Arriving at 2:00PM, solidly in the middle of Harvest Festival running from 11-5, we were shown what happens when restaurants don’t believe that a festival will, in fact, be crowded.
Lots more pics after the jump…
Above is the sign that signaled we would not be having the Praline Bacon, Grayson Cheese & Sauteed Apple Panino from An American Place.
clockwise from upper left…
If you were in the mood for Chipotle Corn Chowder, Mediterranean Sandwich, Roasted Lamb, or Pumpkin Crumb Cakes from Gourmet Café you should have been earlier.
And unless you wanted Kick Ass Fries from Portabella, there was nothing to get as they flat ass ran out of their Meatball Sliders
Maybe Rooster’s locally raised bbq pulled pork over cornbread sounded good? Too bad, because it was all gone along with their Pumpkin Bread Pudding which I hear was great — I wouldn’t know. You could have had their Chocolate hazelnut apple but as you can see from the pic, nobody wanted one.
I’m not sure if Whole Foods had exactly what they said they would on the website, but if they did, again, too bad for you. I love the people walking by with that “oh gee, I wonder what they had?” look.
While you wouldn’t be having Tuscan Chicken Sandwich or Grilled Beef Tenderloin Kabobs at 1111, you could have a Harvest Pumpkin Roll or Shrimp and Corn Bisque — which could have been called Shrimp and Corn Nacho Cheese because that’s exactly what it tasted like.
Perhaps you were craving Homemade Potato Chips from Sqwires. That would have been a bummer because all they had was Roasted Red Pepper Crab Bisque that everyone consistently cruised on by.
Unshown is the fact that while you might have been hankering for a slice of Morning Glory Cake of Carrot, Apple and Coconut Cafe Provencal (which I believe they actually called Harvest Cake on their menu) it was tough luck for you if you wanted Beef Daube sandwich: Beef brasied in red wine served on harvest bun, or Apple Almond Tart: Almond cream with organic missourri apples, apricote glaze, or maybe a Rattatoulli Wrap: Provencal Vegtables, Olive Tapenade, and Goat cheese
Then there was Sage — the restaurant that almost could. Their booth was getting the bum rush when we approached because they astonisingly had all their food. While in line, however, they ran out of their BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich and Red Chili Colorado, but the Shanghai Steak and Noodle Salad was actually really fresh, well seasoned, and tastier than expected. You almost made it guys. Nice effort.
As annoying as all that was, we still had a great time thanks to people that were prepared like Steve Gontram and the Harvest crew.
They didn’t run out of their Berry-Barbequed Duck Cakes, Bellews Creek Farm Butternut Squash Soup with Star Anise Crema or Warmed Brioche Bread Pudding with Bourbon Currant Sauce. And my former boss took the time to show me some love after I dubbed him the unofficial “Hero of Harvest Fest.” They were well stocked to the point that I got a two-fer later in the day on the duck cakes, and they were well worth it.
Then there was the surprise hit: gyros from Prairie Grass Farms. They had plenty as they continued serving deep into the afternoon. Who new a farmer would outdo so many restaurants not just by having supplies, but also by serving something so delicous? They were nice and spicy, and although I like my gyro meat cut a little thinner, it’s not as if they had a whole rotisserie out there with them.
In the end we ran into a great mix of old friends, new friends (Slow Food and Sauce gangs), and strangers all enjoying a beautiful day in the country. With at least a few choices for good food and great beer flowing liberally at intoxicating sale prices (one for $4 or three for $10), I left a little tipsy, a lot happier for the conversations I’d had, and with a hope that next year the restaurants might come prepared.