New patches on old garments

Parkallen Restaurant

7018 109 Street

Parkallen Restaurant has redefined itself. Once home to mediocre pizza and decent to good lebanese cuisine, the restaurant is now the proud owner of a fancy decor and a massive wine list. They had a free food function a couple weeks ago (trying to stay current with these posts) in celebration of their new look and list, and I was shocked to find out that the restaurant’s food, including their less-than-mentionable pizza, has not changed.

Their wine list is impressive though (if you’re impressed by things like wine lists). It is definitely the biggest list in Edmonton and has rare and vintage wines from all over the world. They even have a rare bottle that was rumored to have been given to a cabbie from Rick Mercer that is worth 50,000 dollars.

Yep, a restaurant with a website that looks like this sells a 50,000 dollar bottle of wine.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to dump on the joint’s food too hard, it’s just that something doesn’t seem to fit:

“Well let’s see, I guess I’ll have the burger….it’s still 10 dollars, right? Ok. Give me a side of onion ring also, hmmmm….. and I’ll take this 50,000 dollar bottle of wine . Thanks”

Anyways, here’s where I pull up and say the nice thing at the end: Parkallen Restaurant has the best wine list in the city.

These are my thoughts.

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Wacky Wyrd Wednesdays (not actually on a wednesday)

Every Wednesday, Dominos Pizza sells any topping medium pizzas for 5 dollars. The restaurant refers to the day as “Wacky Wednesdays”. Do you know what else will be wacky and start with a dub?

Wyrd Alberta.

Wyrd Alberta is a travelling music festival. A bunch of bands (14) are playing 3 dates in 3 cities. I will be volunteering for the Edmonton date and working the pizza tent. Come see me for free samples*

Slice of Life cannot speak on Women (neither the headlining band or the gender), but he can say the following things: Jazz’s new cassette is sweet, buddy from Brazilian Money loves a pizza, and Fist City is a big tune.

Check this link for more info, or check the poster

*This is not true. There is no Pizza tent, there will be no free samples. I am technically volunteering though, but will most likely just be goofing off and telling jokes. Come see me for some jokes.

Brad Scott and the the B Street Bland

B Street Bar Wood Oven Pizza
11818 111 Avenue

After learning that Edmonton’s The Falklands were once paid in pizza for a gig, I immediately made plans to hit up a joint with their gitman Mark.

I had been to the  B-Street bar (actually on 111 street) for karaoke once and, aside from finally learning how good Wynonna could be, did not have much to say about the place. I expected grimy dive-bar, but found a place that was very clean and modern (read: not what i’m into). I did not know that they were a pizza joint until making plans with Mark, who informed me that they not only serve pizza, they woodfry it in a stone oven. Very exciting.

In fact, the pizza was very dissapointing. The sauce was bland, the pepperoni was  cold-cut style and the dough was dull. I shouldn’t be so hard on it, but for a place that advertises woodfried pizza, I expected a little more. The joint may not look like a grimy dive-bar, but it sure tasted like one.

Anyways, Mark was wonderful company, but the pizza sucked. Check out the Falklands at a pizza joint near you.

The following photos, taken from the bar’s website, leave me with some some thoughts: Does Brad Scott only play 11 cover tunes? That is just not enough to start a cover tune night (ask Mark), and since when does hosting a Cowboy-themed Karaoke night call for a “we shall overcome-everyone on stage” type of celebration?


Chuck D Cheese

A friend of mine (Sarah P) stepped up to the plate and offered to do a guest review for SliceofLife. I am forever grateful. Check it out

chuck e. cheese’s

14245 137th Avenue NW, Edmonton

Recently, a few mates and I found ourselves on the north side- not that north side- the north west of edmonton. we had about an hour to kill before seeing mariah carey grace the silver screen in Precious (authors side note: two thumbs up). and looking for a distraction and something to eat we had to look no further than the opposite end of the parking lot to the chuck e. cheese (14245 137th Avenue NW).

You may be familiar with this establishment from younger days where the chuck served as a dim and grubby backdrop for many a birthday party. the matted fur of the mascot and his animatronic movements had you reaching for the swamp water with one hand while reaching into the cesspool of plastic balls with another (to promptly throw at another child’s head). well, times have changed and while some of the old standards are still around (namely the animatronic mouse and self-serve soft drink machine), the atmosphere is now less a lounge and more like a casino for children. with pizza.

For a mere $30 you and your friends can enjoy the Munch ‘n Play Saver Combo (TM) which consists of a large pizza with 2 soft drinks and 25 tokens with which to bide your time waiting for that pie. we opted to split the pizza toppings and went for half super combo (peperoni, sausage, beef, black olives, green peppers, mushrooms, and red onion) and half cheese. The tokens were also divvied up and were played on a ms. pac man arcade and the classic carnival game, skee-ball. there may also have been a few “rides” on the horse and jockey game, for another post.

