WIAW: The Food Festival

Hey everyone and welcome to What I Ate Wednesday. This week’s post is going to be a bit different from my past posts. Be prepared for massive amounts of food, spontaneous mouth watering, and immense jealousy.

Peas and Crayons


Sunday, Nolan and I had one of the most fun and filling days we had had in a long time! The Phantom Gourmet Food Festival. In case you don’t read SLF every day, Nolan and I are obsessed with the Phantom Gourmet. The Phantom is a cable show ran by the Andelman brothers here in New England where local eateries are interviewed and rated. Nolan and I have discovered countless new restaurants and recipes over the years with the help of the Phantom.

They host several food events throughout the year which we typically attend. Last year alone we attended the food fest, wine fest, and the hot dog safari. I even got to meet one of the hosts in April. I was star struck if you couldn’t tell.


All the events are fun but none compare to the Food Festival. NONE! The festival houses 100 local eateries who bring their A game and provide everyone with free samples of one signature item on their menu. It’s incredible because it gives the fans an opportunity to sample foods from all the recommended restaurants. With some being expensive and far away, it’s an opportunity we would never pass up!

The restaurants set up stands up and down Lansdowne and Ipswich street in Boston, around Fenway Park so the environment is incredibly fun. All the bars on the streets open up for the event and bring the festival to a whole new level.

Nolan and I got our tickets far in advance so the tickets were just $30 each. Once you are in, you can eat as much as you want for 4hrs, which we always take as a personal challenge. Like I said, it’s incredible!  Last year Nolan and I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and we brought our C game. We filled up on chips and beer and ended up being too full to enjoy some of the signature items on the menu. Not this year. This year we had a plan. Ready to hear it?

  • Go straight to Ipswich street. It has the best venders, and there are no lines since the only entrance is on Lansdowne.
  • NO beer! It takes up too much stomach space.
  • Be selective. No chips and dip and things we can easily make at home during round 1.
  • Limit bread. Eat sandwiches open faced and remove hot dog buns.
  • Double team. Stand in separate lines and grab 2 of everything. Twice the food in half the time.

As you can see, we take our eating very seriously! It truly is our passion. Besides eating as much as I could, my mission was to get on tv, so I made sure to dress to impress.

I went decked out in my purple-dyed wedding veil and a sign announcing our upcoming wedding. I received sooo many complements and “congratulations” and I sure hope the camera men paid attention. 🙂

Before we left, I almost had a heart attack when I was looking at our tickets.

The tickets said the event was Saturday the 29th! After some frantic Googling, I decided it was just a misprint. Thank goodness.

When we arrived at 12:15, the place was already PACKED! Even with all the rain coming down, the Phantom has some fierce followers.

Luckily with my veil and Nolan’s insane height, we were always able to locate each other easily. We followed the plan and immediately ran to Ipswich to start eating! It certainly proved to be a pro maneuver.

Please do not judge me because of what I’m about to show you.


Row 1: Harrows Chicken Pie, All Star bbq chicken salad, Windy City hot dog. Row 2: Carl’s steak and cheese sub, Cabby Shack clam chowder, Firefly’s ribs. Row 3:  Cheese Boy grilled cheese, King’s pulled pork, Angelina’s pumpkin bread.


Row 1: Willow Tree chicken salad, McGuiggan’s Shepard’s pie, Jacob Wirth beer battered mozzarella sticks. Row 2: Spike’s Junkyard Dogs hot dog, Summer Shack’s clams, and Cake’s By Erin Vodka and Red Bull cupcake. Row 3: Dunn Gaherin’s Meatloaf, Kowloon’s Saugus wings, and Mezcal guacamole.

Round 3:

Column 1: Wicked Kickin’ cheesecakes, Emma’s Pub, buffalo chicken dip, Planet Marshmallow marshmallows. Column 2: Teresa’s meatballs, Joe Fish’s firecracker shrimp. Column 3: The Chicken Connection chicken fingers, Grillo’s pickles.

We rested in between rounds and even watched some of the Pats game on their big screen tv’s!

Ok I broke a rule and got 1 beer! Talk about the perfect tailgating spot. I didn’t even mind the rain.

Nolan even made a new friend!

At the end of the festival, we ducked into The Bleacher Bar to dry off and to watch the rest of the Pats game. Talk about a perfect place to watch a Boston sporting event. And we even pulled off a win! No thanks to Gostkowski…

On the ride home Nolan and I did some reflecting on today’s massive eats and we gave out a few awards for the day:

Best Dip: Emma’s Pub buffalo chicken dip.

This stuff was rich and creamy with huge chunks of chicken in it. It had a kick but it wasn’t too spicy.

Best seafood goes to The Cabby Shack’s clam chowder.

I could have sat and eaten this all day long. It’s thick, chunky, and has a perfect clam/potato ratio. Perfect meal for a cold rainy afternoon.

Best sandwich goes to King’s pulled pork slider.

This was a VERY hard decision. Carl’s subs is actually one of Nolan’s favorite restaurants, but this pulled pork was out of this world today. The meat was tender and the sauce was to die for.

Best meat dish goes to Windy City’s hot dogs.

I don’t know what it is about a good hot dog that gets me so pumped but this dog was immaculate. It was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. And those toppings? Who doesn’t want their hot dog hopped with a pickle?! Such a great combo. I was very close to grabbing another one. 🙂

Most unique dish goes to Wicken Kickin’ cheesecakes.

This may not look like much but this stuff is DELICIOUS! It’s a cheesecake made of cheese! The best way I can describe them is that they are in between a quiche and a dip. It’s got an eggy consistency with chunks of mix ins. This particular kind was clam and bacon and it was out of this world good.

Best presentation goes to Joe Fish’s firecracker shrimp shots.

Two shrimp in a house-made cocktail sauce served in a shot glass. Delicious and very fun to eat.

Top 5 best dishes:

  • Harrows Chicken Pie
  • Wicked Kickin’ cheesecakes.
  • Kowloon’s Saugus wings
  • King’s pulled pork slider
  • Windy City’s hot dog

I will also honorably mention Cabby Shack’s chowder, and Cheese Boy’s grilled cheese.

I will also go ahead and fill you in on the top 5 most anti-climactic dishes of the day.

  • Teresa’s meatballs – Too much basil, not enough juiciness
  • The Chicken Connection’s chicken fingers- Dry and needed a dipping sauce
  • Mezcal’s guacamole –Nolan’s guac is much better
  • McGuiggan’s Shepard’s pie-bland
  • Dunn Gaherin’s Meatloaf-gross. It was soggy and the sauce was way too salty.

To be honest, after this day I didn’t think I would ever eat again. I probably shouldn’t if I want to fit into my wedding dress on Saturday. Cross your fingers. 🙂



What would your favorite dish have been and why?

Least favorite?


9 thoughts on “WIAW: The Food Festival

  1. Just out of curiousity’s sake, are all of those pictures what you two ate combined? Or just you? No judging, just wondering! We’ve all had our fare share of indulgent days. And totally worth it, I might add! 🙂 Looks like ya’ll had a super fun time.

  2. Pingback: Goodbye 12, Hello 13! |

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s