Restaurants

The Hot Box

A great restaurant specializing in Middle Eastern foods. First Dish that comes to mind is Shashlyk in a Pita. Was also a intimate concert venue in the late 1970s, typically for Folk Music. On the South side of Jasper Avenue just West of 116 Street.

The New World

In the 1970s, everyone I knew named The New World as their favourite Edmonton restaurant for Chinese Food. On the West side of 97 Street just North of Jasper Avenue.

Renamed “Good World” and moved just North of Downtown, to make way for Canada Place in the early 1980s, but did not last long.

Bruno’s

The best Italian food I have ever tasted, occasionally prepared by Bruno himself, just North of Whyte Avenue, in the basement, on the East side of 109 Street. At first, pizza and low prices dominated the menu and raised the money for the creation of Edmonton’s best Italian restaurant, completely remodeled, menu prices doubled and no more pizza.

Looking back, with a crust textured like focaccia bread, Bruno made the finest pizza my taste buds ever experienced. Veal Piccata was my favourite dish at Bruno’s though Lasagne was what I ate more frequently.

Sweetwater Cafe

Best known for their brunch dishes, but had an excellent dinner menu, too. Most memorable menu item had to be their multigrain pancake made with whipped cream: it was thick and occupied a very large dinner plate. Closed around 2005 when the owner’s 10 year lease ran out and he decided to change careers. On the South side of 102 Avenue just West of 124 Street.

Mongolian Food Experience

Laid claim to being first with Green Onion Cakes in Edmonton, but even better known for letting you hand pick all the raw ingredients, pay by weight and then watching it being cooked. Original location was on Rice Howard Way, but additional locations were plagued by Health violations which led to Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB) cancelling their financing and the chain closed. The owner attempted to start again, under one or two different names, but was effectively doomed because of his inability to accept credit cards.

Cafe Budapest

Located just North of Jasper Avenue in Downtown Edmonton. The Hungarian food was fabulous, especially the deserts.

Pharoah’s Pizza

Located in the Garneau Theatre building before it was renovated.

Ed’s & Fred’s

Interesting breakfast dishes available from very early in the morning until closing in the evening. Located at the South end of the High Level Bridge.

One of five restaurant chains in Alberta that were run by The Cheesecake Cafe, with a common loyalty program — I still have my original card. The entire company faced bankruptcy after their commercial real estate investments dropped in value.

The Bottleneck

Korean food at its finest.

Sunflower Inn

Listed last because they lasted the shortest period of time:  less than one week. They were located on the North side of Whyte Avenue in Old Strathcona.

Their much publicized opening in 1975, as a health food restaurant run by Hippies, was doomed from the outset.  Arriving at Noon on a Saturday, I was soon the only patron in the restaurant.  To make matters worse, the Hippie who left soon after I arrived, gave me the rest of his pot of tea.

I left a big tip, but a few days later they were closed forever.

Yes, the food was sensational.  I had a vegetarian casserole.

Turtle Creek Cafe

Closed late in 2004, on 109 Street at 84 Avenue (8404 – 109 Street NW), with free underground parking.

Salad Bars

A big part of the medium priced Buffets that were so common 40 years ago, especially in hotels, was the Salad section, which included both complete salads and ingredients to build your own salad.

They still exist, but are hard to find other than in very expensive or very inexpensive Buffets, the latter often run in restaurants with dismal Health Inspection histories.