Some Thoughts on TribeFest 2014, Part III: Food & Drink
In my continuing sharing of my experience at Tribe Fest 2014, I’ve got to talk about the food, since we Jews love our food. The jambalaya (yes, kosher jambalaya) they served on Sunday evening for dinner was really fantastic! I ignored all other food that night, since it was so excellent. However, thenceforth, the food was meh-tastic. Breakfast consisted of fruits and Greek yogurts (although, on Tuesday, they served hard-boiled eggs, which were alright), which was sad, although I didn’t particularly mind. However, lunch and dinner on Monday were totally forgettable. Although the jambalaya tasted great, one thing that was fantastic about it was that it was appropriate to New Orleans. How great would it be to then have kosher po’boys on Monday night, or some other local cuisine? We’re in New Orleans, let’s experience some locally-appropriate cuisine (kosher, of course)! But, alas, that didn’t happen….
While we’re on the topic of consuming, I once again did enjoy the open bars they had on Sunday and Monday night during dinner, which was a nice touch. However, it seemed that the quality of the spirits they served went down from TribeFest 2012, with Jim Beam being served as the bourbon instead of Maker’s Mark, and Absolut vodka instead of Grey Goose, and neither any tequila nor Scotch (they served Patron and Glenlivet at the previous TribeFest), which was a bit disappointing.
Also: why were there not many mixers for drinks there? I don’t think people were expecting full bars, but not to have any bitters and very few other mixers? I understand there are kashrut issues, but I know that there are many kosher-certified mixers out there on the market. Also, they could have served some locally-appropriate mixed drinks, which would have been great. Yes, on Monday night, Tablet hosted a reception which featured Hurricanes, which was very appropriate (props to Tablet), but there were no other such ones (e.g. what about someone serving up Sazeracs – the first cocktail and the official cocktail of New Orleans?).
The food and drinks were served at the dining area – which was really a big conference area – that they called Mash-Up, wherein not only were food and drinks served, but also various organizations had booths lining the room, and, during dinner, bands played. The set-up of the room was pretty open, which was different than the previous TribeFest, where the area in which the bands were playing was divided from where the food, drinks, and organizations were located. One person I met, Maya Avshalomov, pointed out that having a different set-up made for a different experience in that the music was imposed upon the participants, which was unfortunate, since it made conversation harder to have.
Overall, I was a little bit disappointed that the food and drinks were not as good as those served at the previous TribeFest, although it turned out to be decent.