Friday, August 21, 2009

It's festival time in Middle Tennessee!

Fall has always been my favorite time of year, for many reasons. Tennessee's famous humid summers come to a merciful end (that's the most important reason). There're inevitable pennant races, and the World Series. Pucks start droppin' on the ice. And not a weekend goes by when there's not some kinda food-related festival taking place. Here's what I'm looking forward to ...

[Note: Before anyone gets pissy about how late-August and Labor Day events don't take place in the "fall," just know that said events, to me, are subtle reminders that fall-weather happenings, i.e, leaves falling, frost on punkins, etc., are just around the corner.]

First Annual Music City BBQ Festival (August 28-29) -- It's "first annual," so all I can do at this point is steer you to the Web site. Here 'tis.

Donelson Senior Center Barbeque, Arts & Entertainment Festival (September 4-7) -- The Donelson Senior Center's Labor Day barbeque fest always promises some damn good smoked pork (though their sauce could use some work), lots of crafts (including an incredible selection of used books), and a great silent auction, featuring everything from gift certificates to local restaurants and Titans/Predators signed memorabilia. Click here for more info.

Greek Food Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (September 11-13) -- Back in '07, I said this: I not only make an annual pilgrimage to the Greek Festival for the food (which includes world-class roast lamb, baked chicken, mousaka, and diples), I go to pick up several packages of Greek macaroni -- which I've never been able to find in any Nashville market -- for for making pastitsio. And that's why I'll be there this year.

Nashville Oktoberfest in Historic Germantown (October 10) -- Since 1998, I've missed one Oktoberfest ... and that's because I was recovering from surgery. I have many great stories about past Oktoberfests, such as:

In 2000, I bought a dozen '98 and and a dozen '99 commemorative glass beer mugs for a buck a piece, a few of which I gave away as quirky gifts, and most of which I still use for beer-drinkin' purposes when entertaining friends. In 2005, a feller with whom I struck up a conversation at the Sulphur Dell booth said he'd give me some old Nashville Vols scorecards if I sent him a self-addressed envelope. I did, and, more importantly, he did.

With that said, lemme tell you what I really like about Oktoberfest: It's the one time a feller can walk on a public street in Nashville and legally drink a BIG glass of beer; the big-ass pans of 'kraut on the several condiment tables contain world-class 'kraut (a cheap 'kraut-lovin' SOB could go to Oktoberfest with a bowl and fork from home and stuff himself silly, for free); and one can tour, for free, two of Nashville's most beautiful old churches, Assumption Catholic Church and Monroe Street United Methodist Church. Make plans to attend.

Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbeque Competition (October 24) -- Practically all of ma famille hails from villages and hamlets not far from the spring from which Mr. Daniel drew water to make his famous whiskey. I've always had a family-pride attachment to the Jack Daniel's BBQ fest; however, the quality of the food served there -- all KINDS of slow-smoked meat (pork shoulders, pork ribs, beef brisket, chicken), smoked corn, bacon-infused vegetables, and homemade ice cream -- is the true reason I keep going back year after year.

Just so you know ...

In 2001, some friends and I were seen eatin' 'que in "downtown" Lynchburg during an episode of Rick Browne's "Doctor of BBQ" program on PBS.

To learn more 'bout the bbq festival that name-checks one Jack Daniel, click here.


Robert J. Moeller said...

Very interesting site you got here. I found it randomly while looking through fans of Milton Friedman on blogger. I am a grad student in Chicago and an aspiring writer with a blog of my own ( Check it out some time. Take care.

webbie said...

Don't forget the Southern Fried Festival in Columbia! Dude! It's fried food!

Anonymous said...

So much for being back in the saddle.