Every Summer, various churches in my area throw festivals, or feasts, in an attempt to bring the community together, increase awareness and, of course, raise money for the establishment. Last week, St. Ann's Church in Hoboken, NJ was holding their annual event and we decided to check it out this past Sunday.
These festivals are usually nothing special, but always worth attending to see what type of food is on display. More times than not, they're worth going to simply to buy a bag of zeppoles, but it seems that everybody had the same idea. The line offered a good 30-35 minutes worth of waiting and I just didn't have the patience. For an extra half-hour, I can be down the shore enjoying the real deal. So I took a picture of the entrance and inflatable Spidermen and Spongebobs. That was time better spent.
Zeppoles might have been factored out, but this looked promising. MozzArepas! I spelled it that way because it looks cool in the logo. It was advertised as fresh, grilled, mozzarella cheese sandwiched between two slices of cornbread. Sounds great! I love mozzarella cheese and I'm a big fan of cornbread, so I forked over the $5 and gave it a shot!
Looks delicious, right? Nope! Not good at all. On paper, it sounds amazing. But on the actual taste buds, it falls flat on it's corn-bready face. I was disappointed because this had so much potential, but it was nothing but a plain old sandwich without any flavor. Ah well, let's see what else they have at the Hoboken Feast!
This looked cool! I believe we saw it at the NJ State Fair, but we didn't find time to try Wild Bill's Olde Fashioned Soda Pop. This time, it really stood out because of it's presentation. The wild west decor gives you a Six Flags or Disney World feeling. Trust me, on a dirty city street, all it takes is tarnished wood, fancy fonts, and bright colors to change the ambiance. This proved to me that somebody actually took time to set up a cool display and give me more than a white tent and an extra capitalized letter in their logo. This deserved attention.
Here's how it works. For $10 bucks, you get an old fashioned cup and your choice of sugar cane soda. You can choose from flavors with awesome western names - Buck'N Birch Beer, Outlaw Orange, Sarsaparilla Six Shooter, Vintage Vanilla Cream, Gatling Grape and, our choice, Rocky Mountain Root Beer. They pour some ice into your cup and you're good to go!
$10 seems like a lot of money for some soda, but you get free refills throughout the day and you get to keep your cup! We didn't stay long so we didn't really get our money's worth, but if you stayed from Noon to 10pm, you'd not only get more than enough soda, but you'd get one hell of a sugar rush, too. Now that's worth 10 bucks!
These stained glass designs have been everywhere, lately. We saw them at the State Fair, they're always down the shore, and now they're in Hoboken. Unlike the Meadowlands variety, this stand actually offered some cool stuff. That Ninja Turtle is glorious and almost came home with me. Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario looked great. The Smurfs, Spongebob and Batman were all enticing. I really liked the way these were made, I just couldn't justify spending any money on these when I can just take a photo and share it with you. That's free and means more than having the physical piece. Plus, I saw these..
Two loves of mine stand out in these images and they've both been massacred! First, the WWE logo on the left side is horrible. What they did was take the old "WWF" logo and, instead of redesigning the logo to be more official, they just cut the F off and called it the "WWE." No wrestling fan would find that acceptable!
The second, on the right, is the Brooklyn Nets logo. As I've mentioned before, I'm a die-hard Nets fan and worked for them for the last 5 years. That stained glass Nets design is an absolute joke! The font is wrong, the B is wrong, the basketball is wrong and "new york" is upside down. Had it been perfect like the Knicks or Yankees, I would have picked it up in a heartbeat. Would have looked great next to my Nets collection, but that wasn't happening. I guess they rushed it to make a quick buck. Not gonna happen!
These are the rides they had for kids. There's not much I can say about them. There wasn't much of a selection. There were about 6 games and two rides. One flew around in a circle while the other, in the foreground, is a mystery to me. There are 4 seats for rides to take, but I don't know what happens once you're locked in. I just know I wouldn't risk anything that can roll away. So far, this fair is sub-par..
Okay, we went to the Hoboken Feast for the food and this was what we got. Off the bat, I'll tell you that this was a major rip-off. Eileen had the rice ball which was 6 bucks. I got the chicken fingers for 7 bucks. I'm still trying to figure out how mine was more than hers, especially without any fries, but I figured they'd be so delicious that I'd forget all about it.
Bummer! The chicken fingers were cold, warm if I'm being nice, and didn't taste good at all. Eileen said the rice ball was only okay. What a bust! We specifically went there for the food and we were duped by the MozzArepas and chicken finger/rice ball combo. Two thumbs down! We needed something to ease our pain... and hunger.
Ahh what better than an ice cold Miller Lite on a hot day in Hoboken? Well, besides some good food, nothing was going to beat this. St. Ann's Feast had a closed off section that served alcohol to patrons. Nothing says "Support the Church" like a few beers and drunken behavior. But we didn't have time for all that debauchery. We had a drink each and headed for the exit. We really weren't happy with the Feast, but we had to give it a shot. I know there was a live band playing later that night, and they even had Bernie Williams from the NY Yankees play on Friday, but it wasn't worth sticking around. To top it all off, we spent $10 on the 50/50 raffle in hopes of winning 20 grand.
I wish this was the part where I throw a curve ball in a depressing post and surprise you with the fact that we won, but we didn't. We knew we weren't going to win, but man that would have been one hell of a story. Maybe I should just lie and say "Yeah, we had a pretty crappy time, but then we won 20 thousand dollars and went to Disney World for the weekend." Now THAT would be a happy ended to an otherwise boring post! Ah well.. I cannot tell a lie.
Just because the Feast wasn't much of an adventure, we honestly didn't have a bad time. It was fun spending the day together and, really, can you beat that view? That's one of the best parts about living where I do. There are times when I take that view for granted, but when I stop to truly soak it in, I can't believe I get to see the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, and Freedom Tower every single day.
That's life in a nutshell. Sure, much like the St. Ann's Feast, it can get you down and not always live up to expectations, but just remember what you have right under your nose, what you sometimes take for granted. If you keep your eyes on what's truly important, the intangibles in life that we can't explain, then what does a bad chicken tender matter, anyway?
Deeper than the Hudson River, eh?
Obviously I was talking about the last box of Twinkies at Target ;-)