A ritual unfolds each morning at Flirt Cupcakes. Bakers arrive, assemble their ingredients, and make at least 12 cupcake flavours from scratch?not to mention a special flavour of the month. Below are just a few of their creations:
Sweet Georgia Brown
* Brown sugar and cinnamon cake
* Cream cheese icing
* Sweetenin' sand (AKA sugar)
Vegan Cookies & Cream
* Vegan chocolate cake
* Vegan vanilla icing
* Oreo baked inside
* Marble cake
* Creamy coffee frosting
* Chocolate covered coffee bean
* Vanilla or chocolate cake
* Venezuelan chocolate frosting
* European chocolate topping
Owners Michelle LeMoignan and Brianna Vallet grew up in Edmonton, and they have deep affection for their community. To demonstrate this, they donate each day's leftover cupcakes to local charities. They also participate in fundraisers for organizations such as Little Warriors and YESS.
As Justin Lussier traveled through Naples in 2005, he decided to stop for the city's famous pizza at a small street-side eatery bearing the sign Pizzeria Sorbillo. He loved his traditional thin-crust pie so much that he rushed to a pay phone and called his friends Christian Bullock and Jason Allard to tell them that he wanted to make that same pizza. When Justin returned to Canada, the trio travelled to confer with the culinary experts at Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) in order to uncover what truly makes a pizza Neapolitan. Two years later, the friends set out to open Famoso.
Famoso's chefs all follow strict guidelines set by the AVPN—they only use OO Caputo flour imported from Naples, and they hand mill tomatoes imported from the foot of Mount Vesuvius, where each crop is grown in soil enriched by volcanic ash and sung to daily by volcanologists. Chefs top the crust with local fior di latte mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, and pecorino romano cheese. They then spread dough into wafer-thin disks, which they blast-fire at 900 degrees for 90 seconds inside imported Italian bell-shaped ovens. Pizzas are also topped with ingredients such as soppressata, oven-roasted Italian sausage, kalamata olives, and truffle oil.
Famoso Baristas can pair many of these pies, some of which are reinvented twice each year, with a mix of local and international wines—including vintages from Italy and Canada—and hand-crafted gelato. At each restaurant, they ferry dishes and drinks through rustic and inviting interiors, each of which reflects the unique style of its neighbourhood, though all are united by accents of exposed brick and wood, wine-bottle art, and sculptural pizza-box displays.
You'd be hard-pressed to find evidence of the more than three decades of history that have transpired within RoseBowl Pizza and Rouge Resto-Lounge's newly renovated walls. Fixtures emitting blue, white, and red light dimly illuminate the interior along with flat-screen TVs. The dinner menu features modern, sophisticated bites including bacon-wrapped lamb lollipops served with an apricot mustard sauce and fennel coleslaw, and entrees such as grilled steak poutine with a housemade roasted-garlic mushroom gravy and a drizzle of truffle oil. The culinary team has also crafted a list of martinis and cocktails whose chic elegance matches the updated surroundings. They are particularly ideal for sipping on the outdoor deck or during events such as open-mic musings, poetry nights, and shows from comedians.
The one thing that may look familiar—much to the delight of regulars—is the pizza. The seemingly random assortment of pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, pineapple, and bacon on the Chef's Mistake has made it a tradition for 34 years, which is about as long as it took to remove pizza dough from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel after the cardinals’ dinner in 1791. The pizzaiolos also top traditional or thin crusts with ingredients ranging from capicola and soppressata to fried calamari with tzatziki sauce.
Transcend Coffee's ambassadors make several international trips each year in their search for green coffee farms. They meet with small-scale, eco-friendly growers to tour their crops and microbrewing mills, focusing on building long-term relationships with those who are passionate about coffee. They then buy directly from the farmers, shipping beans back across oceans to Transcend Coffee's central roastery and three cafés scattered across Edmonton. Here, they roast and brew specialty artisan coffees, educate their visitors on the background of each batch, and illustrate the brewing process through interpretive dance.
Using ever-evolving methods, the brewers adopt a trial-and-error approach to defining each coffee's definitive flavour profile. Two licensed Q coffee graders often smell and taste each batch of coffee, and they sort coffees based on rigid quality standards, looking for underdeveloped roasted beans known as “quakers” or “the stupid lighter ones.”
The cafes boast shelves of roasted coffees such as bwayi from Burundi, michioy from Guatemala, and certified organic beans from Santa Lucia. In the store, staffers also point out the highlights of automatic drip brewers, manual brewers, and bean grinders from manufacturers such as Baratza, Bonavita, and Technivorm.
Though it offers more than 100 types of wheaty, malty, and hoppy beers from around the globe, The Pourhouse Bier Bistro prides itself on more than just libations. Its chefs shun deep-fat fryers in favour of fresh, seasonal ingredients purchased from local growers and producers, elevating their traditional pub-grub recipes. In addition to flatbreads, sandwiches, and burgers served with sides such as honey-cumin slaw or sweet-potato mash, the eatery is known for its beer-boiled Coney Island dogs. Graham Hicks of the Edmonton Sun enjoyed the reuben dog's "homemade mustard-based sauce, beautiful onions," and "real bacon chunks slathered on top of a first-class jumbo hot dog," as well as the pub's community atmosphere.
Exposed-brick accents and a fireplace create a warm, welcoming vibe where family and friends gather, embodying what Hicks says "pubs are meant to be." Illuminated triangular and rectangular cutouts on the wall give the cozy space a retro '60s feel, and candle-like chandeliers add a touch of elegance. On warmer evenings, guests can sit on the south-facing patio to people-watch or high-five the pedestrians as they stroll down Whyte Avenue.
When Joe and Theresa Klassen first founded Joey’s Seafood Restaurant in 1985, they were simply looking to create a friendly neighbourhood eatery that served made-to-order seafood. Though the company has since expanded to more than 69 franchises across Canada, it still falls under the leadership of its founder, who frequently develops new strategies for growth and expansion while continuing to supply each location with fresh, Pacific-based seafood. Joey’s offers two distinct dining experiences: full-service restaurants (designed for families and their hungry sock puppets) and quick-serve places (designed for younger generations). At the quick-serve eateries, foodsmiths dole out a smaller menu of fried fish and shrimp. The full menu includes seafood entrees such as sautéed PEI mussels, blackened Pacific snapper, and Joey’s famous fish 'n' chips—fillets of halibut, cod, or haddock dunked into a secret-recipe batter and then deep-fried in canola oil. Nationally, the company supports the Alzheimer's Society of Canada through local and national fundraising efforts. Since 2000, its franchises have collectively raised more than $950,000 for the organization.