On the last day of Summerfest, Sydney and I stopped in to see Toad the Wet Sprocket, and checked out the various food fare that is available at the Fest. Disclaimer: We didn’t get any pictures, due to phone problems; all photographs are taken from credited articles or image sharing websites.
The first thing we ate was a couple of pulled pork tamales from a food cart just outside the main gate. Sydney had never tried tamales before, and I convinced her that for the low, low price of $3, she’d thank me. Taking a gamble (a rare occasion for her, the pickiest of picky eaters), she took a forkful of pulled pork and masa, and her face lit up. “That’s really fuckin’ good.” The masa was a little colder than I’d like, but the pork itself was flavorful and rich, and held in warmth nicely. Polishing off the tamales back and forth between the two of us, my half with a bit of runny, nameless hot sauce, we proceeded into the Summerfest gates just before the 3pm cutoff for free tickets.
The first stop we made for food inside the park was at the booth for Classy Girl Cupcakes; a recurring favorite of Sydney’s and mine. After brief deliberation, we decided to go with a Salted Caramel Toffee Cupcake Mousse Parfait (pictured above). Phew, what a mouthful! Now, I’m not that big of a fan of super-rich sugary goods, and this one was definitely a bit hard to handle in terms of toothache-inducing sweetness, but the Ghirardelli’s chocolate cupcake layers and the toffee bits kept me coming back for more. (Keep an eye out for them at the upcoming Bastille Days festival in Cathedral Square Park!)
Because I wanted something a bit firmer to munch on, we stopped over at a stand selling cinnamon-sugar roasted nuts; we picked up a medium-sized bag of almonds, and started munching away happily. The nice lady operating the stand even let us sign our names on her banner with magic marker!
Not long afterwards, we stopped by the restrooms, and ran into… Sydney’s mother! Turns out, her mom Emily, stepdad Kirk, and baby brother Auggie also showed up at Summerfest about the same time as we did, and we decided to join them in the Saz’s Dockside Barbecue tent. Little Auggie was coated on hands and face in macaroni and cheese, Emily had a chicken salad, and Kirk had a sandwich. Sydney and I decided to order up, getting a pulled-pork sandwich (hmm, is pulled pork becoming that common of a theme with us?), chive fries, and a Pepsi. The sandwich was absolutely delicious; a thick, soft bun filled with a heaping smattering of rich, tender pulled pork and Saz’s tangy-sweet barbecue sauce. The chive fries were fresh and hot, and served with a side of ranch dressing.
After wandering around a bit more, and taking my traditional clothes-on run through the Main Gate fountain, we stopped off for our last snack of the evening: Robby’s Roasted Corn. A 30-year tradition at the Big Gig, Robby’s is a must-have when walking around the Summerfest grounds. For $8, we each got an ear of fresh roasted Wisconsin corn. Sydney doused hers in salt, and I opted for the more unusual combination of lemon pepper, lime juice, and hot sauce. I wasn’t quite sure if it would taste good, but I was pleasantly surprised; the kick of the pepper and sour lemon/lime flavor was the perfect complement to the sweetness of the roasted corn. About 45 seconds later, I was finished, and I ended up helping Sydney finish hers. (Have I mentioned I have a good appetite?)
Finally, 8pm rolled around, and Toad took the stage. We danced and held each other in the stands, listening to the relaxing ’90s soft rock, and chewing on an ear of corn, reveling in the sweetness of a perfect Milwaukee summer evening.