News
Mark Rendell

Restaurant Round-Up, Jan. 22: Goodbye and Hello

So long to Sarah, hello to carb-conscious home delivery, a preview of the latest openings and more.

Goodbye to Hot and Ready

After three years dishing up an eclectic menu of pulled pork, curry and spanakopita, among other things, Yellowknife’s best-named lunch spot, Sarah’s Hot and Ready, served its last meal today.

“It’s bittersweet, and I’m a little saddened,” says Sarah Heaton, who ran the small operation out of the Breakaway Fitness building three days a week. “We did really nice food and people were appreciative.”

The closure seems to be the first casualty of the mini-boom in Yellowknife restaurants we’ve seen over the last year.

“It was not as busy as it used to be; there was a lot of new competition,” says Heaton. “It was also getting more expensive to run, with the price of food in the grocery stores going up.”

Despite being unhappy about having to close up shop, Heaton says she’s excited for a change and to start cooking more for her family again.

Carb counting, delivered

On the go all the time? Want to start eating healthier? Just plain don’t like cooking? A new food delivery service launching next month may be up your alley.

“It’s a big thing down south, healthy meals prepared and delivered to your door,” says Scott Thompson, co-owner of Just Fitness and Performance Kings supplement store, who’s one of the people behind the new operation. “The market down south is mostly health- and fitness-minded people, but because Yellowknife is such an on-the-go kind of place, we think it will fit well with the type of lifestyle we have up here.”

The idea is that people sign up for meal plans on a weekly or monthly basis and food is delivered twice a week in microwavable, freezable containers. You can sign up for two or three meals and snacks a day, for six days a week.

Prepared by One of a Thai’s Sousanh Chanthalangsy, the meal plans are designed to ensure you get your daily dose of carbs, veggies and proteins, and they’ll come in different sizes – providing 1800, 2200, 2600 or 3000 calories a day – depending on your body size, activity levels and health goals.

“You’re looking $8.50 and $9 a meal, so quite a competitive price point,” says Thompson.

They’re still figuring out the menu details, but Thompson mentioned garlic and dill quinoa- encrusted whitefish with roasted potatoes and green beans as one option. Twice a week, Chanthalangsy will post a menu of what’s available for the coming three days, and members of the food program can just send in an order by email specifying what they want.

“The whole idea is getting people to eat healthy,” says Thompson. “Right now we don’t have any healthy restaurants in town, no healthy to-go options. That’s what we’re presenting.” Find out more details about the service and when it will launch at performancekings.com.

Flatt’s Fat Fox

Over the past few months, the old Diner on Range Street has been getting a major makeover. The ceilings have been raised to reveal copper pipes, wooden floors have been laid and custom built and salvaged tables and chairs have replaced the old booths. It’s all in preparation for the diner’s rebirth as The Fat Fox sometime in February, if all goes to plan.

“We’re expecting the last permits to come through any day,” says Jeremy Flatt, one of the main movers behind the restaurant, which he hopes will become Yellowknife’s new go-to lunch spot.

The plan, at least at the beginning, is to focus on serving up breakfast and lunch. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m, serving things like homemade oatmeal with fruit and yoghurt or egg and naan sandwiches for breakfast and a small, varying menu of soups, stews, curries and snacks for lunch. On the coffee front, Flatt is planning to start with quality drip and French press coffee, though he may bring in more niche Greek and Turkish varieties.

Flatt hopes to eventually stay open later and serve dinner, though he’s planning to try it out first with one evening every week or two, hopefully to be accompanied by live music.

From Athens via Frankfurt

A new transcontinental, schnitzel-meets-gyros fusion restaurant is opening soon in the old Gallery on 47th Street building.

Elke’s Table on 47th will be run by long-time Bullock’s employee Elke Richter, who used to own a Greek restaurant just outside of Frankfurt in her native Germany. The small 20/22-seat restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, and Richter is planning to serve both German and Mediterranean meals, “in the affordable range.”

Although it probably isn’t too appealing this time of year, there will be a small garden with tables outside, which should make for an ideal place to chow down some Greek salad in the summer.

There’s been some buzz about the restaurant for several months now, but Richter chalks up the delays to difficulty tracking down equipment. She’s hesitant to give an opening date, but says things will likely be up and running sometime in February.  

Poultry delay

Those harbouring post-KFC hopes that fried chicken will return to town soon might have to wait a bit longer than anticipated for Mary Brown’s.

Construction on Old Airport Road location next to Westown Tire is still several months from commencing, says Perry Campbell, the guy bringing the franchise back to Yellowknife.

“We’re anticipating ground breaking in the April 1 to April 15 range,” says Campbell. “Once groundbreaking happens, we’re hoping to have things going in six to eight months. Though that’s just speculation, many things could happen. I’ve been here for 20 years; and as we say, things take longer in the North.”

Once operations do get off the ground, you’ll be able to get your “Famous Chicken & Taters!” over the take-out counter or in clement confines of your own vehicle in the drive through. There will also be a restaurant section seating around 20 to 24 people, says Campbell.  

Menu tweaks around town

Upstairs at Sushi North, Seiji Suzuki and his kitchen crew have introduced a new set of bento-box style weekday specials. It’s an eclectic lineup, featuring a host of international flavours given a Japanese twist: Monday, Italian Tomato Chicken; Tuesday, Indian Keema Curry; Wednesday, Creamy Mayo Chicken; Thursday, Mexican Taco Rice; Friday: Tasty Roast Pork. In Bento tradition, you get a main dish, with a little collection of sides: Friday’s roasted pork (with special soy sauce) came with both a spinach and miso salad and a potato/carrot salad, along with half-a-marinated hardboiled egg, and rice with sesame and tuna flakes. Portions aren’t exactly huge but the quirky, hybridized flavours should interest curious YK diners.

In other menu-tweaking news, the Cellar has just switched to a more burger-oriented menu. Additions include the Baja Burger (guacamole, monterey jack cheese, lettuce, salsa toppings with your choice of chicken, veggie or bison), the BOM Burger (brie, garlic-sautéed mushrooms, balsamic caramelized onions, and garlic aoli), the Smokehouse Burger (applewood smoked cheddar, bacon, crispy fried onion strings, smokey chipotle sauce), BBB Burger (BBQ sauce, bacon, blue cheese), and a sautéed chicken burger featuring spicy satay sauce with cucumbers, grated carrots and green onions.

Over at Korea House, the menu has expanded considerably since its soft opening late last year. The highlight among several new items added in recent weeks is perhaps the seafood pancake, Haemul Pajeon, made to order and featuring squid, shrimp and cabbage in a crispy, savoury batter. Other hearty wintertime dishes include Gamjatang, pork bone soup, and a classic kimchi-enhanced soft tofu soup, Soondubu Jjigae.