Oh yeah, 1pm was when I was walking out. With the amount of people that were flowing in, I wouldn't have wanted to stay much longer. I didn't get anything from the Food & Wine booths (hoping to do a full day of that later) but the new Caribbean and Southwest options looked pretty good. Glad to see they're expanding the event a good deal.
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I checked out BGW's 2014 Food and Wine Festival yesterday with Thad (Barge84), Shawn (SuperShawn), Jeremiah (Homeboy 23), and Nicole MoonCadet), and we pronounce it . . . delicious!
Yes, you can now eat yourselves into oblivion, which we did, Friday through Sunday until June 29. Most of the food stands from last year are back (except for Austria), with two new additions: American Southwest (in Fort New France) and the Caribbean (in Germany, across from the carousel). They seemed to have tweaked and improved some of the menu items from last year (for example, the Cheddar and Lager Chowder in Canada, with paprika oil, was much better than last year's version) and improved the atmosphere of the food booths.
Thoughts on some of the food items we tried:
Chocolate Lava Cake (America Southwest): Chocolate cake with a gooey filling of "Ancho-spiced" (chili) chocolate. Very tasty with a a bite of its own.
Gamba Fritters (Caribbean): Fried shrimp dumplings (very much like hush puppies) with a very tangy "pickapeppa dip" (it's a Jamaican sauce made with cane sugar and aged in oak barrels). The fritters could have used a few more shrimp, but the dip really makes this appetizer.
Tres Leche con Marmalade de Pina (Caribbean): This is a pina colada in cake form. Perfect if you like walks in the rain and have half a brain.
Vanera con Jamon (Spain): A scallop wrapped in cured ham with saffron rice--the rice was a bit bland, but the scallop was cooked perfectly, and I liked the sauce.
Halloumi (Greece): This is griddled feta with clover honey and pistachios. It was a favorite with the group and very delicious. But it's so rich that I was pretty wiped out after sampling it (Shawn went back for seconds).
Well, that's enough talking about food. Let's look at some.
Definitely a better reason for visiting the park than Mach Tower.
Scandinavia comes complete with an authentic Norwegian.
But it's really all about the Dirty Shirley.
Jeremiah is getting ready for the Scandi Trip with some Gravad Lax Rarakor (cured salmon with potato pancakes and sweet mustard and dill sauce). It was very nice, indeed.
There was "edible art" all over the place. Personally, I think this is the best possible use for watermelon.
The heather and the highlands are calling.
Look! An authentic Scottish lassie!
Yeah, I'm drinkin' an Angry Scotsman! You got a problem with that? (It tastes like stout, only not as heavy.)
Anyone for the "nips and tit . . . ," er, Neeps and Tatties? It's mixture of roasted turnips and potatoes with carrots and chives.
As for Thad and myself, we'll have the Scottish egg. (Note: Scotland could use a few more stand-up tables. it got a bit crowded there during the day.)
And the moment everyone (especially Shawn) has been waiting for.
"No little boy! Do not dismantle the queue, lest you anger the Gods of Olympus!"
Hmm--it appears there was a bit of a run on . . .
. . . Halloumi!
"By your cheese powers combined, I am Captain Feta!"
Here's some cool stuff you can make with fondant.
Aren't the little rodents adorable?
"My precious-s-s-s-s-s . . ."
"No, seriously. Many parts of me are edible."
You can get Sangria in Spain, in addition to scallops and chorizo.
"In the headlines tonight, Mach Tower runs, breaks down, then runs again. Film at 11."
Of course, there are plenty of opportunities to buy merchandise and taste wine. More to come.
We caught of bit of "This Is Oktoberfest" in the Festhaus.
In Germany there is food . . .
. . . and beer.
I repeat. Food . . .
. . . and beer.
Hmm--is that ganja I smell?
Jeremiah is trying the Tres Leche cake, Nicole is enjoying a Frozen Bushwacker (sort of a Jamaican version of a White Russian), Thad is chowing down on Gamba Fritters, and Shawn and I are still working on that German beer.
"Arr! Set a course for Tortuga!"
The American Southwest is actually in Canada.
"O Can-a-da . . . your pumpkins are so big . . ."
Authentic Canadian pole dancers.
Here's the Cheddar and Lager Chowder with a glass of Pear Cider. The soup was very good (and portion ample).
My god! Elissa might be part Canadian! ;)
Next stop France--complete with French people.
The Steak au Poivre (peppercorn-crusted beef in a brandy cream sauce) was excellent.
Steak > Anything.
Speaking of beer and all the good stuff that goes with it . . . this is all from the Belgium booth. The chocolate waffle was very good, and the roasted hazelnuts went very well with the beer.
The cake that bites back from the American Southwest booth. Thad isn't so sure about this.
This jazz combo in France said "oo-la-la"--a lot.
As night falls, we were drawn back to Greece.
The Greek Dip Trio (roaster garlic hummus, kalamata-olive puree, and feta) with garlic pita chips was very good.
Night on the Rhine River. They offer a wine-tasting cruise on the river, as well.
Yes, we did sneak in a few rides between periods of gorging ourselves.
Good night, ye lady of Spain.
Hmm--looks like something special is going on in England . . .
. . . must be for the new Coke Freestyle machines in the new Union Snacks shop.
Or it could be for "London Rocks." I'll catch this show later.
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