No regularly scheduled Food Notes tonight – between launching Chinatown Dining Week and Emily’s birthday festivities, I’m giving myself the night off. But I did think it was a good opportunity to finally post my personal highlights from 2022. Thanks for reading!
In 2022, I dined indoors a whole lot more than in the previous two years, but even that meant eating in around a dozen times. My family still hasn’t resumed pre-pandemic habits, but in all honesty, I did not know how much joy I’d continue to find in having picnics outdoors, and with young children, embracing the sheer convenience of eating in our own space.
We also remained close to home for vacations, hitting up some familiar locales. Staycations will definitely be in our repertoire for years to come, even now after travel restrictions have eased. The pandemic has made us even more grateful for what we can access just a few hours from Edmonton.
But above all, 2022 will be remembered as the year our family became four. Things haven’t been the same since Elizabeth arrived in August, as Mack and I adjusted to having a newborn again, and Emily grew into her role as big sister. But we’re looking forward to new adventures as a family soon enough!
Here are some of my favourite food-related memories of 2022:
Mack and I had our first in-person date at a restaurant indoors in more than two years. We had been invited to try Hayloft, a new steakhouse that opened in 2022. Some dishes are just meant to be consumed hot at the table, and perfectly cooked steak is one such plate.
Media night at Hayloft
We also had a wonderful night out together at Fu’s Repair Shop, a funky and delicious hot spot. I loved the story behind the restaurant.
Bites from Fu’s
With Emily in tow, we had a great meal at Otto in the summer as I finished up work before starting my maternity leave. Those garlic fries, though.
Emily hamming it up at Otto
Otto was one of the restaurants represented on the #YEGFoodFaves list I worked on with Linda in the fall (I was furiously writing out my sections while Ellie napped unreliably as a two month old). Kasey Ramen’s amazing kits also make an appearance on the list – I’m so glad I discovered them in 2022.
Kasey Ramen at home
I was also really proud of reaching our five-year milestone with Chinatown Dining Week. It’s never a given for any event, and even more special for an entirely volunteer-run initiative.
Sampling Kim Fat’s chicken skins
Jack’s Burger Shack, which opened up Downtown at the end of 2021, has become our go-to for take-out. I love their hangover burger, and Emily adores their cinnamon toast crunch milkshake.
Jack’s al fresco
We returned to Prairie Creek Inn for our annual retreat, with Emily now being old enough to remember it. Their breakfasts are always something to look forward to.
Breakfast at Prairie Creek Inn
And though not a food-related memory, I have to end on sharing a photo of Elizabeth, though I am sure there will be more to come in the future!
Elizabeth Fengyi (楓怡) Male