MRKT (Market) Restaurant
10542 Jasper Ave NW
My poor camera was dropped at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, and the lens no longer retracts. I loved that camera – but after extensive research, im back in the game with a new camera! Happy to do my first post with pics from my new baby.
On a rainy dreary day, we head down the “ugly” part of Jasper Avenue to try the new restaurant by Carla Alexander of Soul Soup and Sal Di Maio who owns the gastropub downstairs, Red Star. MRKT Market is simply that – a “fresh market” concept restaurant where the limited menu provides you with a few choices in terms of sandwiches, soups, and specials. 3 sandwiches, 3 soups, one special the day we were there.
The interior feels like a wooden airplane fuselage. I’ve heard canoe, and upscale log cabin (rather generous i’d say), it is nonetheless hip, while managing some warmth. The most prominent feature of MRKT market is the long table that allows many diners to share a meal.
Its been said many times, but there is something special about the big blue skies of summer in Alberta. On a recent visit to Edmonton, I had the pleasure of driving around a bit, seeing some rural and urban landscapes that reminded me of how great the scenery can be where there isn’t that abundance of grey clouds and gloomy rainy weather that dominates the west coast in June. I guess that has something to do with the large quantities of great produce and livestock product that comes out of this oil-rich province. Good eats under sunny skies, what could be better!
During my stay, I made a completely random jaunt to 97th street just north of the downtown core of Edmonton that resulted in a trio of stops all within the span of about an hour! While the Alberta capital’s Chinatown isn’t as pronounced nor expansive of say Vancouver’s version, it does have some of the same classical appeal and is worth checking out. Alas, this early Saturday morning resulted in stopovers at least than traditional Chinese places for the most part, but hope you can follow the story…
Hudsons Canadian Tap House (Campus location)
11113 87 Avenue
An impromptu rush out to catch the start of the World Cup match on the first Friday of the tournament led myself and a buddy to a nearby pub on the University of Alberta campus. Funny, I used to remember this location as another drinking hole, ironically called The Library in years gone by. It was once we stepped inside that I understood it was part of the Hudsons chain – the first outlet on Whyte Avenue another former stomping ground on yours truly in yesteryear. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but see now that its grown to five location in Edmonton and also one in Calgary.
Sticking with the Canadian theme of this establishment, I opted for a standard domestic draught to wet the whistle as we settled in to watching the game. We were stuck in the basement however which resulted in a very dark space. My pal enjoyed the views of the attractive, perky, young waitress however, that seem to be the norm of places like this and she was working hard for a big tip. Continue reading
Sneaky Pete’s Bar & Grill
12315 118 Ave NW
12402 118 Ave NW
Two days to refresh my first-aid training at the St.John Ambulance centre, and two pubs within viewing distance, meant an opportunity to conduct a head-to-head pub-food battle. After a long morning of tying splints, we headed across the street to Sneaky Pete’s Bar and Grill.
With only a few patrons at the bar, service was friendly and attentive. Skipping the tempting option of a liquid lunch, I ordered the steak sandwich special for $9.95. We were going to ask about the advertised “free lap dance with your beer”, but this was obviously an inside joke, we weren’t privy to.
Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria
Downtown: 11750 Jasper Ave
Magrath: 14123 – 23 Ave
South Common: 1437 – 99 St
[All outlets visited on separate visits; photos from Magrath location]
Caputo ’00’ flour from Italy, tomatoes from the Campania region of Southern Italy, fior-di-latte mozzarella ,fresh herbs, and 900F – does make for very good pizza. The ‘Famoso Story’ tells of their training with the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana but like others in Canada (i.e. Pizza Prima Strada), they have not registered with the VPN. For Famoso, this could possibly be difficult due to the franchise structure of this organization.
Entering any one of their establishments – first find yourself a table. Peruse the full menu of salads, flatbread, pagniotielli sandwiches, pizza, gelato and tiramisu imported from Italy. When you’re ready, proceed to the counter and place your order (remember your table number).
Korean BBQ House
6111 – 28 Avenue
As I started writing this post, I noticed that fellow Edmonton blogger ‘eating is the hard part’ was also through this restaurant recently (and quite possibly the same day, a few hours apart). While he took the adventurous route, we stuck with the better known classics. Our dinner started with the same trio of banchan: savoury sprouts, sweet daikon, and spicy kimchi — all good.
I have a secret obsession with Pajon, a.k.a. Puchingae. Shokutsu probably has haunting memories of me dragging him through the streets of Seoul into the wee hours of the night, in my desperate hunt for a quality vendor (with only hours before my flight out). The hunt in Seoul was a success, but this local option was fairly basic – with green onion, squid, egg and a vinegar based dipping sauce. It is an acceptable base representation, but sadly not great.
Pad Thai Cuisine of Thailand
10159 – 82 Avenue
I have driven past this location on Whyte avenue (just east of the train tracks), a countless number of times in my lifetime. On a quest to try somewhere new – we stopped in for lunch.
There was a solid lunch crowd already seated in this small little restaurant, so we ordered a couple appetizers right away fearing a slow lunch service. I was proven wrong – as the food quickly started arriving at the table. Starting off with an order of spring rolls and satay skewers – the skewers win the appetizer battle. Spring rolls & sauce were good, but not memorable; however the sweet chili sauce with the satay was a definite winner. Nothing against the peanut sauce, but it looked unlike any peanut sauce I’ve ever seen and tasted like every other peanut sauce I’ve ever had.