Review: Dog Birthday Party at the Doggy Style Deli

The Doggy Style Deli at 15131 Stony Plain Road

The Doggy Style Deli at 15131 Stony Plain Road

For months now, I’ve been wanting to take our beagle Olive to the Doggy Style Deli – a dog restaurant/grooming/store in west Edmonton (15131 Stony Plain Road).

I’ve been driving by the place for years and remember it had been a part of Dragon’s Den and the unfortunate victim to a fire. Despite the fire, and what seems like constant construction on Stony Plain Road, the Doggy Style Deli seemed to persevere.

Inside the Doggy Style Deli!

Inside the Doggy Style Deli!

Thank goodness for that! I think the Doggy Style Deli is an absolute gem for dog owners in Edmonton. When I started telling people we were planning on throwing a birthday party for Olive at a dog restaurant, everyone was so surprised that there was even such a thing here.

Doggy Style Deli also acts as a dog store and dog grooming service.

Doggy Style Deli also acts as a dog store and dog grooming service.

Along with the ‘eat-in’ dog restaurant idea (that includes hosting dog birthday parties!), the Doggy Style Deli sells their own raw dog food and acts as a dog store and dog grooming service.

We had Olive’s birthday party at the Doggy Style Deli and I would recommend it to all dog owners! For $20 per dog, you get:

  • A dog meal (small size) for each dog
  • A dog party favour for each dog
  • A dog birthday place setting
  • Table decorated with birthday banners and balloons
  • A trivia game for dog owners (includes treats for dogs)
  • Birthday cake for each dog
  • A present for the birthday dog
Olive and friends being classy diners at the table.

Olive and friends being classy diners at the table.

We invited Olive’s friends Flynn, Milo, Fang, and Bowie. None of us knew what to expect and I think we were all pleasantly surprised. Before the food came out, the dogs just ran around sniffing each other, wagging their tails and playing.

The delicious menu at Doggy Style Deli!

The delicious menu at Doggy Style Deli!

The food options for the dogs are presented so adorably. Each dish name is a dog pun. We ordered the Pug Fried Rice for Olive and some of other dogs got Shih Tzu Stews and the Turkey Duck Lasagnage (off menu). Some other fun dishes included Maltese Meatloaf and Bulldog Spaghetti. Everything is made in-house.

Olive eats her 'hot dog wiener candle' from the birthday cake!

Olive eats her ‘hot dog wiener candle’ from the birthday cake!

The small (Yorkie Size) was enough for Olive. Normally it’s priced at $4. With the birthday package it is included for the dog meals. You can get a Mastiff Size (large) for $7 or additional dollars to upgrade within the birthday package meal.

Fantastic dog cake made out of liver, mashed potatoes and cream cheese.

Fantastic dog cake made out of liver, mashed potatoes and cream cheese.

The owners are very friendly. The space is very clean and nice. There was some loud barking and growling from some of our bigger dog guests (Bowie and Fang lol) but I imagine that’s what would be normal happenings at a doggy daycare. Overall everyone got along quite well and Olive was very social, visiting with all of her friends!

Great turnout + time for Olive's birthday!

Great turnout + time for Olive’s birthday!

In total, the birthday party for 5 dogs (with some meals upgraded to large) was $113. I think this is totally reasonable, lol. But I’m also a crazy pet parent. :) But even just the normal price for dropping in with your dog though I think is totally reasonable and plan to do it with Olive way more now that we’ve tried the Doggy Style Deli for the first time!

Happy birthday Olive!

Happy birthday Olive!

I think this is such a neat, novel thing to do for your dog in Edmonton. A couple weeks ago I googled “dog-friendly stores in Edmonton” and got things like “Rona, PetSmart, The Movie Studio” and that was almost it. If you’re looking for somewhere to take your dog beyond the dog parks and outdoor markets (which there won’t really be much of now that we’re going into the winter season), then the Doggy Style Deli is a great destination!

It’s totally cute, and honestly, the pet industry is huge right now and pet owners are looking for fun things to do and buy for their animals, this is perfect for that.

Check out the Doggy Style Deli pitch on Dragon’s Den below:

I hope this place sticks around forever! They’ve already endured quite a bit, and have come out strong so I hope that continues. It’s also a great spot for the area. Stony Plain Road is trying to revitalize (all of the construction will help with that too so we just need to be patient lol). Something a lot of people might not be aware of as well is the dog-loving family who owns Doggy Style Deli also experience a lot of dogs being abandoned at their shop. They lovingly take the dogs in, keep them for a couple of weeks to figure out their personalities, and then try to find foster homes for the animals. On the day we were there, there were two chihuahuas and a couple of German Shepherds in need of homes too. So sad! But so great that the family cares for the animals and try to find them homes. Huge hearts here!

