Alberta Culture Days 2012

September comes to an end and I have to say, it’s been quite the month for me. By following Edmonton’s food scene just a bit more closely, I’ve met wonderful people and have become the foodie I never thought I would ever be. Starting this blog is only the beginning and I hope the rest of 2012 will bring on so much more. I attended my first Alberta Culture Days festival this past weekend. To be honest, I’ve never even heard of this and it’s their fifth year running (!) so I happily kicked off my weekend with their block party for 104 St on Friday night.

104 St Block Party

Looking down from Joe’s condo, the crowd looked sparse at the start. Extended patios were set up and I could spot a couple of food trucks closer to Jasper Ave. It was neat to see a whole stage set up for that night’s live music though!

Bannock Making Station

Street Art

Yellow Bird Cafe Food Truck

Bypassing booths promoting Alberta culture, live street art, and Yellow Bird Cafe’s food truck, I went straight to Drift’s food truck. Smokehouse BBQ and Fat Frank’s were also present but I wanted to taste Drift one last time before they disappeared for the winter!

Drift Food Truck

Drift’s Menu

Roasted Chicken and Fries

Joe wasn’t hungry (what?!) so I sadly ordered one mini roast chicken sandwich that came with a small side order of their fries that I doused with their homemade curry ketchup. Absolutely delicious! I loved the sausage and squash stuffing and the chicken was very moist. I almost wanted to go back and order another sandwich, but I knew there were other targets for the night.

Helm’s Naked Mannequins

Helm’s Dressed Mannequins

We decided to browse around the shops until Joe was hungry. The Helm, a retail store specializing in men’s high end fashion, was in the middle of preparing for Saturday’s grand opening. The naked mannequins are what attracted us from the street, really. The shop was very quaint! If I was a guy, this would be my style! I didn’t get a change to pop in on Saturday but I hope it went well.


Evoolution Salts

Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar Samples

Somehow, we always pass Evoolution without actually going inside. A few times I’ve peered in through their glass window in the dark to see what’s so exciting about olive oil after their opening hours. That day I finally got a chance to go in and boy, was I floored. Samples of olive oil, balsamic vinegars, and salts lined the walls and this is no ordinary fare. I tried a couple of samples and I will definitely go back when I run out of salad dressing. Heck, I might even just buy a loaf of bread next Saturday at the market and a bottle (or 2) of flavored oils and balsamic vinegars and just have a dipping fest to myself.

Baked Brie

Joe decided he was ready for food and so we made our way to 104St Grill. After our dinner earlier in the month, I was excited to try their baked brie with caramelized pear and candied onions served with a french baguette – that week’s featured dish, free with a glass of wine or craft beer. Sign up on their email list to get the feature every week! The baked brie was good, although not as good as last week’s dish at Tzin.

Beef Canape

I was still feeling peckish so we also ordered the beef canape with pickled peppers, mushrooms, and fresh horseradish. Now this might be because we’re both Vietnamese, but the combination of the beef, pickled vegetables and the mayonnaise on a french baguette really reminded us of a Vietnamese sub! For that price, this dish was a miss and I preferred the smoked salmon canape we ordered at our previous visit.

Shout Out Out Out Out

Shout Out Out Out Out Crowds

Patios on 104 St

Finishing off our drinks, we ventured outside again to catch the last show: Shout Out Out Out Out, a local dance/punk electro-pop band. The crowd was great and I was surprised that the entire street was packed! It was nice to see the patios of Blue Plate Diner, Lit, and Tzin still full of hungry patrons as we enjoyed the music from upstairs. I had a great time and thought the block party was a big success!


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