Our pizza arrived in a timely manner (author’s note: it was a weeknight and aside from one other “family”, we were the only patrons) and actually looked half decent. the crust: one notch above thin, crispgreasy at the edge and pretty delicious. the sauce: nothing remarkable about the flavor but an appropriate amount per surface area. and the toppings; i was slightly disappointed, but not entirely surprised, that the sausages on the super combo side were those little round sausage bits (where do you even buy those?) that looked like chuck e’s pellets and were about as appetizing. the tasteless canned black olives, mediocre pep and fecal sausage amounted to one clear fact: the super combo was not a winner. on the other hand, the cheese pizza slices were – dare I say-  some of the best I’ve ever had. which is not surprising when you consider the chuck’s target customers, the 3-8 year olds. for this age group, cheese pizza is king. they know their audience and know how to deliver a cheese pizza that is broiled to pure perfection.

I don’t know if frequenting this establishment is the road I want to go down to obtain more of this cheese pizza in the future. it’s just too risky. i mean, they have a hand sanitizing stations and padded posts at every turn. it’s just too much to gamble showing up there with a serious hankering for cheese pizza and be confronted with innumerable germy kids hopped up on soda, let loose in a carnival of eternal birthday party. so i guess my question is, do they deliver?

Of interest, when googling “chuck”, chuck e. cheese appears as the first search result. right before chuck noris. zing!

Published in: on December 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm  Comments (3)  
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The Frank Saccomanno Story

Saccomanno’s Pizza, Pasta, and Deli

10208 127 Avenue, Edmonton

Without fail, I always miss the east-bound exit for the Yellowhead when driving north on 97th Street. No matter how many times I try and no matter how hard I try,  I never learn from my previous mistakes and blast straight under the overpass. After a recent exit-miss and subsequent double-backing, I noticed a pizza/pasta place that looked very promising. As my recent financial situation bubbled to the forefront though, the idea of visiting Saccomanno’s was relegated to the rear.

Recently, my friend Jared agreed to take me out for pizza, and I suggested that we take in a slice at Saccomanno’s. He had once been on a date to the restaurant/deli, and was very interested in a second visit. I was more than willing to make this date number 2.

Saccomanno’s Pizza, Pasta and Deli is exactly what its name says it is: an Italian delicatessen, a pizza restaurant and a pasta restaurant. The Pizza side of things is very simple. One size available (14 inches) and about half a dozen pizza choices. All thin crust. We settled on the capricciosa pizza, which had prosciutto cotto, olives, cheese (lots of cheese) and very little sauce.

Both Jared and I agree that the pizza was very good and highly recommendable. The thick cheese and thin sauce were definitely worth noting though. Just saying.

A serious highlight of  Saccomanno’s is its deli slash grocery. Jared and I grabbed our bottles and Peroni and took a stroll through the aisles (still very much a date at this point), picking up a few necessities such as deli meat, baby clams and couscous (please note the sarcasm. These things are neither necessities nor in my budget). It was great to finally be able to drink in a grocery store without worrying about store security though.

Jared was a complete gentleman. Not once did I feel that he was coming on too strong and he was more than willing to go dutch on the bill. Conversation was mostly about shinny and men’s hockey leagues. Mr. Saccomanno (we can only assume, really) was also a gentleman, thanking us personally for our patronage on our way out.

Despite the thin sauce, the only possible downside to the joint is its less-than-spectacular location. As long as the east-bound Yellowhead exit is as complicating as it is though, I think Mr Saccomanno’s will be just fine.

(quick note: I may have down-played the quality of the ‘za a little bit. It was really good. Better than most places, in fact. Was it the best of the best? Sliceoflife does not operate like Top Gun. I will say this though: there are 2 C’s in Saccomanno, boys……… Top Gun jokes.)

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 8:49 am  Comments (2)  
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Eh One

A while back, I mentioned that I once bought a copy of a Totally Insane’s “Direct from the Backstreet” from A1 Pawn Shop on 111 Ave.

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That pawn shop is the subject of a new documentary called Broke that is playing as part of the Global Visions Film Festival this weekend. I saw it last night, and I thought it was really good. I recommend that you check out the second screening on Saturday, November 7th at the Paramount Theatre downtown.

Number of times the word pizza is spoken during the film: one.

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 7:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Bad Boys II

Straight-outta-compton

Ragazzi Pizzeria e Bistro Italiano

8110-Whyte Avenue, Edmonton

In 1988, Eric Wright and ‘his band of many men’ had just as much of an impact on the world of typeface as they did the world of rap music. While N.W.A’s “Straight Outta Compton” is often pointed to as the blueprint for gangster rap, the album’s cover art – and its seemingly innocent use of the Mistral™ typeface – has had an equally lasting effect on the way that many (maybe just me) view the world of brand design. Since hearing and seeing that record, I have never been able lay eyes on that typeface without immediately bracing myself to “witness the strength of street knowledge”. Plain and simple, the font has become synonymous (at least in my own private mind garden) with bad-ass gangsterism. I’m pretty sure this fact is not lost on the pizza boys from Ragazzi Bistro who a) use the Mistral™ font on their awning and b) are bad-ass.

