About Me

Author of Maps, Markets and Matzo Ball Soup: the inspiring life of Chef Gail Hall, available online at Q32 and select stores and restaurants. Check here for locations.

Co-contributor of “To Kill an Indian”, part of “In This Together: Fifteen Stories of Truth and Reconciliation” edited by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail and available on Amazon. 

I am a lover of the back roads, a worldwide wanderer, CBC Edmonton AM’s Restaurant Reviewer, a member of Slow Food, an oenophile, an epicurean explorer and a freelance writer whose works have appeared in several magazines, websites, and newspapers including:

More, Above & Beyond, Avenue (Edmonton), Up Here, Northern Flyer, Opulence, City Palate, the Edible Prairie Journal, The Edmonton Journal, Slow Food Canada, Lifestyle Alberta, MacEwan University’s M magazine, Culinaire, cbc.ca, SlowFoodEdmonton.ca, eatnorth.com, and matadornetwork.com.

Apparently, I say “out” funny. Canadian, go figure.

Twitter @wanderwoman10

Instagram @wanderwoman10

 

Need to email me? Just click that little white envelope icon above my picture. 

 

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32 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Twyla,

    Just heard your review about Plow and Harvest. I often enjoy your reviews, and feel that you have a realistic view of these places. I work for a major food distributor and I often see the things that you talk about in your reviews. It is frustrating to me that some owners feel the dollar should guide their menu and not the flavor. As a graduate of the NAITs culinary school and red seal cook, it is equally frustrating to see owners who also have no clue as to their costs or how to align their prices appropriately.
    Thanks for calling it as you see it, keep up the great reviews!

    1. Hi Sharon, thanks for the note. Of course, I’d be happy to recommend something – just give me details (type of food, budget, wants, needs, area of town, etc) and I’d be happy to help.

  2. I see you dig scotch and whiskey. Keep yer peepers open for the Edmonton Whiskey Festival in January. One of the best MS Society fundraisers in town. Decent eats, live entertainment, a whiskey glass to take home, a silent auction and 100+ varieties of whiskey, scotch and bourbon to sample.

    Great blog, honest, no punches pulled reviews. As a fan of hole-in-the-wall, mom & pop, one-off culinary gems, your reviews help point me in the right direction.

    Cheers!

  3. Hi, Twyla.
    Could you please recommend a good Japanese restaurant in Edmonton that does teppan-style well? We know of great sushi places, but want to take our kids to the “show” of seeing the cooking done right in front of us.
    Thanks!

    1. Sorry for the late reply, your note got lost in the shuffle. Re: teppan restaurant. I just had a teppan-style dinner in Palm Springs. The food was pretty bad, but the show was great, especially for the little girl (about 3 1/2 yrs old) at our table. In fact, we said that exact thing to each other: that this kind of dining is great for kids because it would probably get them really excited about food and cooking. The last time we had teppan in Edmonton was about 10 years ago at Japanese Village downtown. I cannot recommend anywhere in Edmonton because that was the only time I’ve ever had that style of food in Edmonton. What I can tell you is that teppan-style cooking is not a hot topic in the Edmonton food community, so, that would tell me that no restaurant of that type is head and shoulders above the rest, or even outstanding in any regard, really. If you do a google search of “teppan dining Edmonton”, you’ll get a list. See what Urban Spoon or Yelp has to say about whatever one you’re interested in and go from there. Sorry, I can’t offer you any more than that!

  4. Hello Twyla,
    I love to listen to you when I can catch you on CBC or read one of your articles. But, I’m surprised that you use the term “entree” for main dish.
    Here’s something I wrote: please, change your terminology for the sake of all food lovers and people who listen to you and read you.

    The “Entrée” and the Main dish

    I’m always perplexed and sometimes annoyed that good restaurants and food writers insist on using “entrée” in the US and, now, Canada as the main dish.
    An entrée comes from the French word meaning, “first dish” for a dish served before the main course. Depending on the formality of the lunch or dinner, an entrée can be something simple like a soup or pate to something as substantial as fish. In fifteenth-century France in the chateaux and manor houses, the entrance to the meal was sometimes even heralded with trumpets or violins, thus the term, “entrance” or “entrée” to the meal from the kitchen(s).
    Unfortunately, an American living in Paris around 1970, came back to the United States, and got his French food terms mixed up when writing about French food. And, even more unfortunately, the term stuck in the United States and refers since to the main dish on many menus. In Canada, I’m simply flummoxed as we should know better. We have many more francophones scattered across the country and Quebec. Neither franchphones nor anglophones in Quebec would ever refer to a “prime rib” as an entrée, but rather as the “plat principal” or “main dish”. I just wish we in the rest of English-speaking Canada would follow suit. Many things American are great to refer to or try to copy: deep-dish apple pie, BBQ ribs, stuffed, roasted turkey and luscious hamburgers.
    But, not “entrée” for main dish. It’s just not logical. There are plenty of other words to use for “main dish”: main course, “piece de resistance”, even. But, for heaven’s sake—and the sake of the beautiful French language—NOT “entrée”.
    Best regards,

    1. Thanks for this, Peggy! Sorry, your comment slipped in without a reply from me. From here on in, I will use the correct term: ‘mains’. Thanks for the explanation. Much appreciated.

