Earlier this month the girls and I decided to spend our Sunday at the Troy Chowderfest to explore and taste test all of the different chowder options the local chefs constructed in their kitchens. Unfortunately we didn't take the advice of those who attended in years past. We had to wait to purchase tickets to taste the chowder samples and then waited in even longer lines for these tiny samples.
The entire process was so unorganized and time consuming that we only stayed to taste three chowders.
Our first stop was B-rads.
We waited in line for their Chicken Bacon Ranch Chowder.
The chowder was simple and lukewarm. I wasn't impressed, except for the deliciously crispy chip that accompanied the sample.
After walking around in circles for a couple of minutes, trying to locate where each restaurant's stand was we eventually came across McGreivey's Restaurant.
They made a Buffalo Chicken Chowder with Blue Cheese Oyster Crackers. With one bite of this piping hot sample I knew I had reached chowder Nirvana.
I usually avoid anything with a spicy buffalo sauce because the heat is too much, but this was perfectly balanced and I wish I could have ordered an entire bowl (or three).
Our last chowder sample was from Yanni's Restaurant, where we sampled their BLT Chowder with Mini Grilled Cheese Croutons.
There was a lot of hype over the BLT Chowder, but to be honest I wasn't impressed. The flavor wasn't horrible, but was definitely missing that something extra to put it over the top. I thought the grilled cheese croutons were a cute touch but they were a bit bland and could have been crispier.
Before heading off to get some real food in our bellies we watched some live music and families enjoying themselves on the gorgeous day.
As a whole, I was pretty disappointed with my first Chowderfest experience. It was the 7th annual event so you'd think they'd have things figured out by now. But it was so unorganized that I wanted to leave as soon as I stood in line for the first sample. I think next year they should create a map showing where each restaurant is set up, in hopes of avoiding a big blob of people hungry for chowder and unsure of which line they're actually waiting in.
You can check out all the participants and winners from the 7th Annual Chowderfest here.