The 124 Street area is a natural fit for the growth of the Red Show Crawl, an event put on by the Ronald McDonald House of Northern Alberta, a charity which provides affordable accommodation to families of sick children receiving medical care in Edmonton. I attended the inaugural crawl based around Whyte Avenue last year, and enjoyed it immensely. Well-organized and pedestrian-oriented, I thought it was a great way to eat our way through the neighbourhood. Mack and I looked forward to exploring 124 Street in the same way.
We arrived at the Desert Rose Dance Studio for check in, and were assigned a random starting point from the eighteen participating businesses. This probably did much to help alleviate initial congestion from venues surrounding the registration site.
We were assigned to begin at The Bothy, one of the few places who opened up specifically for the event. It was our first time at their downtown location, though we intend to return again in the future for a more formal experience.
Bothy’s beautiful bar
The Bothy started us off with a pour of wine, which became a pattern on this tour. As Mack said about halfway through the afternoon, it seemed more like a pub crawl as opposed to a food crawl. Though organizers may not have known in advance what each establishment would be serving (since each business donated their time and refreshments), it probably would have been better to have set expectations up front.
Our first glass of many
As a result, the most memorable of the stops involved food. The garlic chili prawns at the sleek Somerville Wine and Cheese Bar, for instance, were at the top of our list. We finished the delicious, flavour-packed bites much too soon.
Chili prawns and bubbly from Somerville
The generous plate at Paddy’s Cheese Market was also a welcome sight to balance out the wine (or even to have accompanied it). It even featured a local selection of The Cheesiry’s sheep’s milk ricotta!
Cheese plates at Paddy’s
Neighbourhood favourite Urban Diner featured a long-braised pulled pork sandwich and their house-brewed lemonade, enjoyed on their sun-drenched patio.
Pulled pork and lemonade from Urban Diner
New bakery Cookie Love served adorable one-bite cookies alongside shots of milk. The taste definitely piqued my palate – I’ll have to be back to purchase a full bag next time!
Cookies from Cookie Love
Also for dessert – a two-bite macaron, plus a meringue, from Duchess.
My sister Felicia photo bombs Mack
We finished our crawl with gelato from Cococo – a scoop of our choice!
Gelato from Cococo
Food aside, the crawl was a great opportunity to check out not only our favourite shops along the way, but also some of the businesses I’d never been to before, such as the Daffodil Gallery, Thread Hill and Body by Bennett. Mack will attest to the fact that I did a lot more shopping this time around when compared with the Whyte Avenue edition.
Blending up smoothies at Body by Bennett
Rajeev and Felicia browse at Windscape Clothing
Mack makes a new friend at Call the Kettle Black
Overall, it was another well-organized crawl and a fun way to spend an afternoon, all while benefiting a great charity. Thanks to all of the businesses who participated, and bravo to the organizers for another great event!
You can take a look at my full photo set here.