Saturday, April 05, 2014

Festivals, Festivals

This was one of those Saturdays where we started adventuring fairly early, and it was so jam packed full of awesome that by the end of the day it was hard to remember the beginning.

We started off at Washington University's 24th annual Pow Wow, which was an interesting little event. A gymnasium was full of costumed dancers bouncing around, some American Indian style food, and lots of people selling turquoise and moccasins and that type of crap. We poked our heads in, looked around, and the hit the road.

I would have tried the food, but the line was practically out the door.

We headed deep into the North Side to get some interesting food for lunch. While I was reading about the wondrous St. Paul sandwich that we had at a northern chop suey joint last month, I picked up the trail of another weird sandwich. The St. Paul was featured in the PBS documentary Sandwiches That You Will Like, and so was "pig ears and snouts" at the famous C & K Barbecue. Let's do it.

C & K Barbecue is located inside what was once a gas station, bring to mind my visit to Kansas City's lauded gas station bbq joint Oklahoma Joe's. The interior was similar to the chop suey place: like a bullet proof glass fortress. I guess robberies are a problem. Famous restaurants with god-awful interiors often have the best food, though, so I let it slide.

Lydia got some really excellent pulled pork sandwich, and I got a pig ear sandwich. I asked if they would put snouts and ears on the same slice of bread but the answer was negatory. Sissies. I had just assumed that the ears would be fried. Pretty much a handfull of grass from your front lawn would taste great if fried correctly so I didn't see much danger with the ears. But they weren't fried, they were boiled. They were like slimy mushroom caps. The ears still had the holes in them from where the pig's ear name tag once dangled. One bite of that business was enough. Lydia shared her pulled pork.

The final St. Louis sandwich challenge on the list: brain sandwich at Ferguson's Pub. I'll just tell Lydia we are going out to get ice cream.

The final leg of our festival trip was Missouri Tartan Day in St. Charles, Missouri. We met up with friends Zeke, Angela, and their countless children, Seago, and Margaret. The highlight of the day was the food. We dined on meat pies and haggis and chips and washed it down with Irn Bru.

I've always heard haggis is awful, but this was pretty great. I don't know if maybe this was a toned down version for American consumption, but I would definitely order it again.

Award for most awesome goes to the people who had a tractor motor set up to make ice cream.

Fiddler with cowboy hat and kilt? St. Charles says "yes please".

One unexpected part of the festival was a whole lane of tents that were devoted to and staffed by decedents of Scottish clans, complete with family tartan clothing. There were maps and books everywhere, and several were trying to sign up new converts. I don't think I've encountered another ethnic group that is as serious about their heritage. One little thing that I learned is that the "Mac" in Scottish names means "son of", referring to their clan. So "Macdonald" is the Anglicized version of "Son of Dòmhnall". It was a good day.

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