Monday, July 28, 2014

Taste of Edmonton 2014

Since starting my blog a few months ago, I've always tried my best to post my food adventures in order. That way, the Blog Archive can act like a timeline. However, with Heritage Days slowly creeping up on me, I've decided to write about my experience at this year's Taste of Edmonton before I write about any other previous food adventures. With so many food to try at both Taste of Edmonton and Heritage Days, I didn't want to have to go through mind blocks thinking about how certain food items tasted. So here it is: a recap of my day at Taste of Edmonton 2014 with CJ and two of my friends! 

Taste of Edmonton ( is an annual 10 day food festival located in the heart of Downtown at Churchill Square. This is an event for food lovers to sample delicious food and drinks from many different restaurants and food trucks. In addition to the food, there is also music entertainment, the Sip 'n Savour venue, and so much more. You don't have to be an expert foodie to enjoy Taste of Edmonton - just come with an empty stomach and a willingness to try new food! 

CJ and I arrived at Taste of Edmonton last Monday afternoon. It was around lunch time, so there was quite a crowd of people wanting to grab something to eat. We made a beeline to the Ticket Centre where we purchased 40 tickets (considered a full sheet) for $50. I wish I had purchased my tickets before the actual event started - it was on sale for 20% off! Too bad I missed out on that deal. I've been attending Taste of Edmonton every year for awhile now, but 40 tickets is the most I've ever purchased. And with each dish averaging to 3 tickets and smaller portion sizes, you get to try more food! The more food, the better right?

Hurricane Potato.

The first dish I picked up was the Hurricane Potato (3 tickets) from Korean Village Restaurant ( I mostly wanted to get this dish because I've never had any twisted potato snack on a stick before. I really enjoyed the simplicity of this dish and just the experience of taking a bite into each section of the "hurricane". When paired with the sriracha sauce CJ added to the side, the taste of the potato was amped up even more. 

Wood Fired Prosciutto Pizza.

Next up was Wood Fired Prosciutto Pizza (3 tickets) from the Canicus Catering ( food truck. One neat thing is that the food truck resembles a fire truck, however it is remodelled to have a pizza oven placed inside. Very eye catching. In terms of the food itself, the Wood Fired Prosciutto Pizza was one of my favourite eats of the day. Despite the crust being only slightly burnt, I found the pizza to be soft and chewy. I thought the sauce, cheese, and prosciutto on top together tasted very mellow yet addicting. I loved that this pizza was made fresh right in front of me as well. 

Cherry-Glazed Duck Confit Tacos with Jicama Slaw.

Prior to visiting Taste of Edmonton this day, I would notice Instagrammers raving about the Cherry-Glazed Duck Confit Taco with Jicama Slaw (3 tickets) from Fairmont Hotel MacDonald ( This is one of their new menu items, so I knew I had to try it. Although I didn't really get enough of the cherry flavour, I still found the duck confit alone to be very flavourful. The slaw itself was just okay, but paired nicely with the meat. I just wish there was a little more sauce added to give it more dimension. Nevertheless, still a delicious dish and ranked high in my opinion (the duck confit was the best part)! 

Chilled Blueberry Soup with Goat Cheese Ice Cream and Micro Basil.

Another one of the new food items at Taste of Edmonton! Chilled Blueberry Soup with Goat Cheese Ice Cream and Micro Basil (3 tickets) from Mercer Tavern ( The picture I took isn't the best one since the ice cream melted from being exposed to the sun for too long! When you receive the soup, you actually do get it with a legit scoop of ice cream. Anyways, this soup was another one of my favourites! I thought it was quite interesting that the blueberry soup itself remained chilled during the entire eating process. I'm sad that I couldn't properly try the goat cheese ice cream, since it eventually became muddled with the blueberry soup. CJ wasn't too in love with this dish because apparently his mom makes blueberry soup for him at home all the time. 

24 oz Freshly Squeezed Lemonade.

Drinks are important too! I chose the 24 oz Freshly Squeezed Lemonade (4 tickets) from Lemon Heaven ( to share with CJ. Perfect to quench our thirst and wash down all the food we eat! Lemonade is clearly a classic summer beverage. 

Donair Poutine.

So far all the dishes I've discussed were chosen by me, but since CJ and I were sharing the 40 tickets, I had to let him choose his own dish at some point. CJ likes to go for things that have meat and are familiar to him - nothing too crazy or out-of-the-box. That's why I wasn't surprised when he picked Donair Poutine (4 tickets) from Quick Meal Mediterranean Food (, another food truck. This dish features a traditional poutine but with donair meat and donair sauce added on it. I didn't try this dish since I was busy eating my duck confit taco, but CJ told me he enjoyed it. The sweet taste of the donair sauce came through first, but after a few more bites it just tasted like a regular poutine (so I was told). CJ obviously wished the dish came in a larger portion size. 

