nature, and other stuff crammed in there. Also a decent coffee place in that strip mall.

    Another one that makes the cut for me is High Level Diner. They even have Gluten Free Fish and Chips once a week and use gluten free batter, and a separate fryer they say. I've not had a reaction. I've had several different things on the menu, they have daily specials, and the place is ideal for evenings and a post dinner stroll. Beautiful location and area of the city. They also have a reasonable patio and sheltered from any wind and dust.

    I should state the proviso that everybodies tolerance sensitivity is different. What works for me may not work for everybody and some people may have reactions, you never know, people have different levels of reaction to cross contamination, or food allergen sensitivity in general
    But the one thing I can state with confidence regarding the two above establishments is they treat you like they want to have you there. Not like some places that consistently treat food allergen issues as if you are just trying to be annoying and they can't be bothered.

    Worst experience I've had regarding food allergen; Moxies, South Common. The waitress was annoyed from the moment we mentioned Celiac disease, she had a notable reaction to this, stammered, and asked us "are you going to die on us if you get some gluten"? Unbelievable. She thought she was being funny. She thought her comment was appropriate. I later assured her it wasn't the best thing to state to a celiac and didn't recommend that she continue to use that as an ice breaker.. two tables next to us looked over and groaned when she had said that. She just didn't get it. My take was she was a mother and assumed I was just a picky eater, like sometimes children can be.
    Last edited by Replacement; 06-04-2017 at 06:33 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    Graham Hicks review of Grandin Fish & Chips
    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2017/04/0...ips-done-right

    I guess I'll keep an eye on their Fish of the Day and make the plunge accordingly.
    " The Common is arguably the best “gastropub” in Edmonton. "




    Hoo boi.



    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post

    Alta has really challenged us... are you ready?



    Challenged us to what ?


    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Worst experience I've had regarding food allergen; Moxies, South Common. The waitress was annoyed from the moment we mentioned Celiac disease, she had a notable reaction to this, stammered, and asked us "are you going to die on us if you get some gluten"? Unbelievable. She thought she was being funny. She thought her comment was appropriate. I later assured her it wasn't the best thing to state to a celiac and didn't recommend that she continue to use that as an ice breaker.. two tables next to us looked over and groaned when she had said that. She just didn't get it. My take was she was a mother and assumed I was just a picky eater, like sometimes children can be.



    Classic.

  93. #3093

    Default

    Alta has challenged me to ask, what is Alta? What is the alder room and why is the façade so plain and does it have plain white plates? Or is it a soup kitchen? The streetfront view is akin to the commercial you just watched and have no idea what the commercial is actually advertising. It just happens to be standing for something, it could be anything. This is apparently thought of as street front clever on Jasper Avenue except that its innately stupid. Business is in a visual location and not using visual as an informational modality to attract, you know, business. cryptic confusion. No soup for me, apparently I'm not ready.

    Maybe the masons are meeting in there and this is just a front..
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  94. #3094

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    Great neighbourhood amenity, that's for sure.

    Alta has really challenged us... are you ready?
    Their website is pretty much the antithesis of an effective restaurant webpage & their choice of dish used in the picture certainly is challenging me, just not in the way you intended. Another restaurant I'll never set foot in. Zero vegetarian entrees & nothing even remotely healthy on the menu.

    Looks like another try-hard Edmonton restaurant trying to ape what was being done in major cities 3 years ago. It's certainly in the right spot for it on Jasper, in and amongst its contemporaries.

    Pass.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  95. #3095

    Default

    Again, we at c2e are great armchair critics. I do find it interesting that someone with a bit of entrepreneurial spirit so readily trashes others with similar spirit. Fortunately I don't place much credibility on critiques like the above. It's a restaurant - how's the food? Yeah that stuff you put in your mouth. Signage, websites? Yes, marketing and PR are critical but I can sure understand those with a singular focus on great food, lacking marketing skills.

    Hopefully someone with actual eating, not walking by or socializing experience at this Alta place will step up and offer some thoughts - on the food.



    Here's More information via Google - articles on the concept, not much on the reality except this guy had to compromise on the rental space.

