Chili Cookoff Memories

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Image courtesy of Jramspott. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

I tend to think of myself as not particularly memorable–I’m quiet, average height, and brunette, and none of those things keep me fresh in folks’ minds. As such, it’s always kind of startling when someone does, in fact, remember that I attended something.

Earlier this weekend, I spent a few hours passing out shirts at the Atlanta Pride Festival, which was great fun. The Pride crowd are a friendly bunch, and everyone loves free t-shirts. Unfortunately, our popularity meant that our most-loved swag items (hats, this time) went quickly.

One of the folks who missed out on a hat knew what was up with the Atlanta festival scene, and asked us if we would be at the Chomp and Stomp. chili cookoff. We assured her we most likely would be, and she should be sure to come and see us–and our fresh batch of swag–there.

Chomp and Stomp is pretty much my favorite Atlanta festival, as it focuses on my favorite general part of festivals (food) and is in an utterly charming residential neighborhood named Cabbagetown. (I’ve always assumed the name was a slur towards an ethnic group, but the truth of that has faded to history.)

I had previously heard two versions of last year’s festival.

The first was mine. I was there with my parents, and I had just a week or two before applied to work at my current company. When we passed the swag booth I was delighted. It seemed like a good sign, and I was worried since I hadn’t heard back from them yet.

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Chomp and Stomp

Oh yeah, I also performed in this year’s Emory Drag Show. So that was a thing.

So, I may still be playing Christmas music on loop in my (fixed!) car, but this weekend managed to cheer me up at least a little bit. This was due in no small part that I (hold on to your hats, here) went to a street festival over the weekend–Cabbagetown’s own chili cook off/excuse for bluegrass, the Chomp and Stomp.

Though I didn’t partake in any of the chili, I was in the minority. The way the festival was set up, interested folks paid $5, bought a spoon, and walked around to any of the kajillion chili booths to receive a cup of whatever they were serving. One street had restaurants serving up their versions, and another had individual competitors. It would have been impossible to try everyone’s without exploding, I think–there were easily 40 booths on each street.

Since I passed up the chili, I snagged some cheese tamales from my family’s favorite Mexican restaurant in town, Mi Barrio, allowing me to continue the weekend food theme of cheese ‘n carbs. Most of the Mexican food in Atlanta can’t hold a candle to what you can find literally anywhere in Oklahoma, but Mi Barrio is certainly a contender. Plus, it was $5 for two large tamales, which is pretty much the best thing. Continue reading