Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Teenage Dream

Aside from the brief and heady days when I was on the guest list of corporate parties at the Calgary Stampede, it’s been many years since I actually attended a summer fair. When my boyfriend suggested we check out the Fair at the PNE last night, I admit I was skeptical, and more than a little outraged at the price of admission. You could practically go to Disneyland for these prices! To cut costs, we opted out of the rides, since we rightly figured there was otherwise plenty to do, see, and eat.

After work, we booked it to the grounds to make it to the Super Dogs show where he sat patiently while I grinned, clapped and cheered like an idiot. Then it was on to the food! We can heartily recommend the perogies, crepes, funnel cakes, and of course, the mini donuts. Try the deep fried Mars bar if you haven’t already, but trust me, you don’t each need your own. Steer clear of Jimmy’s burgers, which are clearly a Costco burger patty fancied up with fried onions to the tune of almost $8.

Definitely check out the Evolution of Extreme motorsports show. I expected this to be a tit-for-tat deal in exchange for watching the Super Dogs, but I enjoyed it as much, if not more than my honey. The show gave me chills, and I thanked my lucky stars that my motorcycle man has no desire to perform these kind of tricks.

Also worth a gander are Canstruction, the container houses, and Container Art. The highlight of the night though, was certainly the carnival games. While I wasted some dollars trying in vain to break beer bottles, he sidled up to the crossbow game, and, no big deal, shot the arrow through the target on his first try. This is how I ended up with a giant wooly mammoth in my living room, and fulfilled a long held dream of proudly carrying around a huge stuffie won by my impressive boyfriend. My fifteen year old self was beaming, and even as a grown woman, I was admittedly more than a little chuffed.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


It's no secret that I think Mark Brand is the second coming, and his latest outing has proven to be another safe bet for dining on the East Side. Happily, Save-on-Meats is a lot easier on the wallet than my favourite arm of his multi-pronged business. After two visits, I now feel qualified to comment on the diner side of things. I can't speak to the other aspects of the reborn Save-on-Meats, but my trust in Brand runs deep, so I'm sure they're great.

For reasons I can't quite pinpoint, the food here is almost secondary. It's certainly good enough, and you simply can't argue with the prices. Save-on-Meats is more about the experience and the atmosphere, and they've nailed both. A, E and I had a collective girl crush on our server Kelcie, and we would have been happy to have her hang up her metaphorical apron and sit a spell with us. A friendly fellow behind the counter let us sample a bacon chocolate chip cookie before we committed our dessert calories elsewhere. The space is airy and spare, save for the many charming old-timey posters by local artist Dan Climan.

Biking there and back to work off the large portions topped off a truly perfect summer evening. I hadn't been to the original, but I think this incarnation deserves at least as long of a run.

Save on Meats on Urbanspoon