Sitting here in the pre-New Years glow, I find myself having a hard time trying to wrap up the last year in words. It seems that 2010 has brought more delicious treats into my belly than I can count, a near death experience, and more heart warming memories than my brain can manage to remember some days. Which I suppose is one major benefit to the blog, as the past two years (can you believe that), are still just a click away.
2010 started with a bang as I moved from Blogger to WordPress, and then replaced my point & shoot camera with a Nikon D90. Nothing like a new look and some sharper images to kick start the year. There was some early travel which saw me following John Mayer around Western Canada, before Sarah and I settled into life here. And then in the fall, we headed south to California to catch John Mayer again. Of course the year was full of meals, new faces, and restaurant adventures. After all it’s a good blog! I think it’s safe to say that as I look back through the year, it brings plenty of smiles.
I thought about breaking the year into good and bad, but there would be so little bad that it wouldn’t be right. Instead, I’m going to do this;
Crazy – Some of my most outrages moments in 2010 were the fast food creations that I set about documenting. From the very basic, and well known McGangBang to the Arby’s version. I have to think my favourite might have been the Glazed Bacon Burger, which featured two honey dip donuts and the inside of a Wendy’s Baconator and my first blog video. Of course, don’t forget about the Big McChicken & Sea.
Travel – Sarah and I were both quieter on this front than we’d been in the years before, but even with limited travel I have to say highlights included Incanto in San Francisco where I was able to see Chris Cosentino cook our outstanding meal and the Oakland Taco Crawl, which saw Sarah and I led around by a group of amazing locals while dining on everything from tongue to pig intestines. Finally, Over Easy, El Mariachi, and CHARCUT in Calgary, all of which rocked in their specific way.
The Social Network – 2010 was the year of social media for me. From creating a Facebook Fan Page for the blog to utilizing the connection power of Twitter to transform online interactions into real world friendships. From the dinner parties with @ZoomJer and his wife @ZoomKD, to the coffee conversations at @Luzzara, to the always heart inspiring dealings with @Lindapalooza, and @KerryPowell, it’s been great. As well, I’ve been able to sit, talk, and eat with some great chefs and producers from Owen (@PrairieMill) to Andrew (@ChefCowan). While some may slag and drag Deadmonton on a regular basis, I know a few minutes with the above (and countless more) will show you how wonderful this river city is.
In the blog-o-sphere, we’ve seen an influx of new ideas and food blogs in Edmonton. From those that come and go in the blink of a meal to those who spend their time preaching from their soapbox. It’s great to see so many people taking an active role. I know we have plenty of space in the city for food so I just hope we can share a meal in 2011. Whether you feel we should only be eating bread that was freshly milled by leprechauns, or you find yourself filling the void with a Rodeo Burger.
The Food – There were still some unfortunate meals this year, including an embarrassing experience at Von’s, but for the most part it was fantastic (see list below). From local chefs who’ve finally been given a slice of freedom to play with their offerings, to the overall customer awareness that drives the culinary experience to be consistently better. If there is one down side to this increasing culinary awareness, it’s the fact that it can make it harder and harder to write some posts. I’m the first to admit that we have different tastes & preferences, and that my experience is just that, but I’ve been taking an increased amount slander and overall email abuse when I’ve not followed the status quo. And while it might be easy for some to say everything you’ve eaten, and every meal produced is the best thing since sliced bread, I promise that I’ll never get to a point where I just don’t care enough to use my voice.
The Weight – After gaining close to 35 pounds this year, I think it’s safe to say that 2010 was really about the food. I found myself eating more and more every time I went out. It was like a challenge to see and taste everything I could. You want me to try your freshly baked cookies, OK. Oh, 4 types of naan bread, lets get them all. Food is amazing. Its what has brought me this far, and if it wasn’t something I loved so dearly, there would be no point to sharing it with all of you. I only hope that with a more active lifestyle, new goals, and a refocusing on my restaurant selections, 2011 will treat me just right. After all, there are still plenty of you out there that I’ve yet to meet and hundreds of great meals to come.
Great Meal Memories
Over Easy Breakfast (Calgary)
El Mariachi (Calgary)
Wa’s Japanese (Calgary)
Famoso Meets Bloggers
Thai Valley Grill
Korean BBQ House
Accent European Lounge
Pre-Sale Double Down
Shaw Conference Centre
LUX Steakhouse + Bar (Visit Two)
Taste Tripping Potluck
The Non-Standard Burger
Oakland Taco Crawl (Part One, Part Two)
Incanto (San Francisco)
Creations Dining Room
The Night We Ate Cheese
The James Beard Experience
The Marc Restaurant
Bubba’s BBQ & Smokehouse