Friday, July 27, 2012

There's a lot to like about Lowell!

Lowell Folk Festival Edition!

Every year, the Mo and I make our way to downtown Lowell to attend the Folk Festival which is held every year.  The Lowell Folk Festival is the largest free folk festival in the United States.

The event starts Friday evening and the festivities goes on for 3 days until Sunday.  Lowell's downtown area is packed with parades, folk music and dancing and a plethora of street vendors. Local businesses extend their hours and offers specials to attract the flock of tourists that travel into Lowell for the festival.

Since I had a busy weekend planned, we decided to go on a Friday night instead of our usual Saturday.  Friday night is a lot less busier and not all the vendors and stages are set up.  It was a beautiful night, sunny and cooler in the high 70's, perfect walking weather.

We also brought the dogs and they definitely stole the show.  We had a bunch of people approaching us to pet the dogs and asking us their breed info, etc.  I think the Mo had a proud father moment.

 We don't really care much for the music, the Mo and I go for the food. There is a plethora of vendors lined up along the street with their make shift kitchen.  The tantalizing aromas of the different cuisines definitely makes my mouth water as I get excited to try the different menu items.   

Before we purchase anything, we like to walk up to each stand to view the offerings so don't have any remorse if we have stuffed our face with a dish then realized there was something better that we would have wanted more.

To prepare for our upcoming trip to Greece, the Mo wanted to try a meat gyro, which is a Greek "fast food" staple.  It's a pita wrap stuffed with roasted meat that is cooked vertically on a spit, onions, tomatos, tzatziki yogurt.   We stopped by the Hellenic American Academy food stand and waited in a short line.  We got a gyro and a spinach pie after minutes of pondering if I should get the chicken souvlaki or vegetarian grape leaves.  I tried a bite of the gyro, and it was absolutely delicious! Pretty filling and it only cost $ 6.00.  The spinach pie was tasty but it reminded me of the ones they sell at Market's Kitchen inside my local Market Basket.  The prices were pretty reasonable except for the water, which seemed to be standard at $3.00 per a bottle:

Meat Gryo

We walked by the famous Philippines stand.  It's always fun to watch them cook as they are so organized and well prepared.  The line is always long and everyone seems to enjoy it.  I personally don't get anything from there because I think I can cook everything they serve.. plus.. $ 3.00 for a "lumpia" (their version of the eggroll).. seriously??? The combo beef plate was $10.50 and the chicken combo was $8.00.

Frying Lumpia
Huge Wok to fry Noodles and Rice

Line for the popular stand
Besides eggrolls, I love other fried pastries with meat fillings. I couldn't decide between the Indian samosas or the Jamaican beef patties. I love them both equally! I went with the Jamaican patty because it looked a bit tastier! I was so glad I made that choice because it was delicious. It had the perfect balance of spicy and flavor inside the wonderful flaky crust.

If ethnic fare is not your thing, there is also a street filled with the usual carnival/fair foods like fried dough, chicken tenders, lemonade, fries and ice cream.
And if street food isn't your thing, there are numerous downtown Lowell restaurants that are happy to serve you with their full menu and specials.  Many of them even offer outside patio seating so you can "people watch" and still feel part of the festival.

There's something for everyone at the Lowell Folk Festival! Come on down and EAT!