Dishcrawling Around the Neighbourfood

Back in June, I was invited to take part in an awesome event. Gemma from Dishcrawl had sent me an email inviting me to come and blog about a dishcrawling experience through Southgate. I was even going to receive a free ticket in exchange for a blog post. How sweet is that? I was so for it. Unfortunately, my schooling had other plans. I had to miss out on this awesome opportunity, much to my annoyance. Now, being done school and in a stable job, I am able to attend events on the weekend at my leisure. I emailed Gemma right away and signed up for Neighbourfood.

So, this Dishcrawl experience is a little different from the traditional ones, where you could crawl from restaurant to restaurant and revel in tasty food throughout a community. The neighbourfood dishcrawling experience was more like a festival. Like a Taste of Edmonton, if you will, but a little different…photo(8)

First things first, we received our map and food tickets (they were sold separately from the admission ticket to the event.) Because we had only purchased 7 tickets, Justin and I sat down and planned our route wisely. We wanted to try interesting dishes at restaurants we’ve never been before. And so we began dishcrawlin’ ’round the neighbourfood…photo(7)

First stop, the Manor. Beautiful! While I have been there before with my family, I liked it so much I thought I’d give it another go. They served a duck sausage with caramelized onions on a crostini. It was surprisingly… ok. The sausage was rather salty, although I liked the texture (it had no casing), but the onions and other condiments were nothing to write home about. The portion was really small, so Justin and I were still pretty famished, so we moved on to our next location right away. photo(10)

Next stop, Violino’s Gastronomia. We stopped in because a friend, in passing, had mentioned that their food was the best on the crawl thus far. Well, now I had to check it out. Wowza. Incredible! They served wood fire pizza (on the only outdoor wood fire oven in the city), and pasta with tasty Italian sausage. The pizza had ground chicken, pistachios and a sweet sauce. I have never had such a unique combination on a pizza before. This one won my dishcrawling experience. It was incredible!

photo(9)

The pasta was very good too. Fresh pieces of Italian sauces mixed in with a luscious pasta sauce. Loved it!photo-14

Next stop, the Bothy. photo(6)

They served peppered steak and salad. It was also ok. Nothing too special.photo-13

I say that, yet we eat every bite. I guessed we liked it. Or we were just really hungry. photo-15

At this point in our crawl, we were down to our last ticket. We wanted something desert-y, so we headed down to Cookie Love. We needed to purchase one more ticket in order for us both to enjoy an ice cream sandwich (made with Pinocchio ice cream!!), so we bought one before leaving the Bothy. 5 dollars. For one ticket. Holy smokes, batman! That better be one tasty ice cream sandwich to justify the price…photo(5)

We got in there, and man, was it ever cute! Milk bottle chandelier, awesome cow paraphernalia. We were quite enamored by the decor. photo-17

They even provided mini root beer floats while we were waiting for our sandwiches. Nice touch, cookie love, nice touch. The float was darn tasty, too!photo(4)

Then out comes the sandwich. Or should I say baby sandwich?photo(3)Yep. I am not exaggerating. It was that small. Justin ate his in one bite and I tried to savour mine, but I even managed to finish mine in two. For 5 dollars, you could have purchased one of their regular sized ice cream sandwiches (Think DQ sized- so normal sized). Justin and I were seriously  bummed, because ice cream cookie sandwiches are one of our favourite treats.

Overall, we had a decent time. It was quite the unique experience to be able crawl from restaurant to restaurant in a community; however, the portion sizes provided at the restaurants were much too small for what you are paying for the ticket price.

It breaks down like this: You buy a general admission for 15 dollars. Ours were generously donated by to us by dishcrawl in exchange for a post. We were super thankful to them for that. Then, you can purchase tickets according to how much you’d like to enjoy throughout the crawl. The more tickets you buy in advance, the more you save. (We only purchased 7 tickets, because we didn’t want to get too full. We also had no idea what to expect in terms of portion sizes…) To be honest, I had expected the portions to be similar to Taste of Edmonton, but they were much, much smaller.

It might have been better if we initially bought more tickets in bulk, but having to pay 5 dollars at the end for one tiny ice cream sandwich really busted our chomps. It doesn’t help that that was the last experience we had, so it left a little bit of a sour taste in our mouths, and an empty feeling in our bellies.

Overall, I wouldn’t dishcrawl around a neighbourfood again, but I would like to try a regular dishcrawl, where patrons are greeted with regular portion sizes that fill their bellies. It was a very unique experience and I applaud Dishcrawl for organizing such a well run and unique event.

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