Monday, September 5, 2011

Flavors from Chile Chili Festival

Posted By on Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Following up on Bryce Crawford's pre-event coverage of this past weekend's inaugural Chile Chili Festival, we now offer you this post-event mini review.

Whos really manning the Bon Bon Buggy? Kyle Orton or Dave Grohl? Or just a chocolate-loving doppelganger?
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Who's really manning the Bon Bon Buggy? Kyle Orton or Dave Grohl? Or just a chocolate-loving doppelganger?

We're saving the meat of our experience for this upcoming Thursday's Dine & Dash column in the Indy, where we'll closely examine three member of Denver's Food Truck Renegades.

For now, check out a slideshow here, with pics of other vendors, whom I'll describe in brief below.

Glider Cider was in attendance, along with New Belgium Brewing Co.; organizer Tisha Casida says 100 percent of the beer sales benefited host facility Rock Ledge Ranch, as did a portion of the cider sales.

Mikes2Kitchen dished us an overall excellent, albeit a bit pricey-for-its-size ($8) shrimp po boy (making us nostalgic for our recent trip to NOLA). The remoulade was strong on a nicely charred baguette, as was the perfectly cooked shrimps' Cajun seasoning.

Now thats the art of chocolate.

From Sweet 'Ness Cupcakes (formerly Sweet Revenge Cupcakes), we sampled both a lavender cupcake and Chili Mango Passion cupcake made especially for the festival (each $2.50). As basic, mostly vanilla-flavored cupcakes, they were fine. But the lavender failed to deliver much of that flower's essence, and the chili delivered no heat whatsoever, a missed opportunity for a fun festival tie-in.

Lastly on the sampling front, we hit up the Bon Bon Buggy for the Best Cookie Ever ($2.50) and a Mayan truffle ($2). The former is an oatmeal, butterscotch and chocolate cookie, and though I wouldn't go as far as a best-ever rating myself, it was pretty damn good, no doubt. The truffle was a bit small for the price (something we found ourselves saying festival-wide, for that matter), but delivered on the spice quite nicely. Bonus points for a very beautiful pattern etched into the chocolate's face.

One side note about a cool food-cart feature that was new to us: Several vendors are using a service called Square, which allows them to swipe your credit card via a small attachment to their cell phones (see photo inside the slideshow above). They can then e-mail you or text you a receipt — pretty handy and paperless.

Casida says she hasn't yet tallied attendance numbers, but says she experienced a "better-than-expected turnout." She also noted that the Denver trucks reported good sales and a desire to return next year.

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