I got to Taste of Calgary on Thursday evening after work, and over the next few posts I’ll share some of the goodies… but there’s still time to get down there yourself!
My friend and I each bought $20 worth of tickets – and we left FULL!
Oh boy! Talk about late posts! The Taste of Calgary 2014 was August 14-17, which is right around the time when I got back from holiday, and stepped right into one of the busiest times of the year at work – which means that photos lingered on my iPhone for a while before I finally got the chance to look at them. I’m taking a break from my posts about Iceland to finally get around to Taste of Calgary!
My friend and I went to Taste of Calgary 2014 in Eau Claire Market on the Sunday afternoon, and there were plenty of others out to enjoy the nice day with us. Hopefully you had your chance to enjoy the weekend event as well – if you did, chime in with some of your favourites in the comments below!
One of the booths I was most interested in checking out was Goro + Gun, a new Calgary restaurant that I haven’t been to check out yet. (Largely due to it’s location. On Steven Avenue Mall, I rarely get down there anymore it seems!) I tried out the “Japanese Sushi Quiche” (2$) 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….
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.
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
Don’t forget, the Taste of Calgary is this weekend!
It runs August 14-17 at Eau Claire Market, and this year you can try tasty nibbles like:
along with vendors like:
A lot of the vendors are the same as previous years, so you can read more about the Taste of Calgary by clicking the “Taste of Calgary” tag.
Some hints to have a great time:
Are you going to Taste of Calgary 2014? Let us know what you thought in the comments below – which samples were the best bang for the buck, and which were the tastiest?
I’ve written about the Taste of Calgary before, so I won’t get into how to make the best out of your Taste of Calgary experience, how the event works, or what I experienced in years past.. this time I just want to share with you a little bit about THIS year’s Taste of Calgary.
Check out the Taste of Calgary Tag for some posts about the event and for more information.
I went early in the afternoon on the first day, so there is still lots of time for you to check out the festival too – it runs from Thursday, August 15th through Sunday.
The Canadian Brewhouse – Booth # 2
3 Deep Fried Pickles (4 tickets)
I shared these with my companion for the afternoon. While she didn’t love them, I thought they were ok as bar food. To eat them as a snack – no way, but I can see the appeal of one or two over a beer. We both loved the dill sauce though! Read the rest of this entry »
Just a brief interruption to my (hopefully) inspiring and mouth-watering posts about my recent trip to Finland – to remind you about the upcoming Taste of Calgary festival!
The festival runs August 15-18, 2013 at Eau Claire’s Festival Plaza. The festival runs from 11am-9pm each day.
If you haven’t been to Taste of Calgary before, it’s a pretty simple structure. Just visit one of the ticket-selling booths (there are usually several around the Plaza) and purchase sampling tickets for $1 each. (Grab a menu/map there too!) Then the different booths, trading your tickets for snack-size samples of the food they offer. Don’t forget to take a business card or two as well so you can re-visit the restaurants and delis you like best after the festival! Some items will cost one ticket, but most cost 3-5 tickets.
There is a menu on the festival website, so you can even pre-plan your spending and sampling. (Gluten-free and vegetarian items are well marked, though you’ll have to ask if you’re concerned about dairy, eggs, or other allergens. It’s best visited with a friend, because at the end of your visit you can combine your leftover tickets to share something… plus it’s just a fun afternoon or evening out.
The Canadian Brewhouse – Booth # 2
1 Deep Fried Pickle (2 tickets) – can you believe I’ve never tried deep-fried pickles before?
Crepes & Cravings – Booth # 20
Sweet Nutella Crepe (4 tickets)
Double ELLE Bakery – Booth # 15
World Famous Poppycock (3 tickets) Though I’ll want to look at it first!
What about you? What will you be trying at Taste of Calgary this year? What would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!
There is also an adults-only alcoholic beverage garden, featuring beers, wines, and spirits. They cost 2-3 tickets each, and all drinks are sample sizes – maximum four ounces, 2 ounces for wine and 1/2 an ounce for spirits.
