18210 100 Avenue
Rating: **** 1/2
Signature Drink: Long Beach Iced Tea ($6.50)
Signature Dish: Lamb (or Bison) Burger ($15)
Dinner & drinks for 2: $60
I lounged comfortably in front of the huge fireplace in the middle of Homefire Grill as I awaited my basket of bannock ($7). Moisture beaded on the side of my Long Beach Iced Tea ($6.50), made with Sprite and cranberry instead of Coke and bitters: the drink was both far redder and more refreshing than its Long Island sibling.
The restaurant was dark, homey and subtly infused with First Nations style. The menu is stacked with West Coast favourites and unobtrusive hints of contemporary Aboriginal cuisine.
After a quick visit from my sweet server, I alternated mouth-stretching bites of cheesy lamb burger ($15) with tastes of dense bannock bread and sweet maple butter. I found the bannock a little dry, and the Saskatoon relish kept luring me back to that phenomenal burger on its hefty bun.
Unfortunately, the brand new sweet potato cheesecake ($9) was undercooked, but its flavour of Yuletide candied yams was delightful.
Now, outstanding food, service, value and décor are important to me.
However, Homefire Grill is also owned by the Alberta Indian Investment Corporation, which invests in First Nations entrepreneurs. How convenient is that? Each fantastic, inexpensive meal is also an expression of cultural support!
Love wine? Love BiBO. The ten-seat Mill Creek wine bar is officially the smallest in Canada, with a wine list of approximately fifteen reds and thirteen whites that are rotated weekly. Sample sparkling wines, champagnes, ports, dessert wines and single malt scotch. 9918 89 Avenue
Brewsters’ fifth Edmonton location in Summerside is opening soon, and what better way to celebrate than to hoist one of their handcrafted ales or lagers? Pair a 20 oz glass of Rig Pig or the Shaughnessy Stout with some classic pub fare or exotic butter chicken. www.brewsters.ca