Sunday, October 19, 2014

Texas Veggie Fair 2014! The Good, the Bad, the Delicious!

Aaron and I headed to the Texas Veggie Fair today here in Dallas.  We were very pleased that there was $5 parking at one of the downtown American Airlines Center parking garages.  We walked the half mile to the Reverchon Park fairgrounds down the beautiful Katy Trail.  Aaron was so impressed with it's cleanliness and structure that he observed that it "felt like the zoo when you're walking in between exhibits," and I had to agree.

We entered on the Katy Trail side, which unfortunately immediately disqualified us from the swag bags that they'd been hyping up on their Facebook, while simultaneously recommending entering on the Katy Trail side of the park.  I seriously hope that if they plan on repeating the swag bags next year, they create some type of advertised structure on what entrance you have to use, etc, instead of just "for the first 400 people!"  More annoyingly, the first person I asked about it seemed clueless on the situation, despite her being in charge of passing out the swag bags (I know, I know; they're volunteers...).  However, the woman I spoke to at the gate on the "front side" of the park apologized and agreed that if they were going to do it that way they should have told us that it mattered what side we entered on, etc.  Bummer.. hopefully I can actually get one next year.

We looped through the park to find that some vendors were pumped and ready to talk to us, while others still seemed to be in the process of setting up.  We looped around a few times so it didn't matter in the long run, but we came close to 11:00am to prevent being in long lines.. because of delayed setups and having to make multiple loops through, there were a few booths we passed on based off of the wait time.

The first thing we sampled: Upton's Naturals on a chocolate creme Newman-Os.  SO good; we're already huge Upton Naturals fans anyways; on pizza, in stir fries, tacos, etc, it's all good!
There were several vendors there that I knew and loved, and others I'd never seen before.  I was very excited to finally get to try Dandies Vegan Marshmallows, and also very pleased that they just tasted like marshmallows.. haven't had one in ten years so it was exciting!  I was also excited to see Heidi Ho there, since I already like their Spicy Chia Cheeze, and got a chance to try the mild without having to risk buying a whole jar.  They were happy to meet fans of the brand (mutual love here ladies).  I was also really excited to see Herbivore Clothing (of Herbivore Magazine) there!  They were one of the biggest influences during my omnivore to herbivore change.

I was so happy that they tasted exactly like I remember marshmallows tasting!
We stood in line for at least 45 minutes at the Samson's Gourmet Hotdog truck due to a bread issue.  I've worked in the food industry and sadly, these things just happen sometimes.  I'm glad we were only about ten people back because once the bread showed up and we eventually ordered, we had our food within ten minutes.  I had the Veginator and Aaron had the Shanghai, both with veggie dogs.  I was surprised to see a markup on their prices, but Aaron shrugged it off as "fair prices."  There was almost a mishap with vegan versus non-vegan cheddar, but it was quickly corrected.  One of the chefs seemed pretty annoyed with the correction though so that didn't sit too well with Aaron and I.  Fortunately, the other two people working the truck seemed very pleasant so if we do decide to eat Samson's again, it will be because of their kindness and passion outweighing the snappy chef.  It's a hard decision because it was good, but it wasn't "eight dollars and a bitchy chef" good.  Sadly I heard at least one other customer express the same feeling as he waited for his food.

The Veginator with a handmade veggie dog.
We stopped at Capital City Bakery's table and I immediately saw what I wanted; pumpkin chocolate chip whoopie pies.  It was absolutely amazing.  And it was big enough that I saved half for after we were home (but it really just couldn't wait longer than that, it was that good).  Aaron had a slice of cheesecake with cherries and whipped cream.  It was good, but it either needed more cherry sauce, or more sweetener in the actually tofu mixture.  It was certainly good though, and I finished Aaron's piece for him.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pie with Cherry Cheesecake from Capital City Bakery
As we were about to leave, I noticed a girl with a Vegan Cuts bag.  So... side note:  I LOVE Vegan Cuts.  I was subscribed to them for a while starting about two years ago.  I had to cancel my subscription due to financial reasons.  Recently I was contacted to review a box, and was reminded of how much I loved it.  Today I was so excited to seem them, that I not only bought a snack grab bag, I resubscribed.  I do believe I was speaking with the owner of the company, though I didn't ask and she didn't outright say.  She definitely seemed like she knew what was going on though.  We went to sign me back up and... there was some changes to the site and apparently my profile no longer existed.  No worries though, we quickly remedied it, I started a new account, and hopefully all is well in my Vegan Cuts world.  And, because I rejoined today, my snack grab bag was only $5.  This is amazing and I'm so glad she was offering the price break!  At $5, this bag was a total steal.

The Snack Grab bag; it's seriously like getting a whole box!
This is what was inside!
We both decided that boba tea would be our last stop, then it was time to go.  My quasi-mexican skin was starting to get burned and we were pretty over the crowds.  On the note of the crowds: some people were really amazing and the kind of people you want to be surrounded by at an outdoor venue, and a few bad apples were the kind of people you want to throw a block of super firm tofu at.  It was a frustrating mix of happy smiles and friendly small talk to "omg if this person runs in to me again I'm going to push them over like a mean kid on a playground and show them who's boss."  Another random note: all of the trashcans were full!  Again, I get it, volunteers and etc, but if I don't note it, it will be exactly the same next year, I'm sure.

We waited in line at Boba Tea and Treats.  It wasn't a terrible line.  There were three options to choose from; I chose the pumpkin latte boba and Aaron had the Thai tea boba.  We both agreed that while it wasn't bad boba, it certainly wasn't the best that we'd had.  They were scooping the boba out with an ice cream scoop so that was how they sat in the bottom of your tea; one big un-suck-able chunk.  It was a little disappointing, but again; consequences of ill fair preparation.  Unfortunately for them, it means we would not go there for boba.

All in all, it was a great day!  We are really looking forward to going again next year and we hope we can get his mostly vegan aunt and her partner to join us next year.  His mom is visiting us next week and I'm so sad that she missed going this year!  We're going to find lots of fun things to do with her instead though!

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