A Dishcrawl Event.
When I started my search sometime last month for #Kamloops posts on Twitter and came across @DishcrawlKam I was so excited. I said to myself, “wha! Dishcrawl is coming to Kamloops?!” Needless to say I was happy to be the one given the opportunity to attend this past Wednesday September 18th (even if it was because I was the only one with a free schedule that fine evening) Regardless, I was stoked!
Anita Lyapina, who is the Kamloops Dishcrawl Ambassador, is fabulous. As always, being a vegetarian, I was concerned I would not be able to taste everything that was offered; however, she quite easily put my mind at ease by telling me it was no problem at all to accommodate vegetarians and those with other dietary restrictions.
To take a step back, if you are not aware of what Dishcrawl is, it’s an evening with a group of other foodies who meet at a secret location disclosed 24 hours prior to the event date. At this meeting spot, you sign in, mingle and taste food. After a set amount of time, you head to the other secret downtown local specialty food spots to get a feel of what Kamloops’ downtown core represents. Each location is a secret until you arrive which really made this fun!
First stop – Papa Tees Pizzeria, where we doodled our names on a ‘my name is’ sticker that we all wore – thank you, from someone who could use some work in the name-remembering department. I sat at a table with a fabulous writer Daniella who I must thank for sharing her napkin, and a few ladies from NewGold, who I must also thank for getting up and down a dozen times (note to self, when taking photos, sit on the end of the booth), thanks ladies!
Delicious gluten-free artisan pizza, gluten-free bruschetta pizza and mushroom caps stuffed with spinach puree and cheese and bell peppers stuffed with spinach puree and cheese!
Second stop. Secret location revealed. Cornerstone Sushi & Korean BBQ. I have to admit, I had not yet up until this point experienced what I’d been missing. The most delicious tempura yam rolls and sweet potato noodles. My table-sharers also loved the Korean style spicy chicken (as seen below). I’ll be back!
Half full I saved room, as recommended for the third secret location. Quilas Mexican Restaurant. And it was a good thing I did, look at this spread! (below)
Complete with spicy salsa, Tacos El Pastor (minus the chicken) add the avocado and refried beans and guacamole. Num num. My fellow dish crawlers enjoyed fish tacos and a healthy serving of a ranchera quesadilla.
Before we knew it, it was desert time! I like to call it crack filler – no matter how full you are, the dessert just fills in the small cracks left unfilled. The Swiss Pastries & Bakery Café. A must eat, Raspberry Torte.
They say a picture speaks a thousand words, but take it from the newest ‘Dishcrawler’, to eat this decadent dessert resounds a thousand taste buds requesting more with every bite. Again, a must eat!
And so ended my first Dishcrawl. Until the next time, October 30th! I’m already counting down the days…Mmmmm.
It's that time again... the sun is shining and what better way to kick off summer in Kamloops with a Cocktail Competition. After our largely successful summer campaign, "Real People, Real Experiences", we are excited to be keeping with that theme for the cocktail competition.
We had 5 lounges confirm their involvement this year and today at the kick off event, they all randomly selected a real person, real experience to fashion their version of the Kamloops Cocktail after.
Below are the participating restaurants and lounges and their theme.
First – the 2012 Kamloops Cocktail grand champion winner … Terra Restaurant. Terra is located in downtown Kamloops on Victoria Street and makes incredibly fresh tasty food for lunch or dinner and has a great patio to sip a Kamloops Cocktail. This year, their cocktail will be fashioned after Tim & Annette McLeod of Tranquille Farm Fresh (Real Foodie Experience).
Next – Prestons. Prestons is located in the Coast Hotel Kamloops where guest’s savour unique and well prepared dishes overlooking a beautiful tropical courtyard or on the patio with great vistas of the city. Their cocktail will be fashioned after Bodie Shandro, owner of Paddle Surfit (Real Outdoors Experience).
Next up was Hoodoos at Sun Rivers. The brathtaking views of the Kamloops cityscape offer the perfect contrast to the casual elegance of Hoodoos creating an unforgettable setting. Their cocktail will be fashioned after Ron Betts, an owner of Treetop Flyers Zipline (Real Adrenaline Experience).
Blue Dining + Lounge is Kamloops’ newest restaurant located in the Hotel 540. Known as fun, fresh and seasonally inspired, Blue is ideal for lunch or dinner in the heart of the downtown. Their cocktail will be fashioned after Donna Chang, owner of North America's only ginseng spa - Sumore Ginseng (Real Diva Experience).
Last but not least, The Fireside Steakhouse & Bar at The Plaza Hotel proudly offers a full range of locally raised black angus steaks and other selections in relaxed, heritage surroundings perfect for any occasion. Their cocktail will be fashioned after Hugh McLennan, talk show host of the Spirit of the West radio show (Real Cowboy Experience).
Judging of the cocktails will take place on August 15th at a location to be determined. Check back to our website in a few weeks to learn more about the 5 Kamloops Cocktails and see how creative each lounge was in matching up their ingredients to their 'real person, real experience'.
