Optimistically Cautious

Friday, January 12, 2007

"Where Edmonton's" Most Memorable Meals 2006

When I was younger, and traveling with family on summer vacations, I would always look for Where Magazine. Published in nearly every major North American city, I found it a handy, easily available, and conveniently free guide to use when planning things to do.

Now, with everything so readily accessible on the Internet, I find myself depending less and less on paper media for vacation tips. Still, I can't entirely pass up the glossy goodness of a magazine, and today, picked up a copy of the latest Where Edmonton - it's intriguing to see how the City of Champions is portrayed to tourists.

The January/February 2007 issue features a list of "2006's Most Memorable Meals," apparently reader-voted (though I like Where, I'm still somewhat skeptical that there isn't some big advertising puppet that chooses what to feature). Winners by category:
  • Chinese: Blue Willow
  • Bar/Lounge: Brewsters
  • Romantic and French: Creperie
  • Family: Earls Tin Palace
  • Wine List and Fine Dining: Hardware Grill
  • Breakfast/Brunch and Hotel Dining: Harvest Room
  • Italian: Il Portico
  • Service and Steak: The Keg (South)
  • Indian: Khazana
  • Japanese: Mikado
  • Ambiance: Ric's Grill
  • Business Lunch: Sorrentino's
  • Best Greek: Yiannis Taverna Greek Restaurant
It's not a bad list, though it's interesting how the editor had to specify "Best Greek," while assuming that one-word ethnic denominations for "Chinese," "Italian," "Indian," and "Japanese" would suffice.

Based on my last experience, I would have to disagree with Mikado's win, and would opt for Kyoto any day, but that's likely indicative of the income bracket Where publishers are aiming for. Those who know my dining preferences also know that I despise Earls, but I do find it curious how it ended up in the "Family" category - the chain always struck me as more business-friendly or upscale casual. Lastly, I've actually never been to Blue Willow, and certainly had no idea it had been in operation for so long (since 1958!). While lists like this seem to prioritize image over authenticity, it may be worth a try.

Perhaps I should compile my own "Best of" soon...

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