Wasabi Beef on a Bun.

CJ's second pick for the day: Wasabi Beef on a Bun (3 tickets) from Hawkeyes Too ( I don't like wasabi, so this is something I would steer clear of. CJ told me that this dish was pleasant and not too spicy, but just spicy enough so that he had to take a couple sips of our lemonade. Maybe if I were more adventurous, I would try this dish out for myself! 

Marvelous Stuffed Mushrooms.

Another dish that CJ wanted to get was the Marvelous Stuffed Mushrooms (2 tickets) from The Cheesecake Cafe ( I tried one piece and it was delicious! I loved the crunchiness of the exterior, while the mushroom and stuffing inside packed a lot of flavour in a small bite. CJ said it reminded him of eating popcorn chicken, and I have to agree. I think the best part of this dish was the sauce it came with - tangy, yet it complemented the stuffed mushroom very well. CJ said this was his favourite dish he picked for the day! And at a steal for only 2 tickets! 

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake on a Stick.

My pick from The Cheesecake Cafe was their White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake on a Stick (4 tickets). This is another dessert that I was influenced to get based on Instagrammers saying how good it was. So of course I had to see what all the hype was about. This dessert features a full slice of the cheesecake, so it definitely is a bigger portion size compared to some other desserts. I actually don't like white chocolate, but I still wanted to give this one a try! Taking my first bite, I tasted the raspberry atop a crumbly chocolate layer. Very yummy. However, I did find this dish to be quite sweet with each successive bite. It also wasn't as creamy as cheesecakes typically are. While perfect for those who have more of a sweet tooth than myself, I would say this dessert was a miss for me! 

Bacon Bullets.

More savoury food again! This time, it's Bacon Bullets (3 tickets) from Sabor Divino ( From the moment we first passed by Sabor Divino's stall, I knew CJ would want to try their Bacon Bullets. He loves bacon, considering he always finds a way to incorporate it into every lunch or dinner he's made for me. Nowadays, I'm beginning to see more and more bacon wrapped anything being offered at different restaurants I go to. However, this is my first time seeing bacon wrapped dates. The Bacon Bullets are also stuffed with Manchego cheese as well. This dish definitely packed a lot of punch for a small bite. I thought the cheese was distinct and assertive, and I found that it actually came through more than the bacon did. In my opinion, the bacon and the dates helped to tone down the strong taste of the cheese. Another very delicious dish worth trying! 

Chocolate Mousse with Poprocks.

My second choice for a dessert item was the Chocolate Mousse with Poprocks (2 tickets) from The Common ( I was drawn to this dish mainly because of the addition of pop rocks. If you are unfamiliar with pop rocks, it is a carbonated candy that creates a fizzy sensation once it is dissolved in your mouth. CJ was the first person to introduce me to this candy a few years ago, back when he was still trying to win my heart. Hehehe. The chocolate mousse itself tasted like any regular chocolate mousse, but with the pop rocks I thought this dish became one of a kind. I really enjoyed the fizzy, crackling sensation I got from the pop rocks - definitely made me laugh a few times. 

Cinnamon Naan.

My day at Taste of Edmonton is coming to an end! With only a few tickets left, CJ and I just started to look for anything that sounded tasty. He chose the Cinnamon Naan (3 tickets) from NaanOLicious (The Naan Bar - I only tried a small piece of the naan, but I only got some cinnamon and icing sugar taste. CJ told me that he wished it was a bit sweeter: "more cinnamon, less naan" according to him. Nevertheless, this is something unique as I've never seen Cinnamon Naan elsewhere in Edmonton! 

Deep Fried Wonton with Crab Meat and Cream Cheese.

Last dish of the day! I chose to get the Deep Fried Wonton with Crab Meat and Cream Cheese (3 tickets) from Panda Hut Express ( I was intrigued by the combo of crab meat and cream cheese... so why not give it a try? Although I mostly tasted cream cheese and only a little crab meat, I thought the idea of this dish was very interesting. I enjoyed the crunchiness of the wonton together with the filling, but just the wonton alone wasn't the most tastiest thing to eat. I can imagine this dish to be a perfect snack to munch on for those lazy summer days. 

I had an awesome time at Taste of Edmonton this year! Everything tasted delicious, and I left Churchill Square feeling full and satisfied. It's hard for me to pick just one favourite dish, considering I sampled so many good ones! The best part about this year's festival would have to be the fact that everything was a smaller portion size for fewer tickets. 40 tickets resulted in 12 food items and 1 drink! The only downside was that I wished for a larger stomach so I could try more food! I'm sad that I missed out on the Duck Tots from Attila The Hungry food truck (they weren't at the festival the day I went)... I heard so many good things about it too. Overall, Taste of Edmonton will always be one of my favourite festivals in the city... I'm already looking forward to next year!

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