Sunday, October 17

Tasting Notes: Global Imports from a New German Butcher and SOHO’s NY Slices

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You can call your store The butcher’s sonBut Sebastian Lehner tried a few other occupations before turning to the family business.

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“I actually wanted to be a country musician,” laughs Lehner, who comes from a long line of butchers in Munich, Germany. “It’s not a big deal at home, but if you go to the southern part of Germany there is a small audience for country music because the United States Army was stationed there for many years. That didn’t work out very well for me, and I started studying sound engineering so I could work in a recording studio. Then I ran out of money. “

It seems fate was leading Lehner’s path away from the steel guitar and banjo of his dreams to the knives and grinders of his heritage, though it took some time before he realized it. He first needed to see a bit of North America, negotiate a one-year work visa, and finally travel from the United States to Lethbridge, where he briefly worked as a butcher for a compatriot. Lehner then continued north, checking out a few small towns before finally settling on Stony Plain a few years ago. That’s where Lehner started putting his skills to good use, riding a food cart and selling hot dogs at local farmers markets.

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However, eventually the lure of owning a real brick and mortar business got the better of him.

“I’ve wanted to have a store in Whyte for a while, but two years ago it was very expensive to find a place,” says Lehner, who trained for the trade in his home country of Bavaria while nurturing his musical dreams. “Due to the nightlife and energy, I thought this would be a great place to have a little butcher shop, and now it’s affordable for me. In Germany, there are butcher shops that are really small, with only a small selection of things. Sometimes there are streets where there are five, six or seven next to each other, these little butcher shops. That is totally normal there, everyone can survive because each store has small differences between them. “

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The Butcher’s Son may be small, but Lehner promises to fill it with products from many local businesses. It will continue to serve its popular sausage alongside other items like the usual steaks and roast. In addition, it will offer pre-made products from local companies such as Meat Street Pies.

“This is going to be something special,” he says. “It’s not like going to Costco or Safeway, the meat will be from local farmers. It may not be the cheapest option, but it will be the best option. “

Soho and a slice of NY

When Chris Curtola opted out of the hospitality industry in 2008, he thought he was done.

I always said I wouldn’t go back into business unless it was with the right people, because you know it’s not easy to work in, ”says Curtola, co-owner of Soho, the newest beer and pizzeria in downtown Edmonton. “In this case, I really believe that I have been able to find the right people, especially after this deep discussion we had right in the middle of the pandemic.”

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It was during these conversations with friend and eventual business partner Darren Pelechaty that the idea for Soho took shape. Lifting its name and aesthetic from the hip neighborhood in Manhattan, Soho is an attempt to bring a little more nighttime rock ‘n’ roll energy downtown. Curtola says the vibe is entirely Pelechaty’s idea, who spent some time in America recording bands.

“It’s based on the New York bar scene of the ’70s and’ 80s, where a lot of pop culture trends come from,” explains Curtola, who worked with Pelechaty at Dante’s Bistro in Edmonton’s west end. “The Bowery Bar and CBGB, punk, rock ‘n’ roll and many other different kinds of music, fashion and food cultures. So when you enter Soho, you will see those beautiful red leather stalls with diamond stitching, plus lots of black and white rock ‘n’ roll and punk posters. “

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From left, Aaron Lang, Darren Pelechaty, and Chris Curtola recently opened Soho, a New York-style live music venue, bar and pizzeria at 11454 Jasper Ave.
From left, Aaron Lang, Darren Pelechaty, and Chris Curtola recently opened Soho, a New York-style live music venue, bar and pizzeria at 11454 Jasper Ave. Photo by Larry Wong /Postmedia

Also, pizza. The usual sandwiches can be found on the menu, but Soho prides itself on a New York-style thin crust pizza, the kind that you fold up and pop in your mouth. Courtesy of Chef Aaron Lang, there are currently four options: Cheese, New York Pepperoni, Steak-Free Philly (Veggie), and Sausage and Mushroom. Take it by the slice or as a complete cake, order a drink, and check out some of the musical acts that Curtola and Pelechaty have planned for the future.

“We have a great stage and there will be a lot of live entertainment,” says Curtola, son of local rock legend Bobby Curtola. “Both Darren and I have a passion for live music, so that was a big factor in putting all of this together. I can’t tell you much about our upcoming projects, but we are going after some really unique acts. “

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5th Street Food Hall opens doors downtown

It’s been a long time but the 5th Street Food Hall eventually opened at 10344 105 St.

The room, a JustCook Kitchens creation, currently has four businesses to choose from. Chefs Robert Wick and Levi Biddlecombe are offering the self-explanatory Backstairs Burger, while the folks behind Seitan promise gourmet plant-based fare, including vegan fried “chickun” and pizza. You’ll find sandwiches and snacks at Three Foodies, while Greg Sweeney’s HOM is dedicated to Southeast Asian street food.

You can peruse their menus online at the JustCook website but to place an order you will need to download their app, also available on the website.

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Reference-edmontonjournal.com

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