In my previous posts I’ve mentioned some tips to have a great time at the festival…
I had intended to go down to Eau Claire Market in downtown Calgary for the Taste of Calgary on Saturday and Sunday this year – but unfortunately other things came up, so I ended up missing Saturday’s ToC along with Rock the Walk – but I did get down on Sunday instead.
I’ve written a bit about the Taste of Calgary (ToC) before, but for those of you who are new to the concept, basically you purchase tickets on the grounds, and then trade those tickets in for different sample-sized food, drinks, or treats from a wide range of local vendors. The vendors represent pubs, delis, restaurants, and fast-food eateries. In the adult-only beverage garden there are also liquor stores and breweries represented.
In the past, tickets were 75 cents/each, with a discount if you purchased tickets in large quantities. It made it a better deal if you were planning to go over several days (The festival runs Thursday – Sunday) or if you were there with others or your family. This year the tickets were $1.00 each (as they were last year I think) but there were no ‘bulk’ discounts. This would have made it easier to just buy enough tickets for one item, but didn’t encourage repeat visits to the festival in my opinion.
I really like the ToC – I like the chance to try things that I wouldn’t otherwise try – I like the low commitment – and the chance to see what other restaurants might have that I haven’t tried before. However, I heard from several people who weren’t going this year that it was just too expensive – that although the sample sizes were good – they were largely too expensive for what you got – the same size with a lower ticket price would make the festival more accessible. I definitely agree – for instance my tiny slice of cake was 3 tickets = 3$. At a bakery I would have received a slice three times this size for $3-4.
On Sunday the grounds were very crowded – a little too much for my liking. Perhaps next year I’ll try to go on Thursday night instead and skip the families and as many people wandering. Plus, we were there around 1pm, and it was swelteringly hot – I found that really uncomfortable after a while too. I did notice that a lot of the vendors had vegan/vegetarian and gluten-free options as well. They might have mentioned this before, but this was the first time I really noticed.
Ok.. so now to the important part – the food!
The first thing I tried was the mini boxty from Jameson’s. I LOVE the boxty from another Irish pub I frequent, so it was kind of cool to compare. In my opinion, the boxty from my usual haunt is way better – though this one with chicken and bacon was pretty darn good! Trying to eat it with a spoon though – not so easy. They seemed to have been out of forks when I was there.
I was trying to decide between the lamb and the calamari – but settled on the calamari. I was actually really disappointed. I found them over-battered, too oily for my preference, and the tzatziki sauce had very little flavour. I’ll stick with fast-food Greek Opa! instead for the time being. (Until I can get back to my favourite Greek place downtown!)
Just a little square – but nice and sour without being too sweet. Delicious!
Oddly enough, this one didn’t make the published menu, so I had to go to the menu online to find it! http://www.tasteofcalgary.com/2012_menu.html A tiny lime tart with a shortbread crust topped with meringue. I don’t care for meringue, and thought the crust was a bit thick – but the lime inside was good!
A thin but delicious little slice of red velvet cake with cream cheese icing and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
With my remaining 5 tickets I bounced back and forth between what I might want, but finally settled on the combo – a shrimp, and a salmon piece, plus a small crab and cucumber roll.
When we were ready to go, my companion found an extra two tickets, which she gave me since there was nothing more she wanted. I got this drink on the way out which was fine. Nothing special really.
This time we weren’t really in the mood for booze – the beverage garden is usually far more crowded than the rest of the festival, and it was already crowded enough!
There was also the Armstrong cheese challenge – tasting Armstrong chedder versus their top competitor (I selected the competitor). After the challenge they gave us a tiny bit of a really good grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and basil (really way too greasy for me though!). The Pepsi taste challenge was there too – too much work to do their challenge IMO, and I didn’t bother filling out all of their form. Oddly enough, I picked diet coke over diet pepsi…
One of the frozen pizza places was there too – but we skipped that line up, though we did get little chocolate/granola bars from another vendor (Chocomax) handing out freebies.
In closing – the prices really need to go down, but otherwise it was a really nice day out. After ToC we headed to Calgary Opera’s Voices in the Village – a short walk up along the Bow River Pathway to the East Village – a free outdoor hour-long opera performance.
Did you go to the Taste of Calgary this year? What did you think?