Events, Places to Eat

CRAVE Lexington 2016 | Food and Music Festival

crave lexington 2016

Crave Lexington is Lexington’s signature food event that celebrates locally-crafted fare from 55+ food vendors and 10 bands. There is also a classic car show as well. This is the fourth year that this event has been held, and this is the second year that I have been. The event this year was on August 13 and 14, and it was held at Masterson Station Fairgrounds. Masterson Station Park is one of the largest parks in Lexington at 660 acres.

A couple of days before Crave, I was looking at the weather and it was supposed to rain all day and night on both days of the event, August 13 and 14. I was incredibly bummed because I had been looking forward to it all year. It’s a rain or shine event, but the weather was forecasting heavy rain and thunderstorms with lightning. Luckily, there weren’t any storms, but it was super hot and there was sunshine pretty much the entire day for both days.

Admission is $6, but then you have to either a) buy a package that includes food and drink tickets weeks beforehand (I bought my package two weeks early) or b) purchase an amount of tickets that you need at the ticket booths on the day of the evens. For me, I purchased the package that included two admissions and $47 CRAVE bucks. Since I went on the next day as well, I purchased around $15 of additional tickets.

The tickets are how you pay for the food (no cash or debit/credit cards). Each vendor offers at least three different options; $1 option, which is like a sample sized portion, $3, which is a little bit bigger, and $5, which is even bigger than the other options. It’s up to the discretion to each vendor on how large the portions are. I got several $3 options, and there was plenty of it to be split between two people. Some vendors only had three options ($1, $3, and $5) and other vendors had several options for each price point. FYI: These are NOT the normal prices if you were to go to the food truck or actual restaurant.

“Crave Lexington partners with several charities during the festival, with GreenHouse 17 receiving the largest portion of festival proceeds of all of our non-profit partners. In 2015, Crave Lexington contributed $20,895 to GreenHouse 17 and $3,580 to the HomeBuilders’ Care Association in partnership with Andover Management Company. “

They also offer discounted booth space to nonprofits with missions to provide food to the hungry or underprivileged.

I’m sure if you know me personally or have read my blog before or follow me on instagram, you know I’m a huge advocate of shopping and eating local. This is another example of a great event to try out food from many different restaurants around the city. Some are food trucks and some are brick and mortar restaurants. Once again, there were so many options that it would be impossible to try it all. Not to mention, it’s another great opportunity to try out restaurants that you’ve never heard of or were curious about and to go back to your old favorites.

Now, what I chose to eat:

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{top left} I can’t remember which food truck this came from or what flavor but it was absolutely delicious and refreshing! {middle} Curveball Cookie from Confused Confections (marshmallows, chocolate chips, and their secret crunch) {top right} Pretzels and Beer Cheese from Red State BBQ. If you haven’t tried beer cheese at all or even their beer cheese, you are missing out, because it’s simply divine! {bottom left} 1893 Pepsi Original Cola and Pepsi Ginger Cola. Both of these are all-natural, fair-trade, sugar-sweetened colas. 1893 Original Cola is made with kola nut extract, dark brown malt flavor, a touch of aromatic bitters, sparkling water, and real sugar. {middle} Pineapple bite from Hogfathers BBQ. So yummy!! {bottom right} Gnocchi and Tuscan Herb Olive Oil from Pasta Garage. Their pasta is made from scratch and made daily!

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{top left} Some bourbon chicken and waffles from POLLO – a gourmet chicken joint. Chicken and waffles is one of my favorite dishes! {middle} Some type of bread pudding. Sadly, I can’t remember where this came from! I’m pretty sure it had bourbon in it (because everything does, and no I’m not complaining. In Kentucky, we are responsible for 95% of the world’s bourbon, so of course we are going to put it in our food too. I’ll be mentioning a lot about bourbon in September). {top right} I can’t get enough of Beer Cheese!! This is Beer Cheese Mac n’ Cheese from Dad’s Favorites. You can’t go wrong with this combination!! {bottom left} This is a freshly cut and smashed plantain chip topped with locally made crumbled Venezuelan queso blanco and rosada sauce from Empanadas Aqui {middle} Beef Tips from Columbia’s Steakhouse  {bottom right} Paprika Pincho Chicken Skewers from Enoteca.

Rolling-Oven-Mobile-Pizzeria-Food-Truck

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The pizza from Rolling Oven is amazing and their truck is just the coolest. This pizza is a bacon and scallop slice. It has a white wine and garlic cream sauce, topped with scallops, bacon, and fresh mozzarella. It’s finished with grated parmesan and fresh basil.

