Not too long ago my sister and I attended my first ever music festival: Governor’s Ball! This three-day fest was full of drunken debauchery, and included bands such as Florence and the Machine, The Black Keys, Atmosphere, and others (and yes, I did just name some of my favorites). Though the music was amazing, I was surprised by how much food there was, and the quality. Despite my yearning to try it all, my sister and I have shallow pockets, so we only bought one meal a day and ate snacks (and beer) for the other sustenance.
As the music swelled through the air, my sister and I sat on the grass—avoiding the areas where thousands of shoes had churned the ground into mud—usually on this hilly incline near the Gotham stage, and enjoyed our fest food. I will endeavor to review the three meals I ate. If you decide to go to Gov Ball next year—and I hope to—be on the lookout for these tasty treats.
Meal 1: Veggie lo mein from Flaming Wok
Friday, June 5
Listening to: Odesza
The perfect first meal to a festival, because despite there being a lot of excellent choices, this one had exactly what you would expect to find, being both questionable and “good enough.” Though it claimed to be veggie lo mien, I counted one slice of onion, and two thin carrot strips. The almost neon yellow noodles bore an uncanny resemblance to cup of noodles, making me hearken back to old school days and the forever mysterious cafeteria food that only just passed as edible. I apoloizes, Sporkers, for forgetting to take a picture of these noodles, they were a sight to behold. In my defense, at this point in the day my sister and I were well into our beers and flask of burning liquid, and so naturally grabbed what was closest to eat and devoured it. Though I do not plan on seeking out this restaurant/truck in the city, they were quite perfect as an introduction to a weekend that just kept getting better.
Meal 2: Risotto balls from Arancini Bros.
Saturday, June 7
Listening to: Flume
Immediate excitement filled me as I read the words “risotto balls.” This excitement grew as I continued to find out what they were filled with. My sister and I had walked around the whole fest, looking at all of the food options. I couldn’t believe all of the variety, from noodles to burgers to tacos to lobster rolls, it was an impressive collection. But the second I saw risotto balls I knew it was my next choice.
You could get either three or six balls (I am indeed giggling like a child as I write this one out), and naturally I went for six—not the best move. They looked good, smelled good, and tasted great for sure, but I eat fried food rarely; French fries on special occasions, but that’s about it. This day I decided to eat both French fries and these fried risotto balls. My alcohol-soaked stomach was not used to this sort of abuse, and yet it was worth it.
I ordered two risotto balls filled with pesto, two with buffalo chicken, and two with Italian mac and cheese. The pesto were my favorite—what could be better than pesto and risotto? —but the buffalo balls were quite flavorful. Though I enjoyed the Italian mac and cheese ones too, they were slightly bland compared to the others. It was also a little strange eating pasta inside rice. All in all pretty good and very filling, I couldn’t handle eating all six balls, but I would eat them again. This company also had one of the weirdest logos I’ve ever seen: three legs sticking out in a circular angle from a head.
Meal 3: Veggie stir-fry from Key West Noodles
Sunday, June 7
Listening to: Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds (they also go by another name…)
Without meaning to, we saved the best for last. These noodles were absolutely delicious, and I would have gone back for seconds if the line hadn’t been so long. After drinking a whole lot of alcohol and having too much fried food the day before, my sister and I were feeling the need for grease. We also have a strange love of eating with chopsticks.
Unlike our first noodles, these were a much more normal color covered in a brown sauce, and just the aroma wafting from them was intoxicating. They were also actually accompanied by vegetables, unlike our first attempt. I had zucchini and green beans and onions—a much more even ratio with the noodles. The sauce had a slightly peanut taste, and accompanied well with a bit of spicy sriracha on top. The perfect last meal to fit a satisfying weekend.
Post and Photos by Shannon Moloney.