Sunday, July 17, 2011

Taste of Tremont

Bright orange signs were tacked along Professor Avenue on Friday. By police order, the streets would need to be cleared out from 04:00 through midnight Sunday (today) for the Taste of Tremont, a neighborhood festival that celebrates its restaurants, businesses, and organizations bringing 15-20,000 visitors to this street from noon until 8:00 p.m.

As we walked along Professor Avenue, a Kufner tow truck had a car in tow. I'm sure it was a busy morning for him. It wasn't the last time I saw him towing a car. *cash register sound*

365-36 PreTaste
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For the past few years, I've wanted to try the basil lemonade at Lolita. Each time, I didn't want to wait in the long line (5-10 minute wait) to get it. Last year, around an hour before closing, I noticed there was no line so I stopped by. They were sold out.

This year, I was determined to try that basil lemonade. At 12:15, we made a bee-line to their tent. When we arrived, the sign read:

mac and cheese $5
mint lemonade $2

Heh. We happened to be standing in line and it was going quickly, so I ordered the lemonade. The creamy goat cheese ziti looked interesting, but pasta and cheese are just not my thing especially with so many potential choices.

The lemonade was minty, but not to the point of being bitter or grassy, and it wasn't as sweet as I expected (good). I would definitely order this if the basil lemonade wasn't available.

Not every stand was ready, even 30 minutes after the announced starting time. A couple of tents were still being fiddled with or display tables were being arranged.

Fat Cats' shrimp roll had not arrived yet when we went up to order. With so many choices, I didn't feel the need to stick around for 10-15 minutes and wandered from stall to stall looking for something else to catch my eye that was ready.

At the Ty Fun tent, kai ka prow ($6.00), beef panang ($6.00), vegetarian pad thai ($5.00), and pork spring rolls ($3.00) were offered.

"Spicy" caught my eye, so I ordered kai ka prow -- spicy slices of chicken breast, Thai basil, carrots, beans, peppers, and onions. Thai basil has such a wonderful aroma and flavor. After I ate through the top, I discovered the container came with jasmine rice. I would order this if I didn't have to choose between mango curry, massaman, or green curry. :)

365-36 Ty Fun Kai Ka Prow
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We have only eaten at Ty Fun a couple of times when they first opened their doors. We had a lovely time. The food was delicious, service was impeccable, and the prices were reasonable. The space is beautiful in its black and white simplicity, and very clean. They run a tight ship.

However, we have our favorite Thai restaurant, Bangkok Thai Cuisine, a 30 minute drive further away, that offers all of the above for slightly cheaper and a more relaxed atmosphere. While I adore black, grey, and white living rooms, I'm a sucker for rich, spicy-hued spaces when it comes to restaurants.

365-36 Ty Fun Spring Rolls
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Some of the restaurant tents were poorly executed. A couple of places had nice menu boards set on the ground leaning against their front table, so it was impossible to decipher the slivers of information between everyone's legs. Handwritten paper signs taped to the front, while not as aesthetically pleasing, showed some semblance of business common sense.

South Side stood out in this regard, since I would have expected better as this was not their foray at the festival. I didn't feel it was worth the aggravation to push people aside to read what they had to offer or stand in line to find out what they were selling, so we walked by. With the size of the crowd, I'm sure they didn't miss our patronage.

365-36 Taste Afternoon
Day 036/365

This was likely a very successful event for most by the sheer number of people. Reading about nightmare food festivals around the country where people have to wait 30+ minutes in lines or food running out just a few hours in; nitpicking aside, this event is well run in comparison.

- Cassaendra

0 deep thoughts:

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