Tucson Meet Yourself Festival
I've always wanted to attend the Tucson Meet Yourself Festival. There are a lot of ethnic food festivals everywhere, but these guys get a particularly amazing range, especially for such a small city. Plus I fell in love with a Yoeme restaurant in Tucson years ago (shortly before it closed down), and I'm hoping the Yoeme chefs at this fest might be some of the same people.
Anyone familiar with this event?
Here's a list of vendors: http://www.tucsonmeetyourself.org/fes...
Having gone there last week I feel the idea is better than the execution. Everything either of us ate was swimming in grease and the flavor wasn't up to par with years past. And the crowds- my gosh, a sea of people- you could barely move after a while. And it was hot. I won't bust down any barricades to go again, I don't think.
The Arizona Daily Star included a map of the festival area in this morning's paper. It's much larger than in years past and festival organizers say they are expecting more than 150,000 visitors. The area now extends to the Tucson Convention Center plaza, which is accessible via the pedestrian bridge over Broadway from the traditional area (El Presidio Park) behind the courthouse. Some of the booths that promise to be good based on past experience are the Club Columbia, Club Costa Rica, Club Espana (get the paella), Danish Club, Filipino American Student Association, Hungarian Gourmet, Lao Student Club, Southern Arizona Korean Association, and the Vasa Swedish Lodge in the El Presidio area. Across Church Avenue in the library plaza I'll be homing in on the Croatian Wagon, Turkish booth, and the Sultan Palace booth (Afghani). After that, I'll waddle on over to the Convention Center and hit Cilantro's Columbian and the Vietnamese Student Association. In between, I'll take in some of the cooking demos and Iron Chef competitions. Several lectures in the library look good, too: Gregory McNamee is speaking on "The Food of Arizona" and there are other talks on the Harvey House restaurants and Depression-era cooking. And there are five stages for live entertainment spread throughout the downtown area. Counting down the hours until the 11 a.m. opening!
345 W Drachman St, Tucson, AZ 85705
"Tucson Meet Yourself" is an event I look forward to every year. As you can tell from the list, most of the food booths are run by church groups, student clubs, and ethnic associations rather than area restaurants. Early Friday afternoon is the best time to go to avoid the crowds and to get food that you know is freshly prepared. My approach is to go early on Friday and conduct a walk-by reconnaissance of the booths, picking up one or two appetizers along the way from the Costa Rican, Columbian, or Korean booths and making mental notes of what's available. I can usually make a couple of loops through the plaza before I'm full, and then I just enjoy the entertainment and think about what I'm going to try on Saturday. I tend to avoid the full meal deals as there are simply too many booths that I want to hit. Be aware that many of the booths will run out of food on Sunday afternoon.