Judy Ink - the food blog of Judy Schultz
Prairie Bistro, St. Albert
Sunday, 21 August 2011 09:02

On a perfect day in August, our second visit to the new Enjoy Centre in St. Albert.

This time the restaurant was open and it was about lunchtime, so why not?

In four words? Good food, good service. Not every waitress is as charmed by the arrival of a two-year-old in her section as ours appeared to be. (No gushing, but sensible: Would she like a high chair or a booster seat? And the water glass was half-filled, so she wouldn't spill it quite so soon.) That could have been the whole story, but it wouldn't necessarily have ended up in my blog.

Here's why it did: the Prairie Bistro is really, truly what its name implies. The room captures that spare earthy prairie feeling that's part of my DNA. Rough textures, muted colours, an impression of endless space and possibility, of light, of moving sky, and weather that will change on a dime. The view is urban-to-rural prairie: beyond a busy highway, there's tall grass and water, all the way to the horizon.  

But we came to eat, and if the food hadn't surprised us I wouldn't have bothered blogging.

Happy day, as expected of the Hole family, they walk the talk. They also cook it. Suppliers are local farmers, people you've probably met at a farmers market, or across a kitchen table. The pork is Berkshire, the beef is grass-fed and flavoursome, the vegetables are fresh and the food is handled with respect and affection. My ricotta-stuffed crepe was tender, generously filled, the still-perky arugula lending that hint of bitter bite, the tomatoes tiny and sweet. The burgers and the shredded pork on a bun won praise for flavour and gorgeous garnish. The grilled cheese sandwich for our two-year-old was appropriately gooey with melted gouda. The bits she declined to eat were hoovered down by the adults.

Lunch for four adults and a child, with 1 beer, four coffees, came to $94.08.

I like this place a lot, and I love the idea of the upcoming Harvest Dinner, Sept. 1.

www.prairiebistro.ca will get you there.

Last Updated on Sunday, 21 August 2011 09:21