The best possible way to come home from a vacation is to have a few things to do in the following days to make the post-vacay crash a little less… crashy. And a scant 40 hours after we returned home, there was a really great event to pull us out of the spiral: The Preston Food Crawl.
This isn’t the first year this event has been hosted, but it’s the first year that TeamSwearyParent attended. And while I knew about it before we went on vacation because there was a flyer that came in the mail a few weeks ago, it only had the preliminary list of participating venues. By Friday night, the list expanded slightly, and I didn’t realize what my options were. I only knew that the instructions were to go over to the Home Hardware with cash in hand, get a sheet of vouchers, and hand them over for things you wanted to try at participating vendors. Different samples cost 1, 2, or 3 vouchers, and you got a sheet of 20 for $20.
My gentleman associate, my son, and his friend joined me on my adventure, and boyhowdy, it was fun.
How I spent my tickets:
- La Lola Catering: Paella (3 vouchers) and marinated olives (2 vouchers)
- Cake Lovers Unite: A chocolate chip cookie (1 voucher)
- Rising Dough Scottish Bakery: A sausage roll with baked beans (3 vouchers)
- Top Market Meats: A clamshell full of Charcuterie meat, cheese curds, veggies, and fruit (3 vouchers)
- Healthy Pet: An all-natural dog biscuit for King Louie (1 voucher)
- Cambridge Restaurant: Buttermilk Chicken Finger and fries with plum sauce (3 vouchers)
- Silver Spoon: Jerk chicken (3 vouchers)
My gentleman associate got a smash burger slider (3 vouchers) and some chicken wings (2 vouchers) from Lucky’s. Child’s friend got a cupcake (2 vouchers) from Cake Lovers Unite. Zaz Bistro had ice cream. Papa John’s pizza had pepperoni slices (2 vouchers) or wings (3 vouchers). There was pulled pork sammies somewhere along the way (Wuddup Dog?) Wuddup Dog also had bacon wrapped oreo (which sounds like the kind of delight you’d get at the CNE… and if there’s one reason why I go to the CNE, it’s to spend hours at the Food building… but I digress). Mr. Sub had small assorted subs with chips for 3 vouchers. There was curry from Silver Spoon until it sold out. I didn’t realize that Zaz Bistro had Aranchini (3 vouchers), or I probably would have not gotten the chicken finger and gotten that instead. And apparently, for 3 vouchers, you could get a half-pint of draught beer from Cambridge Restaurant (after 7 pm only). Ginger’s Cupcakery had cupcakes for 2 vouchers. Fiddle and Firkin had Chicken Curry or Beef Yorkies for 3 vouchers.
This isn’t a complete list… it’s just what either someone in my party got, or what I saw on the vendor’s posters in their window. While some locations were obviously overwhelmed and a few of the waits were long, I had a good time. There were a LOT of people out and about in town, which is just good for our little village within the city of Cambridge. There were things for everyone’s taste. There with small kids? Get the pizza or the chicken fingers. Feeling more adventurous? Get the paella or the curry or the braised cabbage and meatballs . Sweet tooth? Ice cream, cupcakes, and cookies for you! Feeling nibble-y? Go with the Charcuterie.
If you were unfamiliar with the restaurants on the main drag in Preston, this was a great way to get a fairly commitment-free introduction to them. My gentleman associate and I have been to Lucky’s (Try the smashburger. You also won’t go wrong with their poutine) and Wuddup Dog (because streetmeat and tater tots) a bunch of times. We have met friends for beverages and had dinner at the Firkin. A friend and I had a lovely dinner at Zaz Bistro just a few weeks ago. Papa Johns has cauliflower crust so we order pizza there occasionally. I’ve had the goat curry from Silver Spoon. We get treats from Healthy Pet for King Louie on the regular. Rising Dough is where I get my delicious delicious haggis pie. The big win in all this was the intro to La Lola. Oh, baby, that paella was *GOOD*! You can hire La Lola to come to your house and make Paella for your guests, and I’m not saying that I’m looking for an excuse to have Paella-palooza at the Casa di Swears, but I’m kinda looking for an excuse to have Paella-palooza at the Casa di Swears.
Sidebar: This weekend, while child was home, he asked me if I had plans for my birthday (in September) yet. It’s a big one, and he was wondering if there was anything big planned to go along with that big milestone. I kind of shrugged and said that I didn’t think so. My birthday is 5 days before my gentleman associate’s, and mom’s is the day after his. We call it Cake Week, and I feel a little feral from the sugar just thinking about it. But we try to just celebrate them all at once to keep it to a responsible-adult level of cake consumption. My friends of a similar vintage (who have already celebrated their half-century) have told me that for this particular Big Birthday, one can celebrate for a whole year. And friends, you heard it here first, we may or may not but totally might be starting that particular year of festivities with my own private Paella Party. Semi-Related: their menu also lists gluten free cheesecake from the owner’s Abuela’s recipe. Happy (3 months from now) Birthday to me!
So, friends, if you’re local, I recommend any of the places that participated in the Preston Food Crawl. And if you’re not, have a look to see what’s local to you. These are the places that sponsor sports teams and hire folks in the community and donate to other local fundraisers. So when you can, support them back. Everybody wins.