Mouth Watering


I am hoping to be able to enjoy some of the things I’ve missed the past few years, not just during the COVID-19 pandemic, but during the four years I lived in Germany. One of my favorite annual events was Ribfest, held every year in downtown Ottawa. It is back for 2022, and guess what? I am in Germany. If only it was held a week later. This year’s edition runs until June 5. This post and pictures are from 2017.

One of the nice things about working on Parliament Hill is that it is only a block from Sparks Street, which is home to several Ottawa festivals. This year’s edition of Ribfest started on Wednesday and runs until tomorrow.

At the annual Poutinefest I have difficulty making a choice, so many tasty possibilities. I find Ribfest much tougher, because my taste buds have difficulty trying to figure out which choice is best. Beef and pork ribs have their own distinct taste, and the chicken is different again – but I can never decide which vendor has the best food. Price is standardized, so my Scottish heritage doesn’t get to influence me by choosing the cheapest option.


The key is the sauce, with each booth having its own distinct sauce, which they usually also have for sale by the bottle. You can taste the sauce before ordering, but I can’t tell if one is better than another just by a glob of sauce on a spoon. It needs the meat for me to know how it is really going to taste.

I didn’t walk the length of Sparks Street this year to see everything that was on offer. Time was of the essence during a short lunch hour, so I just grabbed a few pictures (and some food) from the booths that were closest to my office.

Too bad I couldn’t capture the smell to share with you.


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