While I missed the majority of the bands that I intended to see at Sled Island, I also made a couple musical discoveries, and just as importantly a few fffoooodddddiscoveries!
But before I get to all that: a stop at McDonalds for a good ole cheeseburger. We rolled into town pretty late and had to play a show immediately and then see our friend's show, so by the time we were ready to eat dinner it was almost midnight and this was the only thing open downtown. The lineup was endless, but it featured this guy wearing a Peanut T-shirt.
Late-night eating would soon be replaced by visits to CPU (Canadian Pizza Unlimited), at 11th and 5th.
The best worst pizza: it wouldn't be that good, except that it's so fresh because it's the only non-McDonalds place to eat after midnight.
We began the next morning with free samples of Scotch Caesars for breakfast at The Area, which sounds like a nifty idea, but the thick rim of steak salt was conducive to an afternoon of severe garlic breath, and the scotch really overpowered everything in an unfortunate way.
However, we found out we could get samples of the scotch alone, at which point I discovered that it tastes amazing. Here it is. I love it. It was very tempting to sneak off with one of these boxes.
There were also breakfast hot dogs, served by B.A. Johnston. The Area is probably the most interesting venue in town (that I saw), complete with campfires, tented areas with tree stump seats, a maze of a garden and beekeeping nests. Oh and also some bands (most notably Cousins), playing in an old abandoned school house.
Another drink discovery: I asked for a 'whiskey' at the Ship & Anchor and the bartender said 'what kind' and I said 'the best kind' (I had a free drink ticket), and he brought me Bulleit Bourbon. Which brought up questions of whether or not bourbon is whiskey and what about rye and for that matter the scotch I had yesterday. This is a conversation I've had several times in the midst of whiskey-drinking, but without ever reaching a satisfying conclusion (probably due to the whiskey-drinking). I'm sure that ten minutes on Wikipedia would clear the whole thing up.
Our artist packages included a ticket for one free menu item at Broken City. I ate a flat iron steak salad. It had field greens, tomatoes, feta cheese and some kind of blueberry balsamic dressing. It is one of my fondest food memories of Calgary. I started eating this and didn't really look up until it was all gone.
The Palomino, which came recommended by both locals and touring bands, was also pretty exciting. A fragrant cloud of BBQ smell hangs in the air around it for an entire city block. I ate the mac and cheese with pulled pork for brunch, then carried the leftovers around the city with me and ate it for dinner as well. A solid, tasty investment.
A hangover breakfast at Local 510 with Twin River playing in the background. Who doesn't love free breakfast tacos. Not me. Also their coffee was GREAT.
This was my second year in a row hanging out at Tubby Dog and not eating anything on the menu. It's not that I don't find it intriguing -- particularly the Cap'ns dog smothered in peanut butter, jam and Cap'n Crunch -- it's just that I was saving myself for my beloved Burger Inn.
Our last stop of the festival, to chase last year's burger dragon. Five of us were present; four burger patties were eaten; three kinds of animals (bison, elk and wild boar) were consumed; only two of us ate burgers.
Deliciousness was achieved.