Tag Archives: food festival

Burger Me

31 Aug

I’ve heard people say that they wouldn’t want to live out in the country. “Nothing to do,” they moan. And yet, time and again, its out to some small town where the exciting food festival action is happening. Not the big city, fancy festivals that are the rage for hipsters. I’m talking about the real people, real food, in your face festivals. Like the one I went to today…The 10th Annual Hamburger Festival in Hamburg, Pa. (where else?)


Crowds of burger fans flocked the streets…


Showing their allegiance to this great cuisine, from their apparel…


To their license plates…


This is a crowd that LOVES burgers.

When you see a sign like this, you know its going to be good….


And when you see a senior citizen going for it, you know this is more than you’re average festival. Go granny go…


We weren’t so courageous at the Smokey Bear BBQ stall, and opted for the less gastronomically challenging Grizzly…


The eyes of man overcome with burger lust… the Grizzly combines burger and brisket topped with BBQ sauce on a bun.

As for me, I was enticed by The Luther from Deitsch Eck’s stall. There was a long line but, like the top ride at the amusement park, it was worth the wait. Come to me you naughty bacon cheeseburger sitting provocatively on a glazed donut…


So many stalls, so many choices. Some of the others that I wanted to sample but was too full to do so…





But as full as I was, when I saw these sweet angels, I couldn’t say no. Want it…


Got it. Burger cupcake all for me…


And cute gets cuter. Need this too…


And when you weren’t eating you could watch others eat. The Hamburger Eating Competition was mobbed. Like the lions and the Christians back in Roman times, there’s something both sadistic and appealing watching grown men suffer…


(In 3rd place, The Hungry Hunks)

First place went to the Rednecks…


Pushing it in for the Hamburgerlars team…


But unfortunately a team member blew (the one on the right) and they lost. But the faces of the crowd are a treat…


This was the first time that happened at the Hamburger Festival in their 10 years. History in the making, and I was there to see it.

After that, somehow we couldn’t eat any more.  And so we let departed, letting the festival vanish behind us, like a mythical land enveloped in a fog of grill smoke. Until next year….



Best of the Wurst

22 Jul


(Blue buns?!?!?! Don’t let a hippie make your Wurst Fest sign.)


The Poconos Wurst Festival At Shawnee Mountain Ski Resort

So I went there thinking….What’s the wurst that could happen?

The jokes started in the parking lot with the family walking in front.  You knew they would. You knew you would.

The worst was not trusting this man when he said that his “Rapture” hot sauce was the hottest…


(that’s the sauce right there in the front. The one that says “Deadly” on the front and a guy fighting off ill-tempered scorpions). This one right here….


(picture from and many thanks to Torchbearer Sauces,  http://www.torchbearersauces.com)

Many hot sauces will say how insanely hot they would like you to think they are. This one is insanely hot. Not at first. You’re able to get out a few sentences of how it wasn’t really that hot, and you’ve had hotter and blah blah blah until you’re mouth catches like a tinderbox, doused in gasoline, under a heat lamp, on a flaming grill with fifty blow-torches blowing at full force inside a raging forest fire. And then you’ve got to stick your wise-ass, flaming hot tongue in the nearest water ice…


Little Jimmy had a prime spot right across from the hot sauce tent. He was all too happy to assist the foolhardy in alleviating their misery. Thank you Saint Jimmy of the Watermelon Ice!

So not off to a great start.

But what makes everything better?


Like Kiffles from BabaNonnna…


My totally amateur, kiffles for beginners explanation… a sweet filling wrapped in pastry and dusted with powdered sugar. From the more traditional apricot and walnut fillings, to chocolate peanut butter and, my favorite, chocolate coconut. (I managed to snap up one of the last two…day getting brighter….)


