Several weeks ago, the Dude hit me up about some upcoming foodie adventures. It so happens that on July 23, there were two really awesome events. Meatopia. and the Sandwich Festival. We were going to one of these events… I just had to pick one. Not knowing it was going to be hotter than hell (102* with heat index of 112*) during the week of the festivals, i opted for the sandwich festival because the thought of being hotter than hell and stuffing my face with meat, meat and meat just felt wrong…. and sandwiches sounded so refreshing.
So, Serious Eats All Star Sandwich Festival for the Win. For the days leading up to the event, I was dreading it because I SUCK in the heat. I get cranky. I get headachy. I get sweaty. Im just overall miserable. But because the tickets were paid for, i dressed appropriately and wished for the best.
The Dude and i met up to catch the 10 am ferry to Govenors Island. When we arrived
we I realized we were TWO Hours early. We copped a squat under a tree and proceeded to wait while our tummies grumbled and horse flies aggressively nipped at our ankles. My ankles are covered with welts from those little F*ckers who seem to be less and less phased by being swatted away- they just come right back to bite the shit out of you.
We were given some tasty bread from sullivan street bakery while we waited. (I added our feet in the background.)
When we checked in, we were given a frisbee to use as a plate and a plastic stemless wine glass for beverage consumption! We looked on as chefs grilled and cooked over hot flames. Every time I groaned from the relentless heat, i tried to think of the vendors who were slaving in the heat with no relief.
Staffers from Serious Eats handed out water. Not complaining but I think the water did more harm than good as it was HOT and not refreshing at all. ::shakes fist at sky:: Damn You Heat Wave!
Our First stop was Salumeria….
Where they had a tasty spread of an assembly line…
The bread on this sammie was great! Loved it.
Right next to that kiosk was the Gramercy Tavern Tent that was serving Ham and cheese.
Doesnt sound so exciting but with arugula, mayo, pickled veggies on a toasty bun, this was by far my favorite sandwich of the event. Like a banh mi sort of… but not.
i then walked over to the Torrisi Italian Specialties line for a turkey hero.
The dude grabbed the last sandwich so i had to wait for them to make more. The chef was working non stop and felt all the eyes on him waiting for sandwiches. He Yelled out “Its too quiet, Someone say something please” so I took the opportunity to say “Im hungry” and we all got a good laugh out it.
But i really was hungry.
The itlaian sandwich was spicy and delicious. I ate this one rather quickly so there was no photo to go with it… but trust me when i say this was yummy.
I moved right on over to these guys that had a slow moving line because they were making meatballs. As I waited in line I swatted and slapped my skin as stubborn horse flies nipped at me. it was so annoying!
But Once I got to the “kitchen” i guess it got too hot for the flies who temporarily left me alone. If it werent for my tendency to get het stroke, i would have stood by the hot kitchens all day to avoid those pesky bites! sheesh.
While i waited so long for the fresh meatball subs, the Dude set off to fill his frisbee with food from the other side of the park for us to taste and share.
While he was gone, I hopped on the taim mobile line that was moving exponentially fast, and grabbed a falafel.
We grabbed a seat by the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck with intentions of getting a Bea Arthur Cone (vanilla soft serve drizzled with dulce de leche and rolled in crushed ‘nilla wafers) but figured we could wait a while cuz we were hitting the proverbial FULL Wall.
I took bites of the remaining sandwiches just to try them but it was getting really hot and my stomach was really full! The falafel from Taim Mobile was super fresh tasting and had all the elements i seek when craving a falafel, crispy falafel balls with soft doughy pita bread surrounded by tahini and fresh greens.
I also nibbled on a Ricotto and zucchini sandwich from ‘wichcraft that was so simple but so tasty that it was hard to put down, despite the incredibly full belly!
The dude brought over some meatball sliders that were super duper tasty…
I took one bite out of Dudes Bahn Mi. It was okay. I have definitely had better…
At this point I was not only full but incredibly hot and… cranky. Dude, ever patient opted to wait on the ice cream line while i pouted and fanned myself. The sun beat down on that Big Gay Ice Cream Truck Line and seemed to Never Move. The dude looked over and saw the Peoples Pops Stand were empty. So we abandoned the ice cream line and hit the pops stand for a fruity refreshment.
There were also some sexy brownies up for grabs from Bouchon Bakery…
Warm from the sun and filled with a gooey chocolaty center.
I picked up a raspberry/sour cherry ice pop from peoples pop that was refreshing and satisfying! I took my ice pop and proceeded to wait on a line for a slider made my Serious Eats’ own Kenji!
I grabbed the last slider and split it with the Dude while the dude brought back some beers and cold (much needed) waters. We plopped down in front of the Big Gay Ice Cream truck and faced an even longer line but seriously had no desire to wait in the sun for it. So i whined and moaned…
and Dude took full advantage…
Faking a smile. Totally dying here.
We took a break where i tried to lay down but that was pointless as it was too hot to get comfortable. I went in search of a restroom so i could splash some cold water on my face. When i asked for the restroom, i was pointed towards a port-o-john… *sigh* so i went back to the Dude, defeated.
The dude, again, so patient with my tantrum in the heat suggested we pack it in and take one last lap. We were full and the chances of us eating again were slim. So we dug out some ziploc baggies that i packed and took some of our favorite sammies home to try.
I found the pork belly sandwich from ‘wichcraft (so effin good!) and grabbed more brownies! We waited for some iced coffee where I noticed “there was chocolate on my pork belly” ( how often can you say that??)
My saving grace was the iced coffee provided by Counter Culture. It was served black and over ice but was sheer ecstasy and I even went back for one of their last servings!
On the way out, Dude squealed when he saw Robyn Lee and asked to take a pic with her. Shes the sweetest thing and one of the writers on Serious Eats. She, in turn, asked for our picture that might end up on the serious eats website (SQUEALING!).
And then, as we were leaving we bumped into the man behind serious eats: Ed Levine and got a sweet pic of him and the Dude before we left. The Dude is a pretty calm guy… and this was the first time I witnessed him freak out (in a good way) over a celeb. I swear he was gonna cry afterwards…but he pulled it together.
Overall, it was hot as hell. I dont regret going but wish i could handle the heat better. Im grateful the Dude was well equipped to deal with my tempter tantrum in the heat by telling jokes, making me laugh, and just being his normal happy go lucky self. (and bless his heart for having advil to kick my headaches ass!)
As I look back, the only thing I would have done different was go to this festival on a cooler day. But yeah, it was awesome.
For more coverage: