I try not to pass up an opportunity to try a lot of different types of excellent food in a short span of time in one location, so I couldn’t say no to a few free tickets to the Niagara Food & Wine Expo given to me by a professor.
The tickets to get in were free for us, $12 ahead of time, or $15 at the door, but we still had to buy dining tickets. It was $1 per ticket, which came in sheets of ten. Most things were between 1 and 5 tickets, so it was pretty reasonable. My boyfriend and I used our tickets to sample a number of different beers, wines, ciders, and fabulous, fabulous food.
The first thing I got when we arrived was a lobster roll. It was tiny and adorable and delicious. I looooooove seafood, and don’t have many opportunities to indulge in lobster rolls due to the fact that I live in the middle of the country.
Then we headed to the Chef’s Stage for a special presentation. My boyfriend and I are huge fans of ‘You Gotta Eat Here‘ (the Canadian version of ‘Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives’, which we also love), and when we heard the host, John Catucci, would be a guest at the expo, we decided we should go watch him speak for a bit.
We then returned to eating. We got a round of Pulled Pork Sandwiches from Bull Pit BBQ. The restaurant, coincidentally, was featured on ‘You Gotta Eat Here’, and boy do you ever. The pulled pork was outstanding, and it came with a side of what was one of the best coleslaws I’ve ever eaten. I need to visit the restaurant, like, yesterday.
I was then on a mission to find Small Talk Vineyards. I knew they were featuring their new Shiny Apple Cider. Ciders are my favourite variety of alcoholic beverage, and this one did not disappoint. Side note about Small Talk – they have the coolest labels I’ve ever seen. Check them out! I nabbed a pass for a free tasting at the vineyard, so I’m going to have to head out there some time this summer! Stay tuned for that post.
Next on the docket was something we had been intrigued by since we got to the expo – a short rib martini. This was probably the best thing we ate all day. Root Beer-braised short ribs that just melted in your mouth, on top of delectable garlic mashed potatoes. I recommended it to everyone who asked (two people).
We then went back to Bull Pit BBQ for the Mac & Cheese we had passed up earlier. I’m glad we went back for it! It was hella spicy, which we both loved.
It was then time for dessert from Above and Beyond Cupcakes. I asked for a recommendation, and ended up with chocolate raspberry, and bf went for the classic red velvet.
Before heading out, we had one last thing on our expo bucket list – MEET JOHN CATUCCI
Dreams do come true.