We arrived as soon as the gates opened at 11AM. There was a pretty long line but it moved quickly. While standing in line, we saw a food truck for Thomas' English Muffins. They were passing out Thomas' English Muffin Sandwiches. Recipe created by Tim Love. Bacon, fried egg, American cheese, citrus aioli, butter lettuce, tomato, on a Thomas' English Muffin. You can find this recipe at thomasbreads.com. This was nice starter before we event went through the front gate. I was able to get one straight off the griddle. Nice and hot, soooo yummy!
Upon entering, they handed everyone a bag with some goodies, including a Food + Wine Festival cup that you can use to get drinks. :)
Michelle - Rosecato. I don't particularly like wine. The only ones I drink are Moscatos... they're like juice! :)
We wasted no time at all and started going around the Grand Tasting Tents. Rows and rows of food/wine/liquor stands and crowds of people trying to get some samples. I tried my best to take note of the name of the vendor as well as what they were serving, but sometimes it was difficult not eating it immediately because they all looked so yummy! I've included as much info as I know. :)
Paul Qui & Jorge Hernandez - Filipino Fruit Stand (grilled and glazed tropical fruit, fermented shrimp toffee, shaved ice, shiso) It had mango so I couldn't try it. Fiance said it was aight.
Farmhouse Delivery - Watermelon Radishes (topped with feta, yogurt, pickled shallots, mint). Very refreshing. And the watermelon radish is so beautiful
Finn & Porter - Braised Lamb Shank (breaded and fried, served on a spring pea puree). I don't like lamb but I tried it anyways. There was no gamey-ness! It was a nice little bite, and I loved the presentation!
Celtic Seafare - Smoked Salmon (on rye with dill, and chive butter). Usually not a fan of smoked salmon. This was buttery and delicious.
Walton's Fancy & Staple - Strawberry Goat Cheese Macarons. Chocolate Cream Puffs. The macarons surprisingly did not taste like goat cheese, which was a relief. haha. Usually not a fan. The cream puffs suffered from the heat and were too dry.
Daily Greens - I've realized I do not like to drink my veggies. haha. Guess I can't jump on that juicing bandwagon... Haven't had a "green" drink that I've liked yet. My fiance, on the other hand, loves them.
Fork & Vine - Scallop Ceviche (with fire roasted scallops, elote-style corn, tortilla chip, and cilantro). One of the best bites by far on Saturday. Full of plump scallops and the flavors and textures were amazing. We kept going back for more. And towards the end of the day, they kept filling those cups fuller and fuller. haha. I think we got 5-6 samples there. That alone maybe covered part of the cost of our tickets. :P
Jacoby's Mercantile - House Pork Sausage (topped with celery marmalade and cornbread crumble). This was my favorite of the day. The pork was so tender and balanced so well by the mini salad on top. The addition of the cornbread crumble was pretty genius. They ran out before the day was over.
Olive & June - White Chocolate Gazpacho (with almond milk and almond crumbles). Some sort of sausage...
Barritt's Ginger Beer. This was a savior during the 90+ degrees that day. Ginger beer on ice, so refreshing. We definitely were not drinking enough liquids. Not as good as Maine Root, but was just what we needed that day.
St. Philip - Carrots (glazed with miso, beef fat, and topped with spices). Carrots... my most hated vegetable.. this was not appealing to me whatsoever, but my fiance loves them. He said it was amazing! Didn't taste like carrots at all. I do have to say it was one of the more interesting looking dishes of the day.
Cafe Mueller - Pork Ribs with Purple Cabbage Slaw. Ribs were good, slaw was too vinegary.
Stiles Switch BBQ - prime rib, brisket, turkey, jalapeno cheddar sausage, corn pudding. They gave so much food. Every tray they passed out had a piece of everything. The winners... the brisket which is literally fork tender and the corn pudding. Everything else was good too. The sausage was actually spicy! A little salty though.
Frank Hot Dogs - Kangaroo and Pork Sausage (topped with goat Gouda and jalapeno-peach chutney). Spicy!! Yum! Creole Gator (alligator sausage topped with slaw and creole remoulade)
Lonesome Dove - Chef Tim Love. Lamb Lollipops. One of the most popular dishes of the day. The line was always super long. I heard it's pretty amazing.
Hernan - Mole Poblano (with pineapple and jicama). I love mole. I've had better.
Barilla - Mac n Cheese. I love Barilla... I buy them from the store all the time. It was cooked perfectly al dente. And the spoon/fork/knife tool was so cool!
There were definitely no shortage of Desserts! Quite a few ice cream/gelato vendors which is perfect for the hot day.
Lick Ice Cream - Lemon Lavender Ice cream (with strawberry sauce). My fiance loved this... kept going back for more. Unfortunately I'm allergic to lavender so I have to take his word. I have been to Lick though. Pretty yummy!
Dolce Neve - Organic Pistachio Gelato. And Chamomile Infusion with Pistachio Crumble Gelato. Never heard of this place, but it's totally on my radar now. The pistachio gelato is one of the best I've ever had. Their other flavors were also delicious.
Baked by Amy's - Macarons (Mexican Vanilla (pink), Lemon Basil (blue), Salted Caramel (brown). Another highlight of the day. Freaking best macarons I've ever had. No joke. And I've been to Paris. They are bigger and totally comparable in texture to LaDuree. My fiance was addicted. I think he went back to them the most. I think about 7 or 8 times... hahaha. I told them they were the best and they gave me 2 coupons for free pastries! I will post those pictures later! :)
SocialIce - Wine Infused Ice Pops - Strawberry Daiquiri, Mimosa Orange. Refreshing but tasted watered down.
Here are some other items where I either don't know the description of the dish and/or the vendor:
Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce. It was super hot that day and I don't think the spring rolls held up well. It was quite mushy. But I did like the peanut sauce.
Noble Sandwich Co.
Hendricks - Cocktails. This is my favorite gin of all time. Their setup was really cool too.
Pig Ear Slider. My fiance grabbed this while I was talking to some friends, then we kind of lost each other for a sec and he ate it before I could try. He said the pig ear was too chewy.
Shrimp & Guac on a Cracker
Black Rice Risotto (with shrimp and jalapeno)
Pure Leaf - cocktail. Their teas are awesome. And they had the best tent/display at the festival.
The most exciting part of Saturday was the showdown between Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre Foods) and Graham Elliot (Master Chef) for their "Mystery Challenge". They showed up as a WWE Wrestler (Elliot - Hulk Hogan) and a Lucha Libre Wrestler (Zimmern) and had a cook off.
It was mostly a show but they still each produced a dish at the end of the short 30 minutes. There was a lot of heckling, food throwing, singing, and dancing. haha. At one point, they even flung a whole eel over the shoulder of an audience member. :P Ew. hahaha.
~~ CHOMP CHOMP ~~