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This is a Larceny Lemonade. This is made with Larceny Bourbon, Citrus, Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur. Here are some fun facts about Larceny: Larceny won the prestigious Double Gold Medal award at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. It is also ranked #18 of the top 120 spirits in the World and was given five stars highest recommendation from Spirit Journal. Larceny was hand selected by the Master Distillers to have a taste profile of six-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Made with wheat as the secondary grain, instead of the traditional rye, Larceny is a smoother tasting Bourbon.

It’s color is bright new copper. It’s aroma is of a fresh bread and toffee, with a note of butterscotch. It’s taste is buttery caramel and honeyed notes with a rich mouthfeel. It’s finish is long, gently sweet and savory. It is is a true small batch Bourbon produced from dumps of 100 or fewer barrels that have been selected from the 4th, 5th and 6th floors of Heaven Hill’s open rick warehouses.

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{top left} This a fried fish sandwich from Follow the Snack Shack, and it has to be some of the best that I have ever eaten! I remember eating at this food truck last year, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to since, so since I was able to now, I definitely couldn’t pass this opportunity up! {middle left} This isn’t just any ordinary lemonade. This is Island Style Lemonade with fresh squeezed lemon and contains almond extract. This is also from Follow the Snack Shack! {middle right} Pink Lemonade flavor from Sav’s Chill. This was perfect on this hot day! {top right} Garlic and Parmesan Lattice Cut Chips from Jax Burgers. {bottom left} Bread Pudding with Bourbon Caramel from The Village Idiot. Go get you some!! {middle} Bistro Bison Slider from Bronte Bistro. This is a bison burger with grilled apple, brown sugar bacon, and white wine gorgonzola spread. This was absolutely delicious! Another great Kentucky Proud product!! Actually everything that I post or that you have seen thus far is! {bottom right} Banana Pudding from Meats BBQ. Banana pudding is one of my favorites!!

Beyond Grits Food Award winners:

 

See you next year!

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  • This looks like a great way to spend a couple days. I need to get in the know with local festivals and events like these here in Atlanta. I am sure they have them, but I’ve never been.

    • I bet they have them there! We have a lot of events similar to this. Maybe not on this scale. But we always have like block parties downtown, night markets, and food trucks are always parked outside the bars pretty much every weekend and during the week too!

  • Taylor Smith

    That looks like so much fun!! I love this! The food looks delicious!!!

  • This kind of reminds of the Taste of Chicago festival. There’s always so much to try it can be overwhelming. That Laceny Lemonade sounds incredible.

  • Cassandra B. @PoweredbyBLING

    I love the pizza truck. We have a local brick oven pizza truck that comes to sporting events. This sounds like a really fun food festival!

    • It was so much fun!! The pizza was amazing too! I plan on getting some more this weekend, since the truck will be at a festival I’m going to over the weekend!

  • Seriously. I have to go. That bourbon chicken and waffles. The cookies. The pizza. I’m starving.

  • Amanda

    How far is Kentucky from Texas because I am pretty sure that this is something I need to attend! Everything looks super yummy

  • Jen

    I love the pictures of all your cute little kids. All of those burgers are making me hungry for dinner

    • I’m confused. I don’t have any kids or have posted any pictures of any kids on my blog?

      • Cynthia @craftoflaughter

        maybe she’s referring to your instagram photo’s on the side bar??

  • Cynthia @craftoflaughter

    I need to go to this festival! I may have to plan a get away next year to attend! Especially since I have a friend who lives there!

  • I love a great food and wine festival! Looks at all the meals you enjoyed and I am very interested in the Larceny Lemonade. Also I would love to try the Best Fusion from Empanadas Aqui. I love empanadas!

    • Larceny is really good!! Best Fusion was just the award they won, but they have lots of dishes to pick from though! The smashed plantain chip with the different toppings I got was one of the many things that they offered 🙂

  • This looks like such a fun festival. I love all the food vendors that participate and the great food that is available.

  • The Larceny Lemonade looks so refreshing I would love to have a tall glass of that right now. It is boiling out here x

  • Wendy Polisi

    This looks like such a great time! And that Lemonade – I’m pretty sure I need that in my life.

  • Shannon Graham

    I am so jealous! I would have loved to go there! What an amazing event to attend!

  • Michelle Myers

    Bacon, pizza, food? Oh my goodness, this sounds like my kind of event for sure! YUMMY!

  • What a fun event! I love food festivals like this where you get to try lots of little different bits and pieces 🙂

  • It was such an amazing time. Almost like heaven!

  • Oh this sounds like it would be a great date night idea! Food, music… this is my kind of event 🙂 We live in a festival city so we attend a lot of them!

  • I remember seeing some type of a food festival around this time last year when I was visiting Lexington. This must have been it! I love food festivals, so I’d love to go to their next one next time. 🙂 – HilLesha

  • CourtneyLynne Storms

    Oooo now this looks like my kinda event!!!!! I’m all about food. Nothing better than a yummy time 😉

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