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Suggestions for dining out on a birthday in Edmonton

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My family's taking me out to dinner this Saturday and have asked me where I want to go. I'm a little undecided. I was considering Pad Thai on Whyte Ave or Sankyu or maybe the Golden Rice Bowl (their Dim Sum is delicious but I've never been there for dinner) but I usually go out for Asian cuisine on my birthday and I feel like something different. I was thinking of going to a grill, but I'm not really familiar with many in Edmonton and there seem to be an awful lot of higher-priced grills/grill-and-fusion places that have opened up in the past two or three years (OPM, Moxie's, East Meets West, etc...come to mind. I've been to all of them once. I thought the bill at EMW's was a bit too much for what they served us and wouldn't return. A couple of friends like The Keg but I've never been there, and I hear it's always packed).

What grills are over-priced and what aren't? Any suggestions would be welcome.

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  1. I have given up on the new grills/fusion that have opened up in the past few years. They seem to be more about trendy decor and cocktail lists than food. (I think the food at OPM is absolutely horrid! Joey's...blah, Ric's really bad...have heard good things about Murrieta's, but given how bad most of the other similar places are, I'm not too interested in trying it)

    In this city right now, it is pretty much either asian (including Indian) or high-end. Have you thought about Indian? Dawat is quite good - at least the south side one (34 ave), am trying Whyte Ave one tonight, hopefully it is as good. Or Haweli (downtown).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dan G

      >>I have given up on the new grills/fusion that have opened up in the past few years. They seem to be more about trendy decor and cocktail lists than food.

      Exactly. I concur about OPM. I can barely remember what I ate there in fact.

      >>In this city right now, it is pretty much either asian (including Indian) or high-end. Have you thought about Indian? Dawat is quite good - at least the south side one (34 ave), am trying Whyte Ave one tonight, hopefully it is as good. Or Haweli (downtown).

      It's funny you mention East Indian, I was thinking of either New Asian Village or Khazana (I'd forgotten about Haweli!) but my father just can't eat anything even remotely spicy. I suppose we could get them to tone down the dishes but I think it would be easier to go someplace else for now.

      Where's Dawat on Whyte Ave? I've always thought it would be good to have an Indian place on the main drag itself. (I know there's one beside movie studio and another a few blocks north around 80th ave and 104 street but I've never been)

      1. re: Sylv F

        >>Where's Dawat on Whyte Ave? I've always thought it would be good to have an Indian place on the main drag itself. (I know there's one beside movie studio and another a few blocks north around 80th ave and 104 street but I've never been)

        Whyte and 100, so I was told by the friends I am meeting there tonight. I assume that it is similar to the Mill Woods one, in that it has a great buffet. Indian food is the only time I like a buffet, and the Dawat buffet has lots of items (12-14 hot dishes), and a variety of spiciness. Plus, one of my regular dining companions is veg, and they have huge veg selection on the buffet - probably 3/4 of it.

    2. If you want fusion what about some place like Wild Tangerine?

      Or you could do an asian do-it-yourself grill/hot pot at the Asian Grill House in Chinatown.

      11 Replies
      1. re: anonymoose

        I grabbed a selection of appetizers from Wild Tangerine once about two years back and I wasn't really overly impressed. It's a little harsh to judge a restaurant without trying its main courses but I just never go by that place and forgot about it.

        Does Asian Grill House do a Shabu Shabu style soup-hotpot? I've been looking for a place that does after Tokyo Palace closed down. (My parents loved doing that)

        1. re: Sylv F

          Wild Tangerine gets great reviews all the time, but I can't bring myself to try it because so did Polos, their previous restaurant, and I found it to be way over-rated.

          1. re: Dan G

            Was Polos that place by the university, near the defunct Cafe Terra on around 113, 114th street?

            1. re: Sylv F

              Yeah, that was Polo's. I ate there 3 or 4 times, and was never impressed. I once had a noodle dish for about $12 (lunch) that was pretty much the same as, though no where near as good as, what Grab a Bite (I miss that place!) on Whyte was selling for $6.

              Re: my earlier comment about Dawat on Whyte.. Just returned, and it was great. Had the buffet. Pakoras were a bit cold and soft, but everything else pleased us very much. Some unusual dishes, such as a mushroom curry, black eyed peas...not the typical Indian buffet fair. And good beer selection. Not bad price. Buffet for 4 each with 2 beers for under 120 with tax.

              1. re: Dan G

                Glad to hear that you had a good time at Dawat's. I'll have to try it with some friends.

                One place that I completely forgot about that I may try is the Continental Treat. I haven't been there in 4 years and never for dinner, but I remember enjoying lunch there.

                1. re: Dan G

                  I'll throw in another vote for Whyte Ave. Daawat. As I live close by this will be a great alternative for those nights when I just want to grab a quick pizza. And besides, with all the vegetable choices, it's so much healthier.

              2. re: Dan G

                Re: Wild Tangerine - Yeah, I like their flavours but their tiny portions mean I'm never full so what's the point.

                1. re: alau2

                  That's my main peeve with them - uneven portions for their dishes. It depends on what you order. If you order the short ribs, for instance, you'll have plenty. But many of the other dishes have tiny portions.

                  The flavours are generally good, although I'm not impressed by their desserts.

                  1. re: anonymoose

                    Hate to be a spoilsport but if you order app, main, dessert & wine at Wild Tangerine you're probably putting back around 1500 calories or more.

                    I actually wish more restaurants offered reasonable portions so you could sample several things without feeling stuffed.

                    1. re: egon61

                      Actually, in most restaurants I don't order dessert.
                      And if I ever order an app, it's one app to share with everyone at the table.

                      For restaurants where I actually want the desserts, I usually skip the appetizer and/or save some of the main for a doggie bag.

                      Everyone eats a little differently!

              3. re: Sylv F

                I haven't been there in a while so I'm not entirely sure if they still have their large selection but basically you get a boiling pot of soup at your table and can choose from a buffet-style selection of raw foods, veg, noodles, etc. I've only had the Chinese style hot pot so I can't compare it to shabu shabu but it looks similar but the soup will probably be different.

            2. Sorry i didnt get to this earlier - i was on vacation.
              Where did you end up eating?