So have you been to the Doggy Style Deli?! What did you think?

Linda


Giveaway: Tickets to 2014 Edmonton Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival!

The annual Edmonton Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival is coming up Oct. 24 & 25 and I’m excited to give away a pair of tickets! I’ve been to this festival twice now and it’s been great both times. What’s not to like? Sip and savour (but for me, mostly savour) delicious wine and food. It follows a similar ticket format to Taste of Edmonton, buy tickets, then head to various booths and get dishes served to you for X number of tickets.

Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival Edmonton

From the website:

The Edmonton Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival returns to the Shaw Conference Centre for its 13th year! Indulge at the 2014 Festival as you sample an impressive selection of premium wines, spirits, and import and micro-brewed beer, as well as cuisine from an assortment of Edmonton’s top restaurants and hotels. Guests will enjoy a mouthwatering array of beverage samples and Edmonton’s top eats within a fun, relaxed, and social atmosphere. This year, the Festival will once again feature a Saturday Afternoon Session, providing even more opportunity to sip and sample. You don’t want to miss this fun and diverse Festival!

So here’s how to win your way into the 2014 Edmonton Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival!

One pair of tickets (valued at $46)
Valid only for the Saturday, October 25 afternoon tasting session (12-4 p.m.)
Shaw Conference Centre, Halls A-C.
Please note: You still need to buy your own food tickets.

There are multiple ways to enter (commenting in this post answering the question below is mandatory, while everything else is additional/bonus entries.)

  • Leave a comment on this blog post answering: What food sample are you most excited for at the 2014 Edmonton Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival? Click here to see a list of food samples! (Note: This is mandatory. You must do this in order to be eligible to win.)
  • Tweet this exact sentence: I’m excited to try the Edmonton @rockywinefood festival! Enter @lindork’s giveaway: http://bit.ly/1sHs4IQ #yeg #yegfood
  • Follow @rockywinefood on Twitter (let me know you’ve done this)
  • Follow @lindork on Twitter (let me know you’ve done this)
  • Like Rocky Mountain Wine & Food on Facebook (let me know you’ve done this)

Comments are moderated so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t appear right away!

This giveaway closes on Friday, October 17 at noon. I will randomly choose a winner based on the entries submitted.

Not sure about your chances? You could also just buy your tickets to make it a sure thing too!

*** UPDATE (Friday, Oct. 17) *** Congratulations to Dena (@koala_D on Twitter) for winning the pair of tickets!

Good luck and spread the word! :)

Linda


Review: Corso 32

Corso 32 Edmonton

Corso 32 located at 10345 Jasper Avenue!

As an Edmonton food blogger and food lover, it shocks many to hear that I’ve never been to famed Italian eatery Corso 32.

The restaurant is award-winning – best Italian restaurant, one of Canada’s best restaurants – and I always felt like a food fraud when I admitted I’d never been.

Well no more!

That all changed on Sunday! For our one-year wedding anniversary, Mike and I finally went to Corso 32.

A summary of my thoughts would be: Excellent food, fair prices, but not the best service or atmosphere. Read on for the nitty gritty details. :)

Corso 32 Edmonton

The half order Arancini (speck, cabbage & fontina) at Corso 32 ($8)

The space (at 10345 Jasper Avenue) is small. We knew that going in though – it says it in the name “32” – 32-seat restaurant. It’s a small, narrow restaurant, with very few group tables and a lot more smaller two-seat tables. We were seated at a two-seat table right next to another two-seat table. The gap between both tables was tiny. We could have been seated with the couple next to us at the same table really, that’s how close we were.

So that made for sort of an awkward feeling throughout the night, because we could very clearly hear their conversation and I’m sure they could very clearly hear ours. We felt more compelled to talk in a quieter tone so that we didn’t interrupt the couple’s conversation. The waiter also had to awkwardly stand at an angle to talk to us, take our order, or give us our food, because he couldn’t actually fit himself into the space right beside our table.

But moving away from that for a moment, let’s talk food.

Corso 32’s food was amazing. Since this was our first time – and it was a special occasion – I was excited to try many items.

