Making up for Burgerpalooza, where the skies opened up and dumped on us, sunshine and warmth greeted us for Tasting Plates Main Street. Interestingly, the only bad weather I've ever encountered on a Vanfoodster event was with Snake. I guess he is a bad luck charm... So I went back to the well and enlisted the help of Miss Y as my eating companion this time around. Not only does it never rain when she is around, she looks a heck a lot better than Snake. Similarly like past Tasting Plates, we were invited to sample some of the eats from different spots available along hipster central.
Our first stop was also the registration location at Tapas 23. Let me get this out of the way first... We, along with other people, waited over 30 minutes for our food (40 mins in my case) without any concern on the restaurant's part. In fact, we noticed that people who ordered drinks received their food very quickly. I understand that restaurants need to make money, but this was hardly a good way to impress future customers. I, for one, will not be returning. In terms of the food, we were served a plate consisting of Bombas (pork belly), Bruselas (brussel sprouts, sweet balsamic, almonds & aged cheddar), Albóndiga (meatball with sundried tomato and roasted red pepper) and Potato-Crusted Wings with achote sauce. We found the pork belly rather dry and chewy while the brussel sprouts were crispy and adequately dressed. The meatball was not very moist, but it did have some pop in terms of flavour. As much as the wing was juicy and moist, the crust was not particularly crispy. Moving onto Shaktea, we sampled the Matcha Date Balls as well as the Chocolate Chili Fudge Brownie. Naturally, with date, the matcha balls were rather sweet and sticky. As for the brownie, it was fairly moist with a slight kick. We were also served a selection of teas.
Making the long walk over to Miura Waffle & Milk Bar, we were treated to a plate that included Kachan Karaage Waffle Sando (ginger fried chicken, Asian slaw, & 1000 Island sauce), Teri-Vani Waffle Sando (vanilla ice cream, whipped cream & teriyaki sauce), Nori Nachos (fried seaweed, melted cheese, tomato salsa & sour cream), Dessert Nachos (fried seaweed, chocolate sauce, whipped cream & strawberry). My favourite had to be the karaage as it was crispy, flavourful and juicy. Not so sure about the nori chips though. Next door at Rosemary Rocksalt, we were presented with a plate consisting of Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich on a Rosemary Rocksalt bagel, Lox & Cream Cheese Sandwich on a bagel and Sweet Rugolach Pastry. I thought the bagels were good with a nice chewy texture and a firm exterior. The smoked meat was an interesting compliment (never had those 2 things together before).
Our last 2 stops brought us back past King Edward to Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co first. We tried the Farmers Market Pizza topped with local organic balsamic marinated rhubarb and chard, 3 herb nut free pesti & Capriny goat’s cheese. We also had the Naturally Meaty with spicy certified organic beef, sulphate free Italian sausage, ripe tomatoes, green peppers, red onions, asiago cheese & fresh herbs. As with my previous visit to RMFC, the pizzas were loaded with toppings. Presented on a thin crust, it was a flavourful pizza. Lastly at Main Street Honey Shoppe, we had a plate with Honey almond cake; and Cream, Cheese Brownie made with Tawari honey from New Zealand and cheddar and pure honeycomb. Also, we were treated to a honey tasting. This along with some sweet treats to end our little food tour almost made up for the disappointing start.
- Again, early bird price is decent
- Organizers might want to speak to the restaurants about taking care of all customers