Before we even got on the road to Plantersville, we headed over to Teotihuacan for breakfast. Had to give our stomachs a little bit of a warmup session beforehand, after all.
Jenny got a margarita (it’s 5:00 somewhere, I suppose), Aaron a coffee, and for me? A huge glass of ice-cold horchata. Teotihuacan serves some of the best horchata in town. This is the real stuff, too. None of this powdered mix crap.
My “grande breakfast” platter came to the table with a heaping mass of eggs and spicy chorizo, refried beans and freshly-made tortillas. As Jenny says, when you can nearly see through them for all the lard, that’s when you know they’re good. And for only $3.99, it’s pretty much the best damn deal around for breakfast.
An hour and a half later, we were finally pulling up to the parking area outside of the Renaissance Festival. While I could take this entire post to expound upon the depth and breadth of weirdness that we encountered at the Ren Fest, I’ll instead direct you to Houstonist for more on that subject. For now, we’ll just discuss the food.
Our first stop of the afternoon was at Ye Tasty Beverages, one of many pubs dotting the Ren Fest. They have an amazing variety of beers on tap, including some that I’ve never seen on draft before. In keeping with the Ren Fest theme, there was mead and quite a few ciders. Not being a mead or cider fan, I opted for a Blue Moon with a refreshing slice of orange. The wench behind the counter poured me a beautiful pint, took my dollar tip and shoved it into her corset. Lovely.
With pints in hand, we began to wander. We quickly noticed that the Ren Fest is divided into themed sections: English, French, German, Italian (all totally normal), Polish (…okay), Greek (now we’re really stretching it), and Mexican (WTF?). Each section had the correlating foodstuffs — fish and chips in the English section, bratwurst in the German section, etc. — and we were suddenly overwhelmed with choices. We decided to keep it simple and keep it Ren Fest-y, so the Mexican and Greek sections were pretty much out.
Although the prospect of Battered Pig was exciting, we decided to start things off nice and easy with the chief food of any Ren Fest: a turkey leg. We picked up a good-sized turkey leg from Polonia, along with a little plate of potato and cheese pierogi.
While the Polish turkey leg was not a hit, the pierogi were. The turkey leg was dry overall and grey in parts. It had been marinated in some sort of greasy red sauce that really had no flavor at all, and the three of us were quite put off by the whole thing. Setting it down, we turned to the pierogi.
The good folks at Polonia may not do turkey legs, but they do mad pierogi. After freaking out the cute little old Polish woman behind the counter with a “dziękuję” and a “do widzenia,” we tore into the pierogi with abandon. They were perfectly hot with dough that tasted like butter. The sauteed onions on top along with the tangy sour cream were the perfect accompaniment to the savory cheese and potato filling. All in all, ideal comfort food.
Being unsatisfied with our previous turkey leg, Jenny shot over to the English section of the Ren Fest and returned posthaste (…I had to do it) with a second turkey leg. And this one? Was GOOD.
The English turkey leg was piping hot, tender, juicy and a beautiful shade of dark rose throughout. This was a proper turkey leg, to be certain. We ate it nearly to the bone before deciding that we should save room for continued feasting.
Walking off the turkey legs and pierogi seemed to be the advisable thing to do, so we strolled around the Ren Fest and took in a few shows, watched some axe throwing, stood quietly and sadly and watched the elephants walk in tiny circles with rednecks on their backs, and wandered bemusedly through the Greek and Mexican sections (16th century-style aguas frescas! $6 for a tiny piece of Renaissance baklava!).
Along the way, we picked up a dual-colored yard-long margarita…the official drink of slightly trashy festivals everywhere. The margarita tasted funny; refreshingly smooth with no bite of tequila. We found out that was because it’s wine-based.
OMG, it’s a picture of she eats. Don’t everybody all freak out at once.
The margarita was confusingly located in the German section of the Ren Fest — not the Mexican section — but that was all good. It was time for more food anyway, and German food on a crisp October day sounded ideal. We headed to The Black Forest to pick some up.
What to choose? We couldn’t possibly eat all of it. I settled on a little combo platter of sauerkraut, red cabbage and German potatoes, three of my favorite things in the world (ich bin ein gutes deutsches Mädchen, natürlich). As with the Polish food, this was comfort food done right. The sauerkraut was deliciously tangy, the potatoes creamy and the red cabbage tart and sweet.
With a little room still left, I felt a sudden hankering for something sweet. Although the apfel strudel at The Black Forest looked tempting, I went for an ice cream cookie sandwich in a fit of nostalgia. This wasn’t your freezer-burned convenience store ice cream cookie sandwhich, this was two freshly-baked cookies around a hunk of vanilla ice cream. This was heaven.
I took a quick picture of the cookie as an homage to Jay Francis and Robb Walsh, then proceeded to devour it. As good as it tasted, the cold ice cream and two whole cookies didn’t sit well on my stomach after all that German food, so it was back to more walking around until the rock in my stomach somewhat dissipated.
As good as it was, though — with its layers of meat and batter and egg — I could only take a few bites before my stomach began to protest again. Jenny and Aaron bravely finished the rest of the egg as Jenny once again lived up to her moniker. I felt as though I should be put into a wheelbarrow and carted out of the place.
In the car on the way home, Jenny and Aaron began discussing Dairy Queens. You have to admire anyone who can still think about food after a day like that. As they dropped me off, I believe they’d made plans to go and seek one out. For my part, I simply went home to sleep off the feast and prepare for the week ahead, fortified by turkey legs and pierogi. I wouldn’t need another meal for days…