CMH Gourmand

Eat, Drink, Repeat: Culinary Discovery & Misadventure in Central Ohio

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Comfest Feast

Posted by cmh gourmand on June 29, 2009

Another Comfest has come and gone. My objectives were accomplished. I had a really good Lemon Shake Up and I scored my shift at the Wine Booth – the best gig of all Comfest volunteer assignments.

The less cool wine booth

The "less cool" wine booth

For the past 6 – 7 years, I have served at the Lincoln and Park Street Wine Booth. This provides a strategic location – good for people watching and music listening. There are two wine booths, “mine” is the best – and I have several great stories from years past to prove it.

Comfest is an all volunteer, independent festival featuring local music. Comfest stands for Community Festival. Over the last 10 years it has become better known for the crowded Festival part than the Community aspect. It has also become known as a hot bed for women baring their breasts in public – usually painted. This is a shame because it is the Community aspect of Comfest that makes it special.

This year, for whatever reason, I noticed the food communities at Comfest. You can find your standard summer fair fare such as elephant ears and fried anything on a stick. However, the food of our community is very well represented here, especially Clintonville and the North Market.

Clintonville and/or the Vegetarian/Vegan Community were out in force.

Comfest Vet - Whole World Bakery - oldest vegetarian restaurant in Columbus

Comfest Vet - Whole World Bakery - oldest vegetarian restaurant in Columbus

Shortly before the guy chewing on a Turkey leg came to buy some vegan treats.

Shortly before the guy chewing on a Turkey leg came to buy some vegan treats.

The Dean of Columbus Vegetarians, Del Sroufe, had Wellness Forum Foods well stocked

The Dean of Columbus Vegetarians, Del Sroufe, had Wellness Forum Foods well stocked

The North Market – less than 1/4 mile away, was well represented with not one, but two Jeni’s Ice Cream stands, plus Nida’s Sushi and Pam’s Popcorn.

An old standby – Juergens with yummy creampuffs was on hand.

And Nuevo Kid on the block Panderia Oaxaquena with Tasty Tortas. That is the diversity of Comfest showing through!

And now for this years wine booth report. The 12 – 4 shift was kind of boring – I missed the faster pace of the 8 PM to close shift but it was nice to be able to take the bus home vs. hoping for a ride at midnight. This year also saw a return of an artist that collects the blue riesling bottles for ongoing project he is working on – recycling in action.

Natural State Wines continues as the wine distributor – they are good people to work with. Each year they supply several organic low sulfite wines. This year marked the debut of box wine however – the fan favorite, especially as the night wears on remains the Honeyrun Blackberry Honey Wine.

Many people were asking for Ohio wines this year – a promising sign which could add to the locavore aspects of Comfest of the future.

Wine selections for 2009

Wine selections for 2009

If you ever work the wine booth take note and bring these items: bottle of water, wine opener, marker, roll of paper towels and a ComFest music guide.

Comfest is still about our community. Each year sees our community changing a little more which means the challenges of sustaining Comfest grow a bit more as well. Alcohol sales support Comfest so: corporate sponsors are not needed, volunteers can get free T-shirts and food/beverage tokens and an endowment can be maintained to make community grants during the rest of the year.

Congratulations Comfest, looks like you will make it to middle age.

3 Responses to “Comfest Feast”

  1. Derek said

    I think it’s worth noting that “Livin’ on the Veg” (image between Dragonfly and Benevolence Cafe) was a ComFest only vendor. This year’s ComFest was their first ever appearance anywhere, and they don’t have any cart or retail space anywhere in the city. I tried a few of their items: spicy sweet potato fries, rosemary potato salad, and eggplant parm burger. All of them were superb, and I understand that they sold out of quite a few of their items several times throughout the festival.

    I hope that their success at ComFest yields some presence in the city somewhere.

  2. Yeah, we had the sweet potato fries at Livin’ on the Veg and they were great. Tons of flavor. Different than what you’d get at Tip Top or Banana Bean (love the sweet potato fries at both those places as well), these were hand cut, skin on, larger fries. Very very tasty.

  3. That Car said

    here’s what I’m doing with the blue wine bottles: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/multimedia/video/video.html?video=1013924

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