I’ve been to two food/beer fests in DC lately, and I’ve been disappointed with both of them. One was a craft beer fest near my apartment (I’ve forgotten what it was called ) and the other was the Funky Fresh Foodie Fest at the Half Street Fairgrounds this past weekend.
The former was annoying because the lines were crazy long to get a three ounce pour of beer, and they called last call an hour before the festival was supposed to end without noting that on the tickets, so we showed up with only about 45 minutes to get $30 worth of beer tasting in – which obviously didn’t happen with the lines being like 60 deep. I was not impressed.
The latter was better, but still annoying because the craft beer vendors wouldn’t take cash and you had to pay $75 to get tickets to buy or taste them. That just seems like too high a price for a medium-sized festival, especially when there are similar ones happening almost weekly in DC.
You could, however, pay cash at the food trucks and people started giving tickets away that they couldn’t use toward the end so I managed to try a couple of the beers as well.
DC Empanadas – I think what we got was the El Cubanito, it was a pulled pork empanada with some sort of guava sauce. It was good, but the pork was a little too… porky for my taste.
Pepe Food Truck – I’ve visited the Pepe truck before. The sandwiches are good, but overpriced. We got the pork burger (lots of pork for one day) and the ham and cheese (fancy ham and manchengo). Both were good, but again, overpriced. I wouldn’t seek this truck out. I think I’d rather go to a Jose Andres restaurant, instead.
Curbside Cupcakes – This truck comes to Ballston, where I work, a lot – and somehow I’ve never tried it. But we were at the festival for almost four hours, and my resolve couldn’t hold out any longer. I had half of a Strawberry Delight, which was really delicious, and most of a Sweet Summer Peach, which wasn’t as good because it tasted like fake peach. But really, cupcakes are always good, even though they’re annoyingly messy and difficult to eat while standing in front of people you don’t know very well.
Devil’s Backbone – I have been waiting to find a local brewery here that I like as much as my fave Oklahoma breweries, Coop and Mustang. Devil’s Backbone (located in Lexington, VA) may fit the ticket. I’ve been pushing their Vienna Lager on people every time I see it on a menu. They also had their Gold Leaf Lager at the festival, which I tried. I didn’t like it as much as the Vienna Lager, but still very good.
Old Dominion – Another semi-local brewery that I’ve been fond of lately, Old Dominion was sampling their Octoberfest Maerzen. I’m kind of picky about Octoberfests. I don’t like when they’ve got any spices in them like coriander or any of that bullshit (this is why I hate pumpkin beers, the spices in them just make me gag). I like Haufbrau and Paulaner’s Octoberfests, which are pretty straight forward. When I told the gentleman this, they assured me that their Octoberfest was “beer flavored beer”. Men after my own heart. It was very good. Not the best I’ve ever had, but solid.
The rest of the day we just mingled with friends, and I played with this adorable puppy.
I want a doooooooooooogggggggg.
Oh, and I had a sip of straight vodka. Remind me to never do that again, ever. But Tito’s is my dad and stepmom’s favorite vodka so I had to force it down so I could load up on free swag to take back to them when I go home next week.
And yes, it does pain me to promote something that comes from Austin, Texas but I guess they need some really good booze down there to drown their sorrows over how badly their football team sucks.
So while these festivals weren’t my favorite, I guess I made the most of it.
Maybe the Fall will provide more enjoyable and efficient festivals for my eating and drinking pleasure. Or maybe I should just stop spending money and stuffing myself full of food and beer. Either/or, I suppose.