If you attend a food festival and you're not wearing elastic pants or a dress, you're not doing it right. The ultimate goal of any food festival that I attend is to eat until I "hate" myself. You know the feeling; stuffed to the core, sweating and ready for a nap. Unfortunately for all of us in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, these type of events are hard to come by. We've got plenty of large events that just happen to have food vendors...but its not the same. I'm personally looking for a one stop shop, an event where I can sample endless amounts of food and maybe even drinks if I'm lucky.
Last year, in the midst of my 60 pound weight loss, I stumbled upon the COVA Best of Party. COVA = Coastal Virginia Magazine, and every year we vote on what business we consider to be the Best in their respective category (Insert Restaurant, Salon, Any Random Business Here). The Winners participate in the Best of Party, and although its not a food festival it can easily be considered one by the amount of food samples available.
Last year I went for the first time with my friend and fellow blogger, Ellie and I was happily overwhelmed by the variety and amount of food available.
Our first stop was Pierces Pitt BBQ who was serving up Pulled Chicken, Pork and Baked Beans. The sauce was slightly sweet with a nice vinegar finish.
The second stop was Confetti, located in Virginia Beach Town Center who was serving up their delicious gelato. My personal favorite was the Belgian Chocolate.
The third stop, and a personal throwback to my high school days was Freemason Abbey. The last time I went there was in 2007 for dinner before my high school prom. They were serving Brandy Apricot Bread Pudding and She Crab Soup. Although it was 90 degrees outside, it was nice to get a bit of comfort food to make me feel toasty post Gelato.
Time for a drink break! Smartmouth Brewery in Norfolk was there passing out samples of their beer. While I'm normally a stout and porter girl, their options were pleasing to the palette.
Now back to the food. While I enjoyed all the restaurants there, two places that I had more than my fare share of samples from where Twisted Sisters Cupcakes and Oysters. Instead of thinking about the amount of calories I was eating, I asked myself, how do I balance off the salty flavor of freshly shucked oysters, with a cupcake (or two...or three) of course!
While I only featured a handful of places here, there were close to 30 restaurants there, and this years Best Of Party looks to be even better and bigger than the last. A few of the places that will be there are Vino Italian Bistro, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Baladi Mediterranean Cafe, Rajput Indian Cuisine and Sweetwater Cuisine.
Are you planning on going, if so get your tickets at their website here, and let me know that you're going. The event is next Thursday at the Half Moone Cruise & Celebration Center in Downtown Norfolk, I hope to see you there!