Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 4, Waterfront Blues Festival, Fried Chicken.

Read it all--you'll find out about the fried chicken, I guarantee it.

For my first ever Waterfront Blues Festival, I decided to take advantage of the Blues Benefactor Pass option.

  • I wanted four-day early entry (turns out that I could arrive as early as 10:30 a.m., if I had the energy which I did on July 4 and July 5--hey, two outta four aint' bad for an ol' lady); 
  • I didn't have to use priority re-admission (in the case of the festival having been closed due to the size of the crowd by the fire marshall--I never left until I was actually ready to be gone)
  • I wanted a seat and shade (turned out to be a metal bench with a back in the Benefactor Tent with the walls rolled up and tied out of the way on all sides except to our backs, therefore shade and a breeze when one arrived, plus the tent's central location between the Miller Stage and the First Tech Stage meant I could hear everything from whichever stage had an act performing, plus the fireworks went off right in front of me on July 4--I managed to get a seat on the front row each time I came back to the tent from the Honeybuckets or the other stages);  
  • I wanted to go to at least one of the Waterfront After Hours All-Star events across the street at the Marriott Hotel Ballroom (turns out I had access to all three but only had energy for one--July 4th Patrick Lamb Allstar Revue--waiting until 2:45 a.m. to get a cab wore me slap out); 
  • I didn't know that I wanted Smart Park parking garage validation (until I rode with a friend in her car on Saturday);
  • I wanted plenty to eat and drink that I didn't have to bring with me to the park or have to carry around the whole time (turned out to get four meal tickets, four beverage tickets, one Sunday a.m. omelette with Dave's Killer Bread minus the included mimosa because I desired no alcohol headaches, as well as Frito Lay snack bags, iced Pepsi products and bottled water for the taking, at a table at the back of the Benefactor Tent in front of that closed wall); 
  • I wanted a festival T-shirt and poster (turned out to get the size I wanted and that the poster was rolled up in cardboard tube after having been signed by the artist Gary Houston because I purchased an additional poster from him which he also signed); 
All of that to say that after my first early entry on July 4 and the discovery of how the Benefactor Tent would work, which by the way should be renamed the Benefactor Oasis, in my humble opinion, I took advantage of picking up my merchandise early on, then walked over to see where the other two stages were, the FedEx Crossroads Stage and the Oregonian Front Porch Stage--they were, respectively, nearer to or north of the Hawthorne Bridge. 

That's when I discovered the Jackson Square food vendor, complete with a huge banner emblazoned with Fried Oysters, Fried Chicken, plus a menu that included sweet iced tea and ice cold watermelon, along with other items. It was too early for cooking to be going on, but I liked the look of the place and determined to come back later on. After all, I had ended up buying a wonderful soft-sided cooler with an adjustable strap in which I put a bit of cheese and crackers, applesauce, some peanut butter and crackers because I really had no idea what sort of snacks were provided, plus I knew I'd be at the festival way longer than one included meal ticket would take care of, and I had no desire to spend money on food--whew!

So, I stopped by a few hours and loads of great music later to take a look at the fried chicken. Yep, a look. While I was not the least bit interested in waffles, even less in syrup, all it took was a quick glance to make up my mind to try the chicken. It was the right brownish-golden color and coated-crispy texture. So, I handed over my meal ticket to Nick, the personable young man at the cash register. In a moment I had the paper plate you see in the photo above. I had handed back the little container of syrup. Why anyone wants waffles and syrup with fried chicken, I'll never understand. Thank goodness I was able to find a seat at a nearby table and chow down! The best fried chicken I've eaten since I was in McComb, Mississippi, in 2009! For real. Tasted like my Mama or my grandmothers had cooked it--me, even, back in the day when I fried food. And you don't get yourself messy by dropping anything from fried chicken on yourself, so I made up my mind to return again and again, a decision I didn't regret for one second, period.

I still don't regret eating fried chicken for my main meal of the day for four days in a row. And I'm planning to go back next year to the Waterfront Blues Festival; I'm hoping that Jackson Square will be there with this fried chicken. Anyway, I walked it off going back and forth at the festival and didn't eat all of the waffles.


Barbara Farr said...

Sounds like you ad a really good time. The one thing that caught my attention was your mention of the sweet tea. Wow!

Randy said...

I would have the worst heartburn after eating that. I would still go for it though. I'll bet the poster is great.

Jim Klenke said...

that chicken looks good. It sounds like you would have outwalked me. I sure sounds like fun.