I'm going to start on some positive comments regarding the Great American Food and Music Festival that happened this week at the Shoreline in Mtn. View. But don't get me wrong, it was an epic fail of grand proportions. But unlike others, I'm not out for Ed's or Serious Eats head on a platter. I just want them to regroup and do it right the next time. And please note this is my experience and my thoughts. I realize some of the folks that went spent upwards of $500 each and got a third of what we got to eat. If you want to post negatives about the event, wait until my The Negatives post. That will not be a pretty post.
FOODIES: There were some pretty cool people that went to this event. Because even though folks spent up to 3 hours in line just to get a small plate of food, they were in pretty good spirits. At least the folks that I was in line with. Shouts out to Amy, Gretchen and Clifford who stood in line with us for almost three hours trying to get some Katz's pastrami and who were incredibly generous to give us a whole sandwich after we were left high and dry (more on that later). Also thanks to the great couple in front of us in the Zingermans Bacon line who gave us tips on places to go for our trip to Portland this summer. I kept thinking that any other crowd would have rioted, started fights, thrown food or tore down buildings.
MARSHALL CRENSHAW: Though folks were upset because they said there wasn't any music at the Festival we did catch some of Marshall Crenshaw's show and thought he was great (this had to be around 2PM). I know Ed wanted to turn folks on to some music and in that respect he did. I've already downloaded Live and Learn from iTunes and will probably add some more.
NATE APPLEMAN - Chef at A16 in San Francisco. CUTE. He was there autographing his cookbook. The area where chefs were signing cookbooks was right behind the area where folks were standing in line for wings and pastrami. No one was in line to get Nate's autograph so it was real easy for me to buy his cookbook and have him sign it (as an aside, I hear folks were upset they had to buy a book to get an autograph for the likes of Guy Fieri or Bobby Flay. I didn't find that at all unusual).
THE FOOD - A positive on some of the food anyway as most of the food left me wondering what all the fuss was about (more on that later). When we were given a Katz Pastrami Sandwich (again a HUGE thank you to Clifford, Amy and Gretchen!) I can't say the bread was so hot, but the pastrami was actually pretty dang good. Good enough for us to look into how much it would cost to have some shipped to us. We liked the Barney Greengrass homemade Rugelach Pastry and the Charles Chocolates S'mores were pretty tasty.
THE GUY FIERI SHOW - I have no idea how his book signing went or any of his demonstrations during the day. I only know that as we started to leave the venue we heard loud music so we decided to go to the amphitheater to see what was going on. Guy was just coming out to do a food demonstration. He was like a rock star, the crowd was going wild, he was blaring Mas Tequila while he had the slushomatic going. He was putting on a great show and I think the crowd needed his enthusiasm at that point. Not sure about his cooking as we were a bit too tired and hungry to stay to watch.
There was never a line for the bathrooms. There was never a line to get micro-brew beer. There was never a problem getting a nice seat to listen to music (at least while we were there). A note on the parking...folks were upset because they had to pay to park in the back parking lot where it's hay and dirt and they had to walk a bit to the festival. I've been to many concerts at the Shoreline where I've had to park back there so it didn't bother me a bit.
I know, you think it sounds like a great time. Not exactly. Not even close. Because even though we met some great people and had some food, the day pretty much sucked. Mr. L was not a happy camper and has sworn to never go to an event like this again. We also are in line with probably 80% of the other folks that went to the festival to try to get our money back.
Tomorrow, The Negatives. It will not be pretty folks.