There’s a neighborhood in Calgary that’s called Marda Loop, named for the owners of Marda Theater demolished long ago. It’s a pretty area, one of the few non-homogenized pockets of the city, owing to old houses and independent businesses. Every year Marda Loop hosts the Marda Gras Street Festival – a one day event that riffs on the culture of New Orleans, and is a fun outing aimed at families. The streets are shut-down, traffic re-routed and kids and dogs get equally excited.
I haven’t been in a few years, and this year a friend and I went over, spurred by her proximity to the festival and the gorgeous weather, something that’s been in short supply this summer.
Every store was spilled out onto the sidewalk:
There were booths everywhere, selling absolutely everything:
There was tons of entertainment too, like belly dancers:
And the largest cutest dog I’ve seen in ages – the size of a small pony:
And of course, the food.
Oddly enough there weren’t that many food vendors out, we only saw about five or so, but the set up was great, with each vendor having small, fixed price dishes that you could enjoy at one of the many outdoor tables.
First we saw the Red Tree:
Where we had some amazing ribs. Very flavorful and moist, they were a sweet and tangy treat.
Then we moved on to Rasoi:
Where we had great veggie samosas. Crunchy with a delicate filling, they were full of potatoey goodness.
And some beef kabobs, seasoned with masala and oven roasted peppers.
These were a mild disappointment. The kabobs were made out of some overly-ground beef and had a very mushy texture. The seasoning overpowered the meat and the sauce they were slathered in was simply not very good. The ‘roasted’ peppers were barely broiled on the bbq, and didn’t really offer any roasted flavor or texture. But washed down with some Kingfisher Beer they still went down like a breakfast of champions, to the tunes of Santana played by local musicians on the patio.
And of course, the festivities weren’t complete without some mini-donuts.
All in all it was a great way to spend a Sunday, and I look forward to going back again.