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Food and Drink Features

Festival of the foods

Culinary art shines more than ever in this year’s Festival of the Arts.

Greg Elwell April 17th, 2013

Festival of the Arts
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday
daily through April 28
downtown Oklahoma City

By: Mark Hancock

Art is great, right? And the community is important.

Starting Tuesday and running daily through April 28, the Festival of the Arts, put on by the Oklahoma City Arts Council, is one of the city’s premiere events.

It’s a showcase for art, sure, but it’s also about letting people see how vibrant downtown OKC is.

But if you’re going to look me in the eye and say that you’re not going for the food, then I’m going to call you a liar. We all go for the food. The food’s amazing.

And this year, there’s some amazing new food to try with 31 vendors showing up to show off delicious treats.

The Indian taco ($8)? Still there.

The gyro ($7)? The Indian sampler platter ($8)? Strawberries Newport ($6)? All there. Every year. Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.

But wouldn’t you also like to try the food at Waffle Au Som (pronounced “Awesome”)? The vendor will have savory options, like the chicken ’n’ waffle ($8) or the waffle club sandwich ($8), and some sweet treats, including a waffle with Nutella and fresh fruit ($6). Waffle Au Som comes from a festival veteran, Michael Pittman, who is already known and trusted for The Nutcracker cart and Helmut’s Strudel.

How do you feel about chicken?

Because it seems like the festival’s food vendors are quite enamored with that particular bird.

In addition to the Cajun-fried chicken with red beans and rice ($7- $8) from Cajun King and the classic chicken-on-a-stick ($2), this year, another local favorite is bringing some of the best bird in the city.

Inca Trail, a Peruvian restaurant, will have a good sampling of its fresh and feisty foods.

A light ceviche ($8) will help cool off a few festivalgoers, but I’ll bet the big draw is the famous Pollo a la Brasas ($6).

Local, not to be outdone, is doing an avocado chicken cone ($7) with crusted chicken, avocado, slaw and lime-cilantro aioli wrapped in a cone. And for dessert, a gluten-free chocolate cake called a Buzz Bomb ($6).

It wouldn’t be any kind of fair these days if there wasn’t some kind of bacon dessert, so Rodney & Lisa will be selling a bacon and caramel apple. Salty bacon; sweet, sticky caramel and a crisp apple? Probably going to be a winner.

We can all be winners, however.

Because this food is, as always, pretty good. And to walk around and soak up some art and some sun and maybe drink a little high-point beer — that’s a heckuva day.

Your only real concern: finding a parking spot. Because the Festival of the Arts is always packed, and for good reason.

Fun festival food facts!

—Last year, Harry Bear’s All- American Grill used more than 500 pounds of peaches for fried peaches and 40 buckets of pickles for fried pickles.
—Strawberries Newport has been the festival’s top seller for 30-plus years. Last year, the booth went through 12,000 pounds of strawberries and 600 gallons of whipped cream.
—Brewer Entertainment sold more than 10,000 pounds of brisket.
—Sundae maker Guiltless Concessions used enough bananas to go around three city blocks and more than 250 pounds of Hershey’s chocolate syrup.

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