Tuesday, August 27, 2013
I head to Fort Edmonton Park at least once or twice a year. It is my favourite outdoor attraction in the city. I love riding the train and streetcar, seeing the interpreters in period dress, exploring all of the old buildings, and learning more about Edmonton's history. I visited the park today and had lunch at the Hotel Selkirk. I've consistently been underwhelmed by the food here, but it's nicer dining there than in the Masonic Hall cafeteria.
Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival last week because I love roaming the grounds and taking in the buskers, and also because I was part of the volunteer Multimedia Team. As far as food goes, the pickings seemed a bit slimmer than in previous years. The biggest surprise was the lack of any food trucks (other than ones used for special events). Zaika is another yearly favourite for me. Think butter chicken, but sweeter. I also love the addition of a veggie samosa. I could have added naan for another couple of dollars, but the portion would have ended up being too large for me.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Edmonton Blues Festival. I am a big blues fan, and Blues On Whyte is one of my regular weekend hang outs.I loved the variety of Blues presented at the festival, and the fact that the performers were from all over the world. You can read my blog post about the music over at Inside World Music. The band pictures above is MonkeyJunk, my new favourite! The food was as diverse as the music! Of course, I had to have a Fat Frank because hot dogs and the Blues go so well together. There was also a Vietnamese vendor offering both freshly-made vermicelli bowls and wraps, as well as fries and onion cakes. I had one of the onion cakes, then later had a brisket sandwich from Smokehouse BBQ - talk about east meeting west! The choice of beer was also quite diverse - everything from Molson Canadian to Newcastle to Corona, a few coolers, and Strongbow. At $7 per drink ticket it was slightly pricer than other beer tents I have visited, but large cans were being served (the 473ml variety) so the portion size fit the price. Great music, great food, and great atmosphere - the Edmonton Blues Festival is definitely worth checking out for any serious music fan.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Edmonton Folk Music Festival is one of the city's most popular summer events. It is known for its music, first and foremost. It is known for the camaraderie on the big hill in Gallagher Park. related to this previous point, it is also a social experience for many. And for many who attend the Folk Fest, it doesn't get more social than in the beer garden. Fat Franks vendor, so that people can have something to eat with their drinks. There is lots of seating, and plenty of tents for shade. When things really got hot, volunteers walked around with spray bottles of water. I don't really like being sprayed with water, so I did my best to duck when I saw them coming! But seriously, you can really be set for the day (or evening) in there - and in fact, some people spend most of the EFMF experience in the beer garden. What about the music? At the north end, there is excellent sound from stage one, while at the south end, once can hear stage two pretty clearly. The main stage performances are also audible. Big Rock is the exclusive beverage supplier to the beer garden. After you purchase your tickets, you then get in line for your drink(s) to be poured. I found that the drink ticket lines were way shorter than the line ups to pick up the drinks. I first tried a Pilsner called Saaz, which was smooth. Later, I had a Grasshopper, which is one of the first beers I ever liked. However, I am not always in the mood for beer when I was a hard drink, and Rock Creek Cider was perfect on a hot afternoon.
Edmonton Folk Music Festival. In addition to the fantastic music, a major part of my time was spent enjoying some of the food available. There seemed to be more choices than ever, from places that do the round of summer festivals to stands from established restaurants. Numchok Wilai. The noodles were plentiful and delightfully chewy, but I would have enjoyed more tofu. Noorish was my culinary highlight of the weekend. The green curry was sweet and spicy, while the bed of quinoa was an interesting diversion from a standard bed of rice. The portion was generous, and I felt like there was a symphony in my mouth with every spoonful. New Asian Village. The spicy morsels of chicken went well with the heat rising in Gallagher Park and the saffron rice was quite filling. I skipped the salad, as it has feta on it, but I was quite full just the same. As far as drinks went, when not in the beer garden (the subject of another post) I mostly had the water I brought with me. After my chili chicken I got some lemonade from the elephant ears vendor, but unfortunately by this time they had run out of ice (and by this time, I was so thirsty and hot I really did not care). The Edmonton Folk Music Festival has something for everyone - not only in terms of the entertainment, but also the menu. From sweet treats to savoury meals, there was no reason to go hungry.