The Great American Food & Music Fest at the New Meadowlands Stadium was a great way to spend a Sunday, if you wanted to. I made it there relatively on time despite the stadium’s winding parking lots that easily throw you back on to the highway. When I got in I was immediately told by a security guard that I had my feet on the field before any players, so after kicking off my shoes to make sure I got my toes in Astroturf, I continued on my way. The middle of the field had a large main stage where many of the days events took place. There were people of all ages enjoying themselves. Where the normal concession area would be there were dozens of tents erected by famous restaurants from all over the east coast. Some of the purveyors included Willie Mae’s, Tony Lukeâ€™s, Alâ€™s Beef, and Zoeâ€™s Cupcakes.
BBQ was the main cuisine of the day, with most ticketholders walking around with beef ribs that would have satisfied Fred Flintstone. I made my way to the Johnsonâ€™s Boucaniere stand and had the chance to try the beef tartare and a duck, onion, goat cheese sandwich. There was something for everyone. There were two stages with line-ups that had me running back and forth. Some big highlights were the Jets/Giants Fan Cook-Off which was actually so intense it was a bit scary to get close to. Tony Luke Jr. gave a cooking demo noting his sarcastic enjoyment of electric stovetops. Duff Goldman and the Ace of Cakes team took the main stage with the promise of decorating an entire cake in half an hour while answering fan questions shouted out from below, they were dubbed the rock stars of the cooking world. They were by far the big crowd gatherer, throwing around hysterical antics while doing as promised. Unfortunately by the end of their set heavy rain set in and all stage shows were closed. Soon after everyone was asked to gather under an overhang as lightning set in. This was the cue to go, as Yankee games make for excellent traffic.