New locally-sourced restaurant needs to 'trim the fat'
Farm to Fork Eatery puts in a lot of effort, but needs some changes to succeed, Twyla Campbell says
The local food movement has gone whole hog in a Sherwood Park restaurant.
Farm to Fork Eatery is a recent addition to the suburban food scene.
Nearly all its ingredients come from Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, with over 40 different local food suppliers.
While she appreciates the effort, Edmonton AM restaurant reviewer Twyla Campbell says there are many things she'd like to see changed.
Campbell says she would start with the dirty fish tank in the centre of the room, which couldn't be moved from the restaurant's previous incarnation.
Now it's being used for its aquaponics operation, with salad greens and herbs growing out of PVC pipes.
"It's pretty unsightly, actually," Campbell said. "Good idea. I appreciate the intention but a little unattractive."
'Pretty basic prairie food'
The menu includes steaks, roasted chicken, and lamb rack.
The restaurant also serves some intriguing items, including a tabbouleh salad with wheat berries and apples.
"It's a departure from tabbouleh but still an interesting mix and it had really good flavours," said Campbell.
Campbell was less impressed with the B.C. mussels in a homemade clamato broth which she says "overpowered" the mussels.
As for the smoked wild boar belly, Campbell found it "beautifully cooked" but nearly all fat with very little meat.
For dessert, Campbell tried a dessert called a "piecaken" — a slice of bumbleberry pie, engulfed by a cherry moonshine cake, topped with a cream cheese icing.
Campbell said it was heavy, rich and dry.
Not exactly the thing you want to order if you're watching your weight.
"It will take me a month to work that meal off," Campbell said ruefully.
Don't forget your wallet
Campbell said she understands using locally-sourced food from small producers is going to cost more.
But she'd like to see staff at Farm to Fork Eatery sell that concept a little more to its patrons.
Otherwise, they may balk at the high prices.
"Dinner for two with a reasonable tip can run $150 to $170. This isn't, 'I'm tired of cooking, let's go out for a bite' kind of restaurant. This is a night that you plan for."
Campbell feels with a few changes Farm to Fork Eatery "could be a great example of what a suburb could offer" to the local food scene.