Taste of Edmonton

Chef Husband and I almost never go on dates. We don’t have any family here, and I don’t like to bug my friends and ask them to watch our children. We could hire a babysitter, but for some reason, we just don’t. So right now because we have a full-time nanny working for us, we decided to go on a date. We made it a lunch date since it’s easier when we already have someone watching the children (and they’re at a camp this week anyway). I was trying to think back and remember when the last time we went on a real date was, and I think it was last year around this time!

We went to Taste of Edmonton – a festival (Edmonton, for those of you unfamiliar with the great north, is known as a festival city – there is at least one festival every single weekend from May to September). Taste of Edmonton has 40+ restaurants partake. Each restaurant has its own booth and they offer 2 items from their restaurant. It’s to give you a “taste” of restaurants within Edmonton and is a great way to explore new foods! We’ve been going for a number of years and this year I noticed the labelling to be even better!

The menu (which can be found here for this year) has labels for Vegetarian, Seafood, Nuts and Celiac Approved. While this obviously doesn’t encompass the whole list of common allergens, this is a huge start! Each of the booths also had the labels clearly displayed. There were a couple of errors on the menu when it was printed, but even those are listed in corrections on the menu page, and they are labelled correctly at the booths.

Now, this is the first year I’ve gone as a mostly-vegetarian consumer. While the festival has a number of options for celiacs, and a number of options for vegetarians, there were extremely limited options for vegetarian celiacs. So I ate meat in one of my 3 dishes I had – not ideal, and if I ever went full vegetarian or vegan, this festival certainly wouldn’t be an option for me.

Let me introduce you to the food we consumed.

First we went to 3 Amigos booth where they had 2 kinds of Celiac Approved food – the burrito and the taco. I opted for the burrito. Because I didn’t want it spicy, there was no sauce on it. It had good flavour, but was kind of boring in the end. I kind of which I asked for the sauce just for that moisture factor.

Burrito Norteno and Rice

The festival encompasses Churchill Square downtown. On top of the 40 booths, there are also food trucks, ice cream stops, and lemonade stands.

Taste of Edmonton

My husband of 8 years and I! Come fall, we’re going to make this date thing a more regular occurrence!

Date!

Although the chicken tikka wasn’t Celiac Approved (or vegetarian) I loved how it looked while it was cooking! All the fresh veg around the outside and the meat on the inside. When they’d need to fry up more vegetables, they’d grab a bit from the circle. Chef Husband ate the chicken tikka (with garlic naan) and said it was wonderful! (From New Asian Village)

Cooking Chicken Tikka

Chef Husband opted for all the non-celiac approved items. It’s rare he gets to eat wheat so he decided to go for it! (And I full encouraged it!) These are whiskey and dark chocolate ribs. He wasn’t overly fond of them. He said that you couldn’t really taste the flavours that much and he would have liked it stronger. Plus, his piece was quite fatty.

Whiskey and Chocolate Ribs

Guru restaurant is one of my favourites in the city. Their chef is phenomenal, and they are extremely knowledgeable about their product! They make me feel very comfortable eating there and we’ve gone a few times. Their potato bhadji was my winner! Vegan and Celiac Approved! The tamarind sauce was to die for and I consumed these much faster than I thought I would. The flavour was mind blowing! Next time we go, I’m definitely ordering these.

Potato Bhadji with Tamarind Sauce

I didn’t take pictures of our desserts but Chef had tiramisu at my request.. it was a toss up between that and canoles, both of which I miss eating. Must make them at home! I had chocolate peanut butter truffles. They were super good but really rich! It came with 3 but I could only eat 2.

All in all, Taste of Edmonton was a success. On top of having some good food, we got to spend a whole hour together wandering around! That in and of itself made the outing worth it!

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