mini date: food truck

This past weekend we got a lot done. The living room was patch painted and furniture moved in. The nursery was mopped, we bought shelving for the closets, and furniture moved  in as well. In addition this, we did a tour of the family birth center at the hospital and test drove a car we are looking at buying. More pics and information on all of that to come.

But in the middle of this very busy weekend we were able to have a moment of fun and exploration.

We drive the same route every week to our birth class in Northern Olympia. So I decided  to look on google maps to see what food options were close to where our  class meets. I discovered there are interesting looking restaurants and stores along 4th and State running east of our normal northern route via Plum st.

We were running low on time, but we knew there were food trucks parked on the corner of 4th and Plum.

It was a beautiful sunny spring day with a little wind blowing off the bays. We  walked up to the parking lot where the food trucks are set up in a circle around wood picnic benches and a planter box.  There four food trucks were parked featuring Middle Eastern, Venezuelan, Indian fusion, a traditional taco truck.

Since we were exploring, Luke decided to order a lamb/beef shawarma from Nineveh , the Assyrian food truck, and side order of bourek. I went to the Venezuelan truck, called AREPA: latin street food, and ordered the carne arepa with a side of yuca fries. To drink we went to the California Tacos truck for glass bottled Jarritos and Coke.

The food was very flavorful, and great portions for the cost. Luke really enjoyed his shawarma and after a bite I’m looking forward to trying their falalfel shawarma. The bourek was something new to me, an egg roll on the outside with middle eastern spiced ground beef/lamb and spinach on the inside, very tasty. My arepa was great, another first for me, the bun is made of corn so it’s gluten free! (yay) and the shredded beef was savory. The yuca fries were great too, and even better when dipped in the cilantro/avocado dressing they came with.

In all, although slightly rushed, it was a fun discovery with great food and a wonderful mini date in the midst of a busy weekend.

How is your spring going?

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Naples Grape Festival

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Around this time last year we drove through Naples and noticed several grape pie and grape sellers along the main street. I looked up Naples to find they host a very large fall grape festival and pie contest. If you have never heard of grape pies it’s ok, neither did we, this area is actually where it all started.

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We decided to go to the Naples Grape Fest on Sunday afternoon, hoping this popular festival would be less busy at that time; I was wrong. We parked almost a mile from the vendors and walked in. Unlike other festivals  the main route through town stayed open (although moving at a snails pace). This made traveling along the sidewalks slow.

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There were vendors with everything from clothes, to wood carvings, glass work, candles, produce, and fair food including all things grape flavored. Along the way we picked up local cheese, maple syrup, and grape jam.

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Behind town hall was a fenced-in wine tasting area, with a large selection of wineries and a few breweries present. Next to this was a music tent where we listened to a  folk country/bluegrass group called Ruddy Well. We enjoyed them so much we ended up buying their CD’s.

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About half way through town, we found the main food court. I choose to eat at Effortlessly Healthy a Rochester based food truck that serves dairy and gluten free meals with vegan options. I had a bowl with cole slaw sweet potatoes, ground beef, chicken, and avocado it was perfect. They also have their own store in Rochester where they serve healthy lunch options and provide delivery meal services.

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On our way back  we stopped at grape pie stands. Luke got a slice to-go from one. Fortunately I was able to eat a mini open tart’s filling from another, it tasted like concord grapes (the most popular grape in the Naples area). Some vendors sold pie filling. Too bad they didn’t offering tastings  or I would have bought one to make my own barley-free pie.

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On our way out of town we stopped for dessert at Lynnie Lou’s a homemade ice cream and custard shop . We were happily surprised to see them open; most ice cream stands  close after Labor Day. Luke got a grape and vanilla swirl custard and I chose vanilla custard with warm apple pie filling.

It was another great date day.

Springwater Music Fair 2016

This two weekends ago Luke and I went on a date. The first date in months that did not include errands or trips to Lowes. It was just because we wanted to, which was nice.

There are things we will miss about upstate New York, the fall leaves, the dairy farms along the hill sides, the maple syrup, the homes decorated for each season, and summer and fall festivals.

