Back when I covered the Oilers full-time, I was stunned by the number of Czech and Slovak players – whether they were from the Oilers or the visiting teams – who said they loved visiting Bistro Praha. For them, it was an authentic taste of home.
Bistro Praha continues to go strong, and it’s like Edmonton’s culinary version of a warm blanket. It’s familiar, it’s cozy – and it’s kind of timeless. The schnitzel is the best you’ll find in the city, best washed down with a wonderful Czech pilsner; it’s a reminder of my long-ago summer trip to Prague. Rich pork hocks, dumplings, cold cuts and a pretty decent goulash make for a pan-Eastern European experience. It has been consistently awesome for years – and long may it continue. –Steven Sandor
10117 101 St., 780-424-4218, bistropraha.com
Uncle Ed’s Ukrainian Restaurant
For an authentic taste of Ukraine that’s not going to break the bank, look no further than Uncle Ed’s. The combo plates at this Beverly institution will fill you up.
Uncle Ed’s is attached to Stawnichy’s Meat Processing, where world-renowned Mundare sausage, made just 75 kilometres east of Edmonton, is sold. The sausage itself is subtly smoky and seasoned just right, but there’s plenty more on Uncle Ed’s menu, like smoked pork chops, ribs and meatballs. They’re accompanied by authentic perogies, cabbage rolls, cheese crepes and baked cheese buns. It’s a throwback to the old country, both in flavour and value. –Glenn Cook
4824 118 Ave., 780-471-1010, stawnichys.com/uncle-eds-restaurant
Continental Treat Fine Bistro
When you enter Continental Treat, celebrity endorsements line the entrance – signed photos of musical acts, including a “Thanks for the memories” from Robert Goulet. If I were to guess what memories the baritone was most thankful for, I would have to say it was the restaurant’s lamb chops.
Served with your choice of rice or spaetzle, paired with seasoned vegetables, the ample portion does enough to conjure up fond memories of simple and splendid continental dishes. Add to that an ample wine list from which you can experiment with pairings, and the potential for new and different memories are unending. After all, if it was good enough for Robert Goulet, it’s good enough for me. –Cory Haller
10560 82 Ave., 780-433-7432, ctfinebistro.com