Fall Fest Firsts

Evansville Living’s new staff writer dives into the Fall Fest’s culinary smorgasbord

I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Maggie Valenti, and I am Tucker Publishing Group’s newest hire as a staff writer. When I arrived recently in Evansville and heard the Fall Festival — the largest annual event in the area — was around the corner, I immediately knew it was something I couldn’t miss.

Still, as a southern Connecticut native, there were certain foods I was unfamiliar with. What is a kraut ball? Puppy chow? Pronto pup? Brain sandwich?! I simply had never heard of such delicacies. So, my coworkers came up with an idea to try a bite of these strange and unfamiliar dishes. Truthfully, I typically am not the most adventurous eater, but I took up the challenge. When in Rome, right?

We polled our Facebook followers about what I should try, and they did not disappoint. I planned to sample a few suggestions at the Fall Festival the first afternoon, but there were a few foods I ruled out: the brain sandwich (I have no problem eating every part of an animal, but that does not mean I have to eat it), and anything overly spicy (despite being close to a very multicultural city, I have a medium Tostitos salsa spice tolerance).

Sweet corn from Young & Established Booth 122. Photo by Morgan Dean.

Still, there were some recommendations I am happy to report I really enjoyed. Street corn topped with a parmesan spread from Young & Established (booth 122), a new booth at this year’s festival, is fantastic. 10/10 I would try it again.

The next stop was kraut balls from Germania Maennerchor (132). I did enjoy trying them, and they tasted good, but I have to be honest: I do not think I would eat them again. I am just not a big sauerkraut fan.

Then we ventured over to the Vanderburgh Humane Society booth (75) to try its fried mac and cheese, which was delicious. Fried anything, even something as simple as cheesy pasta, only makes it taste better, even if it leaves your arteries screaming.

Finally, we tried a barbecue pulled pork sammie with hashbrowns as buns from West Side Improvement’s booth (80). It was hard to eat as a sandwich, so I grabbed a fork, but I thought it was good. I enjoyed the combination of different flavors: The pork, potatoes, and sauce all added to my overall satisfaction.

Overall, my first West Side Nut Club Fall Festival was a success. I look forward to going back!

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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