Category Archives: Edmonton Food

Free Birthday Stuff (and not just gifts)

Red Robin birthday burger

Happy Birthday! (If it’s your birthday, that is.)

Today for my birthday I decided to scam find as much free food as I could. I mean, free stuff is always great, and nobody wants to take out a loan just to celebrate their birthday. A pending free birthday beverage at Starbucks got me thinking about other places I could get freebies on my date of birth.

Turns out, there are quite a lot of spots to pick up free food, beverages, and discounts. Maybe next year I’ll also ask for a letter from some local dignitary.

Anyway, after scoping things out and a mad rush to sign up for customer loyalty programs, here is what I  got today:

Breakfast – Free Grand Slam at Denny’s. All you need is some proof of your DOB at the ready and breakfast is yours.

Lunch –  Free burger (and fries) at Red Robin. You have to sign up for this one. But I only did it yesterday and still got the coupon (which is good for 2 weeks).

Dinner – Nothing free. I am actually happy to report I ate a salad.

Other freebies – Chai latte at Starbucks. A 2 for 1 coupon from the Dairy Queen Blizzard Fan Club (another signup and good for 2 weeks).

Note, while some places will give you free things with proof of birthday, most want you to sign up for their various customer loyalty or email programs (which, I suppose, you could always unsubscribe from right after scoring free birthday food).

Not only was Denny's the easiest place to score a free birthday meal, they are the only folks who wished me a happy birthday. Nice job, Denny's!
Not only was Denny’s the easiest place to score a free birthday meal, they are the only folks who wished me a happy birthday. Nice job, Denny’s!


Edmonton: It’s All Happening

With mature neighbourhoods, including my own Strathcona, seeing more growth and the LRT packed every day, Edmonton is a city making the right moves.  (With room for more big ideas.)

Throw in our “Super Saturday” and there are really not many other places I’d rather be right now. Heck, even talking to some Toronto folks on a recent trip I think our food truck scene is better than in other cities.

Good stuff, Edmonton.

The Room, Tommy Wiseau
There's so much to do I can't choose!

The more things change…

…the more people want it to be the same way it’s always been.

A restaurant – that I had never heard of until this story – is complaining to the City of Edmonton that the Drift food truck is hurting their business.

I posted a comment on the Edmonton Journal story, but the basic idea is that every industry fights to keep things status quo. We saw it with music and MP3s, movies and TV and streaming, news and the Internet, e-books and paper books. It’s always, always the same. Something new comes along and the fact that your business model isn’t working for people anymore, or your product or service isn’t top-notch, is never to blame. It’s always some new jerk’s fault.

If Grandma Lee’s Bakery Cafe finds its lunchtime crowd is smaller when Drift is out on 108 Street the problem isn’t that Drift doesn’t pay property taxes. The problem for Grandma Lee’s is that people prefer Drift’s food. (Which isn’t bargain basement because of their lack of property taxes. A sandwich and the best fries in the city will set you back $11.)


p.s. I’m cool with the City breaking out some clearer rules for food trucks, but it better not be an effort to appease restaurant owners. The Next Act Pub and Battista’s Calzones are getting their own trucks for crying out loud!

My comment:

“e-books aren’t the same as real books…downloading MP3s is killing the music industry…

You’d think eventually an industry or business facing competition from the next evolution, or from innovation, would just accept that things change.

I’ve never heard of Grandma Lee’s Bakery Cafe but I’ve eaten at Drift many times. Best fries in Edmonton.

Food trucks do not take business away from restaurants. They ARE restaurants. If Grandma Lee’s business is suffering, it has nothing to do with Drift and everything to do with their menu, service, and operations. As with any business.

The idea that food trucks take money away from restaurants is rooted in people fighting to keep things the way they are and always have been. If I want to sit down for lunch, and spend more than $10, I’ll go to a restaurant. If I’m rushed, want something cheaper, or just want something new, I’ll hit up a food truck.

If Grandma Lee’s can’t pay their tax bill, it’s not a food truck’s fault.”