Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Fair to Remember

The Red River Exhibition is on and boy, has the Ex ever changed since I was a kid! I must confess to not having been the Ex for quite sometime now. Probably about 10 years or so. What I remember from when I was a kid is the Ex always being set up in the Polo Park area around the old stadium and the old arena. It was always so much fun to walk around and play those carnival games, even though Mom always warned us those games were fixed, stand in line to get on the rides that will make you dizzy, and try some of that carnival food!

Nowadays, the Ex has a larger site on the west side of the city and so much more has been added. More games, more rides, more family activities, and more food. Food is what I am going to talk about. 

Monday evening the Boy, Hubby, and I ventured out to see what the Ex has to offer.  We were quite surprised at the variety of foods offered. It really isn't just corn dogs and candy floss anymore.  I highly suggest you do a full walk about before committing to a food choice. The concessions are spread out throughout the park and some concessions offer the same food item, but have a different take or recipe. (Also, if planning on partaking in the rides, ride first, eat later...)

Now, on with the food!

As I said before, take the full tour first. The 3 of us walked around, took in the sights and smells, and marvelled at a few of the vomit inducing rides.  We had 6 coupons to spend on any concession item we wanted. I enforced the sharing with your favourite food blogger law to make sure we all got to taste a little bit of everything.

This could be best expressed with the help of photos...

My memories of Ex food:

Corn dogs, candy floss, and snow cones..

Some of the food offerings this year:

Some of what we ate:  

Chipstix: fried potato on a stick. I was expecting this to be crispy  but was merely a soft, greasy fried potato on a stick. You do get to choose the sprinkle flavour of you choice, but this was a disappointment.

Souvlaki Skewers with chicken, lamb, and beef, all in the same pita! This was fabulous. All the meats were cooked just right and had all the Greek flavouring you would expect. The tzaziki was garlicky and delicious.

Tacos from Yo Quiero Tacos Tacos Tacos. Hubby ordered a trio of shredded beef tacos and the boys at the truck loaded them up with everything. They were messy and wonderful.  

Hubby here!  These tacos were awesome - nicely cooked meat, a hint of spice, cilantro, tasty tortillas and fresh vegis.  I would recommend these if you are a fan of Mexican food.  For me, they could have used more heat, but I recognize that what is spicy for most people barely registers for me.  Sadly, Yo Quiero is a native of Vancouver, but if you are out that way, find them and enjoy some mouthwatering Mexican cuisine.

Poutine from the Poutine King topped with bacon, mushrooms, green peppers, and green onions. (It was called the Canadian).  The fries were perfectly cooked on the outside and soft on the inside. The variety of different toppings offered was interesting.

Some more food we ate:

Deep fried foods are their own food group which happens to include Oreos, pickles, and mini donuts.

The pickles had a nicely spiced batter that had some dill and red pepper flakes in it. They were tasty and great for sharing.

Deep fried Oreos.....these are a must try. You will get 5 in your order and you will need to share. They are Rich, chocolatey, and have a hint of cinnamon.

Mini donuts. Freshly fried and coated in cinnamon sugar. Enough said.

I must not forget to mention the chocolate covered bacon... Or the free concert that happens every night.

The Boy thought the chocolate covered bacon was quite amazing. I felt it needed to be a better quality/tasting bacon for it to work better.

The quick and easy:

Parking at the Exhibition grounds will cost you 5$, so if you drive, be prepared for that.  City transit also makes regular runs out there.

Entrance to the park will cost 13$/person with children under 6 getting in for free.

Ride tickets bought on site run 1$/ticket with some price breaks on larger quantities.  Rides tend to be about 5 tickets each.
Ride all you want wristbands can be purchased for 45$, which, if you plan on riding a lot,  is a good deal.

Food costs vary and depend on what you order. There are many items in the 5$ range for quick snacks and sharing but you will also find items upwards of 10$ or more.  Have a look around.

Bottom line: bring money but plan out your time there. With so much to do and see, it will be easy to spend your money before the night is done.

Now don't get me wrong, once in the park there are some free things to go see. Entertainment such as  the lumber jack competition, concerts, animals and agriculture events, and so on.

The Ex also offers free admission during of small windows of time.  Check out their website for more info and entertainment line ups.

All in all, we were well fed and entertained while at the Red River Exhibition. It was a nice evening out for the three of us.

Until next time, stay warm and eat well.

Please note that while our evening at the Ex was generously donated to us, it has no bearing on our opinions regarding quality and taste.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sharing The Farm

Today we were lucky enough to get our first farm share goodies of the season. I must say that with the delayed spring (read loooooooong winter) this was an exciting thing.  My own garden has been coming along slowly so it is always a great to get the fresh goodies, even if it is mostly greens and herbs.  I kept pushing back feelings of guilt over my lack of gardening but after a stint with pharyngitis, a sinus infection, an especially long allergy season, and the aforementioned long winter I really could get things done.

I am slowly getting things together in the yard here at the Little Kitchen and trying to stick to my gardening plan.  For now the fresh goodies from Almost Urban are just the treat we need to keep us going.

What did we get? Beets, lettuces, green onions, herbs, a basil plant, a bar of goat's milk soap....so far, so good!

Until next time, stay warm and eat well.