With that in mind, we set out one gorgeous fall Saturday to see how much local fun and adventure a family of four could have in one day.
Since every day of adventure starts with an empty stomach, the first place we stopped was at Scott’s Inn for a down home style breakfast. A Kamloops staple, Scotts was the first place we ate breakfast when we first arrived in Kamloops and as such, it’s near and dear to our hearts. They have a great breakfast menu at decent prices. If you love traditional home style cooking, you’ll love this place. Their French toast and hotcakes are a delicious way to start a fall day of adventure, and the pies are a local secret!
Being so close to downtown, we checked out the Kamloops Farmers Market on St. Paul Street. The kids perused the craft tables while Micki and I enjoyed checking out the local fruits and vegetables. They looked so good that we picked up a few fresh snacks for later.
After walking the length of the market, the kids started to get restless. Luckily, Kamloops has its own waterfall, in the middle of town, at Petersen Creek Park. Nothing soothes the soul like hiking up to a waterfall. It’s also a great way to burn off those breakfast calories.
The easiest entrance to the park is just off Columbia Street on Glenfair Drive and is a short, two minute drive from the Farmers Market. There’s a nice, broad, gravel pathway leading up the majority of the way to Bridal Veil Falls, but the last few hundred meters can be a little tricky if you’re not willing to get a little wet. That being said it’s quite doable if you take your time and help the little ones cross the steeper paths.
After taking a few pictures of the falls and looking around, we headed back to the car. Our kids love water and it was a really warm day so they rolled up their pants and splashed through the creek around the falls on the way back to our car. This led us to Riverside park, one of Kamloops’ many local parks, for some play time and a lunchtime picnic.
On the way there, we stopped off at Erwins Fine Baking and Delicatessen on St. Paul Street and grabbed a few sandwiches and some delicious pastries for an impromptu picnic in the park. Like Scott’s, Erwins is a Kamloops staple with tons of sandwiches, pastries, breads and snacks.
Besides for its huge spray park, Riverside Park also has a large playground that the kids love to run and play on. After pulling into the parking lot, the kids were soon running to the play structures with all the energy they could muster. We were right behind them and took some seats on the park benches as we watched them play. The kids are always quick to make friends and were soon chasing their new buddies with wild abandon.
Once the kids had their fill of the playground and each had a turn on the swings, we grabbed a blanket and had lunch on the grass instead of using one of the many picnic tables scattered around the park.
After all this outdoor fun, everyone was feeling a little worn out, so we decided to go for a drive west of town.
As we drove past the Airport on Tranquille, we noticed parachutists slowly coming down. We pulled over to watch as all four jumpers slowly descended, and the kids were transfixed as the bright parachutes rippled in the wind. We’ve been lucky to see the parachutists several times, but the kids eyes light up anew every time we watch them.
When all four parachutists landed safely on the ground, we jumped back in the car and continued making our way towards Tranquille. Before we got there, we stopped at the pumpkin patch at Tranquille Farms for a tractor ride and to pick out our own pumpkin. The kids had a blast running through the fields, but unfortunately I was the one tasked with carrying the pumpkins back to the car. Picking out our own pumpkin has become a family tradition in our household and there were lots to choose from at Tranquille Farms.
Since we had just recently toured the old community of Tranquille, we had decided to skip it and headed towards the bridge going across Criss Creek. The kids love jumping across the rocks there that line the shore and looking for minnows. It’s easy to imagine a line of prospectors mining for gold in this stream over a hundred years ago.
As the late afternoon sun slowly settled in the West, a cool breeze began to pick up, a reminder that summer is over and fall was truly here.
With that we slowly headed towards home and our final stop for the day. For us, nothing ends the day better than Mexican for supper. We stopped off at Senor Froggy‘s in the North Shore, our favorite family restaurant, with its Mexican style interior that always reminds us of our extended stays in Mexico.
For us it was the perfect end to a perfect fall day in beautiful Kamloops, BC.
This is an article from Charles of The Barefoot Nomad, Charles, his wife Micki, and their two little ones have made a home base in Kamloops, and are loving the city.
“This Halloween season in Kamloops has something for everyone,” says Tourism Kamloops’ CEO Ms. Lee Morris. “The younger kids are invited to bring their parents to a Spooky Skate at Memorial Arena, a Spooky Swim at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre, Boo at the Zoo at the BC Wildlife Park and a giant corn maze at the Tranquille Farms.”
The giant corn maze is in fact the Tranquille Farm’s first in 147 years where visitors are challenged with the task of finding their way through the 9 foot tall corn stalk maze using provided clues.
“Older kids and adults will enjoy the Ghost Train, hosted annually by the Kamloops Heritage Railway,” says Morris. “A headless horseman, ghost bride and other characters ensure those travelling on the rail tour get a good fright! Plus, the Kamloops Museum & Archives is taking guests exploring ancient burial grounds and historically spooky spots throughout the city.”
