A 2012 Photo Essay

Wishing all our family, friends, fellow bloggers, Facebook friends, the Twitterverse, and  everyone involved in the food and wine industry, success, happiness and good health in 2013.

Providing photographic evidence that Michael and I do more than just eat. I have captioned some of the photos – to read the longer ones, click the picture to make it big.

What the Truck?!

Michael and I attended the What the Truck event last night, and it wasn’t until now, over 24 hours later, that I could write anything, because…

WE. ATE. SO. MUCH. FOOD. WE. COULD. BARELY. MOVE.

Now that time has past and the food digested, I am happy to share our experience.

Last night’s event started at 5:00 p.m. We arrived at an eager 4:40 pm hoping to be ahead of the crowds. The What the Truck events have gained much popularity since the first one I attended back in June 2011. The lines we observed when What the Truck took place on the Victoria Promenade back in August, although a perfect summers night, made me feel a bit agoraphobic, so we ended up not hanging around. I’m not the sort of person who gets a thrill standing in line with others in the way between me and my beef brisket sandwich! I see that many people love it though – and I confess, it is a nice time to chat with other friendly foodie people, see what everyone’s eating, and to observe which truck draws the largest crowd.

At Churchill Square, an agoraphobics dream, I love it for the space, escapes routes in every direction, as well as the multitude of available seating options – from concrete ledges, steps, benches, tables, chairs, near fountains, away from fountains, in the shade, in the sun, near street performers, away from street performers, near Goths, away from smokers, near children, away from children, on a patch of grass, or against a tree, it had a space just for you.

Of course, at this point, I can’t help but reflect on a time when Churchill Square was nothing more than a patch of grass and bunch of trees. I was one of those people who protested the change to a “concrete compound” as I liked to call it then. Well, I eat crow. It turned out just awesome, and I’m sure in time that is exactly how I’ll feel about the municipal airport and the arena too!  🙂

Michael and I planned our itinerary in advance, but because we were early and the vendors weren’t open yet, we took some time to stroll from truck to truck, and review the menus. There were a few minor changes from what was published on the website, but the changes were not anything that disappointed.

Our first stop, which we evaluated at the end of our evening to be our #1 favourite of the night was at Little Village Food Truck.  We had the slow roasted lamb and potatoes.

The lamb was tender, the potatoes cooked perfectly with rosemary and lemon. It was beyond decadent and Michael and I were Mmmm Mmmm Mmmming through the whole experience, with each of us wondering how we could divert the others attention, so we could eat one extra potato, or get an extra forkful lamb.

Second stop was at Smokehouse BBQ.  Here they offered a beef brisket sandwich, which was one of the last minute additions to the menu for the evening.  The beef was delicious, and I enjoyed the rich meatiness served along with the tart coleslaw.

This happened to be our #2 favourite of the evening – losing a point only because the bun was cold. Had that bun been warmed, it would have tied for 1st. Smokehouse BBQ also gets a special commendation for offering, not just a little itty bitty moist towelette like Mom had at the bottom of her purse when we were kids (and which were usually dry when the foil wrap was finally opened), but these guys offer a full 8 x 10″ towelette perfect for wiping off drippy BBQ sauce, mayo and other sandwich squidge.

Our third stop took us to the north side of Churchill Square to The Act where we shared an order of the home cut sweet potato fries with rosemary and jalapeno garlic mayo.

I found these very difficult to share. They were delicious on so many levels. Crispy. Flavourful. It wasn’t drowning in mayo, but it was just enough of a drizzle to tease you and make you rummage through to the bottom of the dish to see if an extra blob happened to find its way there.

Stop number four was a complete impulse. We passed the Lingnan, and I asked Michael if he ever tried the crack chicken (hot and dry chicken). He had not, so it had to be ordered.

I knew what I was in for, but it was fun to watch Michael take his first few bites, and not have much of a reaction. A few minutes later there were the satisfying yelps and mouth fanning as the spicy heat hit the spot.

