Mack and I are both suckers for fairground food, and every year, make sure to get our fix at Capital Ex, which runs July 20-29, 2012. This year is no different (Mack has already said he is looking forward to his annual corn dog), but with a deluge of new items they are introducing this year, we had to consider upgrading from our usual menu.
Lucky for us, Northlands has given us some gift certificates that we can use to try these new dishes. While the menu certainly has enough variety to appeal to most, I have to say I gravitated immediately towards these five food experiences:
- Grill Cheese Burger: we were introduced to this idea of sandwiching a beef patty with grilled cheese sandwiches on Eat St., where the Portland-based Brunch Box had made a name for themselves with this indulgent burger. In Edmonton, we know Delux has offered it as a special on occasion, but we have yet to try it ourselves.
- Ribfest and Oinkers: though Edmonton does have Bubba’s and Smokehouse BBQ, we could use a few more restaurants that offer authentic Southern barbeque. Ribest and Oinkers at Capital Ex will try to satisfy that craving, where pulled pork and a variety of ribs will be served.
- Cricket Pizza: we keep hearing that insects will eventually make it on mainstream menus, given their high protein content and the minimal space needed for their production. At Vij’s in Vancouver years ago, we did indulge in paranta made from a mixture of whole wheat flour and ground crickets. So although Capital Ex treats cricket pizza as a fringe item for the headlines, it’ll be interesting to see how many patrons actually bite.
- Fusion 53 Lounge and Casino: on a kitchen tour two years ago, we learned that Northlands is trying to source some things more locally (such as Spring Creek Ranch beef). This year, the menu they will be serving up at the Fusion 53 Lounge and Casino is said to highlight Alberta producers. Details about the actual menu are scarce, but I am hopeful that they will showcase some of the bounty available in our province at this time of year.
- Cream puffs – Beard Papa hasn’t taken Edmonton by storm as it has in other cities. Perhaps the reason for this is a lack of accompaniments? Capital Ex will test this theory with a customized cream puff at Le Grande Cafe, where dessert-goers will be able to add anything from fruit to chocolate sauce on their personalized creations.
Now I’m hungry. Capital Ex can’t come fast enough.