Corso 32 Edmonton

Prosciutto di Parma (mozzarella di Bufala Crema, Gull Valley Tomatoes, Zucchini & Capezzana Olive Oil at Corso 32 ($17)

We shared the arancini (speck, cabbage, fontina – $8), prosciutto Di Parma (mozzarella di Bufala Crema, Gull Valley Tomatoes, Zucchini & Capezzana Olive Oil – $17), and fried short ribs (with shaved pear and arugula salad with crostini – $16) to start. The arancini was perfectly seasoned, rice cooked to the perfect texture. The prosciutto Di Parma was so light and refreshing. Mike thought it had a bit of a slimey texture but I thought it was perfect. The fried short ribs were my least favourite of the three appetizers, it was really charred on the outside, which I think that’s what they were going for, but felt too charred (so burnt) for my liking.

Corso 32 Edmonton

Fried short ribs with shaved pear and arugula salad and crostini at Corso 32 ($16)

Next up we each tried a pasta dish. Mike tried the Garganelli – braised tuscan pork and porcini ragu, parmigiano ($25) and I tried the Cavatelli – spicy pork and fennel sausage sugo, broccoli rabe and pecoroni ($23). There is just a taste to handmade pasta that is addictive!!! I could eat it every day, forever. The pasta plates were also quite hearty. The portions were great – for the price. To compare prices, you could look at the complete opposite side of Corso, Olive Garden, where they have a bunch of pasta dishes well into the $25 range. So really, getting a hearty helping of handmade pasta for the same price point at Corso is fantastic.

Corso 32 Edmonton

Garganelli – braised tuscan pork and porcini ragu, parmigiano at Corso 32 ($25)

The last dish we tried at Corso was the 35 day aged 10 oz. Ribeye with charred radishes, spring onions and salsa verde at Corso 32 ($35). They were nice enough to split this onto two plates for us – and I felt both portions split were quite a bit too! The salsa verde was an excellent pairing with the tender beef and the radishes and onion were in nice chunks that made for a nice potato alternative.

Corso 32 Edmonton

Cavatelli – spicy pork and fennel sausage sugo, broccoli rabe and pecoroni at Corso 32 ($23)

I had wanted to try Corso’s vanilla panna cotta too because panna cotta is one of my favourite desserts (which is saying something because I don’t actually like most desserts), but they were out! What. It was about 7:30 and their dinner service started at 5 so I just don’t know how thy could’ve been out of the panna cotta :(

35 day aged 10 oz. Ribeye with charred radishes, spring onions and salsa verde at Corso 32 ($35)

35 day aged 10 oz. Ribeye with charred radishes, spring onions and salsa verde at Corso 32 ($35)

Overall, I was really expecting portions to be smaller and prices to be higher at Corso because of its finer dining reputation, but I was really pleasantly surprised on both fronts!! The portions were fine, the prices were on par with a lot of other fine dining and typical restaurants, and the food tasted incredible and was plated very nicely.

Where my disappointment came was in the atmosphere – too dimly light (I used flash from my second phone to give lighting for the photos lol, also more and more restaurants are going dimmer these days, which is unfortunate), and too close proximity to other tables – as well as the not-so-welcoming service.

I think it’s fair to assume if I am waiting a month for a reservation to a restaurant, I want not only the food, but the service, to knock it out of the ballpark and I really thought our waiter was no good. It took awhile for him to make that initial greeting to us, and even that wasn’t really overly welcoming an intro. He didn’t really make any suggestions on the menu, or try to explain anything. He also tried to take away the menu after I finished ordering the pasta, so I had to awkwardly be like, oh actually we also wanted to share the rib eye..

Corso 32 Edmonton

Inside Corso 32 (it’s darker in real life than this photo)

The food came out at a good pace, so that was fine. But I think timeliness of that initial greeting is so important and he just took too long to get to us (and then when he did, it wasn’t really friendly).

Service is such a huge part of any dining experience, let alone a fine dining one where you need to make reservations well in advance. So that our service at Corso was pretty lackluster, was a big disappointment.

Go for the food – it’s amazing. But don’t expect to feel all that special. It could also be that because it had taken so long for me to try it, that it had been so overly hyped up there was no way it could’ve lived up to expectations, but that’s more me trying to find excuses for it.

Corso 32 Edmonton

Happy one-year wedding anniversary to us!

I am still so glad we finally tried it. A food fraud I am no longer, lol! Again, I thought the food was excellent. But my opinion of Corso will always have a caveat. “The food was amazing !!!! But…. The service wasn’t great (at least when I went).”

So have you been to Corso? What did you think?

Linda


Corso 32 on Urbanspoon