The Big Guy and I had the chance to attend Dig-IN and test out their VIP experience. I was excited to try the event as I'd never been. I love the idea of bringing together so many different groups from the food industry around the state.
That's one of the things I liked during the event itself as well- bringing together the farmers, the chefs, the brewers and the vintners. It was a perfect day to spend the afternoon in the sun at White River Park. Tents were set up towards the middle of the space and each one held at least four local food vendors. There was a space for beer and wine on each side of the main area. From my perspective the set up really helped keep things moving smoothly, and gave you a chance to try a little bit more of everything.
We were given a "passport" that allowed us to go to every restuarant's booth and get a taste of the food. We could also go to every brewery and winery and get a pour. Food portions ranged in size, but if you really liked it there were five "second helpings" boxes you could get. Beer pours were great, and you could always go up and pay to get a full glass.
We had friends who had been before and recommended we all get VIP tickets, so the Big Guy and I gave it a try. The VIP tent was off to the side in a roped off area that felt quite swanky. The tent itself had an air-conditioning / fan system going that made it the perfect getaway on a hot day. Two restaurants set up in the main tent and two set up off to the side. Along with all of the great food Flat 12 and Sun King brought us some really yummy seasonal beers.
All in it was great. My favorite food was the pork belly by Eat Valley. Perfectly seasoned, absolutely delicious and paired with the best polenta I've ever had. My favorite beer was the Harvey by Brugge, the flavor was great, sweet, sour, refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day.
The Big Guy: You may think it's weird to see the beer barons at a food festival and not a beer festival or without changing our name to the food barons. Before you judge, keep in mind, this food festival had more than a dozen breweries in attendance with some standards and some excellent seasonals. The VIP experience was outstanding. The tent was an amazing place to go chill and get out of the afternoon heat. The bathrooms were tucked away and guarded by event staff so it was only VIPs using it. The food felt very VIP and Rob from Flat 12 was even there pouring my favorite beer of the event (Saison du Flat). We also got all we could drink while we were in the tent, because passports were for suckers.
I loved just about everything. It was cool to see how diverse the food for this could really be. Indiana restuarants and farmers really put it together in a big way.
My favorite food vendors were:
- Pork Belly and Polenta by Eat Valley
- Pork pate sandwich by Blue Beard in the VIP lounge
- Pork Torine by the Local
- Lamb Ruben by the Chefs Academy
- Spicy Pork (really freaking spicy!!!) by Chef JJ
My favorite brews were
- Saison du Flat by Flat 12 (I have really been into Saisons this summer, and this one was outstanding I'd give it an easy 4.5)
- Cream Dream VI by Sun King
- Black IPA by Tin Man
I was really impressed with all of the awesome food. Since we aren't a food blog go check out the Indy Restaurant Scene for a little better detail on everything we ate.