North Beach is already pretty crowded on a typical summer Saturday. Throw a food and wine festival into the mix, and you end up with a fairly frustrating parking situation. That was my first impression when I came to Eat, Drink, Go LOCAL. It took me nearly half an hour to find a parking spot, but thankfully, that was the only issue I had. (Moral of the story, go early.)
I attended the festival as a guest of the Maryland Wineries Association, which sponsored the event. As you might expect, it focused mostly on the wine. That’s all well and good if you’re into wine, but if you’re not, you may want to grab something to eat there and then enjoy some of the other activities at North Beach (festival admission is free if you’re not sampling wine).
When I checked in, I was given a wrist band and a cute stemless souvenir glass for the wine tastings. The tents didn’t cover a large area, so unless you’re standing in line at one of the food trucks, you can easily cover the festival in under an hour. Though a better plan might be to buy a glass or bottle of wine and sit at one of the umbrella-shaded tables for a while.
Aside from the Maryland wine, the emphasis is on locally-sourced ingredients. A couple of farms were there with their produce, as well as a few restaurants selling food made with regional ingredients. (Bacon and gorgonzola truffles? Yes, please!) Calvert Kettle Corn and Old Mountain Valley Farms (gourmet mustards) were also there. Two food trucks, a couple of jewelry stands, and a Rita’s Ice cart rounded out the offerings.
Eat, Drink, Go LOCAL offers a good opportunity to sample many of the local wines all in one place. That is perhaps the biggest advantage of going. It’s still a fairly new festival, so I am sure it will grow and get better with each passing year. It’s a great setting for a festival because the boardwalk and beach are right there, and local shops are nearby. But again, go early if you want to find good parking.
For more information, visit: http://marylandwine.org/eatdrinkgolocal