With summer of COVID 19, we had not hardly even left the city since March. As it was a warm, sunny day, we decided to hop in the convertible and head out of town for a day trip. The destination we chose was Lacombe, Alberta – which is about an hour and a half drive south of Edmonton.
I had never been to Lacombe before, and thought it would be interesting to check out. We loaded up the car with a small cooler and some drinks, and hit the road around 11:00am. It was great to be out on the road and zipping past golden fields of canola.
We arrived in Lacombe around 12:30pm, and drove around the downtown area a bit to orient ourselves.
We drove past a very popular restaurant called Cilantro and Chive. This place is famous for its “Caesars that Eat Like a Meal”. Basically, they take a Caesar cocktail and then plunk a burger or wings on top of it. Below is a photo from their website.
It sounded quite decadent, but in these COVID days, we were still leery about eating inside restaurants. So, instead, we went to Moe’s Pizza and ordered the Aloha pizza. The inside of the restaurant was quite small, so we hung out on the bench out front of the restaurant until our pizza was ready.
Once we had our pizza, we drove a couple blocks to the Lacombe Library, that had a lovely garden area with benches and picnic tables.
We found a spot in the shade and had our pizza. The pizza was very tasty, with lots of toppings. I would definitely recommend Moe’s if you ever find yourself in Lacombe.
After our lunch, we decided to head a little east of town, to check out a berry farm called Billyco Junction. This is mostly a U-Pick place, but they do sell a few things as well. We bought some fresh honey and a bag of peas. As we didn’t feel like picking our own berries in the heat, we asked if we could purchase any berries that had already been picked. The owner said that she had some honey berries that her husband had picked that morning. So, we followed her across the yard to her house (where she had the berries in her fridge).
We had never tried honey berries before, so she let us try some. Honey berries (also known as Haskap berries) look like an elongated blue berry, but taste like a cross between a blueberry, apple and grape. Quite an interesting flavour. So, we bought 3 pounds of berries to take home with us.
Just a few kilometres away from the berry farm is the Ellis Bird Farm. We debated about whether to go check out the farm, but another option was a local brewery. As it was hot out, beer won out.
So we drove back to Lacombe to check out Blindman Brewing. On Sundays, the brewery doesn’t open up until 2:00pm, and we got there shortly after they opened.
Due to COVID, they had tables set up in the parking lot as well as on their upstairs patio. They had a chalkboard sign that identified the process at the entrance. First, you selected a table that was identified as sanitized. On the table was hand sanitizer (which was made by the brewery), along with a menu and instructions that were taped to the table. When ready to order, you text your order and your table number to the phone number identified. The server then brings out your order. You also text them when ready to pay your bill, and they bring out the card machine to settle the bill.
We ordered a flight of beer to share. With the flights, you get to choose which beers you want to try. We went with the following (from left to right):
- Blackberry and Plum Florida Weisse
- Lemon, Limes, and Clementines Florida Weisse
- Triphammer Robust Porter
- Perepllut Barley Wine
The two on either end (Blackberry & Plum and Barley Wine) were our favourites. Randy likened the porter to a big cup of joe, and the other Weisse was quite a lot of citrus. But, as it was a hot day, we did manage to finish them all off!
Once we were done, we went inside to get some more to bring home. We picked up some cans of the barley wine beer, but unfortunately they didn’t have any of the Blackberry & Plum beer on hand.
After we were done at Blindman, we went back to downtown Lacombe to check out some of their murals that they have. These can be found in some back alleys and back streets in the downtown area. I took a few photos as follows:
I had read about a nearby farm – called Brown Eggs and Lamb – that sold fresh eggs, lamb along with other produce. So, we headed west of Lacombe for a few miles, but when we got there, the sign said that they were only open Thursday to Saturday (and this was a Sunday). So, no eggs for us today.
So instead, we decided to drive further south to Red Deer to go to Peter’s Drive-In for an ice cream stop. Randy ordered his usual Oreo and blueberry milkshake, and I got an ice cream cone. I wanted to have it dipped in chocolate, but they said they were all out of the chocolate dip (What??). So, I just ended up having their plain vanilla soft-serve.
We found an outdoor table in the shade and enjoyed the ice cream. It helped to cool us down after driving around in the convertible in the hot sun. It was late afternoon by the time we were done our ice cream, so we decided to head back home, arriving in time to feed our cat his supper.
I cleaned up the honey berries, and then the next morning I made a honey berry crumble. It turned out quite tasty.
Overall, it was a really nice day out in the country. Definitely a nice break from the usual routine.