Special Features - Golden Fork 2017

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so O ULL on UT lin e!


Readers’ Choice Awards AWARDS GOLDEN FORK

Thank You Central Alberta for your patronage & votes!


s’ 2017 Readerds Choice Awar

#60, 5250 22 St. Red Deer • 403.358.3223

2 Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017 Golden Fork Awards


Satisfying that sweet tooth at van der berg. “We are famous for our breakfast croissants. The dough is actually made in France and then it gets shipped to us and we bake it fresh Satisying sweet tooths across Red Deer, newly every day. It’s all the goodness - all butter. “For lunch we make one gigantic bowl of soup opened Stella Bean Sweets is relishing their success. The restaurant has been named bronze for Best and two sandwiches. We try and do something New Business in this year’s Golden Fork Awards. out of the box - something that you are not going to make at home. Estie van der Berg and Jessie “We also do custom orders and Vandervelden opened the shop, a high tea. Once a month we get right in the heart of downtown, four super fancy, we shut our doors and months ago. The name for the shop it is by reservation. When they come came from the couple’s two dogs in they get a traditional English afStella and Bean. “Thank you so ternoon tea.” Previously another bake shop, the van der Berg said business has former owners of the location apmuch to those been good and being located in the proached van der Berg about taking who voted. We downtown has made the experience over the space. It was a dream come wouldn’t have better. true and an opportunity she couldn’t been able to be “I love it downtown. We looked at pass up. where we are a whole bunch of locations but this “I’m by trade a dental hygienist and today if it weren’t was a dream location. We love the I just started baking cakes for people for their birthdays - because there is for our customers downtown people - they aren’t just always someone’s birthday. My nickwho voted for us our customers, they are our family,” name became the Cupcake Lady and and supported us she said. Meanwhile, van der Berg said she it’s just what I did for fun. For the and are always so sees big things for the future. last few years people have asked me encouraging.” “We want to expand our menu if I was going to open a business,” and have more seasonal options,” she said. “This place popped up and Estie van she said. “We also have a pastry chef we came and looked at it and I just der Berg starting in November and she’ll be looked at my husband and I said, ‘I able to bring some new ideas. We’re think this is it. I think this is a sign really excited.” that we need to do this.’” As to the Golden Fork Awards, van der Berg Stella Bean Sweets offers Fratello coffee, macaroons, lemon meringue and cannolis, among many said it is amazing to be recognized. “It feels so good, I couldn’t believe it,” she said. other delicious treats. They also offer breakfast and lunch daily. “We never decide our menu more “Thank you so much to those who voted. We than a week in advance because in the summer I’ll wouldn’t have been able to be where we are today go to the farmers’ market and see what they have. if it weren’t for our customers who voted for us We try as much as we can to shop locally,” said and supported us and are always so encouraging.” BY ERIN FAWCETT efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

Stella Bean


Thank you for voting us best pizza in Red Deer! Also silver for best lunch!

Casual Casual Pizzeria. Pizzeria. Serious Serious Pie. Pie. SWEET TOOTH - Estie van der Berg and Jessie Vandervelden sit in front of their bake shop, Candy Coated photography Stella Bean Sweets, in downtown Red Deer. GOLDEN FORK AWARDS

Thank You Red Deer & Central Alberta!

COME IN & SEE OUR DIFFERENCE! CHINESE 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards

Lunch Special

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5016 51 Ave. (near Superstore)


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2017 Golden Fork Awards

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 3

Brewing up the best at


BY ERIN FAWCETT efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

Offering the highest quality made beverages and baked goods as well as excelling in superb customer service is what the owners of Second Cup pride themselves in. This year they have been recognized in the Golden Fork Awards by receiving bronze for Best Cup of Coffee and bronze for Best Café. Family owned by the Morrison’s - Ross Morrison, Theresa Morrison, Monica Morrison and Ashley Ramsay - they opened the Southpointe Common location in 2002, while the Gasoline Alley location opened in 2015. “Dad wanted to expand out of the farm a little bit and it arose as an opportunity and he took it,” said Ramsay. “All three of us have grown up in it since (Monica) was fouryears-old.” With all the development in Gasoline Alley in the last number of years, that location has proven to be a success for the Morrisons. “We saw all of the expansion out here and we thought it was a good opportunity

to be on the highway,” said Ramsay. Theresa added, “With the new apartment buildings and duplexes it’s going to be big when it’s all done.” Second Cup offers a mix of hot and cold blended beverages that can be made with or without a coffee base. They also offer an assortment of baked goods and gift ideas. “Our baked goods are delivered fresh daily,” said Ramsay. As the seasons change, so does the menu at Second Cup. “Christmas is our biggest season and fall is bit of a ramp-up to that,” said Ramsay. “We do a lot of baskets for Christmas - for corporate and for gifts, too.” Theresa said being a part of the Central Alberta community by partnering with other organizations is important as well. “We partner with the Rebels and we give them gift cards that they toss into the crowds,” she said, adding they also support a number of other local organizations as well. As for being part of the community, the sisters say they wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. “It is a nice hub between Calgary

and Edmonton where you don’t have the huge city, but you are not in a small town either. You have everything, which I like,” said Ramsay. “We also find that our customers are really loyal which is great; you create a good relationship with them. We have had really strong relationships for years.” Monica added, “It’s nice when people come in a couple of times and then they start saying, ‘Okay, see you tomorrow!’” As to the Golden Fork Awards, the Morrisons said they are honoured. “It feels great that people think of us. It definitely makes you feel like you are doing something good,” said Theresa. “Thank you to everyone who voted for us and to our loyal customers. We really appreciate them and their business.” Ultimately, at the end of the day, the sisters enjoy working together as a family. “Surprisingly we all work together really well,” Theresa said with a laugh. Ramsay added, “It works in our lives and we can help out on the farm DOUBLE WIN - From left, Ayla Ramsay, 2, Ashley Ramsay, Monica Morrison, Ross and it gives us the flexibility. It has Morrison and Theresa Morrison, stand in their Gasoline Alley location of Second given us a lot of opportunity.” photo submitted Cup.


