This year marked the third year (one and two) of the Austin Food and Wine Alliance’s Live Fire and the third year that Evelyn and I have attended. Unexpectedly the weather turned wet and dreary, but remained relatively tame for the duration of the face-stuffing festivities. We met up with Jeff and Lisa (of Full and Content), who had already scoped things out and snapped some great pictures, so check them out for some actually good photos of the event.
After battling traffic Evelyn and I arrived around 7pm and got right to the eating. Ultimately we tried all but two of the tents, some of which had multiple samples to try. All pictures are below, and rather than somehow rank 17 dishes, I’ll share a few highlights.
For me, Cafe Josie’s Braised Short Rib and Sweet Potato Skewer, the second thing we tasted, topped my list.
Evelyn and Lisa both preferred the Toasted Chile and Garlic Skirt Steak with Jalapeno Jelly, Cherry Tomato Relish and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds from Arcade Midtown Kitchen in San Antonio. That would be my second favorite.
Jeff’s favorite bite came from The Granary (also in San Antonio) and their Smoke-Grilled Beef Cheek, Plantain, and Chimichurri.
In true Franklin BBQ fashion, he ran out of food very early (like 7:45pm at an event that goes from 6:30-9pm) and many people were left without sampling his beef ribs. Ev and I made the rounds quickly (more on that in a sec) and still didn’t make it to Franklin’s line in time. Franklin himself said he prepared 500 plates (the number of tickets that were sold), but alas… sad times.
As for the event itself, it just didn’t have that same “WOW” factor as in years past. Perhaps being pregnant (i.e. no drinking) coupled with soggy weather meant there was less opportunity to grab a plate or two and then find a spot to just hang out and enjoy while sipping wine or a cocktail. Instead, we grabbed a plate of food and promptly moved to the back of the next line. Jeff, Evelyn, and I agree that the quality of the food, for whatever reason, didn’t blow us out of the water either. Perhaps we’re simply remembering last year with an unfairly high expectation.
We’ll see about if we’ll attend or not next year. If deciding now, probably not. But who knows, maybe we’ll remember it with a certain fondness that forgets the downsides of this year’s event. Until then, onto more (mediocre) food pictures!
In order of consumption: