What to Eat at the 2014 Calgary Stampede

There are 32 new foods to try and many old favorites at this year’s Calgary Stampede. We tried as many as our stomachs could handle in one day and here are our results.

Calgary Stampede 2014 food  - Moose Ears

Bannock - Moose Ears

Our favourite food from this year’s midway is the Moose Ears found at the Bannock booth at the entrance to the Indian Village (near the south entrance to the grounds). This is not one of the new 32 items but it’s new to us so we put it on our list. This was actually one of the last items we tried but we still really liked them. Moose Ears are simply fried bread with cinnamon and sugar. Served up hot and fresh, these taste more like something out of grandma’s kitchen than your usual midway food. They are also large enough to share. $5 each.

Thai Noodle Wrap

The Thai Noodle Wrap at Wrap Daddy’s is the official 2014 best food on the Calgary Stampede midway, so we had to give it a try. It’s pretty tasty although ours didn’t have much chicken, but it was still filling. The sauce is on the sweet side with a bit of a spicy kick. In the context of Stampede food, this is almost healthy. $10 each.

Papri Tot from Naaco Truck

We have enjoyed Naaco Truck in the past so wanted to give their new Papri Tot a try. The Papri Tot is tater tots topped with pico, dates, tamarind chutney and sweet yoghurt. We thought it beat out the Thai Noodle Wrap for taste and originality, but lost a bit because of the fried tater tots. $10 per order.

croc, kangaroo and ostrich sliders

Crocodile, Ostrich and Kangaroo sliders. As adventurous as that may sound, the croc tastes a lot like chicken, and the ostrich and kangaroo were a lot like beef burgers. The excitement in these burgers is less in the flavour and more in the “hey this is croc!” $12 for three sliders with a side of chips.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Dough

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Dough – On a Stick! This is pretty good if you are a lover of cookie dough. You get a stick of four cookie-sized pieces of dough, dipped in chocolate, and nuts too if you like. Pretty sweet so better shared. $7 per stick of four.

red velvet mini doughnuts

Red velvet mini doughnuts – I was looking forward to this new twist on an old favourite. These really just tasted sweet and nothing more. I would stick to the original cinnamon and sugar variety, or better yet, head over to the Indian Village for the Moose Ears. $6 per stick of donuts.

Some new foods we didn’t have a chance to try include Turkey Dinner Poutine, Scorpion Pizza, and Deep Fried Peanut Butter Cups.

What are your favorite Stampede midway foods?

Point Pelee – Birdie’s Perch Bustaurant

Their sign reads “We use only the finest, freshest Lake Erie Yellow Perch”.

At Point Pelee National Park we asked a park warden about local fish from the lake, and she recommended Birdie’s Perch, which is located just outside the park.

Birdie’s Perch is a double decker bus, converted into a “bustaurant”. Motown and Elvis were playing and it looked like a perfect spot to grab a bite on a summer day. There are tables set up outside, and more seating on the top level of the bus.

We ordered their Perch Tacos, featuring Lake Erie Yellow Perch, and they were excellent.

Birdie's Perch Fish Taco

Each taco is made with two corn tortillas filled with chunks of battered perch, topped with fresh salsa, sprouts and a garlicky creamy “birdie sauce”. The batter was light and crispy, the fish fresh and tasty. Overall a delicious fish taco.

Recommended by TouristSite.

  • For dessert, next to the bus is Pelee Station ice cream
  • Open Daily May to October, 11:00 a.m. – dark
  • Location: Just outside Point Pelee National Park, in Leamington, Ontario. Leamington is one hour SE of Windsor, Ontario (or about the same distance from Detroit, Michigan) and about four hours SW of Toronto.
  • Link to Birdie’s Perch website.
  • Read about Point Pelee National Park.

Canada’s Deep South – Point Pelee

We recently took a drive from Toronto, Ontario to visit Canada’s Deep South – that is Point Pelee National Park. Point Pelee is that wedge of land that juts out into Lake Erie, and is the southernmost point in mainland Canada. It’s latitude is just below 42°—about the same as Rome, Barcelona, and northern California. As a Canadian, I find that quite exciting in itself.