for voting us



DESSERT 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards

Bower Place 5900 Molly Ba Bannister Dr. (food court entrance)


4 Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017 Golden Fork Awards


Badass Jacks provides a homemade wrap experience BY TODD COLIN VAUGHAN todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

Badass Jacks Subs and Wraps in Red Deer recently received the silver Golden Fork Award for Best Wraps - a tall task considering the competitive wraps market in the region “It makes us feel pretty good,” Owner Sue Hazard said. “I was surprised. It is nice to know there are still new people coming in and it is just a very good feeling.” Staying competitive in a growing fresh food market is something important to Hazard. “We are trying to come up with some new menu ideas,”

she said. “Customer service has always been our number one priority. We try to get people in and out the best we can and still be friendly at the same time.” Being able to tailor the dining experience and attempting to stand out from the typical fast food restaurant is something Hazard tries to achieve through customization. “Basically, you can make your own - depending on what the customer wants,” she said. “We can walk them through, we know what is what. If they are looking for gluten free items or low fat items, we are up to date on that.” Providing the tailored custom-made experience is some-

thing Hazard feels her team has well in hand. “We have a good crew here,” she said. “We have a lot of fun.” Badass Jacks, being a franchise, is in the midst of exciting changes. “We had some changes with head office that we are all pumped about,” Hazard said. “We are coming out with new items and hopefully getting some new stores going. We are seeing what else is out there and we are trying to make this the one stop place. Instead of just a healthy store, or gluten free store - we have a little bit of everything.” Hazard’s community com-

mitment over the years has led to plenty of repeat customers. “I have had some the same customers for 20 years,” she said. “If the customer is happy, they will talk to their friends about it. The food is good; the customer service is good and

word of mouth puts us out there.” Word of mouth, according to Hazard, is something that is still alive and well in Red Deer despite the City’s growing size. Hazard hopes that this word of mouth will allow for Badass Jacks to continue to expand.

“Hopefully, we will get some new locations and new menu ideas,” she said. “We have some new subs; we have put chili on and a lot of our stuff is homemade right here. She added, “Anything that is homemade - sells. People like it.”

FOOD QUALITY,, a big benefit of

Freshii FRESH FOOD - Rupinder Kaur holds up a fresh salad prepared at the Freshii location at Bower Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express Mall. BY CARLIE CONNOLLY carlie.connolly@reddeerexpress.com

HONOUR - Badass Jacks has been awarded the silver Golden Fork Award for serving up some of the best wraps in Central Alberta. Owner Sue Hazard stands in front of the counter where Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express staff are able to customize anything the customer wants.




Thank you Red Deer for voting for us!


Started as a fresh food, healthy alternative, Freshii was founded by Matthew Corrin, with the aim of helping citizens of the world live better by making healthy food convenient and affordable. Some of the food they serve include salads and wraps, bowls, burritos, soups and more. They also serve juices, smoothies and frozen yogurt. “They all are fresh, organic juices and we have fruit smoothies that we just introduced last month,” said Rupinder Kaur, supervisor at Freshii. She said they also offer what they call energy bites, which have proven to be quite popular. “They are really good for the workout people who go to the gym,” she said, adding they provide a 10% discount

for Goodlife Fitness members, as they have a membership with them. Freshii at Bower Mall received silver for Best Healthy Eats, silver for Best Organic Food, and silver for Best Gluten Free Food in this year’s Golden Fork Awards. Kaur said they were surprised and happy to hear they won the awards. Having been only in the mall for a couple of years, she said it’s been a good location for a healthy food stop. “In the beginning it wasn’t that popular, but now there’s so many Freshii’s in Red Deer, one is at the south common and one in Sylvan Lake, so I think now people are getting aware, so it’s getting popular amongst the people,” she said. “I think Freshii has a bright future. I think in the future people are going to be more

aware about health food, so I think it will also do much better in the future.” One of the big benefits she said is the food quality at Freshii. “Our food quality is good. We make everything fresh in the morning, we don’t make it the day before.” She said their dressings are made in house, and don’t come from outside places. Looking into the future, she said they will possibly be adding a kids menu and a frozen yogurt component, as they don’t have those at their current location. “At other Freshii’s they have a Froyo and kids menu because they are big,” she said. “Other Freshii’s are like restaurants, people don’t like to sit and eat, so here people come at dinner time to grab their dinner and they just pick it up from here and go.”



