Oh boy! Talk about late posts! The Taste of Calgary 2014 was August 14-17, which is right around the time when I got back from holiday, and stepped right into one of the busiest times of the year at work – which means that photos lingered on my iPhone for a while before I finally got the chance to look at them. I’m taking a break from my posts about Iceland to finally get around to Taste of Calgary!
My friend and I went to Taste of Calgary 2014 in Eau Claire Market on the Sunday afternoon, and there were plenty of others out to enjoy the nice day with us. Hopefully you had your chance to enjoy the weekend event as well – if you did, chime in with some of your favourites in the comments below!
Goro + Gun – Booth # 10
One of the booths I was most interested in checking out was Goro + Gun, a new Calgary restaurant that I haven’t been to check out yet. (Largely due to it’s location. On Steven Avenue Mall, I rarely get down there anymore it seems!) I tried out the “Japanese Sushi Quiche” (2$) while my friend had the “Ramen Burger” (4$). The line up was huge to order, and then we waited around for the burgers to cook. Only one booth was a longer wait, but I’ll talk about that later….
Japanese Sushi Quiche (2$)
I have NO idea why they called this quiche. To me, quiche is a egg-based baked dish with a variety of ingredients in it, with a crust like a pie.
This instead was a TOSTITOS® “scoop” topped with rice, some mini shrimps in mayonnaise, and topped off with a slice of cucumber. It was nothing like quiche as far as I know – but it tasted ok. The rice was a bit oily, and I wouldn’t order something like this again if I knew what it was.
Ramen Burger (4$)
My friend thought the idea of the Ramen Burger was unique, but thought it wasn’t very good when it was made up. The Ramen noodles fell apart too easily when eating the burger, and were quite greasy. Because the dish fell apart so easily, it meant eating the flavourless noodles separate from the burger patty. (Apparently the flavour of the burger patty was ok though, but nothing special; it too could have used some flavour.)
Oddly enough, although my friend didn’t really like the burger, it won a silver award at the Calgary Herald’s Consumer Taste Awards.
Goro + Gun
#245, 225 – 7 Ave SW
Globefish – Booth # 3
Globefish wasn’t a top choice to visit in advance (after all, I’ve been to their restaurant several times) but during the day I was there, I was a bit more interested in checking out what they had. My companion also tried the steamed bun, though it wasn’t anything like what we expected.
Globefish Steamed Bun with Pork Belly (4$)
I’m used to steamed pork buns being a steamed bun, filled with barbeque cooked pork. Instead this was a piece of cooked pork, topped with a bit of sauce and greens, served up in taco-like soft steamed bun.
For as strange and unexpected as it was (and I was really looking forward to the kind of bun I’m accustomed to) it was really good – in fact it might have been one of the better items I tried at Taste of Calgary 2014.
I even voted for it in the Calgary Herald’s Consumer Taste Awards, though it didn’t win.
Crispy Shrimp Dumplings (2$)
The crispy dumplings on the other hand weren’t as memorable… in fact, I can’t even remember anything about them! Oops!
332 – 14 St NW 403-521-0222
2009 – 33 Ave SW 403-249-8866
6455 Macleod TR SW 403-457-1500
Wing Tat – Booth # 23
Wing Tat was one of the booths that just my friend visited – ordering two dishes. This was the booth that had the longest line -though this was largely due to poor organization and long preparation times. There was no clearly identified “ordering” and “picking up” line – and once the line was more than a few people long, a lot of people found themselves standing in the wrong line. Likewise, when the line was several people long to pick up, some somewhat clueless (or rude.. I’m going to presume it was ignorance rather than rudeness) people ended up standing at the front of the line, instead of queuing up in the back in order – thus taking food that was intended for people who had been waiting longer. The order system seemed to be the cashier taking the order and tickets, and then scribbling the order down on a napkin – it seemed like they were really unprepared for the volume of orders – which seems strange since this was Sunday afternoon, and the event started on Thursday.
Hong Kong Style Shaved Ice (4$)
Gai Dan Jai (Hong Kong Style Waffle) (2$)
I didn’t get a photo of the waffle – which was just an ordinary waffle with a bubble shaped waffle maker rather than the traditional squares. Served without butter or syrup, it was rather boring. It was fully nibbled on before the Shaved Ice was ready to eat – hence why no photo!
The Shave Ice on the other hand was strange, and a bit disappointing, although it tasted fine. I was expecting Shave Ice like I loved from Hawaii, but instead it was just finely chopped ice with blueberries, red beans, black solid jellies, and three colours (flavours?) of soft liquid-filled jellies. (Red, yellow, green.)
The jellies were overly sweet, the red beans were awesome (though my friend didn’t like them) and the blueberries were good – but the ice seemed like.. just ice. It was kind of strange.
A, 1601 Center St NW 403-400-1818
Ed’s Restaurant – Booth # 26
Another dish just for my friend was Ed’s Original Slider Burger which was undressed (no lettuce, tomato, etc) but I was told had really good flavour for the meat.
Lava Dining – Booth # 17
Lava Dining was one of the most interesting booths of the day. From here I tried two items as well.
Green Tea Sandwich (2$)
Lava Dining was one of the places I really wanted to check out when I was looking at the preview about the Taste of Calgary online before the event. Mostly I was curious about this Green Tea Sandwich.
It was kind of interesting – the ‘bread’ of the sandwich was somewhere between bread and cake – though there wasn’t a very strong green tea taste at all. In fact, I shared this sandwich (or cake?) with my friend, who doesn’t like green tea at all – that’s how subtle the green tea flavour was. The filling was a firm cream – again it didn’t have a lot of flavour, though tasted fine.
Breaded Sushi ($4)
The breaded sushi was also quite unusual, and had a lot more flavour than the Green Tea sandwich. It was filled with salmon, cream cheese, asparagus, and tuna I think, and then was breaded and fried, and topped off with a sweetish sauce. I am glad that I tried it – though it wouldn’t be something I’d opt to order again. My friend did like it as well though – yep, I think we shared almost every dish!
Oriental Dumplings – Booth # 12
From Oriental Dumplings I used up two of my near-last coupons to get the Sate Fish Balls. (2$) These were alright, though I wouldn’t order them again – they weren’t anything special, but might be the kind of thing I’d add to a plate at an Asian buffet for instance. They were a bit salty, very fishy, and the sauce was a nice flavour to compliment the fish balls – though a thicker sauce might have been better to ‘cling’ to the food.
118, 1623 Center St NW 403-276-8816
The Canadian Brewhouse – Booth # 6
The last place I visited was the Canadian Brewhouse – where we bought the poutine for 2$. This.. was.. not a good way to end the event. The fries used for the poutine were over-seasoned, and the dish was overly salty. I find that the gravy used for poutine is already salty, and using pre-salted fries just makes the dish too salty overall, when flavour would be preferred.
The Canadian Brewhouse
9650 Harvest Hills Blvd NE 403-452-5636
One of the things I noted about going on the Sunday afternoon – was that there were several dishes that were sold out. None of them were the ones I was especially keen to try, so it wasn’t problematic, but might be good to remember for another year!