Joplin’s 1st Annual Oktoberfest is happening this Saturday, October 22, 2011 in downtown Joplin, MO on Main Street. Red Onion Cafe will be there with our own version of “street food:” ROC Cheeseburgers, our BBQ Texas Chicken Sandwich, the famous Smoked Chicken Dip, Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars and Sweet Tea. This is a family event, so bring the kids, too!
I’ve always been enthralled by the temporary food venders that set up at fairs, carnivals, races or any outdoor gathering. I spent my formative years in the 70′s in Detroit, and every summer they hosted an “Ethnic Festival” down on the waterfront. I can still remember the great smells and selections of different foods, all manner of traditions and multiple countries represented.
The family favorite at this festival were the Greek selections. We always headed straight for the vendor with grilled steak-stuffed pita bread with cucumber sauce & sliced tomatoes. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! And it didn’t take long to find their stand – follow the smell of grilled steak cooking on the outdoor grill. My mom used to make these gyros during the off-season of the ethnic festivals, and her’s were just as good. Maybe that’s the taste I remember…?
I guess my fascination for the vending aspect of the restaurant business started those many years ago at the Detroit waterfront. It has made me wonder why we love dining al fresco so much. Perhaps its the smell of the food on an outdoor grill, the smoke, the colorful displays. Whatever the reason, it is an experience that every man, woman and child should have at least once in their lives.
Red Onion Cafe will be doing some of their own street vending on Saturday to support our great downtown area, to offer a great time outside and to indulge me in that childhood memory of vending! Hope to see you there – we serve from 11 am to 8 pm. (Sorry…no stuffed pita this time…)