Yesterday Jay and I went with two of our friends to the Philadelphia Festival of Food, Wine, and Spirits. I found the event on Groupon and snagged a deal that got us each in for $25, half the normal ticket price. The festival was located at the Valley Forge Casino, just outside of Philadelphia and our session was from 11am – 3pm, so we arrived just before 11. The event was held on the bottom level of the casino, in a large open area that was sectioned off by different booths. The amount of vendors was astonishing! I originally thought we would taste/drink everything and be ready to leave before the four hours were up, but we stayed the entire time and didn’t even see all the offerings!
When we arrived, we received a wristband (although surprisingly they didn’t ID us…I guess we’re getting old!) and a stemless wine glass with the festival name etched on the side. We used the glass for tastings at most of the wine booths.
The event featured a pretty even mix between food and wine/spirits stands. The guys were especially thrilled with the inclusion of a few whiskey/bourbon booths.
One area was devoted to wine samples and included a decent mix of local and international wines, with each booth offering 3-5 different varieties to taste. Let’s just say the portions were generous too!
Now for my favorite part: the food! The only slightly disappointing aspect was the lack of desserts, but the wide variety of savory options certainly made up for this. I took a couple (terrible) pictures of some of the bites we tried, but we also sampled pork bbq, mini chicken pot pies, pumpkin soup, cheesesteak soup, balsamic and olive oils, and a fried fish sandwich (yes, I ate fish!) to name a few.
One of the first things we noticed was a crab mac and cheese and it was just as tasty as it sounded. I wish we had time to go back for seconds of this.
Uno Pizza had a stand with shrimp & crab dip, pizza, and brownies and chocolate chip cookies. For a chain restaurant, the food was decent (and at least they had dessert!).
Two specialty items prepared by one of the featured chefs were a Chinese sausage stew with a rice cracker and an amuse-bouche type bite of radish, avocado, cabbage, and cranberries. They were “fancier” than some of the other things we tried, but pretty good nonetheless.
The show also offered live cooking demonstrations throughout the day at a side stage. On stage when we walked by was a personal chef for Bon Jovi! I forget his name though…
After four hours of eating and drinking our way through the festival, we went into downtown Philly. We stopped at Reading Terminal Market and then ventured to Mac’s Tavern (one of Jay and I’s favorite bars in Old City) for dinner.
The sandwiches and fries were as delicious as usual! After dinner, with an obnoxious amount of food in our stomachs, we drove back home after a long but delicous day.