Sunday, June 10, 2007

Baltimore Festivals: Festival-a-Go-Go! Part III - Honfest

Just finished some yard work, so I’m not in too much of a mood to write about all the great food I had yesterday at Honfest. Don’t really have to worry about that, though, because I didn’t have lots of great food there! Honfest is great for foodies that want to sample the food along the Avenue at Hampden while watching silly people dressed like extras in some overboard production of Hairspray. But I didn't go for the food. I had enough food already, I certainly didn't need anymore.

yes, I keep reminding myself that my grandmother – God rest her soul – did indeed dress like some of these women in the sixties. So I’ll just get over myself and deal with it.

There’s a reason why Honfest has been written up everywhere from the New York Times to Southern Living Magazine* – it’s so damn kitschy! It’s fun to see all these people dressed like hons. And my friends and I, along with anybody with a camera, would happily point their lenses at hons galore. And these women – and drag hons – are not camera shy. You can’t be if you are really going to dress like this. Nope, they very eagerly mug for the camera.

Back to the food. Many restaurants showcased their goodies, both before and after I got there: Suzie’s Soba (love this place, and Suzie is awesome), Dogwood (another awesome place), Golden West (no wait today), Grill Art (y’all know my feelings on the place), Café Hon (and I know y’all’s feelings about Café Hon), etc., etc. And of course, you have the crabcake stands, the fries, the ice cream, the drinks, the pit beef and BBQ, and Constantine’s Greek Cuisine. They even had a booth at the St. Anthony festival in Little Italy (just can’t get away from souvlaki, but who would want to).

One thing that I constantly saw but made me scratch my head was all the people walking around with what can only be described as plates of interconnected potato chips. Only they were kind of soft potato chips. These “potato piles” were very popular, at $4 a plate, and people just loved ‘em. I went to the booth that had them, and almost plunked down $4 for a plate. But I changed my mind when I saw the fried dough with powdered sugar (same price). I got that instead. Tasty, but I could only finish about 2/3 of it, with help.

One strange thing I did see was the Pompeian Olive "Ool" duckpin bowling tent. Featured: a $5000 raffle including a year's (or lifetime's) supply of olive oil, and the irritating, thickly laid-on Bawlmerese of the woman peddling the stuff.

So as I’ve said, Honfest, for me, is not about food. It’s certainly not about overpriced drinks, either. I avoided the drink booths altogether – too hot for alcohol, anyway – and went into a corner liquor store to fill all my water and soda needs.

I did a lot of shopping, mostly in the stores along the strip. This festival must bring bang-up business to the local businesses! Some stuff I bought: a $17 CD from Hometown Girl of a cappella music performed by a group from University of Delaware (one of the singers works at Hometown Girl); a gorgeous guayabera (pictures of guayabera shirts here) for $25 at 9th Life that I think fellow blogger Johnny Dollar would appreciate; and a pink Jesus statue that doubles as a magic 8-ball (a magic 8-Jesus?) for $20 at Kiss N’ Make Up.

I did hang out with some friends who were selling photos. Their business, Arc en Ciel Images, doesn’t do too many festivals - it’s not their livelihood, but they take very cool photos, better than mine ever will be. I helped them tear down for the night, and we further avoided the junk being sold on the street. Instead, we went to Suzie’s for dinner. Please stop in for her bibimbap. It is divine.

* I did a search - I can't find any articles about Honfest in either NYT's or SLM's databases. But I swear, they wrote about it!

More hon fun, hon! I've written the following in Bawlmerese hon dialect. Try to guess what the words actually say! In case you're wondering, I do not know any of the people in these photos.

A. Wurz yer beehov, hon?

B. Hon, yer gaoin' ta look dee-von!

C. Ain't ah lookin' purty, hon?

D. We or the hons. Y'all will be assimahlaited, hon.

E. Ah got mah beehov from the faoks who make 'em faom fingurz!


A. Where's your beehive, hon?
Hon, you're going to look divine!
C. Don't I look pretty, hon?
D. We are the hons. You all will be assimilated.
E. I got my beehive from the folks who make those foam fingers!


Fairfax said...

Missed the Honfest, but my niece was in the contest for youngsters... BTW, isn't "all y'all" the plural for y'all?

John said...

Let me think about that. The Urban Dictionary says that it is, but I know "y'all" is definitely a plural. Can a plural itself really have a plural? Maybe "all y'all" is just an emphatic version of "y'all".

BTW: In the comments section I am now using my first name instead of my nom de plume. I'm still me, only the real me :)

johnny dollar said...

those guyabera shirts DO look cool... i've been meaning to get one, never have... thanks for the tip.

danielle said...

HonFest is a very blogged-about festival. You, me, Charissa, Broadsheet...

Out of your detailed post, I noticed that you didn't call your funnel cake, a funnel cake - just described it accurately as fried dough w/ powder sugar.

I didn't eat any of the street food either. We went in Frazier's. The beer was cheaper and I didn't have to stand in line.

John said...

You're right - I did call it fried dough! But funnel cakes are just one branch of the fried dough family tree, along with the loukoumades I had earlier in the day. I guess all that fried dough was in my head by that time. I was thinking more in categories by then.

I'll check out all the other Honfest blog entries. I'm not surprised it is a popular topic.

John said...

J$: DO get one! They are groovy 8-) I got my first one at a market in Guadalajara for only MX$150 (150 pesos, or about US$18 at the time). I bargained the vendor down from 180. Too big for me now - the style was bigger then. This one I just bought is much more form fitting.

Caki said...

Hey - I heard about those "interconnected potato chips" - who was making them and where can I find them again??