Edmonton's Alberta Ave (118 Ave) is a hub for artists and festivals, and a happy clash of cultures--African, Indigenous, French, Ukrainian. And for five years, its been a great place to taste authentic ethnic and local dishes. "Dine the Ave presents an opportunity to try new foods. Now more than ever, we should be supporting local business and coming together as a community," said Joachim Hotz, executive director of the Alberta Avenue Business Association.
In past years, the event was a ticketed tour of multiple restaurants. This time around, diners can pick off a special menu of items ranging from $15-$25 (or order from the regular menu) at restaurants on and around Alberta Avenue. There's take-out, dine-in and delivery options, so whatever your fancy, there's a way to sample the fare on historic Alberta Ave. To see menus and a full restaurant list, visit alberta-avenue.com.
Here's eight options to try at the various participating spots on 118 Ave this month. Enjoy at your own pace.
1) Green onion cakes - these are an Edmonton institution (maybe invention?) and a must-have, if you haven't already had it at the various festivals around the city. Pan fried with hot sauce or taken frozen to-go, these green onion-flecked discs of fried dough are delicious. A $20 for 2 deal offers the cakes plus spring roll and Mu-Shu pork. Find it at the Green Onion Cake Man, of course.
2) Turkey or beef meatloaf - Coliseum Pizza & Steak offers meatloaf Mondays for $10, your choice of turkey or beef. A comforting and hearty way to start the week.
3) Ethiopian veggie platter - Alberta Ave has numerous African restaurants and businesses to explore. At Gebeta Ethiopian Cuisine, the $15 veggie platter is a nice sample of spicy lentils, curry chickpea and spinach, served with injera (Ethiopian flat bread).
4) Burger and poutine - Mona Lisa's Pub has its take on a signature Canadian food, poutine and, partnered with a burger for $10, it's a no-brainer.
5) Coffee and cookies - Brewing specialty coffees and featuring homemade desserts, there's no better place on Alberta Ave. to watch the world go by than at the heart of the street: The Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse. Grab a gourmet coffee and cookies for two for $15 this month.
6) BBQ Pack - I like this barbecue special for $25: kubie burgers, smokies, hot dogs and garlic sausage from YEG Smoked Meats. Local, independent businesses are what Alberta Avenue is about, and you'll feel great supporting one while cooking up some tasty meats on a summer weekend.
7) Paneer butter masala - This assortment from Swagat Indian Bar & Bistro is a delicious, filling option. The $25 plate also includes veg samosa, butter chicken, gulab jamun and rice or naan.
8) Vietnamese take-out - Enjoy a meal of spring rolls, chicken with rice or noodles and a can of pop at T & D Vietnamese Restaurant for $15. What could be better on a hot summer day--no cooking required!