Tuesday, 22 July 2014

It's not just about the food…..@ Taste of Saskatchewan

My blog title basically sums it all. One of the highlights during summer in Saskatoon! So basically, its an event held at Kiwanis Park where participating restaurants feature some of their best dishes. A week long event together with premier bands and performances as well. Some might say its expensive and not worth eating etc but the crowd there says otherwise. Its the only summer event I've not missed for the past 3 years I'm in Saskatoon. Just loved the atmosphere!
Eating buddies…..you need them…so that you can taste more of the dishes! lols…(Photo courtesy of Bambi)

So, all you have to do is purchase the tokens ($2.50/token), amount depending on how much you would plan to spend with most items priced at $5.00 (2 tokens). Of course, being normal human, you would realise the longest lines would probably be the restaurants with the best, most-worthy and safest bet on your money (lols). For the past two years, the longest lines were seen at Riviera Restaurant & Lounge (for their poutine) and Joeys' Seafood Restaurant (fish and chips). So, being me, I just had to try why these were good. 
L:Asian Bowl Restaurant's Combo (just ok, can pass this) R:Riviera's Gourmet Poutine (love the fries, big portion, gravy tasted a lil bit weird but people seems to like it including me ;p)

L:Tomas The Cook Restaurant's boneless dry ribs (big portion, one of the famous items) R:Sardinia's greek riblets (really worth it and tasted quite good; well-marinated with herbs)

Joeys Seafood Restaurant : Popcorn shrimp and fish & chips. Long, long lines so we bought two items to make our wait worth it. Huge portion (which probably explains the long line). 
L: Tomas the Cook's Fried banana with ice cream and chocolate sauce (another famous item) R: Tony Tomas Turtle cheesecake  with chocolate sauce (apart from the cute turtle on the top, I really think this is the weirdest cheesecake I've ever eaten; I think Superstore's cheesecake tasted better)

Good times. Relaxing by the river after our heavy 'snacking'. Lols (Photo courtesy of Bambi)
Overall, I would say this is one of the best summer events in Saskatoon! Honestly, the food is not the greatest (but hey, just go to the restaurants if you are looking for the best meals!) but its not just about the food. The atmosphere, the people, the weather and the food (of course!) makes a great combination. With so many varieties, I'm sure you will find something you like. At least this is one family-friendly event without alcohol ruling it ;p

Monday, 21 July 2014

Mexican.Shakespeare.Sunday @ La Bamba and Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK

A lovely Sunday of chill-axing, Vampire Diaries marathon, followed by Mexican food with a friend at La Bamba Cafe and Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet…La Bamba is really quite at the edge of the town on Boychuk Drive and I would not have heard of it if its not because of Urbanspoon. The reviews were like super good and since it is actually pretty close to where I'm staying, I decided to give it a try. A small little restaurant, we were welcomed by some cheery servers and Mexican music, and with an almost full-house when we got there at 5pm (opens at 4pm!). All tables were served a basket of complimentary warm, crispy home made corn chips with fresh salsa, which was just amazing. 
Complimentary chips and salsa. We tried their Mexican pop Jarritos (which I felt was nicer than the usual pop, maybe because of the varieties they had)
I'm not really a fan of Mexican food so I wasn't really familiar with what is good and what not. I had the Enchiladas Chipotle (which was the very few items that was labelled as HOT!!). Two corn tortillas wrapped with shredded chicken (an option to choose between chicken, beef and vege) and simmered with Chipotle sauce, topped with cream and cheese, and with rice and beans as sides. Friend had basically the same thing but with green sauce instead of chipotle (Enchiladas Verdes). Eventhough I felt I can probably make my own enchiladas, the ones I had was really good. The chipotle sauce was really not at all spicy (if you compare with everything else eg sriracha chilli sauce, curry, laksa, buffalo hot sauce etc). The combination of shredded chicken, tortillas and chipotle sauce seems to be a very good idea (how come I didn't think of making that ?!?) It may lack the aesthetic-look upon presentation (unlike some other fancier Mexican restaurant like Las Palapas), but I'm pretty sure this is the more authentic Mexican food! The beans were…just beans but I kinda like the taste of it even though I'm not too sure what type of beans I'm eating!)
Enchiladas Chipotle $15.99

Enchiladas Verdes $15.99
Full house even though it was only 5pm! Does everyone eat that early ??? I thought it was only me..lols
Overall, I think this is a great place and I will definitely be back! Servers were friendly and attentive, parking was breeze, food was great and moderately priced and atmosphere was nice even though it was a such a small place. They are also 100% MSG-free, gluten-free and trans-fat free. Be sure to get there early or make a reservation because I think this place is packed most of the time !

Address : 3-1025 Boychuk Drive Saskatoon, SK 
Opening hours : 11.30 am to 8.30 pm daily
Phone no : 306-242 2622
La Bamba Cafe on Urbanspoon

After dinner, we headed for Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan 'Romeo and Juliet' by Saskatchewan River (hence the title @__@). I have been to As You Like It previously in 2012 and thought it was pretty good. The best part is, being a 'poor student', we get to enjoy student pricing as well (yeehaa!). Last year, I was at the Vancouver's festival Bard on the Beach with my mum for another comedy by Shakespeare; while that may be a bigger festival compared to this, the price was also higher as well (check out my blog post on it :)) This season's titles were Romeo and Juliet and Taming of the Shrew. Since I prefer watching plays of the Elizabethan era (I don't like remakes, modern versions etc), so I chose the tragedy play instead of comedy (set in the modern era). 
Couldn't resist taking a photo with this friendly lady in a nice costume!
A battle that was held for those who came for the Medieval feast but since we were early, we managed to get a glimpse of it as well ;p

Again, no pictures allowed once play starts. So there, these are the pre-show photos.
Weather was brilliant ( brilliant=not raining, not too cold, not too hot ;p), not many bloody-sucking mosquitoes surprisingly (since it was a 7.30pm show), sold-out performance and a totally tragic story. Enjoyed the show but so totally disagree with Juliet's costume (what were they thinking!). I don't think they actually wear that during the Elizabethan era! A tragic story also meant that there were lots of shouting (to make it sound more dramatic and tragic I supposed), and not much laughter. Although it was good, I think I will stick to comedy plays in the future. That said, this is the one event I will not miss during summer!