  5. Hello Twyla;
    I am the owner of the new pub in west Edmonton called The Alibi Pub & Eatery located at 17328 Stony Plain Road N.W. It is the old Dantes and Shark Club building.
    I have opened Alberta’s largest selection of craft beer with 108 taps, a focus on food that is as fresh as possible for a pub, and live music on weekends and other dates.
    We are also working on other areas of the building that include a restaurant with gourmet pizza, steak, pasta, and other food, and Magnolia’s, Edmonton’s first and only ladies pub, a place for women to gather together separate from men, or to invite their dates to their area with less televisions, a feminine decor, and 48 beer and wine on tap, a place where “no man goes alone without and escort. lol”

    We would like to invite you out for a review, a beer, and perhaps a bite with us sometime.
    I would like to suggest a Saturday afternoon between noon and 3:00 pm, This is when we have Cooper Studio Young Talent playing in our pub. These are youth artists from the area aged 6-18. It is a family focused afternoon with minors permitted and I am proud to be able to give Edmonton youth a place to display their talents and to play live to a great room.

    Please consider coming by an reviewing us while supporting these great young artists and getting the word out that they are showcasing their work every Saturday.

    Thank you
    Ken Shebib

    1. Thanks for the note, Ken. Your craft beer sounds interesting, and the ‘ladies pub’ concept – well, that’s certainly a new one to me. Good luck. I review restaurants without warning, but I do thank you for the invite 🙂

  6. Hi Twyla,

    Always look forward to your reveiws in the media or on CBC radio. I just heard the same from someone who LOVES to try the newest place, and wasn’t impressed by ALTA either. Guess, he and you–and probably the rest of us–aren’t quite ready for Copenhagen’s Noma here in Edmonton, and I hope never will be. Cheers to you, and thanks again for the review awhile back on the Anatolia in the Westend, which I think is one of those hidden gems.

    1. Thanks, Peggy. I’ve had good and bad experiences at ALTA. New concepts shouldn’t be dissuaded but pulling off a new concept means you need to have people believe that you ARE the concept. It needs to seep from your pores otherwise its not authentic, and when an experience isn’t authentic, well… people feel that. The food is just a part of the issue at ALTA. The whole package (save for Natasha’s cocktails) feels forced.

  7. Twyla, in your restaurant retrospective I think you missed 3 important former spots: Jacks Grill, River City Grill (ran by former Jack alumnus that was only open for ~3 years and was amazing) and Il Portico. Remember, no Jacks then no Corso. No Il Portico, then no The Mark. None of these in the early 90s then no Blue Pear or Rge Rd.

  8. Hi Twila,
    I thoroughly enjoy listening to you on CBC every Friday. Your passion about Rooster Cafe & Kitchen was contagious yesterday and we decided to go there for lunch today. From your review, I was very excited.

    The service and the speed of the kitchen was atrocious, terrible and so disappointing. We booked a table for 4, ordered quickly upon arrival (we’d scouted the menu before hand) and then waited an hour to get our meal. We asked about the timeline for our meal twice and were told 5 minutes each time. The manager offered us a pre-lunch brownie to tide us over and when we declined he then brought us a cinnamon bun – we just wanted lunch….when the food did finally come out it was great – but it was too late the experience was ruined.

    In a city full of great restaurants this one won’t last unless the kitchen speeds up and the service improves.

    1. Hi Lindsay,
      Thanks for the comment and for tuning in to CBC. From what I heard, the restaurant got totally slammed, and even though they thought they were prepared, they had a hard time keeping up. I almost want to tell people to hold off (when my reviews are really positive) and to not rush the place, but what can you do? In the 8 yrs that I’ve been reviewing restaurants, there have been a handful of times where the establishments have almost cratered from the crush of customers after a really positive review. This may be one of those times… I’m sorry your experience wasn’t great. I feel bad about that because I have met the staff and the owner and they’re just really super nice people wanting to serve good food. I don’t think they ever saw this tidal wave coming. I hope you’ll give them another chance because the food IS really good, right? 🙂

    1. Hi Robert,
      It’s been years since I’ve been there (maybe 10?). It was good but not outstanding enough to make me go back, I guess. For pho, I go to King Noodle on 97 Street or Tau Bay on 98 Street. For fuller Vietnamese menu, I like Grain of Rice in the west end (1312 Webber Greens Dr.).

  9. Dear Twyla – thank you for all you do to promote awareness and appreciation of the food scene in our city. I am curious about the new incarnation of Bottega 104 in the space that was Packrat Louie. I will look forward to your insights on this new(ish) arrival on the Whyte Ave restaurant scene. Cheers, Terry

    1. Hi Terry, and thanks!

      I haven’t been yet. As you probably know, this is another Crudo family restaurant (Cafe Amore, Bottega 104, Black Pearl). Maybe I’ll check it out during the Fringe. We’ll see.

  10. I went to Mythos on Calgary Trail with my daughter, 2 year old grandson and newborn granddaughter for lunch. The restaurant had just opened and there were only a few other guests. My grandson was playing quietly in his highchair and enjoying his food. Suddenly he let out a scream and just as my daughter was trying to tell him to use his inside voice, the owner came out and in a loud and booming voice angrily told us that he did not like small children in his restaurant and that it was bad for his business. I have never experienced being treated like this in a restaurant. We left without eating our food and will never recommend this restaurant to anyone.
    My daughter spent many years working in the restaurant industry, understands correct restaurant etiquette and works diligently at teaching her children to behave in a respectful manner.
    I have left messages on his Facebook messenger and he has read them, but at no point has there been an apology for his behavior.

  11. Be sure to check out the Old Beverly In and Out Cafe on 118th Ave. The owner is Ethiopian, having spent many years in Germany and came to the restaurant business by way of other careers. The food is great, the decor hints of Beverly’s mining history, designed with tons of flair, the service is quick and friendly. Truly a gem on the easternmost edge of the city.

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