Waterloo Region Food and Drink Expo

My best friend T surprised me with a ticket to the Waterloo Region Food and Drink Expo, which took place on Friday evening. It was a fantastic evening filled with good food and good company. Between T and I, we tried most of the available samples. We had a few favourites, but everything was fantastic. I wish I could have taken pictures of everything, but I ran out of room on my memory card.

Some of the highlights:

Butter chicken – From a local hotel so we didn’t expect much and we were blown away. T commented “This is what butter chicken should taste like!” and I agree. The cilantro added a really awesome flavour to the sweet and slightly spicy dish.

Stew (or maybe it was a gumbo?) with shrimp, homemade sausage, okra, and more served over rice – Prepared by my favourite local chef, Peter Martin, from The 41 Gastropub. Very little talking while we enjoyed this, it was that good!

The 41

Cranberry (tart) and Cranberry-Blueberry (sweet) wines – From a winery in Muskoka where the wine is made of berries, not grapes. I liked the sweet wine and T preferred the tart wine. We both agreed that they were delicious.

Pig tail fritters – I asked about the filling, but the servers couldn’t tell me if what sort of pig tail slices were inside the fritter.

Poutine – With a beef jus and cheese curds. I didn’t miss the usual thick gravy.

Poutine prep

Apple fritter – I initially passed by this one. I usually am not fond of desserts. But when T bit in and revealed a fresh apple ring, I went back for my own. Lightly battered and sprinkled with just a bit of sugar. A nice light dessert.

Guacamole and Pico de Gallo – T had the guacamole and I the pico de gallo. I got an extra spicy batch I think. Very tasty until the burning sensation kicked in and I ran for the ice cream.

Vanilla ice cream with olive oil and grape reduction – Immensely soothing after biting in to a large piece of jalapeno pepper. Surprising to us, olive oil is a fantastic topping for ice cream.

Shrimp with a seafood sauce – Yummy

Satay with peanut sauce and Pad Thai – I had the satay, T the pad thai. Both delicious.

Pad thao

Satay

Ice wine – Yum. Loved that the server wanted us to have the best possible experience and rinsed our glasses before providing a sample.

Smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, and red onion slices on a cracker – Reminded me of the fantastic and very similar appetizer served at a friend’s wedding a few years ago. Just as tasty as the appetizer I remember.

Sushi (vegetarian, California roll, and smoked salmon with cream cheese and asparagus) – T really enjoyed this even though seafood is not her first choice of food

I will definitely be putting this event in my calendar for next year. I will also plan ahead so I can attend some of the information sessions. However, even though we did not attend any of the sessions it was a fantastic experience. The food and drinks were all delicious. The vendors were mostly knowledgeable about their products. And we lost track of time because we were having so much fun!

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