Older kids and parents will also enjoy the Agri-Adventure Tourism X-perience combining a Zipline tour with Tree Top Flyers and pumpkin picking. And those who are 19+, can cap off a Halloween weekend in Kamloops with a self-guided walking Brew Tour downtown stopping for a pint of the Noble Pig’s festive ‘Pumpkin Ale’.
“We have a ton of information on all things Halloween at www.tourismkamloops.com/boo and invite our locals and visitors to come let loose and just play in Kamloops this Halloween.”
For More Information:
Ms. Lee Morris CEO, Tourism Kamloops
P: 250.372.8000 C: 250.319.4247
Kamloops, BC: The five finalists of the 2012 Tourism Kamloops Cocktail Competition have been determined. On August 9th, Ramada’s Rooftop Lounge, Hoodoos at Sun Rivers, Terra Restaurant, Frick and Frack and ORA Restaurant Lounge will face off at St. Andrews on the Square where a panel of judges will select the overall winner based on the presentation by lounge, presentation of the cocktail and how well the cocktail tied into the city’s history.
2012’s competition embraced the celebration of Kamloops’ Bi-Centennial whereby participating cocktails featured an interpretation of the history of Kamloops. Using a maximum of six ingredients, the cocktails have been included on the establishment’s menu since July 9th and will remain after the competition until September 4th. Online voting took place weekly at www.tourismkamloops.com/cocktail. A total of 3866 votes were cast over the 4 week period.
“Tourism Kamloops would like to thank the restaurant partners for participating in this event. This event has allowed us to showcase Kamloops’ diverse hospitality industry and has encouraged locals and visitors to celebrate a significant historical milestone for Kamloops in a festive, summer-inspired fashion,” said Tourism Kamloops’ CEO, Ms. Lee Morris.
The 2012 Kamloops Cocktail campaign combined the innovation of local restaurateurs with the celebration of Kamloops’ Bi-Centennial, all in the spirit of embracing summer in Kamloops.
Contact: Ms. Lee Morris, CEO, Tourism Kamloops
P: 250.372.8000 C: 250.319.4247
www.tourismkamloops.com/cocktail , with finalists moving on to the next round until July 30th, at which time the top five cocktails will be announced. “We’re excited to be hosting the Kamloops Cocktail Competition once again. This event showcases our
diverse hospitality industry and encourages locals and visitors to celebrate a significant historical milestone for Kamloops in a festive, summer-inspired fashion,” said Tourism Kamloops’ CEO, Ms. Lee Morris.
On August 9th, a panel of judges will assemble at St. Andrews on the Square to sample the five final creations and select the overall winner. The 2012 Kamloops Cocktail campaign combines the innovation of local restaurateurs with the
celebration of Kamloops’ Bi-Centennial, all in the spirit of embracing summer in Kamloops.
Contact: Ms. Lee Morris, CEO, Tourism Kamloops
P: 250.372.8000 C: 250.319.4247
[caption id="attachment_521" align="alignnone" width="295" caption="Mark, 1964 - Age 1. Retrieving vegetables from a Woodwards shopping bag."][/caption]
Now we’re talking, right?! There are actually FOUR Farmers’ Markets in Kamloops which sell local produce and products from April through October. My Mom and Dad had a great garden when we lived in Kamloops and we were never short of fresh peas, carrots, beans, corn and tomatoes. I for sure ate more veggies when I was a kid, but the Farmers’ Market is a fun place to meet the farmers, growers, bakers and makers of great food, which more than makes me happy for good, healthy produce… yes, even veggies!
[caption id="attachment_522" align="alignnone" width="295" caption="Mark, 1968 - age 5. Planting garden in backyard with dad in North Kamloops"][/caption]
So what’s your favourite vegetable? Mine is asparagus, believe it or not. We used to pick it wild when I was little, out by the Kamloops Airport. And for fruit, I'm a berry kind of guy… blueberries and raspberries, and oh yes, I definitely love watermelon!
[caption id="attachment_523" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Mark, 1970 - Age 7. Posing with big vegetable garden in North Kamloops."][/caption]
So head out to one of the Farmers’ Markets this year in Kamloops, meet the locals and stock up on some really amazing food!
~ Mark Madryga
For more info - http://www.tourismkamloops.com/home_showSection_ID_131.html
- 3 Nights' Accommodation at The Coast Kamloops Hotel & Conference Centre
- Fifteen minute Helicopter Tour with CC Helicopters
- Tickets to Project X's production of James & the Giant Peach
- Off road Segway Tour with Shuswap Unique Adventures
- 2 hour stand up paddle lesson with SurfIt
- Ride on the Kamloops Heritage Railway's Spirit of Kamloops
- Passes to the BC Wildlife Park
- Family pass to the BIG Little Science Centre
- Sunday Brunch at ORA Restaurant
- Private family Chef's Tasing at ORA Restaurant
- 100.00 gift certificate to Hoodoos Restaurant & Ric's Mediterrean Grill
The retail value of the prize is $2500.00
Enter to win here!