2017 R Choice eaders’ Award s

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403.346.8877 www.laspalmeras.ca

CUP OF COFFEE 2017 Readers’ Readers’ 2014 Choice Awards Awards Choice


FOR VOTING US BEST CUP OF COFFEE. 4912 50TH AVE / 403.343.3722


2017 Golden Fork Awards

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 5

COBS Bread

NEW VENTURE - Scott and Mandy Wigley stand in the newest location of COBS Bread in Timberlands.

lands silver for Best Bakery

Mark Weber/Red Deer Express

BY MARK WEBER mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com

Scott said the company falls under the umbrella of the extremely successful Australian company called Bakers Delight which runs some 700 bakeries Red Deer’s COBS Bread specializes in fresh sweet across Australian and New Zealand. The COBS and savoury baked breads each morning, delicious name is seen across Canada and the U.S. pastries and other delectable treats. “It’s a 35-year-old company,” he said of Bakers Having just opened another bakery in Delight. Timberlands, the business scooped up silver in “COBS has been been around about 10 to 12 the Best Bakery category in this year’s Golden years in Canada,” he said, adding the bakeries first Fork Awards. opened in B.C. and have now been established all Another outstanding feature? At the end of the way out to Ontario. the day, all the leftover bread is donated to local Their hardy staff are at the bakery early to causes and charities in the community such as get to work on the day’s bread and other baked school breakfast programs for example, plus the goods, with the first employee arriving around Salvation Army and the Mustard Seed, said Scott 1 a.m. followed by more staff about an hour Wigley, who owns the franchise along with his or so later. wife Mandy. “Product-wise, I’d say the biggest As mentioned, the second location thing is the authenticity of the bread,” was just opened a few weeks ago with explained Scott, adding that some the first at Southpointe Common. staff members are sent abroad to “We opened the first one in Red learn precise and top-notch ways to Deer over in Southpointe Common, bake the finest in breads. For examwhich was in June of 2015,” said Scott. “There are no ple, one baker learned the proper “The company was looking to way to bake sourdough during a preservatives or bring COBS to Red Deer, and we learning session in San Francisco. additives in the were looking at different business The process actually takes three days bread, so we like opportunities - and this really suited to do it right, said Scott. to bring that to what we were looking for,” explained “Levain gets made today which gets the community Scott, who added that although both mixed into dough tomorrow which - so they have a he and Mandy have managerial and will then be baked the following business experience, the world of healthy choice.” day - that’s how long it takes,” he bakeries was a whole new venture explained. Another example is COBS’ Mandy Wigley for them both. But they have loved French baguettes. “The technical every minute of it. baker was sent to Paris for six weeks “I like the hands-on work,” said to learn how to make an authentic Scott. “We’ve also managed people for a long French baguette. time before this, so that part of it is (fine). You’d “A lot of sourdoughs in North America are just be surprised how many things just kind of cross white bread with some sour powder put into the over in business,” he said, adding the couple had mix, but this bread (here) actually has qualities a flower shop here in Red Deer for several years that help people with bad digestion. prior to shifting their focus via COBS Bread. “We have a lot of customers that didn’t think “There are no preservatives or additives in the they could handle certain breads but they can bread, so we like to bring that to the community actually eat the sourdough. Then they get brave - so they have a healthy choice,” said Mandy. and branch out to other things,” he said, pointing As the web site elaborates, “COBS Bread bakeries out the multitude of additives typically added to specialize in individually handcrafted breads in a bread these days in general often have a negative variety of flavours and textures. All of our bread impact on health as well. is fresh baked and sold each day in each bakery Meanwhile, the couple is thrilled to be setting using scratch baking techniques. While breads up shop on their second outlet in the Timberlands are the foundation of COBS Bread, our product area. With all the projected growth in the area, ranges include traditional breads, specialty loaves, there is indeed plenty of promise for growth. artisan breads as well as sweet and savoury treats.” “The location is good - the timing might be Along with the array of breads, the cinnamon buns a little early, but in Red Deer this is where you and scones are also proving a hit with shoppers, too. want to be.”







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2017 Read Choice Aw ers’ ards



2017 Readers’ Choice Awards

2017 Readers’ Choice Awards


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ON TAP 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards

6 Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017 Golden Fork Awards


Chopped provides fresh Leaf food daily BY CARLIE CONNOLLY carlie.connolly@reddeerexpress.com

an indication that people are happy with their food and service. “We’ve got great staff. Customer service is always Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, Chopped key to us and we’re always really appreciative of when Leaf is the place to visit for on the go fresh food you get acknowledged for that,” she said. that’s prepared daily. Edward said they also have comment cards, and Chopped Leaf received gold for Best Healthy Eats, often receive good remarks. gold for Organic Food, gold for Gluten Free Food “People really like it because it’s different. It’s a and silver for Best Catering Company nice and light lunch. There’s nothing in this year’s Golden Fork Awards. heavy that’s going to make you sleepy Owned by Livia and Edward Young, in the afternoon and it’s fresh,” he said. the healthy restaurant has been open Some of the menu options include now for three years in the Clearview their signature salads, design your own Market location. A second Chopped salads, wraps, sandwiches, quesadillas Leaf is located in Gasoline Alley. “We’ve got great and more. And it’s the freshness of food that Livia said the protein portions they staff. Customer the owners pride themselves with. offer for the salads are also big, so service is always “We prepare all of our lettuce and people feel satisfied after they eat. key to us and vegetables fresh everyday and we also “We have chicken, salmon, prawns, have lots of gluten free dressings and we’re always really tofu and tuna, so there’s lots of different appreciative of gluten free options. We have vegan options for people. The other thing I when you get options as well,” said Livia. really like about our menu is you can She said they’ve been very well reacknowledged design your own, so you have lots of ceived by the Red Deer community options on how you want to build for that.” over the years. your salad, what you want to put on Livia Young “Red Deer was really wanting a your salad, what type of dressing you healthy fast food alternative, so once want to put on your salad,” she said we opened this location in 2014, we They also have soups, making their opened in Gasoline Alley in November of 2015,” own homemade soups, croutons, pita chips and she said. dressings in house. Upon hearing they received some Golden Fork A new addition to their menu this summer is Awards, she said they felt honoured, and that it’s their own homemade iced tea.

