One event that comes up for me every February is the Campus Food Bank’s annual Mac ‘n Cheese Affair fundraiser. JP has been involved with the Campus Food Bank for years and for as long as I have known him, I have attended the event (I even did a recap from a few years ago). The Campus Food Bank does tremendous work for students, staff and alumni at the University of Alberta in the fight against hunger. I love their motto/mission of “Hunger for knowledge, not food” because that really is what student life and university should be about – the pursuit of knowledge.
Despite my social hibernation this month, I have taken some time to meet up with some friends and lengthy brunches have been on the agenda. Cured Wine Bar recently started offering brunch and my fellow food loving friend Cindy rounded a bunch of the “food friends” up to go for brunch (her review is already up!). Cured Wine Bar is located in Ellerslie and I have to admit, my preference is usually to head out to the city centre instead of the suburbs, but for good food, I am willing to make the drive.
There is a space that I absolutely love in downtown Edmonton and that is the restored Alberta Hotel on Jasper Avenue. When it was Tavern 1903, it was my go-to place for all occasions, so I was devastated when it closed. Recently though, the Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen has taken over the space and started serving up delicious bites and drinks.
Earlier this week, Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen had their grand opening with a set menu. A few friends were there for dinner and I heard it was a wonderful meal. I wasn’t able to make it but I did pop over during their soft opening phase! I am always dubious about reviewing soft openings and I tend to go in expecting to see kinks that need to be worked out. In fact, I was not planning to write about Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen, so didn’t even bring my camera with me (sorry for the lower quality phone photos), but *spoiler alert* my meal was so good that I had to share it with y’all.
Hello October! I have no idea where September went but I am decidedly unprepared for fall in nearly all aspects of my life, except for the eating. When I think of fall, it’s all about the start of the academic school year and that slow build up to the holiday (eating) season, so it’s quite appropriate that one of the events I attended last month was Feastival of Fine Chefs. Feastival is an event put on by the Alberta Food Processors Association that supports second year apprentice chefs in Alberta via the Stan Ballard Apprenticeship Fund.
A little while back, I received an invitation from The Keg Steakhouse + Bar’s PR company asking if I would be interested in attending their lobster summer menu tasting event. I have to admit that I am not usually a regular at The Keg, considering I don’t really eat a lot of steak or meat and potatoes (worst Albertan ever?). My preference is always the seafood or fish dish, so when I read lobster – I was immediately on board! When I arrived at our table and saw the tasting menu, I was overwhelmed by how many options they were bringing us to sample and it was all lobster related too, but I guess when you’ve been offering a lobster summer menu for over 15 years as The Keg has, you know what you’re doing.
The Keg also has several feature cocktails for the summer and I was interested in a lot of them, but as our tasting menu came with wine pairings, and I was driving myself home, I decided to try the Strawberry Basil Lemonade sans gin. I thought this was a nice refreshing drink for the hot summer day and would love to drink it while sitting on a patio. I really liked the tartness of the lemonade and the basil in it – I am confident that adding gin could only make it better!