Last week in Part I on Workshop Eatery, you read about my conversations with Chef Paul Shufelt and learned a little bit more about Workshop Eatery’s beginnings. This week in Part II, I am sharing all about my epicurean experiences there, so let’s dig in.
First off, one thing that you should know about me is that when it comes to any experience, I am all about consistency; consistency in quality, level of service and overall experience. It is for this reason why I paid a few visits to Workshop before I wrote this blog post and was able to experience their lunch, dinner and brunch.
When I first walked into Workshop, I felt like I was walking into my mom’s kitchen; warm and inviting were the first things that came to mind. With 67 seats and then an additional 24 on the patio for warmer months, you definitely get a cozy feel here.
The super open concept kitchen gives you a front row seat to Chef Paul and his team working away and creating plates for their guest.
As I watched Chef and team “in the zone” in the kitchen, I noticed that Chef also took the time to come out from behind the pass to meet and/or speak to his guests every time that I was there – talk about hospitality!
Now as for the food, here is an overview of a few of the bites I nibbled on:
During one of my lunch visits, I ordered the Cobb salad and holy shirts and pants was it FRESH! One thing I cannot stand when I go to a restaurant is when the lettuce looks like it has died on my plate or has seen better days; that was not the case for this salad. Everything in this salad was incredibly fresh and was just as appealing on the palate, as it was to the eyes. Not over dressed in thick gooey dressing, rather a light and appropriately seasoned dressing that paired perfectly with the the delicate butter lettuce leaves.
I also tried the veggie melt sandwich, as this is not something you see on a menu often. Friends, whether you are a vegetarian or a meat eater, this creation is worth trying! Although it is a vegetarian sandwich it was very hearty and the ingredients paired perfectly together – the meatiness of the mushrooms, the peppery spice of the arugula, the sweetness of the tomato jam, the tang of the goat cheese and even the touch of thyme that I could taste at the back of my palate– so yummy!
During my brunch visit, I indulged in the Heuvos Benedicto (which is essentially a mash up of eggs benny + huevos rancheros) that featured farm fresh Four Whistle Farm eggs and I also shared the beet salad with friends. Yet again, everything was spot on delicious. My friend Darcy who joined me for the brunch had the best description for the beet salad, describing it as “beets, upon beets, upon even more beets!” The balance of the natural sweetness of the beets and acid of the pickling combined with the varying textures of beet, candied pecans and the goat cheese made this dish one of the best beet salads I have tried, except for mine of course 😉
Now I don’t want to go on and on about every single dish because I think you get an idea of the quality that you can expect from Workshop Eatery. As I have said before, I looooove a great dining experience whether it is hosting friends, an intimate dinner for two at home or a great meal out with friends and loved ones. Years ago, when I first started to change the way I ate and moved more and more into a healthier lifestyle, I often found myself epically disappointed at the lack of whole food and healthy options at restaurants that tasted good as well. Well Workshop are one of the eateries that are changing that “norm” big time because the plates here are real deal, delish, whole food goodness.
Oh wait, there is more! As I mentioned last week, Workshop is located inside the Mosaic Centre, which is Alberta’s first net-zero office building. What does that mean? Well, the short version is that is that this building talks the talk and walks the walk when it comes to sustainability and loving on our environment. With credentials that include Edmonton’s first LEED Platinum commercial building, Alberta’s first Living Building Challenge-certified project and a 213-kilowatt solar electricity system, I think you start to get the picture. This is where Chef Paul has chosen to call home for Workshop Eatery, so that should tell you something. Read more about the Mosaic Centre here.
Overall, Workshop It is a charming little spot where you can enjoy a nourishing meal, knowing that your meal is crafted from ingredients plucked from their own garden and/or from one of the local farmers/artisans they work with. You won’t feel like you have to choose between eating healthy OR having something that tastes great because you can definitely have both here. This is a dining experience that you can savour without compromising your wellness-centered lifestyle.
I can say that without a doubt, Workshop will definitely be one of my go-to restaurants, as I know I am getting real food made with local ingredients. Chef Paul is not messing around and the proof is in the plates and hospitality ☺