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One festival we will miss dearly is the Springwater Music Fair . Last year we found posters for this fair when we toured a local maple syrup producer in March.

For more read:

https://agreenesadventures.org/2015/04/22/flashback-march-maple-season/

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We thought we would check out this very local festival less than a half hour from our house. We found ourselves at Punky Hollow, a tree farm and property outside of Springwater. For $10 each we enjoyed the beautifully landscaped property in the fall air, looked at local craft vendors, listened to music, and enjoyed local food and treats.

For more on last year’s festival read:

https://agreenesadventures.org/2015/09/28/springwater-fiddlers-fair/

It was so much fun we decided to come again this year.  This year the name has changed to Music Fair. The genre of musicians has broadened and so have the festivals hours, open both Saturday and Sunday.

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When we arrived on Saturday afternoon we saw new signs  designating the festivals event spaces. After getting our wristbands we walked around to see what this year’s festival included.

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The music tent was moved to the center of the field, with more seating available. We personally enjoy fiddling music: Irish, folk, American Blue grass, Cajun etc. So although we appreciate the festival has more variety we were disappointed to miss some fiddle-featured bands earlier in the day.

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Instead we waited through some minor bands not in our genre preference. But we did discover one local featured band we  bought a CD from: The Brother’s Blue. They had great American folk mandolin, banjo, and fiddle music.

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In the past, the festival had white fiddles pointing to spots along property trails where fiddlers could play and join other amateurs. We did not see any white fiddles this year, which again was disappointing.

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On the positive side, there were more local crafts and food vendors. We picked up honey from a Wayland producer. Also this year two local food trucks added to the food choices. During a lull in our preferred music we got lunch at Milliners Southern Smoke. and for the price we got a great deal on delicious BBQ.

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Near the end of the day, like last year, we enjoyed Spotted Duck Creamery Custard a local organic duck egg custard producer. This year I got Salted Carmel and Luke got Strawberry Rhubarb. I will be honest, I looked forward to this dessert all summer. We are happy to see they returned to the festival and that their business is expanding.

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Overall we enjoyed the Music Festival just a much as the year before. It is sad this will be our last time attending, but we are glad we were able to enjoy it for two fall seasons.

How do you celebrate the fall season?

Rochester Lilac Festival

It is finally and truly spring here. Once spring comes so do the festival, one or two every weekend.

This past weekend Luke and I celebrated another semester of teaching over by going to the Rochester Lilac Festival.

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This is the largest Rochester city festival lasting two full weeks and weekends. It takes place at Highland Park with food tents, many concerts from various local bands, a home and garden show, children’s shows and more. During the week they also have a Lilac run, wine and chocolate and craft beer tasting events.

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Fortunately Luke and I had heard that MCC provides parking for 2$ and a round trip shuttle back and forth to the festival. We were happy to not have to struggle to find a parking spot or fight the crowd.

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Once we were dropped off at the festival sight we briefly walked around the most crowded area where the food vendors and concerts were. Crossing the street into the larger park area we enjoyed strolling through the lilac trees which are in full bloom with purple and pink flowers and a strong fragrance.

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We passed many acoustic musicians in the park and families taking pictures or resting under the trees and shade. We came down the hill from the lilac bushes to the annual pansy bed and found several food trucks.

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We decided to try a dish from Brick N Motor, a local seasonal menu food truck. We shared a small plate of bim bap: rice, korean beef,  and kimchi topped with carrots, thai basil, sesame seeds and a poached egg. It was delicious.

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After our rest we continued back up the hill toward the reservoir through the azaleas. Past the reservoir at the top of the park hill art vendors were selling their pottery, wood vases, lilac oils and candles, clothes, photography etc. alongside with a few other food vendors.

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Passing the conservatory we decided to make our way back down the hill and finish off our tour of the festival looking at larger food tents and vendors while listening to a little music.

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It was a warm day and crowded but it was a fun festival, with free entertainment and great food.

To find out more about the festival click: Lilac Festival