I really should call this a Food, Drink & Music Fest…my 3 fave things in one festival!
This is the lowdown on what I did…Unfortunately I couldn’t do everything..
The first night was a sample of area restaurant offerings. Some stand outs were: 12 Gage Restaurant from the Gage Hotel with their bacon wrapped scallops and quail in a citrus sauce. The Ramada of Alpine (yes that is right) had tasty Thai marinated shrimp. The Cow Dog food truck had samples of their hot dogs. I had the Artisan which has apple apricot chutney. The Saddle Club had crostini topped with bacon and beef tenderloin.
The next day we drove to Marfa to eat at our favorite “place” the Food Shark. We got to the covered shed by the railroad tracks and waited for the Food Shark food truck to pull up. The lumbering primer grey truck appeared and I couldn’t wait to get my Mediterranean food fix. I got the combo which is a Greek salad, falafel, hummus and flat bread. Sully got one of the days specials which was a curry egg salad sandwich. We also got a triple chocolate cookie and an orange cardamom spice cookie.
After lunch we wanted to go on a tour of the Marfa Maid dairy, but we missed the shuttle. Marfa Maid makes cheese from goats milk. Those goats have to be milked twice a day, so time is of the essence!
Instead we headed back to Alpine and chilled in the courtyard of the Holland Hotel and listened to Ashley Monical and then an acoustic Mike and the Moonpies. While we were there, the local brewery, Big Bend Brewery, was giving samples of their Porter and their Lager. Both were really good and Sully had been drinking their beers all weekend and is hoping they can expand to Dallas. We understand that for the Viva Big Bend Music Fest in July, their beers might be available in cans. The brewery is only 2 years old.
Next up, and something I had been looking forward to all weekend was a 5 course meal with wine pairings from Chefs Stephen & Jonathan Wood from the Saddle Club. Now let me say that technically, the Saddle Club is not a restaurant. It is a bar with amazing “bar” food. So, to have the chance to experience the true talent of the Wood brothers, I knew this evening was going to be special.
1st Course: Sunchoke Soup with fried proscutto, white truffle and chive oil. The wine: Finca Las Nubes Torrontes.
2nd Course: Ancho Dusted Scallops with micro arugula, roasted garlic beur blanc and fried garlic chips. The wine: Albert Bichot Domaine Long-Depaquit Chablis.
3rd Course: Roasted Pork Belly with creamy parmesan polenta and wild mushroom ragu with port reduction. The wine: Fiddlehead 728 Pinot Noir.
4th Course: Grilled Elk Tenderloin with Jerusalem artichoke and potato gratin, grilled brussel sprouts with garlic and bacon in a smoked bacon demi. The wine: Hermanos Cabernet-Malbec Blend.
5th Course: Strawberry Short Cake- Angel food cake with strawberries, fresh cracked black pepper, basil, aged balsamic and whipped creme. The wine: Secco Rose’.
Britania Perez from Pioneer Wines chose the wines and described each one. She told me that all she had was the menu that Stephen sent her. She did not taste any of the food before hand. I must say, this gal knows her portfolio and she did an excellent job.
The next morning, we rolled out of bed and went to breakfast at Judy’s Bread and Breakfast. I was in such a food and drink comatose state that when Sully asked me if I wanted more coffee, I just stared at him! That’s when we decided to walk around and take a break from food and wine…until the Saddle Club opened up and I could get a Bloody Mary 😉
That afternoon we headed back to Marfa for the Airstream Land Party. Boyz2Men taco trailer was there as well as FAT Lyle’s. We got there just in time to hear Graham Wilkinson and his band play and Sully could not resist a homemade Snickers bar from FAT Lyle’s.
That evening we hung out at Railroad Blues to hear a full set from Graham Wilkinson and stayed to hear Patrice Pike. Saturday night dinner at Railroad Blues is always a hot dog from Cow Dog. Sully got the Mexican which is ketchup, mayo, sharp cheddar, bacon and pico de gallo. I got the El Pastor which is grilled pineapple, red onion, lime mayo and cilantro pesto. It paired very well with my Pacific Rim Riesling.
Our time in the Big Bend had come to an end. We didn’t even make it to any of the cooking classes or sit in on what the Tipsy Texan, David Alan was concocting with Tito’s vodka.
This was a small festival, but I liked it so much because you could tell how happy the locals were that you had come to their town and they wanted it to be a success too. Also some of the proceeds went to the West Texas Food Bank.
I really think Stewart Ramser who created both the Viva Big Bend Food and Music Fest, did a great job in trying to introduce what all this area has to offer. And it’s definitely the people who made this festival so much fun.