RoRo Chile Pepper Festival Launches Without a Hatch -Er, Hitch.
There was ample attendance at Roosevelt Row's first-ever Chile Pepper Festival on Saturday as chile-loving hipsters, couples, kids, and a surprising amount of dogs enjoyed an evening of food trucks, salsa tastings, restaurant vendors, and live music.
Katie Johnson Lovely ladies from Crescent Ballroom serving up free salsa tastings at the Roosevelt Row Chile Pepper Festival
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Contained to the A.R.T.S Market on Roosevelt between 4th and 5th street, the Chile Pepper Festival was perfectly sized for the crowd to enjoy lineless admittance to a variety of Phoenix eateries.
As they arrived, festival patrons were handed tickets they could use to vote for their favorite salsa. Not only did a good portion of the festival consist of vendors handing out free salsa, each vendor usually had several varieties of their own sauce with chips, causing this Chow Bella voter to get pretty thirsty pretty fast.
Katie Johnson Chile lovers rejoice at the first annual Roosevelt Row Chile Pepper Festival
And yes, while they did offer water at $2 a bottle, after several generous helpings of salsa washed down with $6 worth of water, you start to feel like an idiot for not just bringing your own from home.
For those craving something a little more substantial, eateries such as America's Taco Shop, Urban Beans, Mi Comida, The Tamale Store, Q UP BBQ, J-Licious Taco, Luncha Libre , and SuperFarm SuperTruck were offering up savory dishes like pork diablo nachos and green chile bacon mac & cheese for pretty decent prices. Jobot Coffee was handing out pork tortas with strawberry jalapeño dressing asking people to pay whatever they thought was fair -- didn't even have to be money.
Katie Johnson Roasted green chile nachos from Q UP BBQ
Crooked Sky Farms received constant attention as they roasted chilies throughout the night. Guests could purchase said roasted chilies as well as Law Gnome Publishing's Chile Pepper Cookbook at the front of the venue.
Katie Johnson Crooked Sky Farms roasting chilies at the Roosevelt Row Chile Pepper Festival
Like all newborn festivals there was some confusion as to what was complimentary, what was not, and what the little red tickets were all about. Overall, however, people showed up hungry and left more or less satisfied -- if not a bit thirsty and intoxicated (thank you Four Peaks beer garden, and Don Julio margaritas).