12 Acres is the latest restaurant in town (well, St. Albert technically) to jump on the farm to table concept bandwagon. If you’ve never been, don’t bother looking for a sign, there’s none. But don’t fret, they’re easy to find – just look for the red house. Previously known as the River House, the restaurant has been reincarnated as 12 Acres to match their new sustainable food philosophy. St. Albert is seriously lacking in solid restaurants so this is a welcome addition to the ‘hood. If you want to food-educate yourself, do yourself a favour and watch the documentary: Chef’s Table.
We went on a Friday to check out their lunch options. The red house itself is gorgeous and houses a spa upstairs (External Affairs Clinical Spa). It was gorgeous outside so we decided to sit out on the patio and enjoy the beautiful weather. The patio faces north so there is no access to sun but that didn’t matter.
The server we had was very enthusiastic and gushed about all the cool things happening at 12 Acres. One interesting tidbit that surprised both of us was that their baker is celiac and can’t even taste/eat the bread he’s making. Craziness, especially considering how good the bread tasted. They must have some quality taste testers.
Porchetta on focaccia ($16.00)
Daily baked focaccia, pickled red onion, greens, roasted porchetta and aioli. The focaccia was fresh, light with a nice bite to it. The porchetta was tasty but there was a huge chunk of fat on it. I know that gives it all the flavour but my friend took her fat out and was left with only a small chunk of meat in her portion. It was lacking a bit of refinement. The fries/potato chunks were good but you only get five! That’s right F-I-V-E.
Ground ribeye burger (with seasonal toppings) ($16.00)
Baked today bun, scratch mayo, heirloom tomatoes, 12 Acres ground chuck burger, scratch mustard, cheddar and garden greens. My friend really enjoyed her burger. And the kid sized Heinz ketchup. Heck, she brought the extra one home because it was so cute. Oh girls. Again, the bun was really fresh and the burger was actually moist and flavourful. The kicker in the sandwich was the scratch mustard (dijon grainy mustard style). Probably a love or a hate for some but I really liked it. You could feel the horseradish awakening your sinuses.
Overall, we were both happy with our meals. Definitely need to try out their dinner menu to see a greater variety of dishes as the lunch menu is pretty limited to sandwiches (and one pasta dish).
8 Mission Ave
St. Albert, AB