Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pig Island 2012: Part 1

This past Saturday, I hit up Pig Island 2012 with my men folk (that's Lawman & Little B plus Lawman-in-law) for some porcine goodness. 80 hogs, 30 chefs, countless nibbles. It's going to take me two posts to get through the event, it was that good...

When I saw the line up for Pig Island 2012-- Talde! Ovelia! Jimmy's no 43! Hecho en Dumbo! The Darby! Butter!, there was no way I could pass up a press pass. With Lawman as my plus one and Little B along for the ride we couldn't leave my magical beast loving brother-in-law behind, so we bought him a ticket as a birthday present. And what a birthday present it was. There comes a time in your life (or at least mine) when I much prefer experiences than stuff for gifts and if you're going to gift an experience, Pig Island is a worthy one.

24 hour hog from Waterfront 

The event was sold out, but as an attendee the number felt just right. The crowd wasn't so massive that the waits were exceptionally long. With these types of big events and big crowds it's important to get a little something in everyone's belly to take off the edge and the chefs delivered. I don't know if it's a matter of most restaurants participating in large scale events, but I felt like the chefs were really prepared for the crowds and managed them well. It was a beautiful day and a hot day and I was impressed with how they kept the portions coming and kept their lines in order.
I'll hit you with my top dishes on Friday (I still have dozens of delicious photos to go through!), but for those of you wondering what the key was to a super awesome event, I'll share it with you now. One word...TRAY.

Pig Island Haul 

It's all about the BYOT (bring your own tray). I can't take credit for this genius foodie event innovation, but after seeing some folks with trays at both Choice Eats and the Vendys (they may have been the same people for all I know), I've discovered this is the best way to maximize your haul. Without my tray I could only hold maybe two dishes and my drink without meeting certain disaster. With the tray...well, you see the results above.

How does the tray way work? Glad you asked. First, gather your group and divide and conquer. Hit your top destinations--the places with the dishes you're most eager to try. Get your samples. Repeat until you have enough to sit down and have a picnic feast. Might you feel a little silly with your tray? Yes. You might. But you'll also be the envy of everyone who spots you with your super mobile haul. And enjoying a bunch of dishes with a drink while sitting down is totally worth it.

Stay tune for my top Pig Island dishes on Friday!

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