Thursday, June 30, 2016

Haskapa hits Bishop's Landing

The berry boutique opens on the waterfront this Friday

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 4:00 AM

A look at the new shop - VIA FACEBOOK
  • A look at the new shop
  • via Facebook

The former Unicorn Boutique space (1475 Lower Water Street) is being brought back to life by another magical creation—Haskapa, Nova Scotia’s wonder fruit, will open its first Halifax storefront this week.

“It’s something unique that’s special to Nova Scotia at this moment in time, so it will be a touristy product but we’re looking to appeal to the local population too, people who are health conscious, epicurious and want to try things new and exciting,” says commercial director Liam Tayler.

The success of Haskapa’s Mahone Bay boutique—which opened late last summer—has helped push the Bishop’s Landing location towards fruition. The waterfront shop will carry everything from haskapa ice cream, vodka, gin, jams, jellies and the brand new haskapa powder (a similar product to other health food powders). The mighty little homegrown berry currently sits at about $5 per pound, which Tayler says speaks to its demand. “It’s a good indication of the excitement in the industry,” he says. “It’s the most expensive berry in the world, and we’re making products that are hopefully good enough that people will want to spend that on them.”

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Food Wolf adds a new truck to its pack

The beloved food truck serves from both Timber Lounge, and a new truck, this summer

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 12:16 AM

The senior Food Wolf now lives at the Timber Lounge - PHOTO BY LENNY MULLINS
  • The senior Food Wolf now lives at the Timber Lounge
  • photo by Lenny Mullins

If you’ve been howling at the moon, hoping for the Food Wolf’s answer, here it is. After setting up a permanent, semi-retirement home at the Timber Lounge (2712 Agricola Street), serving up street eats to the bar’s axe throwers, Halifax’s food truck pioneer is welcoming a second vehicle to its pack.

“We went to Taiwan and what we discovered was an amazing culinary source of inspiration,” says truck co-owner Natalie Chavarie. “Taiwan is all about three things: Hot springs, night markets and bubble tea. It’s a super-chill society.” She and her partner Virgil Muir returned hungry to experiment, inspired by the noodle dishes they’d indulged in while travelling and a connection with a local Chinese noodle producer. “We thought, let’s make a menu that really resonates with people. Noodles are a kind of universal language.”

Through Chavarie's connection with the food truck association in Hamilton, Ontario, opportunity knocked when a bright purple truck—the former nomadic home of Nudulz, a noodle truck with a hilarious name—came up for grabs. “It was at the same time Food Wolf was gearing up for this season and recognizing the deficiencies of the truck. The Timber Lounge is good for the old truck, but it wasn’t fulfilling the nature of our business—to food truck, to be mobile,” says Chavarie.

Now, they can get the best of both worlds. Food Wolf’s new colourful partner in crime (which is 30 years its junior, with a new kitchen) will hit up the streets of Halifax and special events—starting next weekend at Gridlock Festival—serving up a noodle-centric menu, from Muir and his brother Judd Muir. The original truck and its ever-evolving menu will continue to feed the brand new, beer-slinging patio at Timber Lounge. “Thats why we’re a good food truck,” says Chavarie. “We’re nimble and versatile.”

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Agora opens to Agricola in July

A new Mediterranean restaurant and bistro aims to bring people together over healthy eats

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2016 at 2:03 PM


Kubi Gonul wants his new bistro/cafe to be a gathering place for Agricola Street's residents and passersby. The bright red-and-blue 
Agora—which will open in the former Orphan Books at 2394 Agricola Street in July— isn’t Gonul’s first foray in the Halifax restaurant industry: He was once the owner of downtown favourite Turkish Delight (5680 Spring Garden Road).

But this time around he’s focussing on the cuisine of Turkey’s Aegean region—where fresh veggies, herbs and olive oil are main players and quality wins over quantity every time. Agora—named for the Hellenic word referencing a place of assembly for artistic, political and spiritual conversation—aims to be a quiet-but-social spot for people to catch up, study and indulge in healthy dishes. And it will boast a sunny backyard terrace, which never hurts.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Robie Street Station brings you El Chino Snack Bar

An evening companion to the north end breakfast and lunch joint

Posted By on Thu, Jun 9, 2016 at 10:01 AM

The soon-to-be El Chino - VIA FACEBOOK
  • The soon-to-be El Chino
  • via Facebook

Kaleigh Burns and Heman Lee call it a passion project. The duo behind breakfast and lunch hangout Robie Street Station (2394 Robie Street) are gearing up to bring something new to the restaurant scene, a tiny companion to the diner called El Chino Snack Bar.

"It's a Chinese/Mexican snack bar. We’ll do street food, basically, and keep it pretty traditional," says Burns of the new resto, which will take over the small former cafe space directly next door to Robie Street Station. "We have no intention of doing anything fusion, it’ll either be Mexican or it'll be Chinese."

El Chino will be a cozy 20-seater, open from 5pm to 1am Thursday through Monday, operating on an opposite schedule to its sister restaurant. "It's just what we love," say Burns, adding that they'll serve up lots of dumplings and tacos— items that have been in popular demand since the Station's annual Cinco de Mayo and Chinese New Year special menus—and one hell of a tequila menu. She hopes the snack bar will be able to cater to the north end food industry crowd.

"It's been something we wanted to do for a wee while now and it was finally time to pull the trigger," she says. "I’m really excited to be able to offer it to the neighbourhood. I love this place and can’t wait to bring it to them." Burns aims to have El Chino open in about two weeks.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Cedar Festival kicks off tomorrow

The annual festival is pumped about its 10th anniversary celebrations

Posted By on Wed, Jun 1, 2016 at 2:48 PM

  • MIT Photography

The 10th annual Lebanese Cedar Festival kicks off its four-day stretch today and you’re cordially invited, free of charge.

“Lebanese are known for their hospitality and their welcoming attitude. We really work hard to ensure that anybody who attends our festival, whether they are regular visitors, or someone visiting for the first time, feels at home here for the weekend, “ says co-chair Michael Kabalen.

  • MIT Photography

The festival seeks to honour traditional culture while also representing new talents in food, hospitality and entertainment. “We really want to bring the attractions and feeling of being in Lebanon to Halifax, but at the same time offering Canadian and multicultural attractions and favourites,” says Kabalen.

The festival invites its patrons to feast all their senses, enjoying live performance, dance, traditional and modern Lebanese cuisine, a decked-out kids zone,’ craft fairs and both religious and historic displays.

“The people of Halifax have always supported us,” says Kabalen, “so this is our medium and opportunity to give back and showcase our culture proudly.”

Cedar Lebanese Festival
June 2-5
Our Lady of Lebanon
3844 Joseph Howe Drive, free

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Vol 27, No 17
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