A plethora of pierogies with a rainbow of filling flavors. There were  the savory fillings like cheese and potato, and sauerkraut. And sweet fillings; plum, blueberry, and strawberry.  Or have both with sweet kraut…


(from Bratek Deli, Garfield, NJ)

And then onto the wurst.  The “must have” of any wurst festival. And I chose the Bauernwurst (pork and beef seasoned with mustard seeds)…


With more mustard and, of course, kraut. (from The Alpine Wurst and Meat Haus, Honesdale, PA)

Food accomplished, on with the fun.

Starting with the “hard-core”-dion of the Chardon Polka Band


(There’s plenty to like about polka.)

This is the kind of polka band that polka was invented for. No, actually this is the kind of band that has re-invented polka and made it their own. Taken polka, got it drunk and made out with it in a dark corner. Left it breathless and wanting more.  The Chardon Polka Band had young and old up and dancing with their lively music and engaging style.



And if that weren’t enough fun, there was the dancing competition….


Dieter wins the crowd and the prize with his flowing locks, stylish hosen and slick moves.

And the Beer Stein Olympics…


Careful with that!!!


Getting sloshed for fun and prizes.

And finally the Hot Dog Pig Races…


What could be cuter than little pig? Nothing…


Run pigs! Run!

Food, beer and fun went on and on like a buffet of happiness…


If that’s the wurst….. oh, I just can’t finish this….

Night Market, West Oak Lane

21 Jun

The night before the first day of summer. A magical time.  Something is in the air. The smell of pizza…

…. and fried chicken, empanadas, plantains, cupcakes, ice cream, sweet potato pie andKoagies (Korean hoagies). For this one heavenly night,  food trucks converged on Ogontz Ave in West Oak Lane, Philadelphia. They lined both sides of the street for three city blocks. The weather was perfect as families, friends and amorous couples strolled happily along.  Let the joys of summer begin…

Roasted corn…


A tropical drink…


Something sweet for dessert…


(Little Jimmie’s Bakery)

Dancing in the street….


As the band played on…


A night to remember…


As the sun set on West Oak Lane…


Food, music and love. What more could anyone want?

In a Pickle

11 May

A rainy drive into the heart of Pennsylvania, past farms and barns, silos and antiques stores…


To the little town of Dillsburg….


An appropriately named place for a Pickle Festival.


As you would expect there were plenty of pickles to be had. A wide variety from Peter Piper’s PA Pickles ranging from the mild Bread and Butter pickles to Garlic XXX Hot …


Peter Piper is packing a pint of pickles

And also Pickle cookies….


No pickle flavor but pickle shaped sugar cookies liberally coated with green sprinkles.

And the surprisingly good Pickle Soup. The young lady serving the soup told us it was much better than we would think. She was right. (similar to chicken and vegetable soup with an added pickley bonus)…


And one very happy pickle…


The highlight of the festival was the Pickle Eating Competition, sponsored by local pickle makers, Dickie’s Dills….


I entered along with 11 other adults. 15 large spears were on each plate. I was not concerned about the $100 prize but desperately wanted the Pickle Eating Gold Medal. I started out strong. But eating pickles is no walk in the park. The teen to my right finished one, her face curled against the vinegar, her friends cheering her on. But she realized it was hopeless for her. She slowed her pace, taking the occasional small bite. I had a pickle in both hand, determined I was going to forgo chewing and simply swallowing. By my body wouldn’t let me. I chewed. I took time to wipe the vinegar dripping down my chin. But I pressed on. Until the man next to me snapped into action in the last minute, pushing pickles into his mouth.  He ate 10.5. I ate a pathetic 4.5 spears.

A few minutes later, the next group of adults started.  They learned from our failure and forged ahead, eating more, eating faster.  One man knelt down by his plate and ate without stopping. Pickle after pickle he was going for gold. After the 10th pickle his hands started shaking but he never slowed down. He had won this competition 8 times before and would win it again. While receiving his prize he explained he had been a Marine and while in service you ate what you had as quickly as you could, or you may not get a chance to finish it.

A pickle champion in action…


After the adults, the kids had their turn. These brave young ladies pushed on through the pickle and vinegar overload….


But win or lose it was a pickle party for all. Dance Pickle, dance!!!!