A Taste of Local Flavor at Outside the Box Food Festival

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Posted July 25, 2013 by Jen Dorman in Eat & Drink
Outside the Box food festival

Downtown Boston has dozens of great restaurants, but there are only three meals in a day. At that rate, it’d take weeks to experience the neighborhood’s entire culinary scene. Fortunately for impatient Bostonians, the Outside the Box food festival showcased several delicious dishes from talented area chefs.

From July 18 to July 21, the celebration brought some of the best local restaurants and chefs to City Hall Plaza for food tastings, a wine and beer pavilion, live cooking demonstrations, and book signings with celebrity chefs.

The Fork Lift Food Fest at Outside the Box was actually a festival within a festival. The performing arts celebration goes for an entire week, but the showcase of Outside the Box food was a four-day event during the larger celebration.

Hungry for a variety of cuisines, I headed over for lunch. It fulfilled every possible hankering—I needed more than two hands to count the dining destinations represented at the event. Each had its own tent to showcase at least one bite-size portion, so I happily sampled numerous Boston chefs. That’s my idea of multitasking!

My strategy was to cruise the venue and explore my options before committing and placing orders. After I formulated a mental midday multi-mini-course menu, I began my tasting journey among the restaurant tents. The items I selected ranged from a sweet and refreshingly cool mountain of crab, avocado, and mango from Chart House to a spicy falafel sandwich from Jerusalem Pita Bar and Grill. As I was enjoying each bite, curious passersby kept approaching me to ask about what I was noshing on and where they could get some.

Artisan Bistro Outside the Box

Take a look at the Outside the Box food festival cooking demo in downtown Boston. Photo credit: Jen Dorman.

Each dish I tried was a masterpiece. If I hadn’t been on my feet already, I’d have given a standing ovation to Artisan Bistro for creating my favorite dish: A savory lobster sausage atop a fluffy johnnycake. The rich, savory lobster sausage and the light corn pancake created a delicious contradiction, combining summery lobster with a comforting johnnycake and bridging the gap between seasons—not to mention breakfast and dinner. Any time of year, any time of day, I would enjoy every bite of this delicious dish!

To me, food is art, and the event created a ripe opportunity for foodies to gather in downtown Boston to celebrate their appreciation. Like any work of art, credit is due to the artist. In addition to Artisan Bistro, I also was impressed with Society on High.

The cooking demos were another highlight of the festival. Watching Food Network may get your mouth watering, but seeing local talent in action leads to serious salivation.

The event artfully combined seasoned chefs, leading restaurants, hungry foodies, and an opportunity to taste it all. Bravo!

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