So, I was always under the impression that a culinary festival would be some place for restaurants and chefs to promote their restaurants and special dishes by offering taste tests. Maybe not for free completely, but at least at a discounted rate, right?
After paying five dollars to get into the front tent I found out that you have to buy tickets for food that you get at the various other tents. I had a twenty on me and told the kid that I wanted five tickets. He said, "Are you sure you don't want twenty?"
Now I thought, why would I ever need twenty tickets? Thinking that maybe at a buck a sample, twenty samples could end up being a lot of food. Now I know why he said that.
Every tent that I walked up to, everything was in the 3 to 6 ticket range! After walking around for a while, I decided to hit the next booth I came to. It was a mexican place that gave you a choice of "Torta", "Taquitos", or "Carne Asada Tacos" for three tickets.
I ordered the tacos and saw the dude (luckily wearing gloves) grab a tortilla and scoop some meat into it with his hand!! Awesome! Tosses some chips on top - and let me tell you, eating a taco with unexpected tortilla chips inside isn't just fun, but it's dangerous too! I got about 4 ounces of guacamole for two tickets because you can't get your money back once you buy tickets.
I would have gone to the beer gardens but the line for each of them was about 50 people deep and not moving. That's where I was supposed to meet my friends. Instead, I left.
Anyhow, I ate the taco, which yes, even though the sign read "Tacos", in this case ment one. Thinking about it on my way back to Tempe, I paid about 10 bucks for a taco with guacamole. I could have gone to Tacos Del Mar and gotten twice the food for half the price and a soda! Where's the 'festive' part in all this?!
The only value that I found in going today was the two for one sonic burger coupon on the ticket stub...how sad!
So, if you are reading this and thinking of going to a food festival, don't waste your time or money. It's just an opportunity for some regular everyday restaurants to bump up their prices and sell the normal crap they always do.
Scottsdale Civic Center