The 4th St. Promenade stretches north from Jasper Avenue to 104 Ave, though the majority of food-related businesses are clustered near Jasper. This urban block is habitat for an enviable array of local eateries - the likes of Credo Coffee, the Blue Plate Diner, Lit Wine Bar, Tzin Wine and Tapas, Queen of Tarts, and yet others. They comprise a royal flush of victuals and vintages, and on Saturday, June 11th, the block crescendos to life with a block party.
Where to begin... The visual and auditory stimulation - music, costumes, impromptu dancing - colour the Block's atmosphere and guide the throngs of revelers to a gauntlet of food vendors. We begin with Eva Sweet Waffles, the roving bastion of urbane, hand-held snacks. We tuck into waffles crowned with whipped cream, strawberry-blueberry and chocolate-caramel toppings. The fruit drizzle is a bit lost in the mire of cream, but the chocolate-caramel proves to be a decadent twist on breakfast in the street.
We migrate to the Portuguese purveyances of Sabor Divino and nibble on a lambwich. No ordinary lambwich, mind you. This one stuffs a crusty bun with garlicky mayo, shredded lamb, spinach, and thin slices of bartlett pear. The ingredients capture the correct ratio of crisp to tender, salty to sweet, and meat to veg. Bom trabalho.
A ridiculously long line leads to the carnivorous comestibles of Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse. A substantial, though not interminable, wait leads to a plate of sausage, steak, chicken and pork ribs. The sausage is the clear winner of this quartet, for it cleverly spiced and perfectly juicy. The steak is seductively rare, but somewhat frustrating to cut, given that few booths seem to possess both forks and knives (and floppy plastic ones at that). The chicken and ribs sing of the charcoal BBQ and encapsulate the summery flavours of the grill.
We meander in to the comfortable chairs of Credo, content with cappuccino and the vibrant tomato flavours of MRKT's bruschetta. It's so delicious it's ridiculous. Ridiculicious.
Now if only this were a weekly event...