In less than a year, Erin Loxam has found her way to the heart of the
Yukon — through its stomach.
While still a cheechako, she has visited more local restaurants than any sourdough, and has done us the good service of writing about her dining experiences on her blog All Yukon Eat.
When she moved to Whitehorse last spring, Loxam’s goal was to visit every single restaurant in Whitehorse.
“There’s always something new and something gone or changed ownership, but I think I’m 70 per cent of the way through,” she estimates.
Loxam is a gracious reviewer. When reviewing a newly opened coffee shop in the location known as the Bermuda Triangle for the number of restaurants that vanish without a trace, she acknowledges how difficult it is to open new eating establishments, forgives the printing error mis-stating its opening hours and wishes the business owners good luck.
“I really tried to point out the positives everywhere, because I don’t want to hurt any of these small businesses,” she says.
Loxam is also thorough, and even gives fast food and chain restaurants like A&W and KFC their fair shake.
“I like all food,” she says. “I like terrible food. I like a BLT with so much mayo that is disgusting, but I also like the things that are difficult to come by and expensive and fancy and hoity toity.”
Also, she points out that fast food does have its virtues.
“There are reasons to be positive about Mcdonald’s: it’s open 24 hours and there are times when you need that.”
“When I was moving on January 1st and nothing was open, we just needed something to eat because we were moving and had no food in the house.”
Does Loxam have favourites? You bet. A good place to start is in her year end Top Ten list.
A long time blogger, Loxam is comfortable writing about what she does in her spare time, and it helps keep her communications chops sharp while she looks for work in her field. Nonetheless, it surprised her to learn that people were actually reading her blog and using it to make their own dining choices. She has a growing readership and is an active social media presence, promoting local food businesses.
Online endeavours in a small town can have drawbacks. She inexplicably received some backlash when she described in less than glowing terms a mouse running across her foot while waiting in line to order.
As she approaches her goal, Loxam sees the blog evolving into a broader look at Yukon food. An avid cook herself, she hopes to talk to the many other food enthusiasts in Yukon.
“I’d like to share other people’s stories. Obviously there are people besides me buying the Thai basil at the grocery store and I’d like to find them. I’ve started reading books like cookbooks of the north so that I can try to understand what people think of as Yukon food.”
As well, the topic of how we get and grow food is of increasing interest to Loxam.
“I’ve always lived in big cities and didn’t think about it much. There are farms here and it’s increasing — unfortunately partly due to climate change — but there are other changes in technology and more people wanting to eat food that’s actually grown where they live. These are all things I’d like to explore at some point.”
But first, Loxam feels there’s still a need for a comprehensive list of restaurants in Whitehorse and Yukon. Trip Advisor, Yelp, and Urban Spoon are all incomplete sources, which she thinks is a pity, both for locals and visitors.
“There are a few good restaurants that aren’t on Trip Advisor because they’re just not visited by tourists. We should recognize all the good things that are here so that we can then showcase that to other people.”
She encourages locals to go on Trip Advisor and update or add their favourite places to give visitors a more complete picture of what’s on offer here in Yukon.
So get out there, all Yukon: Eat. All you can.
To check out Erin Loxam’s blog go to www.AllYukonEat.com and find her on Twitter at AllYukonEat.