Friday, August 31, 2012

Things I've Done: Dig IN A Taste of Indiana 2012

This used to hold Pulled Pork BBQ.
I’ve said before, that I love food, but I am one lousy “foodie.”
If I am given something that looks delicious, it is not my first instinct to pull out my phone and take a picture of it to post on Filtergram or The Twitter. No, it is my first instinct to take said deliciousness and insert it into my face, so it can rest happily in my belly. Presentation is lost on me. I like food with flavor, and a lot of it. Now, with that being understood…
Dig IN: A Taste of Indiana is held at White River State Park on 08/26/2012 and it offers up samples of local foods made with local ingredients, local brews, and local wines. It is a fine time of food and fellowship, especially due to the social media presence. However, try as I might, I wasn’t able to score a set of tickets to this event via contest means, and since I’m still very tight financially, that was the only way I was going to be able to go. Oh well, such is life, right?
Well, along comes awesome bald man @CS_Indy who knew that I really wanted tickets to the event. He had happened to win some tickets himself, and he said he wanted to give them to me. After initially protesting, then being threatened by being “blocked for life,” he put the tickets in my name in “Will Call” and told me I was heading over. So on Sunday, I hopped into the Cardis and drove down to White River State Park.
I pulled in around 11:30 and had a lot of fun finding parking for the event. I finally asked directions, and was pointed to the underground parking garage by the Eiteljorg. After paying my $5, which isn’t bad for event parking, in my opinion, I hiked out of the garage and over to the event, which wasn’t really THAT far, but walking up a ramp heading out of a parking garage is a bit of a workout.
Arriving at the event, I found out that what we thought were standard passes were actually VIP Passes, which got you in at 11AM instead of the 12PM start time for the masses. Well, I grabbed my pass, took a look at the map/menu, and made a bee line to the item that I had been craving and desiring the most, before the crowds got there.

I need to learn how to take better photos, and to take them before I go "FOOD!" and dig in.
That’s right, it’s a slow cooked Bison Taco, filled with Indiana Pico, and a Goat Cheese Slaw, courtesy of J. Fords Steakhouse out of Terre Haute, IN. As you can tell, instinct kicked in as the taco has a big bite out of it before I took a picture.
Now, honestly, almost everything was a blur. That, right there, was my high point. It was what I was fixated on during my entire quest to attend this, and it was consumed well before the public even got there. Plus, I started out taking some photos and notes, and then I started running into friends, and my brain just went bye bye.
Walking Taco
Yeah, I’m just shy of 200 posts, and I still need to get the hang of this whole “blogging about events” thing and “people like pictures” thing. Sorry.
So anyway, after this, I do believe I grabbed a “Walking Taco” from Goose the Market/Smoking Goose. This was a taco in a bag that you got to assemble yourself, choosing your own toppings and salsa and the like. Then, when you were finished, there was a pork rind in the bottom. I don’t know why, but that’s what everyone was talking about. Me, I just thought, “Oh, a pork rind. Cool.” CRUNCH. Anyway, it was tasty, but the bag was falling apart before I had the chance to finish it, so I couldn’t enjoy the whole thing. Everybody else was raving about it, however, and the line quickly swelled to Disneyland-like proportions soon after the event opened. Goes to show what I know about food, right?
To complete what I like to call my “Taco Trilogy,” I also hit the Joseph Decuis booth for what they called a “Wagyu Tongue & Cheek Taco.” This was a VERY close second to my holy grail of the Bison Taco, with fresh jalapeno, a flavorful sauce, and… well, it was gone before I even though about getting my phone to grab a photo, or taking notes about it.
Other things that I consumed too quickly to get a photo of:
·         Gourmet Cookies from Just Rennie’s. Large, thick cookies that were actually very light, and not heavy at all. Delicious, but I always question the wisdom of including Oatmeal Raisin as an option when there is Chocolate Chunk available.
·         Chilled Peach Soup with Smoked Duck Salad from R Bistro. This is one of those items where I didn’t think about it, I just tried it. I’ve never had duck, and if I really thought about it, that combo with peach soup just wouldn’t sound that appetizing. However, luckily I didn’t think about it, so I tried it and I enjoyed it! Go me, and go R Bistro!
·         Strawberry and Banana Soup from Second Helpings, complete with a bit of cookie. Very cool, very light, it was a breath of fresh air in the heavy, almost oppressive heat of the day.
·         Great Organic Garden Gazpacho from Traders Point Creamery. Something else I’ve never tried before. So, is gazpacho like a very smooth salsa without the bite? That what I got from it. I liked it!
·         Fermented Garden Kraut from Fermenti Artisan. Sadly, this did not sit well with me. I just was not able to stomach it. Just my personal preference, though. No fault of the chef!
With the heat, this was
the best beverage I had.
Another awesome thing was the alcohol. I tried beers from Mad Anthony Brewery (Summer Day Wheat I enjoyed, their lager just wasn’t my style) and the Flat Jack Pumpkin Ale from Flat 12 (I need this. Seriously. I need more of this in my life.) Oh, and the Indiana Wineries? I tried something from them all, and I was happy with what I had, although I was travelling with a crew that actually knew about wine, and I’m standing there, clutching my little tasting glass like a sippy cup, looking clueless and going “SO WHAT IS SWEET AND FRUITY AND DOESN’T TASTE LIKE GRAPES?”
For the record, it was often Blackberry. I like blackberry.
Finally, there was also the Social Media component, and the swag. There was a Tweet Up at 2:30PM, but I was also running into people well before then. I ran into Twinkle VanWinkle, Slick LaRoo, Robby Slaughter, Kathy Slaughter, Sara Croft, and Ed Trauma all before the place got too packed. Then, during the Tweet Up, I saw them all again, along with Ryan Puckett, Amber Recker, and others folks who, sadly, I did not catch the name of.
Pint glass, wine tasting glass, VIP Pass, on top of a T-Shirt.
After picking up some swag for myself, plus a Free T-Shirt for my most excellent provider of the tickets, I meandered off by myself. At this point, it was blessed hot, I’d been standing in direct sunlight since 11:30AM so I was getting VERY toasty, and it was packed. I mean, seriously sold out, tents shutting down because they were running out of food, packed. At this point, I wandered over to the cool tent, grabbed a bottle of water, then did a quick pass through the Artisan Section where I grabbed a Lemonade Marshmallow from 240 Sweet (Yum!) before heading out.
However, on the way out, I did remember to grab one last photo:
I sure will. However, I will make sure to have sunscreen, a VIP Pass, a plan, and I’ll remember to take more pictures.
Before I go, I will leave you with this little video. It was taken by Twitter Friend Slick LaRoo for an AWESOME local blog she reports for called DoItIndy. If you don’t read this, do so. They love the city, and it shows, letting you know all the events happening inside 465, and encouraging you to #BeUrban.

Seriously, visit their blog. They let me use this video, return the favor!

See you all next week! Have a safe weekend!

1 comment:

  1. I got to go last year and it was AWESOME. Unfortunately, it will be a tough sell for me since it now coincides with another big annual event I am involved in and I can't take that much time away from my family... but maybe I can do an every-other-year thing...