1. The Culinary Village has a very user-friendly layout. Clear walkways, rows of food booths, plenty of tables, easy access to the tents where the demos are staged. This is a clear win for the designer.
2. Blue Ribbon’s famous fried chicken. In this case, in wing form. The matzo-meal crust. The kick of cayenne and paprika. The wasabi honey (I only tasted the latter). Were they good? Yes. But five for $10? That’s $2 a wing. They might as well call them “Wings for the 1%”.
3. From Lavo: pumpkin spice gnocchi with truffle butter and sage sauce. Was it good? Irrelevant (yes, they were). Because nothing says rock ’n’ roll festival like pumpkin spiced gnocchi with truffle butter and sage sauce.
4. Downtown Project food swami Sonny Ahuja told me if there was one bite I had to have it was DOCG’s porchetta sandwich with broccoli rabe pesto. Was it good? Bordering on very good, and for $6, this one was a steal.
5. One dish I did not partake in was the “edible” offered to me. Are pot brownies still cool? I’m not so sure. What was cool was the dude’s falling whistle, which he blew out of respect for the bands he liked but also as a symbol of hopeful peace in the Congo.