Actually originally named Pizza Boys, Ragazzi Bistro was founded by the sons/nephews of the Tony’s Pizza Palace empire. With pizza sauce in their blood, it was only natural for the boys to start up a joint with their own youthful and edgy twist.  After a few years (ed. note: Slice of Life does not actually know how long) under the Pizza Boys moniker, they changed their name to Ragazzi – Italian for boys – in an attempt to class-up their image. Just like NWA’s move from Compton to Riverside (Ice Cube said it in “No Vaseline”, so it must be true), you can take the bad-ass out of its natural habitat, but you can’t take the natural…habitat…out of the…oh nevermind. What I am trying to say is that despite the name-change and fancy decor, Ragazzi Bistro is still a fun loving, exciting, and bad-ass pizza boy’s club.
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Between myself and 3 buds we split a large “NY Spice” and a large “Calabrese” with a plate of Gnocchi (again) for another bud. The thin crust, Italian-style pizzas are very good and are highly recommended. The service was great, the music was weird and the dessert was delicious. It is a bit on the pricey side, but you get what you pay for: quality ‘za.

It wasn’t until I approached the counter to pay, that I realized the full charm of this place. The staff (the aforementioned brothers/cousins) are amazingly kind and very funny, talkin’ both shop and shit about the Yanks and Phillies.

This place has really good pizza, and is a great restaurant to eat at.

Also, this just in:


Published in: on October 24, 2009 at 10:42 pm  Comments (1)  
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Thiiis iiiis the way we live

pizza_party

Do you remember in elementary school when classroom projects were rewarded with pizza parties? The City of Edmonton does.

The academic brainy types still looking to the Edmonton Journal (read: buddy in the Coca Cola shirt below) for their daily news may have missed it, but the front page of the Edmonton Sun announced yesterday that households agreeing to host “front room forums” discussing the direction of their city and ‘the way we live’ would be rewarded with pizza from Royal Pizza.

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Check the Sun tomorrow for the outcome of their online “is this a good idea” poll. Slice of Life’s opinion is that the idea, which is being criticized as a cheap method of citizen participation, is a great one.

The next sentence that I am going to write makes me very happy:

To sign up for a pizza party, visit www.DiscussTheWayWeLive.ca or call 780-496-7898.

(Thanks to Shelby [BA Ed.] for the tip about the article. I don’t read either of this city’s rags)

Slice of Hair #2

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Royal Lock and Key / Trendsetters Barber Shop

9851 63 Avenue Nw

There is nothing particularly new about the news that Country superstars Brooks and Dunn done broke up. In mid-August of this year, after 18 years and 11 albums, Kix and Ronnie decided to hang up their shared crown as Country Music’s biggest duo. While the story of how they met may differ from the ridiculous genesis narrative laid out in their first album’s liner notes, it is generally accepted that Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn were separately hacking away at fledgling solo careers in the late 80’s when Arista Records’ Tim DuBois suggested that they link up. Ever since, theirs has been a fairly deadly combination (judge them by their successes, not by their sullen faces and bad facial hair). The importance of that ‘just right’ combination is something that Al (I think that is his name…) at barber shop slash locksmith joint Royal Lock and Key / Trendsetters Barber can certainly identify with.

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After a day of G-Saling on Argyll Road, I decided to stop in to fix my fade. Trendsetters Barber Shop, the barber side of Royal Lock and Key, is a quaint shop with one hair-chair and a very small wait time. The walls are plastered with pictures of vintage cars, old calendars and lock paraphernalia. Al is very nice and was quick to tell the story about his unique business model. He was very curious about which shops I normally get cut by and seemed to know every barber’s name that I dropped.

I wasn’t in dire need of a cut, so I only had him fix my sides, do my neck, and take a little bit off the top. When I asked him to take care of the hair between my eye-brows he lectured me on the dangers of shaving unwanted hair. When I told him that Ted did it without hesitation, he scoffed.

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I would explain exactly how Al came to be in both the hair slicing and the lock de-icing businesses, or which business came first, or where his priority lies, but those are his stories and they are ones that he is more than willing to tell.

After his first attempt at the cut, I asked that he take another inch off the top and he did so without any hesitation. I paid the fair price, tipped well, and left looking like a Brand New Man.

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Quick note: Right next door to Royal Lock and Key is Royal Stamp and Sign Co. Across the street is Sentinel Self-Storage who use a British royal guard as their logo. They really like to play up that Argyll angle out there.

So Icey Pizza

IC Pizza

11804 50 Street Nw

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IC Pizza is a a small Highland’s pizza joint on the corner of 118 ave and 50th street. I always used to see it on my way to the Yellowhead Flea Market (R.I.P.) and thought it had a weird name. It turns out that IC stands for International Computers and that the restaurant doubles as an Internet Cafe.

The staff is very nice, the pizza is very cheap, and it only took ten minutes for a small bacon and mushroom to be delivered to our parking lot waiting space.

Pizza: mediocre and hardly recommendable. My brother was loving the crust though. If I was living in the HIG area and was without a proper connect at the crib, I would hit them up for their bandwidth for sure.

Speaking of IC things, isn’t it wild how much mainstream attention Gucci Mane and his So ICey Boys received in 2009?  Some would say that it’s mostly the chain:

Published in: on September 25, 2009 at 8:07 pm  Comments (2)  
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