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Rockwall Festival on Main Street

by David Donalson

Could you ask for a more perfect day to be outside than this past Saturday? I could not help get out of the house and go visit one of the many festivals going on throughout the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. This led me up to Rockwall, across the beautiful lake and up Main Street to the arts and crafts festival.

After parking behind Restaurant AVA around noon, I made my way up into the festival. Once I was in, I could see that I was not the only person who thought it would be a good idea to come look around and be outside. There were several things to do while fighting your way shoulder to shoulder through the variety of tents and stands. Some highlights for me included tasting homemade salsas, olive oils and peanut butters from the variety of vendors. Texas can make some great olive oil. Another interesting sight for me were the wooden crosses. There must have been 10 stands that had handmade crosses in various colors and designs. I cannot comment on the apparel for women but I can say there was plenty of that as well.

Hiding behind the town hall, up from some of the tents of woman’s clothes, there were several tables lined with vegetables and herbs ready to be eaten on the spot.

How could you not go to a Texas festival and not see some cowboy boots?

For me, the best thing about this outdoor festival was the people watching. It is so much fun to just sit back with a drink and watch people taste hot salsa, get their free spinal exam or even look at lamps made from wine bottles.

Normally I am a huge fan of the festival food: funnel cakes, corn dogs, hamburgers. But as I was coming in, I noticed that Restaurant AVA’s doors were open. Chefs Randall Copeland and Nathan Tate had decided to embrace the festival attitude and offered $5 burgers and pulled park sandwiches. Heck, they were even giving out a free Franconia beer to wash down the burger. If you have not had an AVA burger, you are missing out. I know that this was one of the stops on the burger bus tour and was touted as being among the best, right next to the big names: the Grape, Wingfield’s and the Rockwall legend Boots Burgers. This is my new favorite burger.

The brioche bun was so soft on the inside yet toasted on the wood fired grill next to the burger. The bacon is house cured in maple syrup, brown sugar and salt, then smoked. Even the meat went above and beyond. The patty is a blend of brisket and the extra tenderloin and ribeye pieces and the flavors showed through. I would drive out to Rockwall again just for that burger. It made for a great way to spend an early afternoon in such wonderful weather.

I hope you were able to get out there and enjoy it as well.


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