At this point we started to waddle, but we were determined to order something sweet for dessert. We selected Molly’s Eats for the lemon white chocolate cookies.

Although they were good, they tasted more like a dense, slightly dry cake than cookie. That said, they delivered in their promise of something sweet and lemony.

We ran into Mack Male in the crowd and stopped to chat for a minute. Although he is pleased with the success of the What the Truck events, you can see that this man is a visionary and is always planning for improvements.  Mack has a selfless business sense that is admirable and refreshing.

For the last What the Truck event for the summer, it was a well attended, well organized event. The weather was perfect, the crowd happy, the trucks turning out the food and pleasing their hungry customers.

We look forward to the next event. Thanks to everyone that helped make it a successful evening. It was worth every minute of your time.

 

Friday In Edmonton

Yesterday was a thrilling day to be out and about in Edmonton. The evening started with a visit to What the Truck a fun event organized by Mack Male and Sharon Yeo.  These two positive, energetic people love our city and are taking steps to do what they can to improve the downtown scene. What the Truck was a perfect way to get people together to hang-out and mingle on a busy street corner, to enjoy fun food and great music in the downtown core. It was a huge success and it will happen again. This is Great News! Congratulations to Mack and Sharon!! You are making a difference!

After What the Truck, a friend and I headed over to the newly renovated Jekyll and Hyde Pub at 10209 100 Ave. It is a relaxed, friendly pub. Anyone will feel welcome, and if you nab a seat against the windows, you will have some spectacular river valley views. Our waitress reminded us there is a live band Friday nights at 9:30 p.m. A pint of Traditional was only $5.00. I’d sit in a barrel to drink a $5.00 Trad., but here you can do it with nice views. Warning for the tender bottomed, the chairs are hard. I have built-in cushioning, so had no issues.

I had no time to stay for the band, as I had to get home, fluff my hair, pick up Michael and head off to the Art Gallery of Alberta for the Opening of Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965 – 1980.  This was our first opening at the AGA, and what a great time it was. Okay, granted, they had free bubbly wine at the entrance and had plates and plates of bacon wrapped scallops, spring rolls, mini-quiches and mini bison-burgers. How can you NOT like an opening? The speeches were short and sweet. The art was, well, conceptual. Honestly, it’s interesting stuff. I had to work to keep my mind open. It was a unique experience, and I encourage you to go and check it out.

While mingling, I chatted with a man from Calgary who happened to be at the The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago at the Glenbow, decades ago. So I had a bit of a memory. You see, at the time, I was a high school art student. The Glenbow recruited volunteers from local schools. I said sure. I went. I saw. I volunteered by selling books and mementos for the show. I met the great Lena Horne. I was interviewed by a Japanese newspaper about why I volunteered. Of course I was young and naive and had absolutely no clue at the time of the interview what Judy Chicago was about, nor what the plates depicted at the Dinner Party. It was a Moment to Remember when the penny dropped. It was one helluva an experience. And my love of art was then firmly established.

Michael and I felt positively comfortable and were delighted with this eclectic crowd at the AGA. We attended these sorts of things when we lived in Calgary, and the feel is completely different between the two cities. I’m not saying one is better than the other. Both are lovely.

Today has been a day to relax, read, and clean the apartment. Anything actually, to help me procrastinate from doing a task with a looming deadline on Monday. So to delay it a bit longer, let me tell you what I cooked today.

– Salad –

Mixed Spring Greens from a Bag
&
Sliced Tomato
tossed with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
and plopped unceremoniously on a plate

– Main –

Toast with Melted Three Kinds of Cheese
&
Sliced Tomatoes
Grilled under the Broiler until the Cheese is Bubbly

Served with the
Crunchy Cheesy Bits that Melt onto the Broiler Pan
that you need to Scrape off with a Metal Spatula
and Inadvertently Fling all over the Counter
But are so Tasty You Pick Up Every Last One
and if No One is Looking Even the Ones off the Floor

– Dessert –

Several Spoonfuls of Nutella
Right-From-the-Jar