Rich and I have spent most of the last 11 days at Ottawa Bluesfest. Because there were so many great acts on the schedule this year, we purchased festival passes and have been going almost every night. Of course, this has also meant we’ve been eating on the run a lot lately and cooking less at home.
In previous years, Bluesfest tended to have just the basics of festival food: fries, hot dogs, burgers, and other ‘North American’ basics. As we wandered the grounds on that first night, I was pleased to discover this had changed. An Indian food vendor now offers pakoras, samosas, curry, and butter chicken. At another booth, Caribbean flavours are offered in the form of jerk chicken and roti. Still another had popular ‘Californian Mexican’ dishes, including quesadillas and burritos. Greek gyros and Middle-eastern pitas (falafel, shawarma) round out the cultural selections. I also can’t forget to mention the one that made me laugh a little, given I’m from the Maritimes myself: a ‘PEI food’ booth, featuring lobster rolls. And of course, they’ve got some Ottawa favourites: smoked meat, pizza and fish & chips. Want dessert after your meal? They’ve got Beavertails, chocolate fondue with fruit, and donuts to choose from.
Another great addition has been the wine tent. Previously, only beer and coolers were available, but this year they’ve got a tent set up with a variety of wines available to try. While I wouldn’t say Bluesfest is the best place to have a wine tasting, it is nice to have it as an alternative to the rather mundane beer selections.
Overall, I’m pleased with what choices we had while we were out enjoying some great live music. However, I am glad tonight is the last night: I could really use a healthy, home-cooked meal!