Saturday was the Taste of Rome festival in Rome, NY, and Mr.W and I stopped by for lunch. It was a perfect day, too--sunny, with a light breeze, and not too hot. The atmosphere was festive!
And they didn't forget the children--they had this bouncy house, and something that looked like a giant caterpillar.
And a clown. A scary, scary clown. (I don't know why people like clowns; I don't. Not one bit.) She offered free face painting and related entertainment; the line was long.
Rome, NY is an historic town right in the center of Revolutionary War country. Rome boasts the start of the Erie Canal--the man-made waterway connecting the Hudson River to the Great Lakes. Known as Clinton's Ditch, the first shovelful of dirt dug for this important waterway was turned in Rome. There's even a reconstructed fort--a national park--right in the middle of downtown.
More importantly--in my opinion, anyway--Rome is a community built from Italian, German, Irish and Polish immigrants. There are a number of delicious eateries in town, so I expected greatness from their Taste of Rome.
I have to say that I was a bit surprised. Somehow, in my mind, I expected $1 or $2 tasting portions at the food booths showcasing local and seasonal fare--you know, for a taste. But it was standard fair grub: hotdogs, hamburgers, funnel cakes and french fries. And pizza frittes (fried pizza dough sprinkled with sugar).
There were a few standouts, however.
A good cook need not spell correctly, I suppose; but making homemade pierogi and galumpki is an art.
At $5 a pop, I couldn't afford one of these--but these deep-fried onion blossoms flew out of the flyer. Isn't that term trademarked?
I really enjoyed this sweet italian sausage on a grinder roll topped by a mountain of green and red pepper strips. There was also spaghetti sauce on the side for topping. I took the photo before liberally dressing my sausage and eating the whole thing in three bites. Very filling for $4.
But the piece de resistance were these:
Fried Oreo cookies. These were fan-freaking-tastic. Dipped in funnel cake batter, these little suckers were gently deep-fried and dusted with powdered sugary goodness. I must have been close to sugar shock but I didn't care. I could have eaten a boatload of these--fortunately there were only 5 for $3, and I shared those with Mr.W.
Overall it was a nice enough diversion for a lovely Saturday afternoon.