The James Harrison of this year’s Festival of the Arts switches to the Canada side this year.
We also see a name change as a similar menu was offered last year under “E=AT^2 Food.”
Deconstructed Reuben with Shredded Corned Beef, Thousand Island Dressing, Pickled Red Cabbage and a Rye Curl – $6.50
This was a miss for me, but that may be due to my own personal tastes. I thought the corned beef was on the dry side and suffered from an overly pungent vinegar flavor, but that may be more about me ordering a reuben and then complaining that I received a reuben. It’s also so deconstructed that you sort of have to put it all back together yourself to get the right flavor profile – so be prepared to dip the beef in the dressing and then break off a bite of the crisp rye curl to make for a proper sandwich. Quite distressing. It looks good though.
Deconstructed BLT with Crispy Pork Belly, Tomato Jam and Soft Poached Egg – $6.75
I haven’t had an opportunity to pick up the 2k18 version of one of my“Best of Festival” candidates from last year. I will update the picture later this week. The dish should arrive with two sizable slices of seared pork belly that are crisp on the outside before the juicy pork melts away in your mouth, leaving a pleasant, lingering flavor of grilled bacon. The tomato jam added a bit of sweetness to the flavor profile in addition to a bit of acid that contrasted nicely with the decadence of the pork. The just-poached egg requires just a small poke before releasing its rich, creamy contents. A must buy.
Deconstructed Strawberry Cheesecake: Whipped, New York Style Cheesecake with Fresh Florida Strawberries and Sugar Cookies with Micro-basil – $6
This is a bit damper-looking than your deconstructed cheesecake should look as we were rushing to the Odyssey Building ahead of the worst of the rain. We didn’t make it. This tastes incredibly fresh and clearly uses quality ingredients, but it’s probably also just 6-ish bites of food for $6.75 and strawberries are typically something like $3.50/pound. The cheesecake doesn’t “feel” as substantial whipped up in this fashion, but the bold flavors are still present and the sugar cookies provide a nice, sweet base for the bite that you’re going to have to put together yourself. It was really tasty, but it seems hard to justify it for the money.
Deconstructed Breakfast: Twinings Spiced Apple Chai Tea Shake with Maple Bourbon Cream, a Waffle Crisp and Candied Bacon – $10.50 or Without Bourbon for $4.50
You can see the bourbon pooling there underneath the “shake” on the alcoholic version on the far right. I actually preferred the flavor and texture of the non-alcoholic version (GASP), which had the appropriate thicker consistency and those tiny little ice crystals that make a drink like this sparkle on the tongue. I think the liquor in the alcoholic version melted the Shake so much that it was more like drinking milk. Overall, the non-alcoholic version is more refreshing and the much more expensive alcoholic version isn’t going to pack much of a punch.
Pop-Artsicle: Red, White and Blue Frozen Slushy – $4
That’s it on the left. You’ll receive three flavors of the usual frozen slush layered on top of each other. It’s a patriotic selection if you’re otherwise in line and in the mood for something cool and refreshing.
My estimation is that the regular quick service option provides a larger portion for similar money and The American Dream at Fife & Drum Tavern in the United States is delicious with soft service ice cream mixed in for $5.25.
Overall, the website recommends stopping for the BLT with the potential addition of one of the cocktails. The small portions are a bummer on the cheesecake and the drinks, though.