    Chef Ben Staley secures space for side-by-side restaurants on Jasper Avenue | Edmonton Journal


    http://edmontonjournal.com/life/food...-jasper-avenue

    "Alder Room will be focused on intensely local fare, and patrons will sit at a counter where they can watch their own chef (who will also be their server) prepare their meal.

    “It will be very unstuffy and casual,” says Staley, who often leads specialty cooking classes at Get Cooking.

    Alta is more of a shared-plates concept, with local specialties such as smoked fish, pickles and other fermentations, and a focus on wine.

    Staley, who was the opening chef at North 53, will be executive chef in both kitchens, but he’ll hire a yet-to-be selected chef de cuisine to lead the team at Alta. With two restaurants, Staley has plans to purchase whole animals, serving the finer cuts at The Alder Room, and terrines and pates from the off-cuts in Alta.

    “It’s more sustainable and responsible on our end,” says Staley of using the whole animal."
    Alta and the Alder Room: Chef Ben Staley’s new ventures look to connect the kitchen with the diners | Vue Weekly

    ...
    To say that Staley’s restaurants have a local focus—a claim that seems to be made by everyone, these days—would be a grand understatement. Staley immediately and staunchly rejects the idea of ever using Sysco or Gordon Food Services, assuring that he’ll be relying on only a handful of nearby farmers in Alberta and BC. It’s not an easy task, as many other ventures have discovered, but Staley notes that it’s definitely possible for most (albeit not all) restaurants.

    “It just needs to be a very solid point in what you’re trying to achieve,” he says. “It’s not just some word that we’re throwing around; it’s a business model for us. … It’s to the point that we don’t use black pepper; we don’t use olive oil; we don’t use vanilla, no chocolate. Our salt even comes from Canada.”

    Staley made a name for himself a few years ago as the opening chef at North 53. His focus there was similar in that he only used Canadian ingredients, but he admits that he’s become a bit more humble about his philosophy since then.

    “When I was back at North [53], I had a pretty naive or ignorant outlook on some things—basically saying I was going to develop a Canadian cuisine,” Staley explains. “Who am I to develop a cuisine for all of these people that are living in this place? Now we like to say it’s our expression or our interpretation of Canadian food. … Just basically utilizing the ingredients that come within our region and specifically only our region.”


    http://www.vueweekly.com/alta-and-th...th-the-diners/
    Last edited by KC; 06-04-2017 at 10:10 AM.

  96. #3096

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Again, we at c2e are great armchair critics. I do find it interesting that someone with a bit of entrepreneurial spirit so readily trashes others with similar spirit. Fortunately I don't place much credibility on critiques like the above. It's a restaurant - how's the food? Yeah that stuff you put in your mouth.
    It's inedible, as in there's zero entrees on their menu that I can actually eat. Seems like a pretty valid criticism. I can't really go much further in depth if there's nothing I can/will eat. Kinda a deal breaker.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  97. #3097
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Downtown
    Posts
    3,700

    Default

    Come now noodle.

    Not even a plateful of last year's preserves ?

    How about some unripe plums ?

    Who makes this $hit up ?


  98. #3098

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Come now noodle.

    Not even a plateful of last year's preserves ?

    How about some unripe plums ?

    Who makes this $hit up ?

    Yeah. I've eaten at some pretty costly restaurants over the years and still prefer pizza, burgers, pastas, etc. most of the time. $100 - $200 a plate meals are like fine (aka expensive) wines to me - a waste of money, because I'd rather have juice or pop.

    I like what I like and high prices, glorious decor or minimalist design or whatever flavour of the day design, owner status, etc. doesn't improve the taste to me.

  99. #3099

    Default

    I've walked past that building a few times now and wondered why they felt the need to have so little signage. The windows are so dark and the lack of any info makes it feel closed, even when it's open. Forget the food, the place is so forgettable that I don't recall its existence mere moments after staring right at it.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  100. #3100

    Default

    Anyone taking a risk to open a retail business, especially hospitality, gets my kudos regardless of what it is.

    Alta can't be more than 30 seats, so either he makes it or he doesn't. It won't be for everyone. But that's okay in a city of a million.
    www.decl.org

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