Sunday, December 15, 2013

2013 Midtown Village Festival Review

This is part of a series of posts related to Chef Marcie Turney including: VerdeLolitathe Midtown Village FestivalJamoneraLittle Nonna's, and Barbuzzo.

This post may be a bit late, but with the colder weather coming on through to Philly, one can't help but reminisce about the warm weather we had this past Fall. This year's Midtown Village Festival afforded everyone the ability to bask in perfect weather while indulging in a variety of great fare, listening to various bands, and perusing the craft stalls as well.

Even men on stilts were out to play! 

The GF discovered these cute resin earrings for only $15 - crafted by Adorned by Aisha in Haddonfield, NJ.

Interested in adopting a pet pig? The MVF had that as well!

Or perhaps it's simply best to let your kids pet the cute porcine devils and then simply walk away.

I had to tear the GF away from Operation Ava though. What a cute pup! 

But let's move on to the food - of which there was a glut of stalls offering all sorts of goodies. 

Barbuzzo Retaurant

It's a safe bet to say that 13th street offers the best lineup of culinary goodies. So let's start with Barbuzzo, one of Chef Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran's restaurants. The power couple simply dominate Restaurant Row and with good reason. 

Salted Caramel Budino Pops [$5]

Barbuzzo is the site of one of the GF and my first dates. Since then, we've been back several times and always get the salted caramel budino. So to finally get a taste of the budino pops was a real treat! The creamy caramel and pudding was encased by made-to-order chocolate outer shell. Occasional bits of sea salt encrusted the outside of the pop and provided that sweet and salty element that makes the dessert so great. 

Pork Shoulder Porchetta [$8]
Provolone, broccoli rabe

I also had to try Barbuzzo's porchetta, which came with crisp bits of pork interspersed with juicy chunks as well. The creamy cheese sauce provided even more richness, with the bitter broccoli rabe providing a nice countervailing element.

Over at Opa's tent, the grill was brimming with meat and beer on tap! 

Chicken Gyro [$5]

I went with the chicken gyro, which was well-marinated with yogurt and came dressed with creamy tzatziki and bitter arugula. I really do need to stop on by one day and try Opa's offerings.

Jake's Sandwich Board had a tent, offering chocolate covered bacon and their 50/50 pork sandwich, complete with pig's head display! 

Nice to see Yelp on hand as well!

Hey, even R2D2 had to stop by the Festival! 

From there, we moved on south to Smokin' Betty's booth.

We all know I can't help but order the Betty Burger every single time I go to Smokin' Betty's.

Pulled Pork Sandwich [$7]

And this time around, one of our friends got their pulled pork sandwich, which was apparently very good. Not surprising because their kitchen does turn out some great dishes.

Minar Indian Restaurant

The GF had the itch for some Indian cuisine, so we stopped by Minar's tent.   

Veggie Biryani [$5]

The veggie biryani was creamy, redolent with curry spice. Hints of heat hit the back of the throat amidst the bevy of potatoes, carrots, and peas.

Mini Scorpion Bowl

To be clear, drinks were on hand throughout the festival. Sampan's Graffiti Bar offered up mini scorpion bowls for your drinking pleasure. 

El Rey Restaurant

We also stopped by El Vez , where delicious guacamole and grilled corn adorned with chipotle mayo and queso were offered.

Jamonera Restaurant 

Lastly, and perhaps appropriately, we stopped by Jamonera where Chef Marcie Turney was holding court, just like last year.

Papas Fritas [$5]

We ended our Midtown Festival feast with the papas fritas, something we always enjoy. Crunchy nuggets of potatoes layered with crema and spice offer a great salty bite.

So be sure to mark your calendars for the fall of 2014 where great eats and fun are sure to be had.

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