WINNER Thanks to all of our fans for voting us Silver in Best Breakfast, Best Brunch, and Best Late Night Eats. We are proud to serve the Red Deer community delicious food morning, noon and night.

HEALTHY EATS - Owners of Chopped Leaf Livia and Edward Young show off some healthy foods Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express at their Clearview Market location. “It goes well with what we had before, because we had chopped water, which is water with fruit in it,” said Edward. When it comes to how they differ next to other restaurants like them, they said it comes back to their freshness. “You can get a lot of salads, but we actually get full heads of romaine, we cut them, we wash them, we spin them and we portion them every day,” she said. Edward said it’s also their versatility that makes them stand out. “The fact that we have eight chef designed salads, if you don’t like something you can take it off and replace it. It really caters to people. They can have what they like,” he said. She said the other thing they’ve really focused on is catering. “Given that we’ve both worked in management positions in the Red Deer community for many years, it was really difficult to get a healthy, light catering option for lunches, so that has been really well received,” she said. They currently do a lot of catering of their wraps and salads, along with hot lunch programs

in the schools. “Another initiative that we’re going to be doing this year is a reading program, so we’re going to be giving the schools bookmarks that the teachers can put reading goals for children, and if they meet their reading goal then they can come in and bring it in for a free kids meal,” she said adding that it’s another way for them to introduce healthy eating and support healthy eating for kids in the community. Currently there’s two Chopped Leaf franchises in Red Deer, with many throughout Alberta and B.C. and now one in the U.S. Nutritional information is supplied online. “We also have online ordering, so if people are in a hurry they can order and pay online. They just come on in and pick up at the end,” she said. They are exploring a partnership with a business downtown and will be looking at providing online ordering and delivery right to the location, as well as stocking some healthy lunch alternatives for that. “We do a lot of catering downtown, so we are looking at having our food accessible to the downtown lunch crowd,” she said, adding they are also looking for other opportunities as well.


BREAKFAST 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards


This year’s winner is

BRUNCH 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards


Colleen Davis $

who won


in gift certificates to participating restaurants in Red Deer!

BACON SLAMBURGER Crispy hash browns, an egg cooked to order, and two bacon strips atop a hand-pressed beef patty covered with Pepper Jack queso.

2940 50TH AVE, RED DEER 403.348.5040

Thank kY You ou tto o everyone wh who ho part participated ticiipatted d iin n vot voting for this year’s 2017 Golden Fork Awards! LATE NIGHT EATS 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards


2017 Golden Fork Awards

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 7

Sweet and savoury options offered at

Crepe Delicious

BY CARLIE CONNOLLY carlie.connolly@reddeerexpress.com

For those in the mood for a light treat, Crepe Delicious at Bower Mall might be the next stop. Owned by Zhong Jin and Lia Bao, Crepe Delicious received gold for Best Dessert in this year’s Golden Fork Awards. The owners said they were excited and quite surprised to find out they won, as the business just opened in April of this year. “The people of Red Deer, they like us. We are really happy,” said Jin, adding the couple also owns a Crepe Delicious in Edmonton. The first Crepe Delicious opened in Toronto in 2004, and from there

grew bigger and bigger, and has now become a chain business. Being located in Bower Mall has been really good, he said. “After we opened, it’s been really good. We’d never thought it would be this busy. People love it,” said Jin. Crepe Delicious offers crepes and frozen treats, with gelato and sorbet direct from Italy. They have a variety of crepes, including the breakfast crepe, the savoury crepe and the sweet crepe. “It’s all the same size, but the savoury one is more like a lunch or a dinner,”said Bao, adding that it has meats and vegetables added to it. The breakfast crepe usually includes eggs, while the sweet crepes are their signature desserts, with different de-

Thank You Red Deer & Central Alberta! EN GOLD




YUMMY TREATS - Owners of Crepe Delicious Zhong Jin and Lia Bao stand in front of their wide Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express selection of crepes at their Bower Mall location.

licious options to choose from. People also have the option to build their own crepe. Jin said choosing Crepe Delicious is a healthy choice for dessert. “The crepe itself is only 130 calories and only three grams of fat, and you can add anything into it,” he said. People can even design their crepes with lettuce, spinach and arugula, making sure to get in their greens. Off to the side of their shop are their frozen goodies, including gelato and sorbet. “The machines and all the ingredients, even the cup all comes from Italy,” he said. They also make it in store so that it’s fresh every day depending on how busy they are.

