Last Friday night was the gala / kickoff for the Pawtucket Arts festival, with music by Slippery Sneakers and Buckwheat Zydeco. But the real attraction to this event is the Taste of Pawtucket Food Festival, where dozens of the city's restaurants set up booths and offered samples of their wares included in the price of admission, which was $10 in advance, $15 at the door. This year's food fest was set up in the street, apart from the music, so there was much more room to stroll among the food booths (unlike last year when everything was crowded together). I didn't know there were so many restaurants in Pawtucket! Actually there was such a variety, everything from chains such as McDonald's and Dunkin Donuts, to RI based Chelo's, Spumoni's and other well known and not so well known establishments were represented. I had never heard of the "To Kalon" club, which offered one of the more inventive dishes, a roast pork with amaretto /sun-dried tomato cream sauce. There were Steak tips from East Ave Cafe, Ruben sandwiches from Local Hero Deli, Shrimp Alinha from Galito's Portuguese restaurant, Vietnamese noodles and spring rolls from Pho Horn, clam cakes and chowder from Chelo's, breads from Seven Stars bakery - the list goes on and on, and those are just the ones I tried. Bacchini's bakery was there with their delicious desserts, and so was Lila's cafe with their house-made ice cream in flavors such as strawberry rhubarb, peanut-butter hemp, coffee, green tea with lime, mango sorbet and more, some of them vegan. After all that it was tough to get out there and dance, but we made the effort. Slippery Sneakers sounded good, with the full band on stage, not the pared down winter version. Because it was the 10th anniversary of the festival, there were fireworks between bands. Buckwheat started late and had to end on time so it was an abbreviated set. He was in more of a reggae / funk mode than zydeco, and played some B3, when he could get it to work - they had some sound problems, so it was not the best performance of Buckwheat, but we still had a fun time, on the banks of the Blackstone River, behind the old Slater mill.
Taste o’ Pawtucket / Arts Fest Gala
The Pawtucket Arts Festival continues next weekend with art and concerts in Slater Park, including the Stone Soup Folk Festival