42nd Parallel - Point Pelee National Park

In 1918 Point Pelee was saved from development and named one of Canada’s National Parks. Today it is home to five unique Carolinian habitats with diverse plants and wildlife species. The main sounds you will hear are from the wide variety of birds at this world-renowned sanctuary.

It’s a lovely, peaceful spot, with sandy beaches, forested nature trails to hike, and a boardwalk to stroll through one of the largest remaining southern Great Lakes marshlands. There are also bike paths and canoe rentals available.

The Tip

At the Tip of Point Pelee

After our walk through a leafy Carolinian forest trail we arrived at the Tip of Point Pelee. It’s a breezy spot and the colliding currents are continually changing the shape of the Tip.  We stood at the Tip and snapped our photo as everyone does, then walked down the beach to sit on the warm sand and watch the waves.

Winston at the beach - Point Pelee

The Marsh Boardwalk

The best time for bird-watching was a month ago in early May. But there was still a chorus of birds calls around us as we walked through trails on our way to the Marsh Boardwalk. We met an 85-year-old man, Walter, who has been coming to bird watch each year for more than thirty years. Walter told us if we were here a month earlier, the chorus of bird calls would be a roar. Thousands of visitors from around the world come for the annual Festival of Birds, so he reserves his accommodations a year in advance.

Marsh Boardwalk 1




Strolling around the Marsh Boardwalk on the warm sunny day was great, and there is also a birdwatching tower you can climb for even better views. We watched others paddling canoes around the network of canals in the marsh and that looked fantastic.

Exploring the marshland by canoe
Winston on the Boardwalk


We really enjoyed our day at Point Pelee and would recommend it for all ages.

Eat

See our review of fresh fish tacos at Birdie’s Perch Bustaurant.

Point Pelee National Park Facts

  • Point Pelee National Park is recognized as: a UNESCO Wetland of International Significance, a world-renowned Birding Area, an International Butterfly Reserve, and a Dark Sky Preserve.
  • Point Pelee National Park Entrance Fee: $7.80/Adult, $3.90/Youth, $19.60/Family or Group.
  • Location: Point Pelee is located next to Leamington, Ontario, one hour SE of Windsor, Ontario (or about the same distance from Detroit, Michigan) and about four hours SW of Toronto.
  • There is a shuttle running from the Point Pelee Visitor Centre to the Tip from mid-April to Thanksgiving.
  • Swim or sunbathe at one of three beach areas.
  • Picnic: Day-use areas are equipped with barbecues, picnic tables, washrooms and parking.
  • Paddle: Canoe rentals available at the Marsh Boardwalk.
  • Bike the 4km Centennial Trail from the Marsh Boardwalk to the Tip.
  • Hike one of eight trails through a variety of Carolinian habitats.
  • Don’t forget: sunscreen, bug spray and water.
  • Pet friendly (must be kept on leash).
  • In the park, snacks available for purchase at the Marsh Services Canoe Rental area.
Montreal bagels

Sorry New York, Montreal has the Best Bagels

…and they’re here in Calgary.

Tension was building as we made our way through Calgary’s Friday afternoon traffic. We didn’t have to say what we were both thinking, “Would we get there in time?”

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We’ve faced disappointment before when we arrived too late and the owner, Siva, told us ‘sorry bagels are sold out today’.

Once you’ve tried Montreal Bagel’s hand-shaped gems, boiled in honey water and baked in a wood-fired oven, there is no turning back to the more bread-like New York style bagels. Siva, himself from Montreal, uses the traditional methods of that city to achieve the chewy, dense texture and slightly sweet taste.

If you are lucky enough to get these bagels when they are still warm from the oven, it’s impossible to resist eating one on the way home.  But we always get a dozen at least as they freeze really well and when toasted with butter, it’s chewy, crispy, carb heaven.

We arrived at Montreal Bagels and opened the door in anticipation. Siva looked up with a tray of sesame bagels fresh from the oven, and we exhaled. Today we would not be disappointed.

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Montreal Bagels

8408 Elbow Dr SW, Calgary
Bagels (sesame, plain, poppyseed, multigrain
$1/each, $5/half dozen, $9/dozen

We also recommend trying their Montreal smoked meat. Great with your bagel.

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