Saturday, 6 July 2013

Chinook Centre's Annual Stampede Breakfast 2013 - Calgary

We arrived in Calgary just in time to take part in the free Chinook Centre's 53nd Annual Stampede Breakfast with All-You-Can-Eat Flapjacks (pancakes), Sausages, Coffee and Water in the Parking Lot. 
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The crowds got pretty intense later that morning. 

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The pancake lines
A lot of the bigger retailers set up pancake grill stations (24 in total). 
We saw the huge crowds and decided to find the shortest line to grab our pancakes; it turned out to be the Costco line and it was only until we passed all the pancake stations that we realized that each retailer offered their own different pancakes! The pancake grillers that stood out to us were Sport Chek since the cooks put on a good show flipping pancakes high up in the air; Chapters Indigo for blueberry pancakes; Purdy's Chocolate for Purdy's chocolate chip pancakes; Costco for plain pancakes and the shortest wait time, and Cadillac Fairview for their perfect pancakes with assorted toppings. 

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Then there were 8 sausage grill stations. 
There was one grill station that offered sausages with honey garlic, teriyaki and Jack Daniel's BBQ sauce and the OPA! Souvlaki sausage station offered free tzatziki sauce.

Then there were the stations with simple toppings like syrup and blueberries and the cutlery and napkin station.
Finally, there was the coffee station to reward us for getting up so early in the morning to grab our pancakes.
Here's the journey of my first pancake trip:
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Step 1: Simple Costco pancake with chocolate sauce borrowed from a grill station two grills down.
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Step 2: Costco pancake with sausages from OPA! Souvlaki and tzatziki sauce...Yum!
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Step 3: Fully complete meal with blueberries and syrup on my pancakes, tzatziki sauce on my sausages and my coffee and cutlery. All part of the free Stampede breakfast!

Once we realized that the retailers were all offering different pancakes, we took on a divide and conquer strategy:
Pancakes (or Flapjacks)
Top right: Blueberry pancakes from Chapters and melty chocolate chip pancakes from Purdy's
Top Left: Two thin pancakes from Cadillac Fairview with whipped cream, M&Ms, blueberries and chocolate chips on top.
Bottom: Two perfectly thin pancakes from Cadillac Fairview with whipped cream, blueberries and M&Ms.

Pancakes and Sausages 
We also learned our lesson with the sausages: don't pair the sweet stuff on your pancakes with tzatziki sauce - it doesn't work very well.
So instead, we grabbed one plate and loaded it with enough sausages for all of us and got a huge dollop of honey garlic and tzatziki sauce (that's the way to do it folks!).

After finishing our big flapjack meals, we walked over to the other side to check out the entertainment.
They had a big stage playing country music all morning and some fun activities for kids:
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Milk the cow and ride the toy horse.

Overall: The Chinook Centre's Annual Stampede Breakfast was awesome! Easily one of the best organized free breakfasts I've ever had! They really know how to do it up Calgary Stampede style!

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