Edmonton – Farmers Market, Clever Rabbit, West Edmonton Mall. Where else?

Yesterday was our first full day in Edmonton and we filled it up with a whole bunch of Edmontonriffic activities. Starting the day off bright and early (or just normal in Toronto) we went over to the City Market Downtown / 104th Street Farmers Market to take a look at what’s changed (and what’s stayed the same.) It seems to have almost doubled in size since I was last here, (and can I say how cool it is to be able to look back 2 years and see when I was here last… nearly exactly 2 years to the date) and even though it was a rainy Saturday morning, there was a decent crowd. Many of the same vendors were there, but just as many new-to-me ones. The one vendor that had really sparked my interest in going to the market this weekend – the cookie lady, Bloom Bakery, that oh-so-many people recommended wasn’t there today. But on the bright side, I got to see a friend working at the market I might not have seen otherwise.

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Edmonton – A few hours into our week.

JC and I are in Edmonton now. Our trip on Air Canada was uneventful, and food less. They promote a vegetarian panini, with red pepper hummus, but failed to have it on the flight. Vegan options are next to non-existent in their “On Board menu” so it was almost exciting to see something vegetarian (beyond the usual nuts or potato chips) mentioned. No such luck. They could totally hook us up with a roast beef baguette though, oh boy. I think if demand is high enough that they sell out of things like these, then maybe they should cut down on the roast beef, and increase the number of vegetarian options they carry (since more people can enjoy those.) But I’m biased, of course. Anyway, It’s been nearly two years since I’ve been back to Edmonton, and I’ve been looking forward to it. Edmonton is a really special city, and I appreciate the memory of it quite a bit. It doesn’t get enough credit for the quality community and city it is. I love Toronto, but Edmonton will always have a piece of my heart. Lots of green space, the river valley is amazing, the public parks are awesome and loved, bike trails, an art gallery that looks both unique and ridiculous, and a city powered by passionate volunteers (that when I was in the province, did so because they wanted to, not because it was mandated as part of the school curriculum like it is in Ontario.) It also sounds like a lot has…

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Padmanadi Brunch and Downtown City Market

After work this morning I hopped on the LRT, and sat at Credo Coffee with the other Early Birds waiting to swoop in on the Downtown Edmonton Farmers Market. I picked up a package of LimeGreens Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips, and they were such a hit with the family (and pretty much everyone that’s tried them.) J and I tried a cherry chocolate smoothie with hemp seeds, and it was delicious, such a nice flavour from the raw cocoa. Another beautiful day in Edmonton, and perfect for visiting the farmers market. We stared longly at the Eva’s Sweet Waffles cart hoping that one day there would be vegan options, but it wasn’t meant to be (not yet?) So instead (and preferably) it was time to try brunch at Padmanadi for the first time. I’ve heard about it, I’ve longingly stared at the menu for weeks, but just never got around to going there. Luckly J was game, and off we went. Brunch was AMAZING. The ham and cheese omelet, with veggie ham, mushrooms, spinach and cheddar style daiya cheese, wrapped up in multiple layers of bean curd sheet. I don’t think I can recommend that people try this enough. Yum. We also tried the Traditional Eggs Benedict, with tofu egg on an English muffin, veggie salami sausage slices, tomato, and hollandaise sauce. This was pretty darn delicious, and looked beautiful, but the Ham and Cheese omelet was hard to top. I am so glad we went to Padmanadi for Brunch, it…

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Edmonton’s Saturday Farmer’s Markets

Yesterday was a great example of how wonderful Edmonton is in the summertime. I woke up bright and early in the morning to make it to the City Center Farmer’s Market and was pleasantly surprised when upon looking out the window I saw something I hadn’t seen in a while… a clear blue sky and sunshine! The market was packed as it is every week, but there was a great energy throughout as everyone seemed so happy to be able to walk around without an umbrella. I took a seat at Credo Coffee for the first time and sipped slowly on a very nice soy café latte. They use Silk soymilk, and it seems to have a (in my opinion) nicer consistency than the one Starbucks uses after being frothed. For the first time since the farmers market started this year I left empty handed. It worked out for the best, considering my next stop ended up being the Whyte Avenue Art Walk and the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market. I had not intended on going to two farmers markets today, I didn’t even think of the Strathcona one when I went to the University area, but I’m happy with the way it worked out. The Art Walk covers one of Edmonton’s most popular avenues with art from a variety of artists for a few days. I really enjoyed seeing the diversity of styles from very traditional landscapes, to graffiti, to artists that experimented with different materials and patterns. I’m so glad…

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Edmonton City Market

I had lofty goals to get out to the St.Albert Farmers Market this weekend, but decided that after a full 12 hour night shift, it was probably better to take it easy. So, a quick LRT ride and I was downtown bright and early, waiting for the bell to ring (which signifies the vendors can start selling). Considering the unpredictable weather, the turn out was decent right from the beginning, and as 9am rolled around the sun came out. Perfect! This time I was looking for some truffle olive tapenade and LimeGreen’s macaroons, unfortunately, man with the truffles was nowhere to be found, and there weren’t any macaroons at LimeGreen’s. Maybe next week! I made the best of it. Gave me an excuse to try a bunch of other things. As an aside, it looks like LimeGreen’s is doing an assorted nut milk/raw food delivery service, sounds like an interesting idea and I hope it does well! More information is at their website First stop was The Happy Camel, since I’ve been meaning to try some of their Za’tar flat bread for a while. It’s fluffy and delicious, and perfect with sliced fresh tomatoes. They have a nice red pepper hummus that’s vegan and also tasty. You can find them at most Farmer’s Markets in the city (and in St.Albert too) as well as their bakery/cafe in the Callingwood Shopping Center (6404-177 Street.)  Next I stopped by the Innisfail Growers, and picked up some Gourmet Asparagus Relish. I wish there…

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Blue Plate Diner

A friend and I went over to the Blue Plate Diner for a snack a couple of nights ago. It has a relatively inconspicuous location downtown, at least I’ve always missed it, and I know I’ve walked by countless times. I had been meaning to visit since I saw it listed in the VOA Dining Guide, and finally got around to doing so. We ordered the Indian sampler plate since it was one of the few vegan items on the menu that we could share. I really liked one of the chutneys and the pakoras were quite good, but the samosa’s were way too greasy for my liking. If we do ever go to the Blue Plate Diner again, I’m going to try the Lentil & Nut loaf, because it looks interesting. Over all though I think the Blue Plate Diner is a great option for lacto-ovo vegetarians, moreso than vegans. But it is a nice downtown option open till 10pm everyday, which feels unusual, and easy to visit if you’re checking out Edmonton’s City Market. But of course, if you’re checking out the City Market, there are so many other options to snack on. Speaking of the Edmonton City Market… I keep meaning to go, maybe next week. There are two vendors I want to check out specifically, Limegreens, and Fiesta Olives. They were mentioned on the Edmonton Journal’s website. Limegreens looks like a decent raw vegan snack source, and Fiesta Olives… well that’s pretty self explanatory. I’ve gotten on some kind of olive kick lately, and I’m craving a new…

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