A took a stroll down Jasper Avenue the other day, and decided to stop at a brand new café (and apparently wine bar) called mrkt (a.k.a. market).
With food from the folks at Soul Soup, it’s located in a newly renovated space above the Red Star Pub. Mrkt is currently only open for lunch, but will be open for dinner soon. They post their menu on a board outside (notice the change from “cold” to “hot” on the sign), and inside the restaurant on a giant chalkboard painted against the back wall.
The space is long – and this feeling is emphasized by the long banquet table, lights and wood panelling. Two skylights over by the cash register give the space some needed sunlight at the far end of the room. I did like the space, but I have to admit that the panelling and the trees made me feel a bit like I was in a cabin… or an Ikea store.
They provide vegetable, fish and meat soup choices like Soul Soup does, as well as a selection of sandwiches. Soups and the specials change daily, while the sandwiches change less often. You can eat in or order take out. They also offer a number of drinks, or you can help yourself to a free water from the cooler on the bar.
I went for the soup and sandwich deal, which is priced at $13. My choices were the Trinidadian crab and corn soup with mango and the spicy tomato braised beef with pesto and caramelized onions sandwich.
The soup was a mix of a bunch of different flavours – peppery and not “fishy” at all, sweet from the corn and carrots, and a mix of sour and sweet from the pieces of mango.
The sandwich was great also, but very messy to eat. The beef was extremely tender and permeated with the flavour of tomatoes, and I also liked that the tomatoes weren’t acidic at all. It was almost like trying to eat a bowl of stew, but in sandwich form. The inside of the bun was soaked in the braising liquid and the crust of the bun held together very well. My fingers were a mess after eating.
All in all, mrkt made a very good first impression on me. I can’t wait to try more of their lunch offerings and sample their dinners! The soup and sandwich are a little too pricey to fit into my budget for too many regular visits, but I can definitely see myself popping in here once in a while for some interesting food choices.
10534 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton