Monday, September 24, 2012

Welcoming the fall at Hillcrest HarvestFest

Posted By on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 1:25 PM

image
  • Jess Miller
  • PEOPLE'S CHAMPS: "Burt's 'Stache" wins for their tribute to the Bandit

What do you get when you mix a perfect fall day, dozens of vendors, an all-star collection of Little Rock food trucks, and a set of shirts commemorating the various poses of Burt Reynolds? Block off a section of Kavanaugh and stir in some $2 drafts from U.S. Pizza, and you've got HarvestFest, the annual celebration of fall held in historic Hillcrest. This year's celebration was especially festive given the incredibly hot summer that baked Central Arkansas to a frazzled crisp, and the only unhappy notes we heard during the festival on Saturday were the wails of children who couldn't quite keep a grip on their helium balloons. As for me, I managed to maintain a state of foodie bliss down the entire stretch of the festival scene, starting with performing the enviable task of judging some cheese dip at the Kroger HarvestFest Cheese Dip Contest. Despite a small group of competitors, I'd have to say that the quality of the melted cheese more than made up for the quantity of contestants, and it was tough to pick a winner from the pack — but after some delicious deliberations, we (along with all the other folks who voted) came up with the following winners:

image
  • Jess Miller
  • HOT STUFF: Ghost pepper dip won Judges' Choice

People's Choice (Professional): U.S. Pizza Co.
People's Choice (Amateur): Burt's 'Stache
Judges' Choice (Professional): U.S. Pizza Co.
Judges' Choice (Amateur): Cheese Dip Team
Best Booth: The ConcheeZtadors

The people's choice winner, in addition to their excellent Burt Reynolds theme, had a dip that was smooth and loaded with chunks of savory Italian sausage. I'm not normally a big fan of cheese dips that incorporate meat, but this dip was quite well done, and the exuberance of the team serving it only helped increase the fun-factor. The winner of the Judges' Choice (and my personal choice), The Cheese Dip Team, served a basic cheese and milk dip that became something else entirely with the addition of a very scary-sounding ingredient: a healthy dose of pepper sauce made from the famed and feared ghost pepper. The peppers themselves were grown by the monks of Subiaco Monastery — and as we've mentioned before, these monks know a thing or two about the hot stuff. The dip-makers didn't overwhelm us with heat, though, striking a nice balance between the ghost pepper spice and the creamy cheese.

Professional winner U.S. Pizza was a winner by default (they were the only professional entry), but don't let that fool you: their Judy's Favorite cheese dip is very good, and makes a nice pairing to their wide variety of sandwiches, salads, and appetizers. Along with the amateur groups, U.S. Pizza should make a strong showing at this year's World Cheese Dip Championship in October. Of course, cheese wasn't the only thing happening at Saturday's festivities, so we'll have a few more pictures after the jump.

image
  • JESS MILLER
  • COOL CART: Le Pops brings the frosty treats.

River Market favorite Le Pops had a mobile cart available, and as the day wore on and warmed up, the folks lining up to get their hands on a gourmet ice lolly grew and grew. If you haven't had a chance to try one of their ice pops, you're missing out — these are some of the freshest tasting treats in the city. The Le Pops crew has been running daily trivia contests on their Facebook page, so give them a follow and test your wits for a chance to win some goodies.

image

There were also several of our local food trucks and carts present, including Hot Dog Mike, The Southern Gourmasian, K-Bird, Banana Leaf, and Philly's To Go. That's a line up that I don't think can be beat anywhere: gourmet dogs, cheese steaks, Thai food, Indian food, and Southern-Asian Fusion all on one street? Throw in Hillcrest staples like Hillcrest Artisan Meats and an assortment of other fair-food style trucks and there's no way you could get away from HarvestFest hungry.

FESTIVE SCENE: The cheese gets melting

It's always a fun time of year when the orange and brown of fall decorations starts appearing, and I don't think I could think of a better place to celebrate the change of the season than with the fine folks of Central Arkansas. To all the sponsors, organizers, and vendors, I offer a hearty "job well done," and I hope that everyone who attended the event has as fun a time as we did. Fall is here, so let's enjoy it!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Michael Roberts

Readers also liked…

  • In defense of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights

    An op-ed in today's New York Time by Katha Pollitt says what I've been struggling to say about the reaction to the attack on women's reproductive rights launched by means of the undercover videos made by anti-abortion activists.
    • Aug 5, 2015
  • Maddie's Place makes a believer out of a skeptic

    After a long hiatus, I return to Maddie's Place in Riverdale and find the food is a lot tastier than I remembered.
    • Aug 19, 2015
  • The Lemon Cakery is pure bliss

    In the eternal and often epic battle between "cake" and "pie," I normally come down on the pie side of things. The Lemon Cakery puts that rule to the test—deliciously.
    • Oct 1, 2015

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
  • Forget identity politics

    Amid the climate of disbelief and fear among Democrats following Donald Trump's election, a fascinating debate has broken out about what's called "identity politics" on the left, "political correctness" by the right.
  • Lawsuit filed against ADC officials, prison chaplain convicted of sexual assault at McPherson

    A former inmate who claims she was sexually assaulted over 70 times by former McPherson Womens' Unit chaplain Kenneth Dewitt has filed a federal lawsuit against Dewitt, several staff members at the prison, and officials with the Arkansas Department of Corrections, including former director Ray Hobbs.
  • Lessons from Standing Rock

    A Fayetteville resident joins the 'water protectors' allied against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation