MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus:         Newsletters 
Monday, December 29, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 20.0° F  Overcast
Collapse Photo Bar

Isthmus Food Cart Fest

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?

Re: Isthmus Food Cart Fest

Postby msnflyer » Sat May 26, 2012 7:42 pm

Right Bower wrote:Yeah, the Big Eddy IIPA was a hit. And gone quickly. I got one.


Back in the old days it was rumored that Big Eddy was a palomino. Just sayin'.
msnflyer
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 392
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 9:22 am

Re: Isthmus Food Cart Fest

Postby kimm » Thu May 02, 2013 3:52 pm

Anyone know how many tickets were sold this year? Trying to figure out how to compare to last year's reports on the crowd.
kimm
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:05 am

Re: Isthmus Food Cart Fest

Postby jjoyce » Thu May 02, 2013 5:39 pm

750

More people, more carts.
jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Isthmus Food Cart Fest

Postby fennel » Thu May 02, 2013 8:25 pm

jjoyce wrote:750
More people, more carts.
Does that imply a more reasonable cost of admittance? As I remember, it was previously way north of $12, which would be a pricey lunch for most people.
fennel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3246
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Inside the Green Zone, Madison

Re: Isthmus Food Cart Fest

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu May 02, 2013 10:49 pm

fennel wrote:
jjoyce wrote:750
More people, more carts.

Does that imply a more reasonable cost of admittance? As I remember, it was previously way north of $12, which would be a pricey lunch for most people.

The price last year was, in my opinion and the opinions of friends who were also in attendance, extraordinarily reasonable considering the volume of food to which attendees had access. Also, this isn't lunch.
TheBookPolice
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8413
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: The mystical Far East

Re: Isthmus Food Cart Fest

Postby jjoyce » Fri May 03, 2013 2:02 pm

Tickets were $17. Some think that's a little pricey, but lots of others don't. The event has sold out.
jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Isthmus Food Cart Fest

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri May 03, 2013 2:17 pm

You can put me down in the "extremely reasonably priced" column.
I went out of my way to try as many different things as possible and ran out of time and belly space before getting to everything. I call that a bargain. Looking forward to this year's.
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 9048
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: Isthmus Food Cart Fest

Postby kimm » Fri May 03, 2013 4:09 pm

I was worried tickets sales might have doubled, so happy with the 750, and more carts.

I think the price is really reasonable and have no complaints about that. There's a difference between affordable and reasonable. Something can be reasonably priced (which I seriously think this is, for the amount of food available, event production, and convenience), but not be affordable for everyone. Trying to make an event affordable for everyone has put many events out of business.
kimm
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:05 am

Re: Isthmus Food Cart Fest

Postby kimm » Mon May 13, 2013 9:38 am

Had a good time, despite the cold, dreary weather.

We only skipped two carts...unfortunately one was BJ's Kolaches. They had the longest lines and it wasn't moving fast, and by then, we weren't so hungry.

Standouts for me:

Caracas Empanadas: Both offerings were superb. So craving another plaintain empanada. Sorry I never got around to voting Best of Fest, because they had my vote.

Taquitos Miramar: Really flavorful, though a friend's tamale was visibly a little soft. My filling was nicely pillowy. Great spice level.

Soho (which apparently won Best of Fest): Great dumplings and really nice people. The traditional pork one was a little boring, but others were great, especially the chicken.

Other notes:
-Blowin' Smoke's servings were a little small to feel like I could adequately judge.

-Slide's meatball slider was really good, but didn't love my hubby's buffalo chicken. I'd go back to keep trying their stuff. The chips were perfection.

-Surco was closed by the time I got around to that section...or were they ever open? I frequent their cart and LOVE it, so it was fine to miss them at the fest.

-The vegan BLT at Ladonia was pretty good. I'm not a vegetarian, so always prefer real bacon, but I could see it having massive appeal to someone skipping the meat. Bread was really good.

-Fried and Fabulous was fun. Probably not something I'd seek out, but fun to try.

-I was sad that THAI-riffic didn't have pad thai by the time I got there. I was looking forward to that.

ETA: I can't imagine selling more tickets and still being able to enjoy the event/have it worth the money. We arrived at 4:30 and by 5:00 lines were 15-25 people deep at 75% of the carts (the exceptions being some of the juice carts and the vegan cart). Didn't sit down once.
kimm
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:05 am

Re: Isthmus Food Cart Fest

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon May 13, 2013 9:57 am

I had a fantastic time as well.
And I second the plantain empanada as Best of Fest.

Yes, there were some long, slow-moving lines, but there was plenty of time to sample everything. I only skipped a handful of carts (didn't want a shot of smoothie and have no interest in deep-fried sweets) and I never went back to one I'd already visited. By 7:00 I was totally full and it was time to go. (OK, I was totally full by 6:00, but wasn't about to give up that early.)

The smoked sausage at Blowin' Smoke was amazing.
The turkey dumpling at Soho was fantastic.
Everything is always wonderful at Banzo.
I've already forgotten which Thai place was which, but all but one of them was giving huge portions, which was nice, and everything I had was pretty great. One of them was too hot for me to finish, but my Fest-buddy was more than happy to clean my bowl.
Really, really loved Home Grown. Their pickled veggies were a nice change of pace from most of the other options, and the beer jelly was out of this world.
Was definitely disappointed that Surco seemed to be MIA the whole Fest. What was the deal, I wonder?

All in all the whole event was a smashing success. I had a few tried-and-true faves, sampled a bunch of stuff I'd never had before, found all the vendors to be extremely friendly and accomodating (I didn't go back to any carts twice, but there were a few places I asked to try two things and everyone was always happy to oblige), and stuffed myself into a near-coma.

Extra props: The on-tap water was very nice, and definitely preferable to all the bottled water I purchased last year.

Only downside: Terrible music played way too loud. I'm assuming the radio station is a sponsor? Really unpleasant and completely inescapable. I would strongly urge Isthmus to reconsider next year. Honestly, there's no reason to have any music there -- it's an outdoor event in a beautiful location -- but if there must be, how about taking the volume down a few notches and playing something other than total drek?
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 9048
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Previous

Return to Restaurant News & Reviews

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR
Created with flickr badge.

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar