|This is a picture of salads. I did not eat all of them.|
This is a how to post: How to attend a food festival.
I have been to many food events recently and through my experience have developed a strategy to ensure the best possible experience. I will share it with you here for free even though I should probably be charging for this advice because it is really valuable. That is just how much I love you guys.
Step 1: Have a pep talk with yourself that you are going to be patient. It should go something like this:
“You planned to be here for a couple hours, so if there is a line at a booth, so be it! You aren’t in a hurry. Keep it cool. They aren’t going to run out. You will survive this.”
This pep talk is a completely necessary step to ensure you don’t overload. If you are freaking out about a line you might go up to the first booth that is open and wail on something super sugary and blow out your palette for the rest of the festival. Don’t do it.
Step 2: Get there early and do a lap. Walk around at least one time and scope out all the setup. There may be a restaurant that you have wanted to try. Make a mental note of that. Scope out what each booth is offering to see if there is something you absolutely must have and plan to come back to that booth on your loop.
Step 3: Share plates when possible. If you are attending with a date or a friend, plan to share the tasting portions. Trust me. You will be full by the time you make it around to all of the booths. It will be worth it to pace yourself.
Step 4: Mingle. You are there for the food, but you are also there for conversation, to see people you know and to have a good time. If all you do is go from booth to booth you won’t last long and will have to go home early because your pants won’t fit anymore.
I went crazy and immediately shoved two pieces of Bottom’s Up Pizza in my face. I went from table to table without so much as a breath in between bites. I had a plate of macaroni and cheese from Comfort, a heaping plate of pimento cheese and country ham from Pasture and fried chicken from Lee’s Chicken. I didn’t stop there. I took a quick break to have a kale salad from Stella’s and then went right back to it. I ate a sweet potato cupcake filled with marshmallow cream from Pearl’s followed by a piece of chocolate salted caramel cake from Shindigz followed by an everything bagel with chive cream cheese. Then I had a beer, Boxcar from Starr Hill. I couldn’t finish it.