so, technically, it is the lagrange street polish festival. it was sold to me, however, as pierogifest. then, i started hearing it being referred to as polkafest. whichever, that was why we were in toledo.
we got here at like 930 a.m. and went to our hotel, and they let us check in early, because we later learned that the polish fest pretty much goes on all night. we took a nap and then headed over there around 3. we walked up and down lagrange street to see what was available and here is what most booths had:
-- pigs in a blanket (no not the pigs in a blanket you're thinking of)
a lot of chefs are going all avant garde with pierogi these days. not here. here, there were three kinds: potato, cheese, or potato/cheese. frankly, that is as it should be.
pam and i split a combo plate (pictured) from one of the booths. it had a giant deep fried pierogi, polish dumplings and a potato pancake. gotta say, i wasn't a huge fan of the deep fried pierogi. i know that is an accepted way to cook them, but it just seemed too much to me. my favorite way is pan fried, but simply boiled is fine with me, too. the pancake was ok, and i liked the dumplings. but i usually do.
we met up with pam's internet friends, who were selling beer at one of the booths. i tried one of the polish beers. it started with an O, let me go check the magic internet ... okocim, maybe? something like that. anyway, it was good.
then we sat under a tree and listened to the polka music for awhile. and when pam's friends finished, we walked the street again, and i got a pigs in a blanket. admittedly, i'm not sure what the singular on that should be, but i know that pigs in a blanket has nothing to do with hot dogs and tubes of biscuit dough. it is a stuffed cabbage, and done well, they are spectacular. then we watched more polka -- the uncle of pam's friend dawn was in one of the bands -- and on the way out, at about 10, i got a couple of potato pierogi. pan fried. they were very good.
on sunday, i dropped pam off to hang with her friends and i went for a drive. i went to a farmers market that had one vendor, then to a park on lake erie, checked out the lighthouse festival there, and had lunch at tony packos. tony packos is famous for two things. first, it was featured on an episode of m*a*s*h. apparently, klinger was really, really excited to get a shipment of food from tony packos, and before they could eat it, there was some tragedy in the OR where they needed something, and the only thing that would work was sausage casing. so he had to give it up. anyway, my seat was right under the box that served as the prop on the show.
the other thing they are famous for is that when celebs come in, they have them sign fake hot dog buns, then put them on display. i took a lap around the place to see who was there. apparently, melissa etheridge has been there more than once. and i thought it was funny that most bands all signed one bun, but three of the guys from reo speedwagon each got their own bun. kevin cronin, neil daughty and alan gratzer. cool.
later, i went over to dawn's house, where we had pizza and food picked up from the polish fest, including boiled pierogi. covered in a butter-like substance. mmmmmm. then we watched design star and next food network star, and it was a blast watching with tam and nina. i would've bet a million dollars i was the only one watching that show.