Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen – Soft Opening Review

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.

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Having It All at It’ All

All you can eat (AYCE) is one of those phrases that simultaneously delights and horrifies me. I love the idea of choice and options for a single price but I also hate being overwhelmed by choices and trying to decide how much I can eat before feeling too full and wanting to throw up. So when everyone was telling me about It’ All opening up in Chinatown, I was very intrigued but also a little unsure about going. However, my awesome friend JP came to town last weekend and since I know he can eat a lot and would be able to polish off everything I take but cannot finish (no waste here), we decided it would be a great place for a meal.

It’ All is a Japanese and Korean all you can eat place and one of the selling features for us was that it had a ton of Korean side dish (banchan) options. I have seen photos of the massive banchan area in the buffet and couldn’t wait to try as much as possible. After some deliberation, we went with twelve different types of banchan…

Banchan Plates! This is only a small selection of all the banchan available

Banchan Plates! This is only a small selection of all the banchan available

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Tapas at Black Pearl Seafood Bar

Living in a landlocked province is one of the hardest things for someone who loves seafood… Whenever I get near a city close to the ocean – I gorge myself on all the seafood available. However, that’s not to say that we don’t get any seafood here in Edmonton, but I just find it occasionally “meh”, so I am always excited to hear friends rave about seafood-centric places that are close to home. Black Pearl Seafood Bar has been open for awhile now, but I haven’t been able to find the time to go until recently. A few friends and I decided to pre-snack before heading to the Yelp Edmonton Museum After Dark party a couple weeks ago and boy am I glad we went to Black Pearl!

Black Pearl Seafood Bar

Black Pearl Seafood Bar

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