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Taste of Edmonton - not to miss?

Very excited about the upcoming Taste of Edmonton festival, which sounds like one of the more appealing celebrations the city of festivals has to offer in my opinion! Just wondering what the not-to-be-missed dishes from years past might be?
Thanks!

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  1. KayceeK:

    I guess I am the "shower that rains on the parade"...IMHO "Taste" has become more a money maker for the restaurants involved or the effort itself than what it was originally intended.

    I cannot think of anything that fits into the "not-to-be-missed" category.

    Perhaps it is the venue, the understandable restrictions on what can be cooked there, etc, but I have tasted less and less of "samples" than would get me interested in going to the restaurant itself after the "Taste".

    Some plates are big, others small.

    If Nisku Inn is there again, their paella is usually good.

    But, I have had enough of chocolate wrapped strawberries, ginger beef, etc. etc. to want to go back again and brave the crowds and the anticipated "heat" this week-end.

    Hope I turn out to be incorrect....hope you enjoy it. I may go but expect I'll restrict myself to a glass of wine or the like.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Bob Mac

      I'm with Bob on this one - have gone a few times and always disappointed. Ginger beef, green onion cakes....and no great restaurants. I've been to similar events in other cities that were far far better.

      Here in Edmonton, the Slow Food "Indulgence" night is a better intro to some good restaurants, and Heritage Days is a way better food event than Taste.

      1. re: Dan G

        Thanks for your feedback, although we will probably still go just to get out of the house for something different! Deep-fried Mars bar; just one of those things I don't do enough of at home.
        That said, I won't be pre-ordering any tickets in an effort to save 10% though...

        1. re: Dan G

          Adding a third to this thought. It has become over priced in my mind, and lacks any real 'must have' dishes. Definitely something to do once or twice though.

          Indulgence was fantastic.

          1. re: raidar

            yes, I agree with all of the above. it seems like it is not great restos that are there and not surprising, the good ones don't need an event like Taste to get recognized.

            hope you enjoy your evening out despite this...

        2. re: Bob Mac

          +1 agree.... it's sad over top over priced. crowds no where to eat...

        3. TOE was on a road to ruin as soon as the chain restaurants and hotels were allowed in. I was fortunate enough to be a part of it when it was located on the patio of the Convention Centre. Only a handful of high quality restaurants were allowed to participate. Those were the days!

          1 Reply
          1. re: bogie

            Pretty disappointing menus looks more like a food fair cuisine. Won't be going this year.

          2. Skip!

            Most restaurants just serve overpriced small portion size versions of their appetizers. Not the same as it once was; before Churchill Square was repaved. I feel that it had a different vibe back then, when it was "real"(?!) Haha.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dingmah

              It's certainly lost it's appeal compared to prior years. However, I see that the Hotel Macdonald is back with their Mac Scones with Saskatoon Berry Compote and that alone will justify a trip to the square!

            2. Hi KayceeK - I would skip the Taste and do the Heritage Festival next month. There's a lot more variety and in my opinion, you get more for your buck. We are adventure eaters, though, so if food from around the world is daunting, it might not be for you.

              However, we did the Taste to find new places to eat when we first moved here and did discover a few good places.

              1. If you haven't tried these yet, I would recommend:

                * El Rancho for a papusa;
                * Padmanadi for vegan Indonesian "chicken" curry.

                (I love these restaurants, and these are things I would order when I visit them anyways, not just have at Taste of Edmonton.)

                Regards,
                Chris

                P.S. I agree with Dan G, I much prefer events like Indulgence over Taste of Edmonton.

                2 Replies
                1. re: cwant

                  I hope someone from TOE is reading this stuff. We have gone a few times and agree with all the negative comments. Lousy food, expensive and nothing new. I would have thought that this event wiould be about luring new patrons to your restaurant. Instead it is about money. How foolish are these people? Rather than drawing new cleints, these people are providing compelling reasons to avoid both the event and the restaurants. They need to rethink and renew the concept. It should be a showcase for each restaurant as is the case for Indulgence. I love the food at Heritage Days. Skip TOE and hopefully it will die for a while.

                2. We were at TOE last weekend and found a few notables:
                  • deep fried wonton with crab and cream cheese filling from Panda Hut Express
                  • butter chicken and rice from Khazana
                  • Canadian Maple Syrup Devine from Palace Banquets (utterly amazing)
                  • BBQ beef rib from Chef's Grill and Bar
                  • garlic shrimp from Pazzo Pazzo

                  I would give the Chicken Tika *New Asian Village) and Mexican fried ice cream (El Rancho) a pass.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Jasz

                    Well, I did venture over on a lunchhour and, as I had been forewarned, the variety was underwhelming at best. I was hoping for more adventurous eats and not things like lemon chicken, chicken penne, and ginger beef. Mehhh. I did enjoy the cabbage rolls from Taste of Ukraine though, and it was a nice excuse to get out of the office and enjoy the gorgeous weather.

                    Looking forward to Heritage Days instead. :)

                  2. Sooooo disappointed (again) about Taste. A couple of mouthfuls of food costing $4 - $5!! Boring restaurants participate with a couple of exceptions. Have suffered this every year, hoping something will get better, but it never does. Also would have liked to sit down and have a brew but there are never enough tables/chairs and lineups are horrendous.