“We have hundreds of flavours. We change the flavour every day. Sometimes we have this flavour, but tomorrow we don’t,” he said, adding that they provide a fresh variety every day. The sorbet also provides a healthy alternative to ice cream, as it’s water based with a fruit, but doesn’t include cream or fat. Gelato, too, is a healthier option, Jin added. “Ice cream is basically made with cream, so there’s a lot of fat in there, but for gelato we use three per cent milk, so it’s much healthier than ice cream,” he said. With a small staff of five, Crepe Delicious prides itself on always trying to serve their customers better. “We listen to the customers. If the


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customer wants to give us a suggestion, we listen and try to improve it,” said Bao. Customers can also request flavours. “For some of the gelato, we will ask the customer and our staff which flavour they would like,” she said. Currently residing in Edmonton, Jin and Bao drive back and forth, checking in at both their locations. They are even thinking of moving to Red Deer in the future. Currently, most of the Crepe Delicious stores are in malls, but in the middle east, they have restaurant locations, selling not only crepes, but full meals too. Jin said in the future they would like to think about opening a restaurant in Red Deer that’s not in the food court.



Daily features with Gluten Free and Vegan options. Small and Large sizes available. Stuffed Cups IDOL: Brown basmati rice, black bean corn salsa, cumbers,

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31 Clearview Market Way • Red Deer, AB

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IDOL CUP D E F F U ST WORKING DOWNTOWN? Our salads & online ordering are now available at Stella Bean! 129 Leva Ave • Red Deer, AB

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8 Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017 Golden Fork Awards GOLDEN FORK AWARDS



2017 Readers’ Choice Awards

2017 Readers’ Choice Awards

2017 Readers’ Choice Awards

Gold Winners Chinese Greek Italian Mexican Indian Vietnamese Hamburger Wings Sushi Ribs Steak Pizza Chicken Donairs Wraps Appetizers Kid Friendly Late Night Eats Fine Dining Most Romantic Wine List On Tap Cup of Coffee Buffet


Silver Winners Bronze Winners

Dragon City Café

Red Star Chinese Restaurant

China Ben

It’s All Greek To Me


Saro’s Restaurant

East Side Mario’s

La Casa Pergola

George’s Pizza & Steakhouse

Las Palmeras

Mucho Burrito

Old Mexican Taco Buffet

Indian Flame & Pizza

Astha Fine Indian Cuisine

Tandoor n Flame

Pho Thuy Duong

Thap Ba

Noodle House


Burger Boy

Five Guys Burger & Fries

Bo’s Bar & Grill

Moxie’s Grill & Bar

Boston Pizza

Shiso Japanese Restaurant

Sushi Maru

Momo Sushi

Tony Roma’s

Red Boar Smokery

State & Main Kitchen & Bar

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar


Mr Mike’s Steakhouse Casual

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria

Pizza 73

Papa Baldy’s Pizza

Mary Brown’s


King Donair & Shawarma

Nando’s Cleopatra’s Donair & Pita

Pita Pit

Badass Jack’s

Cleopatra’s Donair & Pita

Moxie’s Grill & Bar


To The Lost



Boston Pizza

Original Joe’s




WestLake Grill

Moxie’s Grill & Bar

WestLake Grill

La Casa Pergola

Tiffany’s Steakhouse & Lounge

Tiffany’s Steakhouse & Lounge


Saro’s Restaurant

Original Joe’s

Browns Socialhouse

Bo’s Bar & Grill

Dose Coffee


Second Cup

Dragon City Buffet

Phoenix Buffet

Red Deer Buffet

Pizza Paradise and Donair


Fast Food Breakfast Lunch Brunch Dinner Dessert Pub Lounge Patio Sports Bar On Wheels Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt Bakery Deli Café Healthy Eats Organic Food Gluten Free Food Produce Catering Company Best New Business Best Independent

2017 Golden Fork Awards

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 9




2017 Readers’ Choice Awards

2017 Readers’ Choice Awards

2017 Readers’ Choice Awards

Gold Winners

Silver Winners Bronze Winners

Five Guys Burger & Fries



Cora Breakfast & Lunch


Phil’s Restaurant

Dragon City Café

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria

Pho Thuy Duong

Cora Breakfast & Lunch


ABC Country Restaurant

WestLake Grill



Crepe Delicious

Dairy Queen


Bo’s Bar & Grill

East 40th Pub

The Blarney Stone Pub & Restaurant

To The Lost

Browns Socialhouse

Tiffany’s Steakhouse & Lounge


East Side Mario’s

Moxie’s Grill & Bar

The Canadian Brewhouse

Bo’s Bar & Grill

Boston Pizza

Chedda’ Heads

Peppermint Andy’s Ice Cream Wagon

Cool Beans

Little Ice Cream & Soda Shoppe

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt

Dairy Queen

Babycakes Cupcakery

COBS Fresh Bread




Big Bend Market

Dose Coffee

City Roast Coffee

Second Cup

The Chopped Leaf


Purearth Organics

The Chopped Leaf


Purearth Organics

The Chopped Leaf


The Maple Tree Bakery


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10 Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017 Golden Fork Awards


Purearth Organics lands two Golden Fork Awards STEADY GROWTH - Purearth Organics has landed two bronze awards in this year’s Golden Fork Awards. Pictured here are owners Rebekah and Jeff McDonald in the Red Deer business. Mark Weber/Red Deer Express

BY MARK WEBER mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com

For the finest in multiple lines of fresh, organic - local residents can head to Purearth Organics which landed bronze in the Best Organic Food and Best Healthy Eats categories of this year’s Golden Fork Awards. The journey to establishing what today is a thriving, popular business began with, as the web site reads, “One sick little boy and a mom’s desire to change it.” Rebekah McDonald, who co-owns the business

with her husband Jeff, started to transition their family to a mainly plant-based raw food diet to help deal with ongoing digestive issues. The results of making that change were extraordinarily positive, recalls Rebekah. “We started it in the basement when I had three little kids at home. Really, I was driving to Edmonton and Calgary to get organic food, and I had a little boy who had digestive problems, and I had digestive problems, so we really were wanting organic food. So we were driving all over, and that really wasn’t cost-effective with a husband in school and three kids at home.



