The World Food Festival is always a great way to eat your way around the world without leaving town. One thing that I really liked was the fact that the booths offer $1.00 samples. My favorite sample was probably Bosco’s Sancoho Ecuadoriano, a marinated pork. It was little chunks of pork dripping in pork fat. Not for the vegetarian, obviously. Another favorite was the Pholourie (offered by A different Taste!), a yellow split pea batter that was fried and served with a sweet tamarind sauce. Very nice. You could even see the cook rolling up the batter right there before dunking them in the fry pan. The batter was up to her elbows. A fun dessert was Cupcake Emporium’s bacon butter cupcakes. Wow. I’ve wondered about the trend to put bacon in just about anything (I stop at cocktails — sorry!) but the bacon played off the cupcake and frosting very well.
I’m not sure what the Iowa Machine Shed’s role is except maybe to be “Iowa,” but the Bacon Chipotle Chocolate Chip Cookie was a fun marriage between sweet and spicy.
For our sole entree we chose the Lucca Noodles. I liked the round noodles in a marinara sauce with cheese sprinkled on top. It was a nice way to end the visit around the world. Judging from the late afternoon crowd it seemed like this was going to be another success. I don’t know if vendors ran out of food like they did last year. The success of this event is just amazing, and that success is being noticed as more parts of the city add other niche events. The East Village also seems to be a great place to host this event. The streets are not so wide and it beats being out on the bridge. I like the eclectic urban feel offered by village.
One thing that I miss was the lack of any local brews. At least I could not find any. Last year there were several local breweries that sold their beer to the public. This year it seemed that a single distributor got the nod. It is true that there were a lot of international beers, but I sure missed getting some freshly brewed local beer with my meals.