Summerfest.  Not just a wonderful word. 

Mishawaka’ Summerfest is a yearly tradition in the northern Indiana . There is music, bouncy rides, vendors selling random items, and of course, fair type food.  Okay, let’s be honest: you mostly come to eat. 

The sampling this year there were typical festival vendors, like elephant ears and bucket o’potatoes, steak tips and  fried anything.   But I was pleasantly surprised to see there was a new booth by the American Culinary Federation for cooks and chefs. 

I soon found out they had two items on their menu. Chicken and waffles as the main  entree, so to speak, and bananas foster as dessert. An enthusiastic chef manning the booth recommended that I buy both, because why not?  And I had to agree.  

The chicken and waffle dish was made of chicken nuggets in a waffle cone, coleslaw, blue cheese, some peppery bacon and a little maple syrup on top.  I had to pass on trying it, stupid allergies, so I lived vicariously through my friend,  who ate it all. She said it was delicious, but a tad sweet because of the syrup, which was happily gone in the first bite or so. 

I think the best thing about this type of dish is its portability. You want breakfast and lunch, but can’t decide?  Let’s just throw both together In an edible container perfecectly shaped to fit your hand. Whoever needs evidence of civilization’s technology advancement, look no further. 

I had to fiercely defend the other dish, bananas foster, because it looked so delicious. And it sure was. The bananas were caramelized and doused with rum. I could have almost skipped the ice cream,  the bananas were so good. But cold meeting the hot is the kind of food drama I hate to miss. 

So no complaints, other than it was obvious that they had purchased a lower grade vanilla ice cream. Shame on the chefs.  But still yards beyond elephant ears and corn dogs. 

Speaking of dogs, at some booth they were selling hillbilly hot dogs, which I have never heard of. The line was too long for me to get a glimpse of the actual dog, But I was able to get a peek at the explanation.  

It looks worth trying, although it sounds suspiciously like a chili dog with cheese that rolled over into your side of coleslaw.  Of course the two dogs in one bun has me curious as to the physical dimensions of this dish. How does one hold it? I also can’t help but wonder if hillbillies eat these on a regular basis or only at festivals.  Hmmmmm…… I guess it’s a mystery for another festival.  


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