Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Epic Food Disappointment at the Dragon Boat Festival – June 19, 2009

Yes, I am more than three months behind. I considered ignoring this long-promised post, but I realized that I hated the food so much, the story demanded to be told.

After the team meeting at the Dragon Boat Race Festival, Christine and I wandered over to the food vendors for dinner. We finally settled on Jamaican food from Fitz’s Catering.

I was sooooooooooooooo disappointed.

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I ordered a spicy Jamaican patty because I was REALLY craving something that would punch me in the mouth with flavour (The Diet was starting to get to me at that point). I wanted a flaky, crispy exterior with a rich, spicy, meaty filling. Instead, I bit into hard, crunchy pastry filled with dry, flavourless minced meat.

As I ate, I broke off the super hard bits because they were simply inedible. It was clear that the patties had been overcooked to begin with, and then they sat around for too long in the warmer. It was pretty gross. I’m not sure there’s much you could change to make it delicious, except buying one from another stand!

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We also got a goat curry roti, which was a giant scoop of goat curry wrapped up in a flatbread. There was some potential awesomeness in this dish, but it really let me down.

The curry was a smidge too gamey for me to eat every day, but I enjoyed it. The goat was quite tender, though not properly prepared. There were shards of bone in the curry and large chunks of inedible bits (cartilage, tough tendons, and God-knows-what), which turned me off almost immediately. The potatoes, on the other hand, were delicious. This could be attributed to my carb-loving soul, seriously deprived over the preceding months.

I really hated the chickpeas. At first, they were okay, but as I continued to chew, they just sucked out the last bit of moisture and flavour in my mouth. Powdery and flavourless, they detracted from an already mediocre goat curry. I ignored them after my first few bites.

The next day, the festival organizers provided all of the volunteers with food vouchers (worth $6, I think) for Friday Organics. No pictures of the food, unfortunately, but the food itself was decent. We ordered a cheeseburger, poutine, and a few drinks. Christine said that the gravy tasted like it came out of can, and I totally agreed. But it was good.

I think I’m going to have to lower my expectations a little bit when I eat at festivals and events. I was expecting super deliciousness from Fitz’s Catering, so that was probably unfair. When I ordered the food from Friday’s Organics, I knew that I was getting a cheeseburger and poutine. I didn’t expect it to be awesome, and it wasn’t. It was exactly what I ordered, and it certainly met my expectations.

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While I don’t have any pictures of the races, I do have a few shots of our badass temporary tattoos. The stand made a killing because their customers were walking billboards. Christine had her dragon tattoo on her neck, and I put mine on the back of my calf. Word.

Anyway, Christine and I had a blast at the Dragon Boat Race Festival, and we’ll probably return as volunteers next year. We will have to ensure that we have one day to wander around and photograph the event itself because I was only armed with a shitty camera phone. Oops!

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Ottawa Dragon Boat Race Festival
Mooney's Bay Beach
Ottawa, ON

Ottawa Dragon Boat Race Festival Vendors

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