I met someone recently, new to the area, who asked me what my husband and I like to do for fun. “We like to eat food,” I said. “We like to try new restaurants and different kinds of food.” That turned out to be the end of the conversation so I guess that was kind of a lame answer. And I must admit, Augusta, Georgia isn’t necessarily the optimal place to be a “foodie”. But it’s what we like to do together. We workout and we eat food. Often we try new foods at home. We’re both pretty good at following a recipe and creating something edible even if we don’t. I am the master of the kitchen and my husband is the master of the grill. But there have been a few events recently that have enticed us out of the house to try something new.
The first was a craft beer festival here in Augusta the local minor league baseball stadium. This event was more entertaining for the people-watching aspect than anything. Neither myself nor my husband is comfortable drinking in excess but there were plenty of people there who were quite comfortable and perhaps a bit more animated than they might be on a regular Saturday afternoon. I even had one guy strait up pose for my camera.
I love doing things like this because you can try a little bit of a lot of things without getting full - like tapas. I really dislike IPAs but I tried a fabulous grapefruit soda IPA by Red Hare that I absolutely loved. We tried stouts and ales and a few more IPAs that I didn’t care for. But how would I know if I didn’t try them. (As a side note I don’t think people should be allowed to say they “don’t like something” if they’ve never tried it.)
The next weekend there was a food truck festival put on by the Food Truck Festivals of America in Columbia, SC which is just a short drive up the interstate. I remember when I moved to Augusta and someone told me that in this area of the South many people don’t even understand the concept of a food truck. IT’S AN ICE CREAM TRUCK FOR EVERYTHING! Poor, unfortunate people don’t even know what they’re missing.
Columbia, being the capital of South Carolina, is definitely bigger than Augusta though and thankfully there are enough food trucks there to justify putting together a festival. This being the South, it was fascinating to see how many different ways there are to do bar-b-q, macaroni and cheese, and fried food. I think they got bonus points if they found a way to incorporate all three into a single dish. Gosh it was good. And, might I say, it was yet another fascinating place to people watch.
Both my husband and I grew up in homes where we weren’t given dinner options. We at least tried what was in front of us. As adults I think this has served us well. We never have to worry about offending a host by not eating what’s served and it’s impossible to be hungry at home if we’re willing to eat whatever’s available in the fridge. But it also means fun experiences like these. We eat. We talk. We try each other’s food. We diversify the palette, learn about other cultures, and support small and local businesses in the process. In the end our bellies are full and we’ve had some fun - a feature of first-world living that I do not take for granted.