Franklin Food & Spirits Festival, Franklin Tennessee

Yesterday, we drove up to Franklin, Tennessee for the first annual Franklin Food & Spirits Festival which is also a fundraiser for the SFA / Southern Foodways Alliance.

The festival actually started Friday night with a hog roast at Carnton Plantation (if you read Widow of the South, it was based at Carnton). The Friday evening event was $150, but it also included the two documentaries as the Potlikker Film Festival and a ‘grand dinner’ with chefs like Sean Brock, who used to be at the Hermitage’s Capitol Grille.

On Saturday, the festival was in the square in downtown Franklin. There were two ways to enjoy the festival: one was to walk around the square and visit and eat, and another part – which was $25/per person, was to enter an area where there were discussions with people like John Egerton, short food-films, and demonstrations.

Rather than purchasing the food directly from each vendor with cash, everyone had to buy ‘BBQ Bucks’ which spent like cash, but were tickets sold from only a couple of tables and had to be purchased in increments of 5. I have to say that I really don’t enjoy it when places do this. You have to figure out how much you’re going to spend first, then buy your tickets, and if you have any ‘bucks’ left, they can’t be redeemed back into cash so it’s just money lost (or you give your tickets to a stranger). I would much rather have paid a small admission fee to the festival than leave with that faint ‘I think we just lost a measly $2’ feeling.

The part of the festival that we went to, though, was nice. It was about 90* outside. We were a little surprised that there weren’t more people there – it didn’t seem crowded at all. I wonder if the whole thing about $25 admission prices kept people away (hope not since that was only for ‘extras’).

There were lots of places there that we already knew, like Jim N Nicks and Big Bob Gibson’s – we skipped them since we live in Alabama and eat at those places pretty often anyway – and The Slick Pig from Murfreesboro, which we’ve had before too. Since we were looking for places we weren’t familiar with, I got what’s called a ‘redneck taco’ from Martin’s BBQ Joint in Nolensville, TN:

It’s a hoecake topped with barbecue and coleslaw and a really thin, vinegar-y sauce. Thin, vinegar barbecue sauces aren’t really my thing, but the barbecue and hoecake themselves were nice together.

We’d never heard of Puckett’s before, either, so Av got some ribs from them:

…which he thought were good (but no competition to to Big Bob Gibson’s in Decatur or the Pig Stand in Hartselle).

We had BBQ Bucks left over so we decided to try something else. We went over to the Tomato Tomato tent – they are from Murfreesboro – with what they called a Southern ham dip. It was all hot cream cheese studded with onions and pecan pieces on top.

It was okay. Seemed like something that would be served at a friend’s holiday party, though. Just not right for eating on a 90* day, I guess!

Shug had a really big time! I put his little hat on him so those sweet cheeks wouldn’t get too much sun!

We saw another little family there, where the daddy was carrying the baby in a backpack which even had a sunshade! I think I found it on Amazon. Shug’s just about to outgrow the Baby Bjorn, so we’ll be backpack shopping really soon…

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