I love to travel, especially in the summer when it feels like all I should be doing is having fun, laying by the pool, and reading. Unfortunately, now that I’ve graduated and my dear mother isn’t paying my bills anymore, a whole lot of travel during the summer isn’t feasible. Yes, of course I’ll go on a couple small weekend trips, but it will be nothing compared to the month I spent in Switzerland two summers ago (although it will be infinitely better than the two months I spent in a classroom last summer).
So I’ve spent the last month or so researching stuff to do around the Dallas-Fort Worth area that’s relatively free. Whenever I saw the advertisement for the town of Addison’s 1st Annual Fork & Cork (www.addisonforkandcork.com), I set my heart on going. Tickets for the festival were only $35 on Saturday, so I planned for that, even though the Friday Night Kick-Off Party ($65 and unattainable on a fresh out of college budget) sounded a little more fun.
And then, perhaps because I am the luckiest girl on the planet, I chanced upon an opportunity for free tickets for the Friday Night Party and pounced. And just like that, free tickets to what turned out to be the best way to kick off the summer.
Picture it; a free night of the best food that the town’s restaurants have to offer, as well as samples of beer, liquor, and wine from local vendors. It was amazing, and I even got a free shirt out of it! My favorite dish was definitely Ferrari’s (yes, it’s a restaurant called Ferrari’s and we were served by an adorable British woman) roasted pork loin sliders, with pickled fennel, herbs and raisins, and a red pesto sauce. It was one of the best pieces of meat I have ever had. Moist and flavorful, and the fennel and pesto just mixed together into an explosion of flavors that nearly made me weak in the knees.
There were other things. Mercy, a wine bar (featured in my earlier article, A Case For Normal – shameless plug) had tuna tartare with cayenne pepper on a gluten free cracker, paired with a dry white wine that was out of this world. We also had Brisket Tacos from Blue Mesa, a wasabi trail mix from Austinuts, filet mignon, and a fish taco with sushi grade ahi tuna and some sort of delectably creamy aioli.
I haven’t even touched on the live music; the Dallas String Quartet provided a lovely atmosphere whenever we first got there, equal parts relaxing and relevant, with two other great bands, Prophets & Outlaws, and Whiskey Folk Ramblers giving the entire festival more of a ‘party’ feel.
I didn’t end up going on Saturday (because free > $35) but I’m sure the festival was just as amazing, and I will definitely plan on going, hopefully to both festival days, next year. If you’re in the D/FW area, check it out, it’s worth every penny. If you’re in another part of Texas, or the country, that sucks. But go check out a food festival anyway. It’s a great way to start the summer.