Last weekend amidst the perfectly wonderful weather, Steve and I decided to walk down to 5 points to enjoy this year's incarnation of fEASTival. It is billed as a food festival with more, like craft vendors and entertainment. I remember going to last year's fEASTival and being disappointed. There weren't that many food trucks, very few vendors and the streets were empty. This fEASTival was bigger and clearly better put together than the last, but the same problems followed: not enough food trucks for what I would think of as a FOOD festival, not a lot of vendors, pretty empty streets, and no "entertainment" that I could find.
In its two years of existence this fest hasn't taken off like some others. Nashville loves their festivals and there are few every weekend. It just seemed to me that fEASTival didn't have a distinct vibe; they weren't offering anything new. To me it seemed like a much smaller Tomato Arts Fest with less people wearing red. Also, you couldn't just purchase food from the vendors. You had to go to a little booth, purchase food tickets and buy your food with those. Ok, we get it. Making things different. But, some vendors took cold hard CA$H and had signs with number of dollars/number of tickets. Whelp, not being properly labeled, I confused cash for tickets and we wound up with more tickets than we needed. Plus, I had to spend CA$H on a milkshake instead of the tickets. I felt silly, until the super-nice Moovers & Shakers Man told me customers had been making that mistake all day and the tickets are kind of silly. Agreed, Milkshake Man.
|Biscuit Love was there, but we didn't eat from them|
|So was the Grilled Cheeserie. I passed because I knew my stomach could not handle a massive quantity of cheese.|
Before Steve and I figured out the whole "ticket situation" we decided to eat at I Dream of Weenie. The Weenie is always there and wasn't an official part of the festival. But who cares. We were craving a hot dog and I haven't had one from them in years. Also, they took CA$H.
They serve the weenies out of an old school bright yellow VW bus. It's kitschy as all get out and I love them for it. I Dream of Weenie was popular all day long. The staff was friendly and they had quick service.
|We got a pack of cookies for later!|
I forgot the name of the dog I got, but it had mustard, chow chow, onions and jalapenos. It was tasty and thankfully not insanely spicy. I love chow chow and I think it's really hard to make any dish with it that I won't like. Thumbs up, I Dream of Weenie!
One hot dog was not enough for Steve so we went on the quest for additional sustenance. The Jonbalaya truck had some interesting cajun food and some really funny guys working there. I've never seen this truck around before, but I hope it stays. They took tickets, so this is where we had to get involved in the whole money-ticket conversion scheme.
Steve got the Cajun Meatball Po'boy and it was a huge delicious mess. It was basically massive meatballs cooked in jambalaya sauce with rice, broken up and put on a bun with tomatoes and pickles. We couldn't even figure out how to logistically get this thing near our mouth. We attacked it with forks first and after making a dent, it was able to be treated like a sandwich. This was probably the best taste/quantity for the value at fEASTival.
All this savory made me crave some sweet. I headed over to Moovers and Shakers for some Ice Cream goodness. See the sign... 4 or 6? And with my bad eyesight, this is where tickets messed me up. But it was all good. We got to spend those 4 extra tickets on yummies.
I had the french kiss milkshake. It was vanilla ice cream with cinnamon and a maple syrup sauce. The quality of the ice cream was really good. So good that I had a hard time sharing it.
With our leftover 4 tickets we headed to the Boutique Burger Bar. We needed one more ticket ($0.70- REALLY?) to get a mini burger.
Since I was full at this point, Steve ordered the Original Burger (Caramelized onions, arugula, blue cheese, bacon, Swiss cheese and sauteed mushrooms). It looked so pretty and smelled so delicious I had to take a bite. Yum!
I certainly ate enough at this food festival. But, overall there weren't that many choices. I really like the idea of a East Nashville food festival- but that would require the buy-in of local restaurants willing to set up catering tables at this type of event. I think there was only one brick and mortar who set up a table (Pad Thai Kitchen). I have hopes that this festival will grow again next year and work out some of the kinks.
That, and get rid of those tickets.