Fall Fest a foodie fav’ with Chili & Chowder Contest

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Main Street was sans motor vehicles this past Saturday as the chamber of commerce helped ring in the pumpkin-spiced season with its eighth annual Fall Festival. Eventgoers were invited to participate in the annual Chili & Chowder Contest, which garnered delicious entries from downtown restaurants. Additionally, an autumnal seasonal beer tasting brewed up some new fall favorites.

Attendees were invited to dress for Halloween, and at 2 p.m. a Halloween costume parade was hosted at Capital One Plaza by Gateway Playhouse. The festival also brought out a scarecrow on stilts and a group of balloon-twisting entertainers who kept kids occupied with their inflated creations. Live musical acts, including The Brother Pluckers and Cloud 10 Country Music Band, played onstage.

For the Chili & Chowder Contest, participants purchased tickets and were handed a map of participating restaurants.

The chowder at That Meetball Place was especially enticing. The sample-size serving was more than filling—a full-bodied under-the-sea experience of thick, creamy white chowder complete with large, red chunks of lobster claw and teeny scallops so flavorful it could nearly knock your socks off. The dish was then topped off with a sprig of fresh green cilantro.

Village Idiot Pub served up an equally exquisite chowder. By contrast, it was thinner than the one at That Meetball Place, featuring shreds of fish and crab swimming in a sweet, cream-colored broth, bits of meat bobbing up to the soup’s surface, with every dunk of the spoon in a tantalizing bid to be devoured. Patrons were invited to top their tasting off with another liquid favorite. Theirs was pumpkin ale by Schlafly Brewing, with pumpkiny sweetness so flavorsome the drink tasted closer to grandma’s freshly baked pumpkin pie than a pint of Paulaner.

Participating restaurants included Arooga’s, BrickHouse Brewery, Buttermilk’s Kitchen, Daisy’s Nashville Lounge, Darling Brewing, Del Fuego, Donatina, Gallo, James Joyce, Locale Gastro Bar & Pizzette, Perabell Food Bar, Standard Rec, That Meetball Place, The Hero Joint, The Tap Room, Toast Coffeehouse, Village Idiot Pub, and Whiskey Neat.

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