GottaCon has shifted in direction for the 2015 year, and that’s to make use of all the available spaces as possible for their gaming fair. For such a dramatic shift, I’m surprised they did not have a huge banner across the Victoria Conference Centre to say we are here. I really like the design of their new logo in their program guide, and I was sad to not see this plumage advertising this event to this city at large at this building or across the street at the Crystal Gardens.
Although my interests for this show have faded, to wonder if they chose wisely for which food trucks to bring can make for some interesting allusions. Do gamers need more grease for those late night munchies? When I didn’t spot or smell these operations running on a Friday evening before Geekenders‘ Star Wars Burlesque Show, I suspect not. They might have been running, but there was no spotlight on them to let curiousity seekers know. The same can be said for GottaCon’s presence. Without a huge banner, many passers-by will pass them by. Sandwich boards just will not do. Not many people really take a bite at that kind of street advertising.
During a beautiful sunny day (Saturday) when the air is crisp and I was nearby, my nostrils certainly wanted to sniff out the operations. Thankfully, the trucks were advertising their hours. But I did notice a particular trend: of the three trucks, two of them were serving mostly burgers. Thankfully, James and I provided a more robust listing of various eateries around the area so attendees can grab sandwiches or sushi if they wanted to.
Although I was not hungry to attend this event today, I did think long and hard if I wanted to return for this evening’s entertainment. Geekenders put on a wildly fun show on the first day of the con and they are the only reason why I’d want to return — many thanks has to go to Gottacon’s Carson Upton for getting a ticket reserved for me that night for their evening entertainment. I had just enough time to run through the con to see it for what it mostly was: rows and rows of computers for video game tournaments and far too many tables for miniature battle gaming. I saw no huge signage indicating where the product/game demonstrations were and what section was what. The exhibit hall certainly grew in size for local vendors, professional artists and established cosplayers to display/sell their wares but after I’ve been spoiled the the diversity in larger shows, I’m never going to find something to buy here. Cherry Bomb’s Ultimate Toy Fair does a better job at that.
When there’s very little to demo the latest in mobile/tablet games (Kano/Apps certainly saved the day), well, maybe this show is no longer for me. There were no panels addressing new trends. For me, that’s important and I needed comfort food to console me.
Across the street, Deadbeetz, L’authentique Poutine & Burger and Grilled to the Mac were present. I doubt The Old Spaghetti Factory even counted (they’re part of the official list). Of the four, only two looked really popular – Beetz and L’authentique. When given the options, I’m not surprised. The Mac looked very lonely. I’ve reviewed L’authentique before and praise them for their Montreal style flavours. But did they vary their menu as usual like they do on a regular day back in Langford? Not likely. I love hearing about their experimental poutines and varied burger products. When they are doing trade shows, they sadly stick to the basics.
Hitting Deadbeetz was a no brainer because I’m a sucker for a good beet. However, my eyes saw problems. There was the distinct lack of extra or nearby garbage receptacles in the area. People opting to eat in this area had no compost or recycle bins to toss away the food containers. Seating wasn’t an issue since what’s ordered is meant to be taken elsewhere. But the question of why the little courtyard beside the Crystal Garden was not fully tabled is. Clearly, some thought is needed to deal with how to keep the masses nearby if the idea of bringing these operations back next year is being retained. Before I knew it, I saw styrofoam containers on seats and places that would make life around the conference center look dirty. That isn’t needed.
At Deadbeetz, the turnaround time for orders was very good. I didn’t have to wait long for my double patty Beatrice Beef Burger ($12) with vegetable chips ($3) to arrive. The difference in where they make and source their grass-fed meat from can be tasted. The texture is very different and it helps make the bovine taste far more delectable. The idea to pile on beets onto a burger is fabulous. It’s a tender taste and I can massage a beat with my tongue for long hours since I enjoy this vegetable that much. Surprisingly, it goes very well with meat. Pickles can be overpowering if too much is used. The additional toppings didn’t add any extra to the overall flavour, but the sauce they use certainly gave it a sloppy joes type of feel to the meal.
Sadly the yam chips got very cold fast. I know keeping crisps like that hot is difficult on a cool day but some strategy is required if its to keep me coming back for them. The dipping sauce is house made and it gives the chips that special flourish like that of a chip eater who loves yogurt on their potato. Oddly enough there was steam coming out from my burger so I’m assuming the chips sat out on the open too long instead of coming fresh from the frier. Timing is everything, and the cook could’ve waited to pull them out last then ahead of time as the patties were flipped faster than Spongebob can make them.
Since I have a gift card to Cineplex, maybe going to the Squarepants movie, Sponge out of Water, is needed to complete my day downtown. I wonder if there’ll be a day when GottaCon will offer gift certificates so attendees can choose what they like to specifically do at this show?
This article was originally published on the Two Hungry Blokes blog.