On Saturday April 10th the Bayside Expo Center hosted the Phantom Gourmet’s Food & Wine Phest, offering 30 different food vendors & 30 different wines. They ranged from Boston Burger Co., to Ivy’s Fine Cakes, to The Upper Crust, to Latitude 43. This was my first time attending the event so I didn’t know what to expect, and I could not have been happier. My friends & I arrived early and there was already a line 100s of people long, decked out in purple attire from T-shirts to pimp costumes. We benefited from our early arrival and were able to attack the most popular booths before the lines formed.
Highlights: I’ll start by saying my favorite wine came from the booths that filled up the tiny cups to the rim. Thank you for your generosity and understanding that those cups really only hold one sip. One of the best food vendors was A.J.’s Kitchen from Wilmington MA (www.ajskitchen.net). They served up Italian style meatballs that we couldn’t get enough of (if only they had entire subs!). They were rivaled by the Met Bar & Grill’s version (www.metbarandgrill.com) which were marinating in a red wine & cheese sauce.
Black Tie Cookies from Rochester MA (www.blacktiecookies.com) offered 3 different types of pre-packaged cookies (making it easy for me to hoard them in my purse). The 2 I grabbed were “Last Dance” (heath bar, coffee, toffee) and “Top Hat” (chocolate cookie dough, chocolate chunks, walnuts). Our plan was to return to this booth & take more cookies to go, but they were all out before the event was over! I also enjoyed The Melting Pot’s (www.meltingpot.com) Oreo encrusted marshmallows, strawberries & chocolate sauce (and the $15 gift card was a great bonus).
Honorable mentions should go to When Pigs Fly (www.sendbread.com) for their chocolate bread, Wicked Whoopies (www.wickedwhoopies.com) for their red velvet take on the whoopie pie, and the CabbyShack‘s (www.cabbyshack.com) “Best Chowdah Ev-vah”.
Disappointments: The overall event was a blast, and I’m already looking forward to Phantom’s “BBQ Beach Party” in June (http://bbq.phantomgourmet.com/SD/home.aspx). Out of the 30 food vendors, there were only 2 I was unhappy with. Wicked Kickin’ Savory Cheesecake had a buffalo chicken cheesecake, and yes it tasted as weird as it sounds. As a cheesecake it didn’t work (where was the graham cracker crust?), but spread that on a cracker & it’s good to go! I saw the Dorado Tacos & Cemitas sign from afar and rushed my way over expecting a taco or quesadilla, but instead got a white gazpacho soup; the grainy consistency made it unappetizing, and the overall taste didn’t resemble any gazpacho I’ve ever tried.
I have to say my first Phantom event was a great success. The Champagne Room, dance floor, and Make-Out Shed provided us with a break from stuffing our faces and the entertainment distracted me from eating everything I could get my hands on. I left plenty full (and slightly tispy). A job well done 😉