“So we started ordering just produce, and sorting We are so grateful for our community and for it for eight families in our basement,” she recalls the ability that we have to learn from each other,” with a smile. “We just kept growing and growing.” noted the site. About a year later, they moved what had grown “Our goal is to provide you with the best nourto be a co-op into their garage where there was ishment possible; to teach you how to use it and more room for the produce. empower you on your own journey to health!” As Rebekah added, the business has always been “A lot of things that weren’t easily available, we would go and bring it in and sort it out for our few highly education-based as well. Topics focus on people.” But as Rebekah mentioned, the demand maintaining and building a person’s health to for what they were providing just kept increasing. optimal levels. They would eventually prepare orders for cus“As classes come up, we post them on the web tomers. The couple worked out of their garage site,” added Jeff. for about a year before moving to a warehouse For the couple, the business has provided an in the Cronquist Business Park near where they ideal place for them to connect with others who are now located. are looking for the finest in organic During those nine years, as their foods and who are also wanting to improve their overall health as well. web site points out, they continued “It was a passion, a hobby and a to add services, products and evenlove of ours - and there was a need tually decided to make the leap and become a full-time produce market. for it. It just wasn’t being fulfilled “We specialize “We specialize in whole food ev(locally),” explained Rebekah. in whole food “It’s all about achieving maximum erything,” said Rebekah. “Even our everything.” nutritional supplements - they aren’t health. encapsulated pills - they are food. “We’ve also both always been really Rebekah Our protein powders, our greens athletic, and that kind of goes with McDonald powders and vitamins - are whole good food.” food powders that you can add to With the family digestive issues things. It’s about quality of the food, and also all those years ago, Rebekah recalls that she was teaching people how to use it and starting out determined to fix that as well. “We learned a lot from where they are at.” along the way, and in turn we are able to help lots Last year they moved to their current spot of other people when they can’t find the answers - a bright, spacious location in the upcoming anywhere else.” Riverlands district. Jeff agreed. “It’s also created a real community,” “We love our new shop by the river and it gives he explained. “We’ve had people that have been us the opportunity to teach more classes, phase coming to us as along as we’ve been doing this - even in an Organic Cafe and expand our Elixir Bar! back to when we were working in our basement.”

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2017 Golden Fork Awards

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 11

Cora takes gold

in Best Brunch, Best Breakfast BY MARK WEBER mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com

Offering some of the tastiest and freshest choices for breakfast and lunch in the City, Cora has landed gold in this year’s Golden Fork Awards in the categories of Best Breakfast and Best Brunch. Choices abound for the first meal of the day, with dishes ranging from French toast, waffles and savoury crepes to omelettes and a plethora of pancakes offerings, too. Lunches run the gamut from the Waldorf Salad, the Swiss chicken burger and the Panini crepe to a Cobb salad or a vegetable skillet. According to the company’s web site, “The adventure began in May 1987, when Cora (Mussely Tsouflidou) bought a small diner in Montreal’s Saint-Laurent district. “After just a few months of operation, Cora changed the diner’s mission, making breakfasts her specialty. Combining fruit, cheese, cereal, omelettes, crepes and French toast, culinary magician Cora started a whole new breakfast concept in Quebec. Inspired by family traditions, customer requests and sometimes outlandish suggestions from her children, Cora designed her new breakfasts to coincide with the new trends toward healthy eating. One by one, she improved the traditional breakfast dishes and then conjured up a hundred others.”

THRIVING SPOT - Cora in Red Deer won gold in this year’s Golden Fork Awards in two categories Mark Weber/Red Deer Express - Best Breakfast and Best Brunch. Pictured here is owner Pritesh Patel. “Today, the Cora family includes over 130 franchised restaurants and the adventure continues.” Since 2008, Nicholas Tsouflidis, Cora’s youngest son, is the president of the company. Here in Red Deer, Pritesh Patel is now at the helm of the bustling eatery and has been since just this past August.


Originally from India, Patel has been involved with the restaurant business for much of his life. “My father and my uncle owned a restaurant, so I was helping with that,” he said. Later in life, he was living in Germany for his studies and began looking for a part-time job. Again, he found himself drawn to the restaurant

business in a number of capacities. Working with people has also been a source of fulfillment. He eventually was in restaurant management in Germany. Just a few years back, he moved to Canada as he had siblings living in Fort McMurray. “Again, I started working with Boston Pizza,” he explained of his continued garnering of valuable experience. “It’s all about meeting new people and making friends,” he said. “Everyday, you get in touch with different kinds of people as well and you give them the best customer service you can.” Cora is a great restaurant to be involved with as well, what with their broad range of healthy choices to dine on, he said. “We are serving really healthy and delicious food,” he said. With the focus squarely on breakfast and lunch, it also makes for a nice work-life balance, he said, noting there is valuable time in the day to spend with family, too. And even with his past experience, there are always new things to learn, he said. “I’m still learning and trying to do better and better customer service. Plus I’m learning about the community and about their expectations,” he said, adding how please he is as well with his awesome staff. “We want to serve more and more people.”

