Dancing to the hip hop mix of DJ Zaeden, with a cocktail in one hand and a hookah in the other, all I could think of was that the Bite of Portland might have a few things to learn from India’s largest food festival, Grub Fest. Getting there was a pain in the butt, but that is just par for the course in Delhi. We got in an argument with another driver while trying to park, and we had to stand in-line for over half an hour to get in, but it was well worth the hassles. I, and my four friends from India, had an amazing time! It was so fun that we wished we had gone on Saturday night instead of Sunday so that we could have stayed out to party longer. Here are the 5 reasons why I had such a blast.
- The Food: The sheer variety of food was tantalizing and all but one thing I tasted was delicious. There was plenty of Indian food, along with pub style dishes (nachos and wings), Mexican, Italian, sushi, hot dogs, pizza, decadent desserts, and just about anything else you could think up. As for me, I was starving when we arrived, so I wasted no time in ordering a tikka chicken pita pocket with chipotle sauce. It was perfect! Later in the evening I tried a hot dog from a food cart called “Doggie Style”. Unfortunately the creativity of their name was the only thing that impressed me. I won’t be indulging in “Doggie Style” again anytime soon. After waiting in line for over half an hour for a hot dog, and somehow managing to keep my cool in a que (line) full of cutters, the hot dog was cold. There was no way I was going to wait in line for another half hour to get a replacement that probably wasn’t going to be hot anyway. Into the trash it went for some wild cow or dog to munch on later. I ended my night of gluttony with a strawberry chocolate ice cream sandwich with salted caramel sauce. It was heavenly! Twice in the evening we were turned away from vendors that were temporarily out of food. The Grub Fest is a fairly new event so I’m sure they will get better in the years ahead at planning for the huge turn-out.
- The Drinks: If you are going to binge on food, you might as well add some wine, beer or interesting cocktails to the splurge. I was happy to see that the lines for drinks weren’t quite as long as the lines for food. I had a vodka pineapple juice. My friends had wine and beer. There was even ice cream made with alcohol but I didn’t feel like mixing the two. I’m a purist that way.
- The Music: It was banging! Mostly it was trance or techno done with a DJ, but I did see a live guitarist performing a cover of one of my favorite Cold Play songs. He was really good! However, we wanted to dance, so we ended up listening to Zaeden on the main stage. It was perfectly mixed DJ tunes accompanied with busy graphics and lasers on the big screen. The crowd went wild and I felt like I was at a Rave. We were so into it that we danced on the table and took a break only to puff on some apple-pan hookah.
- The Entertainment: Aside from the music, there were plenty of other things to do. I saw a number of cooking demonstrations, food demos and vendors selling a variety of food related items. Of course they were all handing out plenty of free samples. As I stuffed my face I had that after Thanksgiving feeling and was wishing I had warn my stretch pants!
- The People: Aside from a few line cutters and some general pushiness in the food lines, the people were a lot of fun. It was mostly a millennial crowd that was obviously there to party. I saw only a few kids but I wouldn’t recommend taking them to the Grub Fest. I smelled some green bud in the air more than once. I also met a couple of guys from France but I couldn’t hear most of what they were trying to say because of the loud music. But it didn’t really matter. We were all there to have a blast and that is exactly what we did! If you ever travel to India, I highly recommend attending the Grub Fest.