IndyWeek's Best of 2011 Party

Well that wasn't a washout!

I know, I know. Most of the time, a food-festival with rain is a no-go. But considering we had the canopy - I was all set. Perhaps it was because I'd just gotten some good news or maybe it was because my appearances are now moderated by my gas tank level. But I was pumped and ready to have a nice time in my hometown!

Therefore, while not judging the massive numbers that headed for shelter, I was happy to be out under one. The sky was stormy overhead, but it didn't dampen the spirit and the food was still just as good. Grabbed a slice of pizza on the way in and a few Pie Bird's samples were being laid out. They were actually great. What was it about Saturday and pie? Nevertheless, I was out to do some damage and stopped by every stall that was still open. "Everything but Grannies Panties" was there with knicknacks and ceramic lamps, and well... the name holds true - a little bit of everything. Sitar India Palace was a winner and offering up their consistently  tasty dishes. Also Vimala's was on hand and dishing up spicy rice and veggies that I agreed with.

East End Martini Bar had icewater with cucumber slices that hit the spot. But the real winner was their crawfish bread. They made it sound alot simpler than it was. It was a crawfish etouffee style stew with the most tender crawfish I've had to wit, and poured over garlicky, cheesy halved slices of  French loaf-style bread. Spoke with Howard and his family there. They've been in Chapel Hill nine years and worked with the ease and familarity of people who know their craft. Good thing they saved the best for last!

BB the Clown- photo HP

One of my proudest moments came when - after skulking about at East End Martini Bar, BB the Clown took a pic for me! Thanks for making the rain go away BB! I'm sure the clowns of 'Barnum's past' are pleased!

It was great to get some KoKyu BBQ! The short rib slider with kimchi'd relish and duck fat tots were served in generous portions. They were delicious. I may have overestimated my capacity. I had to save some for home and that is my favorite thing to do!

KoKyu BBQ - photo HP
 Chatted with Amy only briefly, these folks were staying fairly busy even while many were taking shelter during the storm. There was a Tetris game going ( I think!) and my truck elbow neighbor was getting his game on.

What is so great about the food trucks is the complexity and uniqueness of the dishes served. We're not talking about hotdog stands - they have their place. But the food truck phenomenon in the Triangle is good for everyone. It gives owners a chance to flex their muscles, test the waters, and work toward their goals. It gives customers a slice of blockbuster quick food at reasonable prices. Frankly it doesn't hurt the local restaurant economy, for one, because they are mobile, and primarily, because these business are going to be here anyway. They have their own niche. Complex flavors and combinations can be found with these 'portable purveyors' that you cannot find anywhere else. One other pro - if we need one - they use local, fresh ingredients as often as possible - and that makes everybody happy!

Happy Local Eating!
from Deelish!


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