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12 Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017 Golden Fork Awards


Elephant Castle starts new and

trends in City’s northeast TEAM EFFORT - Bartender Heather Sontag, Kitchen Manager Manta Ramdin and General Manager Jolene Buchanan have helped Elephant and Castle win the silver Golden Fork Award for Best Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express New Business. BY TODD COLIN VAUGHAN todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

Elephant and Castle, the latest restaurant brand in Franworks which includes State and Main and Original Joes, has opened to the delight of Red Deerians - who have since awarded the pub the silver for Best New Business. “We offer a pub-style atmosphere, meaning we do have the atmosphere to allow for a bit of rowdiness,” General Manager Jolene Buchanan

miu Pre

said. “At the same time, we are still very family-friendly. We feature comfort food on our menu and we have 18 different beers on tap, with a big variety of craft beer. “It is a place for anyone and everyone to come in and enjoy a couple of pints or a meal.” Buchanan noted Elephant and Castle offers more than a typical British-styled pub. “There are also a lot of things on our menu that isn’t typical pub food,” she said. “They are a little out of the box which provides a little

m Homemade Ice Crea m GOLDEN

different atmosphere.” Elephant and Castle, which is located on the northeast side of the City near the new development around Timberlands, is the first of its kind in Alberta. “This is the first Elephant and Castle to open since Franworks bought it,” Buchanan explained. “That helps keep it fresh because it is a new brand separate from State and Main and Original Joes. It is something different and the craft beer on tap really helps with the trends.” Winning the silver Golden Fork Award is a good measuring stick for how Elephant and Castle is being received by the community, according to Buchanan. “It is fantastic. It means that locals are really enjoying it and hopefully it means we can continue to bring people in here,” she said. “I haven’t heard a lot of feedback through social media, but all the guests here have been happy.” The pub, after being initially very busy due to the novelty of a new pub, is starting to see how their business will work as Timberlands continues to develop. “In the first few months, we were slammed busy,” Buchanan said. “Now we have started to





see the trends on which days are busier. Once we are more developed around here, our lunches are going to be extremely busy.” While ownership and some practices remain similar, Elephant and Castle is distinct from its Franworks cousins. “There is a similar atmosphere, but there is a lot of different artwork,” Buchanan explained. “Our menu is a lot different, however, it does have the same basics. We still have everything made in house and all the recipes are from scratch with our own sauces. We have fresh ingredients and sometimes we also have some local ingredients, which is really good. “The difference is mostly with the British inspiration we have here.” Buchanan added they will continue to expand on ideas that work. “For the future, time will tell. We want to stick to our standards and make sure that we meeting all of them. We might be looking into doing some pub nights or cask nights with local breweries,” she said. She added, “It’s great because that means people are talking about us outside of the building. Our name is out there and that is fantastic.”

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017 13

Chedda’ Heads keeps on truckin’ through Central Alberta BY TODD COLIN VAUGHAN todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

Food trucks have become the go-to outdoor craze across the country and Chedda’ Heads is leading the charge in Central Alberta, winning gold for Best on Wheels. “Chedda’ Heads food truck is a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich truck,” Co-owner and Operator Dawson Strome said. “We take the classic grilled cheese sandwich and then we add a bunch of different types of cheese and fancy ingredients to take the grilled cheese sandwich to the next level.” Strome believes that creating an experience has been key for the Chedda’ Heads’ brand. “The one thing we have really worked on in the last two years is the customer experience,” he said. “In this last year, we have even added a mascot so when we go to our bigger events like Westerner Days we bring our mascot with us. We go out and try to grab attention that way and even by having little stickers that we give to kids walking by. We are focusing on doing

TOPS - Chedda’ Heads Co-owner and Operator Dawson Strome said the sky is the limit for the future of Chedda’ Heads in Red Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express Deer.

that step above to try to be com- truck that it was already so espetitive - especially when there tablished that we felt we had are so many trucks.” something to prove,” Dawson Chedda’ Heads can be seen all said. “Winning a Golden Fork throughout Central Alberta in shows we have continued to the summer months, something keep our customers happy Strome attributes and we have conto the business tinued to provide the great service relationships and food that they formed since he want.” and his brother Jonathan Strome Providing great took over two service directly “We take the years ago. correlates to emclassic grilled “We are so ployee developcheese sandwich ment, according thankful that in and then we an economy that to Dawson. “We have been is really tight, we add a bunch of have been blessed different types of so fortunate to by a community cheese and fancy have an incredthat has come staff and we ingredients to take ible to us,” he said. do lots of trainthe grilled cheese ing in the spring “Forming relasandwich to the to ensure they untionships is one next level.” derstand the imof the most important aspects Dawson Strome portance of having quality in the of being a food truck owner. We food,” he said. “We have done lots of do tons of practice pop-up events with local busi- where they are grilling so many sandwiches even before their nesses in the area.” Being selected by readers is first day on the job in the truck. important for the Stromes. “It is important for us to have “We felt when we bought this a staff that understands when


in Red Deer, so we have people following us to events we are going to,” he said. “I had someone saying to me they came to Westerner Days for a Chedda’ Heads Westerner Day sandwich, because we had sandwiches which were only available then. “Having customers that have followed us throughout the

whole journey definitely helps.” In addition, Dawson sees big things for Chedda’ Heads. “The sky is the limit. We have talked about doing other food trucks in other cities and we even have a brick and mortar, which would be accessible year around. We are currently at Bower Ponds throughout the whole year,” he said.


