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Just Got Back From Phantom Gourmet Food Festival

I was able to score a couple of VIP tickets at the last minute today (more about getting lucky than having connections), so I went into it with a friend of mine.

Overall impressions? First, the good: There were a variety of restaurants and food places there that I have wanted to try for awhile, including Trani, Ivy, Kane's Donuts, and Fuddruckers. Lines went pretty quickly, even during the mad rush around 12:30-1:00. Now, the bad: Lots of really rude people cutting in line, walking into other people and not saying anything, and being loud and obnoxious. It wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't so crowded, but it felt like gridlock at times, walking from one place to another, so the rudeness really made things a lot worse than they ordinarily might have been.

I won't get into detailed reviews of the places I went to (I wrote about them on my blog once I realized that the Pats game was no longer worth watching, God bless them), but I will say that I really liked Kane's Donuts, Fuddruckers, and Beard Papa's. Tough to judge anyplace when they are moving food so quickly, but these three stood out, IMO.

Aside from the rudeness and the somewhat steep price for what we got there, I would probably consider going back next year. The food at the BBQ Beach Party was generally a lot more to my liking, but the variety at the Food Festival made it a bit more interesting.

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  1. Kane's is the best. Did you try their coffee rolls???

    1 Reply
    1. re: taxi

      I did. It was so good that I almost stopped at that point, knowing that I had found true greatness (and noticing that they had just brought out a new batch of the coffee rolls). I eventually found the willpower to pull myself away from the Kane's booth, but it definitely wasn't easy. My friend went back for seconds later on, but by then I was feeling pretty sluggish from all the food...

    2. Who else was thee. Is Wholly Cannoli worth the pilgrimage?

      8 Replies
      1. re: trufflehound

        it has always baffled me that fuddruckers is based in MA , yet there are like 3 locations. that is a favorite from childhood

        1. re: marthayou

          Don't know where you got the idea that it was MA based, but Fuddruckers is based in TX. I believe the restaurants are franchised. They really do serve a nice burger, but avoid the Logan's location...I don't know what they're doing there, but it is definately subpar to the Saugus and Reading locations.

          They had a location in Burlington in the early '80's (where the Tweeter building is/was). I don't know what happened, because they were always crowded, weekday and weekend alike.

          1. re: sablemerle

            The chain went through a few ownership changes some years back and I think it was owned by a MA investor for a short period; but yes...always TX based.

            They had a branch in the Transportation building..now Cal Pizza Kitchen. I think they're pretty good for what they do..and occassionally stopped in.

          2. re: marthayou

            Is it- I grew up in Cali and there were a lot of them out there

          3. re: trufflehound

            I've been to Wholly Cannoli's shop in Worcester twice and was not impressed. First time the cannoli fillings had an oddly sour taste to them, the second time the cannolis were just plain ordinary. If you're used to what the good North End spots supply, WC's are just not their equal, though I'd guess they don't have much competition in Worcester.

            Can't say how they were at PG's foodfest as I wasn't there.

            1. re: bachslunch

              The cannoli at the PG FF were AWESOME. I got to Wholly late (I was working a booth) and that cannoli was heavenly. And I'm not really a dessert person. I think they were serving their dynamite stick and it was dynamite!

              1. re: evamonti

                Darn, I should have saved room for one. Did you try the ice cream-filled cannoli at Trani? That was pretty good!

                1. re: evamonti

                  evamonti, which booth were you working at the PGFF? Just curious.

                  Would also be very interested in seeing comments on some of your local favorite restaurants, with some details if possible. I'm a frequent poster here, and I always find it interesting to get a fresh perspective from those who rarely write in and comment, like yourself.