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Jul 22, 2009 11:58 AM

Lowell Folk Festival! July 24 - 26

Hi all!

Just a heads up that the Lowell Folk Festival is this weekend - Friday evening through Sunday. Food from around the world, cooked by the local community (Latino, Greek, Portuguese, Jamaicain, African American, Filipino - that's just off the top of my head! (As they're cooking outside, and for hundreds (thousands!), each dish may not be as special as you might find in a restaurant - but the variety! The "hunt"! And the excitement of finding new treats!

There are past posts about favorites - Look for the Nigerians in St Anne's courtyard (Several of us Hounds think this food is the standout at Lowell!), the octopus stew from the Portuguese at JFK, and, for something lighter, the fatoosh sandwich (salad with delicious zatar on pita) from the Armenian's, also at JFK. I also always get sweet potato pie at the African- American tables!

Check back here during the Festival for new finds!

The Festival itself is a wonderful, FREE conglomeration of home-grown, terrific music from around the world, on six outdoor stages....Rain or shine! (Will be moved indoors if non-stop rain or if Friday evening is very wet - Otherwise, bring a small umbrella, and a plastic bag to sit on!)

EXTREMELY kid friendly!

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  1. I just checked out the link. The festival looks great - expecially the foods. Do you know if they have small samplings for sale of the various ethnic wines or beers?

    5 Replies
    1. re: RandyL

      Nope, but at the Main stage(JFK), there IS a beer and wine stand (May be the only wine stand)...Also another at the end of the row near Boardinghouse Park, where you can't leave their Beirgarten with your beverage, and another behind the Mill Bldg where some of the galleries are, with a bunch of newer food vendors. larger area there, and IIRC, you can take stuff with you, I think...Don't quote me here...Obviously, I have paid close attention to this issue.

      1. re: galleygirl

        We just came from the new stage "Dutton Street Stage" and there was also a beer/wine booth. Food is awesome, as usual. We started with a falafal, rice and fotoosh (sp?) at a middleeastern booth across from Boarding house park. Then after the wonderful blues music at Dutton Street Stage, we got some fantastic asian food: spring roll, pad thai and chicken basil.

        We love this event every year, still deciding on lunch tomorrow - can I have it all???

        1. re: lexpatti

          Oh yeah, I forgot, that fattoush is also a must-have...

          1. re: galleygirl

            I make something very similar all the time but I've been calling it Panzanella Salad (I use lemon juice, not vinegar).

            1. re: lexpatti

              Yes, panzanella and fattoush are pretty similar, though seasoned differently. And fattoush is usually made with pita, while panzanella is made with different breads - I like ciabbata or a nice rustic Italian loaf.

              I had a big helping of the fattoush yesterday, which was indeed delicious. Also Barmy and I split a slice of the sweet potato pie that fredid mentions above - one of the best I've had in a long, long time. But I did regret not getting a lumpia of my own from the Filipino stand - man, that was good!

              Probably too late now, but the cold and unappetizong patties that Barmy mentions below were being sold at the Jamaican/Indian booth that had locations both at JFK Plaza, near the Polish booth, and at Boarding House Park.

    2. Don't forget the Polish and Southeast Asian food vendors! Though it is free, they do pass the hat at each of the concert venues and are rather hard up financially this year, so I hope that Hounds who attend will be generous! As with the weekly concert series at Boardinghouse Park, this is a family-oriented event. There's a strong Park Ranger presence. This is not the place for those who can't enjoy themselves without getting snockered. I've gone many times, and have rarely seen drunk or rowdy people. Either it doesn't attract them, or they are speedily removed.

      3 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        They keep them in little pens, and make the alcohol difficult to find....Plus, Birkinstocks reduce the problem of reeling from too much alcohol.... (ha!)

        The best SE Asian vendor, with a slightly different menu than the others, is near Boardinghouse park. Last year, they were making papaya salad in a mortar and pestle...

        1. re: greygarious

          I agree. I was thinking along the lines of what the Annual Food and Wine Fest is like every Fall in Epcot. Along with small food samplings in kiosks from many different countires and regions of the world (and not just the countries that are represented in Epcot), they have small "pours" of beers and wines native to each area. Not nearly enough to get snockered but certainly give a taste of what they are like.

          1. re: RandyL

            It's a cool idea, but I think a big difference is that the food and drink at Epcot presumably come form Epcot kitchens and are covered by Epcot's liquor licensing.

            In contrast, each booth at Lowell is run by a different small group, most of them church groups, and I would think that it would be both difficult and expensive to get licensing to serve alcohol in those circumstances. Not to mention the challenge of each booth having to check IDs in crowded, hectic circumstances.

        2. Just came back from another wonderful few hours: The portugese booth by JFK was awesome, fava beans with luinguicia and smoked ham - hubby had the beef kabob and rice. We also hit the south african booth and had fantastic goat stew and meat pies.

          And for those asking, Ricardo's has opened a new wine/cheese shop where they are doing wine tasting outside. It's down an alley just off Prescott St., which is just of Central. IT's actually on the back side of Prescott on the Canal (sort of). Nice new shop!

          1. The Nigerian booth at St. Anne's had wonderful Goat Stew which we had with Jollof Rice. Great Combo. Also highly recommend the smoothies at the organic farm booth, also at St. Annes. That was a very nice lunch.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mirage

              we had the goat stew too. killah good.

            2. Wow - I love how they have menus on the site! Wish I could make it this year (can't). I'm drooling... I noticed they have food demonstrations listed separately from food sales - are they demonstrating how they make them?

              1 Reply
              1. re: threedogs

                Yes, though the demos are not necessarily run by vendors (often not, I think).