Wednesday, October 6, 2010

This Festival Needs More Food Vendors!

Nashville Restaurants and Food
This Festival Needs More Food Vendors!

The Celebration of Cultures is quickly turning into Nashville’s premier festival. It spreads across Centennial Park and there were thousands of people in attendance on Saturday. All those folks make for a whole lot of hungry customers. We found long lines for every type of food available. Note to restaurants: if you serve an ethnic cuisine you should really consider doing this next year. You will have all the business you can handle. They had perhaps 30 food vendors and probably could have kept 60 or more vendors quite busy.

The Veggie Eater went with Woodlands Indian. The Meat Eater sampled chicken empanadas, Colombian style, from a caterer called Que Delicias. They were good, if a little over priced for their size. The plump, sweet plantains were a treat. We finished up with falafel sandwiches from Kabab Gyro, a restaurant that has locations on Thompson Lane and Nolensville Pike. The pitas were puffy and fresh and the ingredients crisp. Pretty darn good falafel. It may call for a visit to one of the restaurant locations. They do the usual lunch gyro, falafel, salad menu but that freshness in ingredients stands out.

There were several other places we wanted to visit, but the lines were too long. We do hope the organizers can attract more vendors next year and especially in the Asian food area. Thai, Laotian, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese didn’t appear to be represented at all, unless we were missing something.

The festival itself is a cool mix of country and cultural displays, music, costumes and plenty of interesting things to do. The artisans selling stuff were particularly cool, some of them not really coming from a cultural angle but just a unique “outsider” art perspective. You don’t see that much at art festivals around town.
They have parking in back of the HCA buildings, across the street from the park. That will be our first stop next year. We hope the Celebration of Cultures keeps growing. Kudos to Metro Parks and Scarritt Bennett for putting on a great event!


Pete said...

We managed to try some fantastic rib-eye tacos at the Gonzalez stand. The line for Bolton’s moved fairly quickly, as did Las Paletas. Everything else looked unbearably long. We would’ve loved any Vietnamese or Thai street food.

Lannae said...

We got brisket tacos (huge, smokey, worth it!) and shaved ice from fleur de lis (always good!). We wanted other food, but left because the lines were too long. I would love Peter Chinn, and all the Asian booths you suggested. One time Ken had a sushi booth, but it is tough to pull off on a hot day.