Great news! There is no Thursdays on First & Third this week.
I know, that seems like the worst news ever on any Thursday in the summertime, but it’s for the best reason. In a lovely show of community camaraderie, TOF organizers are taking the week off to drive more traffic and attention to Rochesterfest, happening right now with events all around the city.
But if you’re like me, you’re mostly interested in the food — and this year, the food vendors and other entertainment has made a great move out to Soldier’s Memorial Field Park. So much more space to spread out and still super accessible by foot from downtown. What’s more, I think the move differentiates the event from TOF and injects more of the energy from Rochesterfest’s past.
For a moment, I’ll pretend you haven’t already checked out the beautiful range of tastes available since Monday, and I’ll give you my highlights for the best tastes of the ‘fest.
Tonic. Maybe it’s their fresh reputation or the bright green grass decor, but some locals think Tonic is all wheatgrass and beets. They have those, sure, but they’re so much more — and owner and chef Nicci Sylvester will prove it to you with her cheddar barbeque burger. If that’s not your style, don’t miss her tabuleh or hummus.
Rob’s Rib Shots. For something only slightly less healthy, grab a ‘lil cup of ribs from Rob’s, and wash ’em down with some mac and cheese bites.
Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe. One of the best meat-slingers in town (meat-slingers is a thing; go with it) is showing off a little bit with turkey legs, smoked pork sandwiches, Scottish eggs and even a pork chop on a stick. Hey — they know what they’re good at.
Big Dog Concessions. If you’ll take your pork wrapped in pork, this is the place for you. In addition to the deep-fried hot dog, you can get a pizza dog or a bacon-wrapped hot dog. For dessert, check out their deep-fried mini-cini rolls or peanut butter mini donuts.
Mandy Muffin Tops Cafe. I don’t know her super well (read: at all), but I’m pretty sure Mandy and I are destined to be best friends. First, she names her business “muffin tops,” and then she names her mobile restaurant the “Muffin Machine.” Check her out for lunch wraps but also: muffins.
What was your favorite dish at the ‘fest? Did I miss anything wrapped in bacon? Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
The great food truck debate
You guys, I had food trucks on my list of future columns not too long ago. I’ve written about them a couple of times, and then it seemed like there were a few taco trucks really building loyal followings, and then a BB’s Pizza food truck got kicked out of downtown and everyone has an opinion.
(My opinion is that these are normal growing pains, which is exciting! Because Rochester is growing!)
Anyway, if you want to share your opinion and brainstorm solutions and compromises with your fellow Concerned Citizens, mark your calendar for next week on Wednesday, July 1. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., a ‘Food Truck Forum’ will take place in the upcoming Kutzky Market parking lot at 1005 Sixth St. NW.
There, you can share your thoughts on the future of food trucks in Rochester, and (this is key) you also can choose a delicious lunch from several food trucks that will be parked in the lot during the meeting. Vendors will include Anthony’s Wood Fired Pizza, Mama Meg’s Parlour, Old Abe Coffee Co., and more.