Deep Fried Old Fashioned Tops New Foods List at Summerfest 2016
Summerfest is only a week away—crazy, right? I always spend a few days there, and this year, I'm planning to see Willie Nelson, Paul McCartney and Weezer, to name a few. As Spring rolls around each year, I get excited for the lineup announcements, but unlike most (normal) people, I also can't wait for the new food and beverage lineup. I always have my favorites like Saz's mozzarella sticks and a Goolsby's cheeseburger, but I like to try something new every year.
This year, that thing will likely be the deep fried old fashioned. It's from Trinity Three Irish Pubs (at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard stage), and it's the new item everyone's going to be talking about. When I first heard “deep fried old fashioned” I had no clue what to expect, besides maybe some orange, cherry and brandy flavors. Turns out, it sounds like a creative, intriguing dessert: orange pound cake filled with a brandy cream cheese that's deep fried and topped with bitters-flavored whipped cream. Yes please.
Other notable additions include cupcakes topped with donuts from Classy Girl Cupcakes near the BMO stage; sriracha chicken and falafel curry tacos from Vagabond at Briggs; tator tots topped with prime rib chili and cheese at Ward's House of Prime in the Ethnic Village; gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce at Louise's Trattoria; buffalo chicken eggrolls from AJ Bombers near the children's area (those are delicious); a pesto pepperoni burger at Pitch's and Miss Katie's near the Marcus; and the pizza on top of a deep fried macaroni and cheese crust thing at Solo, also near the Marcus (you may remember them from such things as bacon bottom pizza from last year!).
There will also be Italian beef sandwiches at Angelo's, peanut butter cup sundaes at Cedar Crest, BBQ nachos at Famous Dave's, a Greek chicken salad at Greek Village, chili cheese fries at Martino's, garlic parmesan fries at Mille's, deep fried pickle chips at Saz's and brewmasters nachos at Water Street Brewery.
There's also four brand new food vendors this year. Chubby's Cheesesteaks will be located near the Marcus Amphitheater and will have all the usual favorites like cheesesteaks, loaded tots, cheese fries and Philly nachos. Divino will be in the Ethnic Village and have Italian favorites like chicken alfredo, arancini, calamari and specialty pizzas. Lakeside Supper Club will also be in the Ethnic Village and will have pulled pork frachos (presumably with fries instead of chips), loaded milk shakes and an intriguing lobster corn dog. Uncle Jeff's Kettle Corn will be near the Harley stage and have, you guessed it, kettle corn.
As for changes in the beverage world at Summerfest, the main addition is what they're calling the Long Bar. Near mid gate at the Miller Lite Oasis, you can get flights of four 8-ounce MillerCoors products. Of course that means you won't be getting any craft brews, but at least you can get Leinenkugel's there, including BeerGarden Tart and Wisconsin Red Pale Ale this year.
Bloody Marys will be available in the JoJo's Martini Lounge tent, which leaves me wondering, why has it taken this long to get bloodies at Summerfest? You can also try the Chaitini there, with rum and spiced cinnamon cream.
Non-beer people, take note: Henry's Hard Sodas will now be available, in both orange and ginger ale. I've had both and they're some of the better hard sodas out there.
Beer people, there's some nice new additions for you this year. Lakefront will be tapping a firkin every day at 4pm, and will presumably be the best beer you can get there. It's first come first served, so be prompt. Lakefront will also be adding Hop Jockey double IPA, New Grist pilsner and SMaSH Ale, a single malt and single hop beer. Between those and the new Leinie's brews, you won't have to settle for those cups of macro brew.