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we say, ‘Hey, it’s crazy busy; there are 20 people in line - but we are still going to throw on a smile and have a great day.’” He added being social media savvy has helped their business immensely by allowing them to create a relationship with their customers. “We are also fortunate to be one of the first food trucks


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14 Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017 Golden Fork Awards


Las Palmeras offers fun and

BY CARLIE CONNOLLY carlie.connolly@reddeerexpress.com

Las Palmeras, first established in Red Deer in 1992, is a family-owned restaurant offering a unique Mexican dining experience. The restaurant received gold for Best Mexican Food for the annual Golden Fork Awards. Former Owner Albino Lemus, who passed the restaurant down to his son Andre in 2011, said in the first year of business, it was all about people getting to know them in the community. By the second year, he said, everything was excellent. “My wife and I emigrated to Canada in 1985. I worked for somebody for six years and after decided to start on my own thing,” he said. He and his wife emigrated to Canada from El Salvador, and Lemus said it was his dream to run his own business along with doing lots of cooking. “At that time, I got involved a lot in Red Deer. We sponsored quite a bit.” Lemus said they sponsored Hunting Hills High School’s dry grad for many years along with Notre Dame High School. “In giving something to the community, they give you lots back,” said Lemus.


ing with his family. “We’re still here together,” he said with a laugh. “Our menu is mostly charbroil, fried pan, and not deep fried,” he said, adding that only a couple of items are deep fried. Lemus created most of the menu items which vary. With everything from cheese nachos to fajitas, Las Palmeras has everything Mexican. “The good thing is people trust us so much. Our stuff is well-known on the menu and what’s in it,” said Lemus. He said that’s one of the ways they differ from other restaurants, is they list what’s in each of the dishes. “The beauty for me and a lot of customers is they like the choices from any different type of food they’re getting,” he said, adding that they also offer unique menu items and homemade creations. Some examples of their menu items include Carnitas, which include a marinated pork loin, grilled and served with homemade soft corn tortillas, shells of salsa, rice and beans. There is also their famous beef enchiladas, which include beef in their special tomato sauce topped with melted cheese and a dollop of sour cream, also served with rice and beans.


HAPPY TRIO - From left, former owner Albino Lemus, Melba Haro and Lorenzo Porquia pose at Las Palmeras. He and his family also participate in the Festival of Trees each year.

Although starting a business was tough in the first year, the community has responded

well, and it’s now a hit. “The first year, when a small business is starting, it’s very

Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express

hard, but we managed, my wife and I and my kids.” He said it’s been great work-

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2017 Golden Fork Awards

Famoso PIZZA, a healthier style of pizza

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 15

Famoso started to become franchised. When Curtis got involved with Famoso, he said, there were six stores, and by the time they Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria isn’t your typical opened in Red Deer, they were store number 19. Today, there are 30 across the country, mostly take-out or delivery style pizza. Born in Naples, Italy, Famoso was founded Alberta-based. Since their start in 2013, he said, Red Deer by CEO Justin Lussier. After experiencing the pizza in Naples, he wanted to find a way to make has been great. He said for better or worse they are lucky they it back in Alberta. Red Deer’s Famoso, which opened in 2013, are very niche-oriented and that not too many received gold for Best Pizza and silver for Best other people do what they do. “A lot of people think that pizza’s pizza, but Lunch for the annual Golden Fork Awards. And there are many different variations of chickit’s not the first time. en and steak and everything else, Owner Ryan Curtis said they’ve too.” been fortunate enough to win Best Similar to in Naples, Famoso Pizza before, but the Best Lunch is has authentic ingredients and a new honour for them. processes. “The lunch special is something “We import our flour and our that’s dying in a lot of places. We tomatoes right from Naples, Italy,” don’t see it as often, but we’ve kept “I think we’re said Curtis. it around for the lunch hour. We the only true Their fior-di-latte is 100% run it till 4 p.m. every day, so it’s Canadian cow’s milk mozzarella. pizzeria left.” really neat, and it allows us to be Invented in Naples, the cheese is quite busy at lunch which is great Ryan Curtis rich and creamy. in a very competitive downtown “Our oven’s from Italy as well. market,” said Curtis. It cooks the pizzas at about 900 Famoso, compared to other pizza shops, is different in the fact that it’s not just degrees Fahrenheit, so they’re really thin take-out and delivery, which they also offer. “I crust.” He said they are also a softer style of pizza, think we’re the only true pizzeria left.” People can come in and sit down to enjoy seared and crisp on the outside, but that can be broken up inside to find fresh bread. their pizza. “They’re easily digested and they leave you “Pizza is our thing and we choose to do more or less one thing and do it very, very well. That’s feeling light.” Coming up, Famoso will be offering a new fall our goal.” The first Famoso opened up in Edmonton, menu coming out Oct. 17th with a new selection which is where Curtis got to experience the of craft beers and new wines that come in all the time. “A lot of times people don’t realize taste firsthand. “I got really tired of driving to Edmonton that we do have some of those things,” he said, to grab a pizza so my family and I said, ‘Let’s adding that the menu also includes pastas, salapproach them’,” he said, adding that at the time ads, appetizers, cocktails and gelato. BY CARLIE CONNOLLY carlie.connolly@reddeerexpress.com

/pitapitcanada GOLDEN FORK AWARDS


FRESH INGREDIENTS - Owner of Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria, Ryan Curtis stands with some pizzas, fresh out of the oven. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express

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