The Amazing Enjoy Centre: World-Class Destination in St. Albert

Boy oh boy, what a difference a couple of months can make. That’s how long it’s been since I visited  the Enjoy Centre–the gigantic, incredibly beautiful, architecturally amazing, gardening/wellness/eating/shopping complex in Riel Park on the south side of St. Albert.
Oh St. Albert, how I envy you.
I don’t know why it took me that long to return. This place isn’t just a gardening centre; it’s a feel-good, eat-good destination. Prairie Bistro at the Enjoy Centre is where we are hosting Slow Food Edmonton’s National Gala dinner in May 2012, and I am pumped about that!
First of all, having dishes made from locally sourced products is always a wonderful way to go, secondly, the setting is one of the nicest around. When you sit at a table in the Prairie Bistro amidst beautiful decor, surrounded by plants and floor to ceiling windows, you feel sheltered from all the chaos and clutter in the world. This is a good place to be.
A tip of the hat to the Bistro’s GM,Julianna Mimande, and her staff who continually create healthy and delicious soul food from locally sourced and organic products, some of which come right from Hole’s Gardening Centre.
Cobb Salad

That Cobb Salad was packed with tasty ingredients: tender chicken breast, avocado, garden greens, egg and tart red onions, lightly bathed in a creamy dressing. Having everything organic made it taste that much better, but let me tell you, when it comes to  a dish that will warm the cockles of your heart, there’s nothing better than a big ol’ dish of tender, braised beef with gnocchi and hunks of seasonal vegetables.

Beef Bourguignon with gnocchi and vegetables.

A few days later I returned with a friend. Lucky me. This time we went with the beet salad, the chicken ravioli and an incredibly juicy burger that was the best I’ve had in a long time. Why? Nothing but pure, organic beef with only salt and pepper to flavour. Amazing.

Where’s the beef? Right here folks: pure burger
Beet salad with goat cheese and pecans

 

Chicken Ravioli with mushrooms and ricotta
Now, I knew lunch was going to be great…but I had no idea how incredible the rest of the centre has become now that a few more businesses are up and running. Trust me folks, you could spend an entire day here.
After lunch you can shop until your heart’s content. Several shops have recently opened, including:
Hillaby’s: the perfect store for all culinary tools and accessories

 

Beautiful: amazing jewelry, scarves, candles, gift ware, home decor

 

Amazing European furniture from Le Belle Arti
And that’s just the upstairs. If you go downstairs via a moving sidewalk, you’ll find Amaranth Whole Foods with a gigantic selection of organic and gluten free products.

There is also the SandyView Farms Deli where they stock tons of free-range, hormone-free meats, as well as regular grocery and deli items.

And wait, there’s more!

 

Downstairs also houses the Prairie Bakery (read about the baker, Gabor Dobos, here in Liane Faulder’s article), as well as a place to get health supplements, a florist, Liquid Harvest (a liquor and wine store where you can sample a variety of wines), AND….if all that’s not enough to get your heart racing, sign up for some Zumba dance classes and get movin’!
Or if you want to relax, you can do that too at the Water Garden Spa & Wellness Retreat where they offer aesthetic services, a thermal spa, and yoga. There’s even a holistic clinic on site. Wow.
If you need pumpkins, they’ve got scads of those as well as other Halloween and seasonal decorations. If you’re looking for an excuse to go, the Enjoy Centre is hosting a “Spooktacular Evening” from 6-8 pm this Thursday, Oct. 20th. Sounds like fun!
The Enjoy Centre is unlike any centre any other city in Canada has to offer. But don’t take my word for it, go out and explore it yourself…you might want to put aside a few hours though; this is the perfect place to get pampered, do some shopping, or just kick back and enjoy the sights.