Hot on the heels of Jollibee’s wildly successful launch in the Edmonton market, another major Asian chain has opened its first location in the Alberta capital.
The Alley, located on Currents Drive, has hundreds of locations in Taiwan, and has made inroads into North America and Europe. The logo is of a deer, and those who are crazy about The Alley’s bubble teas and fruit drinks are known as “deerfans.”
The popular “deerioca” drinks feature the sweet bubbles made from a brown sugar “lava” that’s cooked for at least two hours. We recommend the matcha variety, with a great punch of both bitter and sweet.
Another big hit (with us, at least) are the slush drinks, which are served in clear bottles. They come in layers, with apple vinegar or jasmine tea at the bottom, the coloured slush in the middle and the blue butter-fly pea flower tea at the top. The presentation is beautiful. It’s almost like holding a neon, multi-coloured drink — shake it up, then open. We like the Northern Lights, with grape slush and apple vinegar at the base. It packs a heck of a sour punch — and that’s fun.
A little less than a year after the Calgary location opened, Greta Bar has opened its downtown site on 109th Street. There are plenty of seats and booths, but this place is best enjoyed by wandering about and trying the vintage video games, bubble hockey or pinball machines. It boasts what’s claimed to be the world’s largest Pac-Man game.
The food is advertised as global street food, from spicy mini patties (Jamaica) to Canadian east-coast fries, with plenty of salt. From jackfruit to noodles, they’re all prepared in snack-size portions in a food truck that’s located inside the premises. You can either order at the table or walk up to the food truck window and order there.
And, in true Alberta fashion, the bubble hockey game features the Oilers and the Flames.
The third Oliver and Bonacini-owned spot for food and drinks has opened in the JW Marriott. Alchemy, designed to be a cozy speakeasy with buttery leather couches, will offer snacks and around 30 signature cocktails, with a fifth-floor balcony view that overlooks Rogers Place. The venue is accessed through a secret door disguised as a bookcase. The hotel already boasts the swarthy steakhouse, Braven, and the modern Kindred.
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This article appears in the November 2019 issue of Avenue Edmonton.