OK, so Saturday is cheap soup tasting and kids crafts. Man Skirt has yoga before hand as well. Czig's is doing "Stoutfest".

Who's going? Any particular soups looking good?

I know last year some commented they missed out because they didn't know. Hope the word has gotten out this year.

Is it only soup & chili or are there other foods? Wondering about anything vegetarian.

happiest girl
Feb '17

it's just not soup and chili, other restaurants will be offering other $2 tastings.

I know C&L Subs will be using some of the local brews to make their soups. French Onion soup with Man Skirt Porter is one of them!

There will also be 2 ice craving demonstrations and retail stores will be having sales going on

it's suppose to be in the 50s on Saturday.. go figure! Better come out and see the ice sculptures early before they melt! LOL (last year it was like negative degrees out!)

And of course Stout Fest at Czig's finishing off the day!

Jim L Jim L
Feb '17

Wow -- lots of participants. Thanks, Jim L.

happiest girl
Feb '17

happiest girl - First remember some of the soups and chilis will be vegetarian. You can definitely count on Hackettstown Health Food in particular to have vegan soups and food. Places like Tracey's and Demi's will have other things, and the pet store will even have something for the non-humans. ;-) TOPO sometimes does veg but it's not a given. The crepe may well be, but it might also have dairy. One way or the other you'd find something, there's literally something for everyone.

.Is there a list of the restaurants and businesses that are definitely participating in the $2 offerings at the Winterfest or a sign in their store window of those that are?

Joyful Joyful
Feb '17

here is the list or restaurants. Not sure which retail stores will be having sales but yes they will have signs in the window

Participating restaurants

Mama’s Restaurant & Café Baci, 260 Mountain Ave.
Philly Pretzel, 150 Mountain Ave.
TOPO, 218 Main St
Tracey’s Candy Shoppe, 210 Main St
Enjoy Creperie, 205 Main St.
Hackettstown Health Foods, 106 Moore St.
Rico Pan Bakery, 183 Main St.
Marley’s Gotham Grill, 169 Main St.
Demi’s Biscotti, 168 Main St
Bea McNally’s Irish Pub, 109 Grand Ave.
Hackettstown Pet Supplies, 141 Main St.
C&L Subs N Grub, 127 Main St.
Frutimex, 118 Main St
James on Main, 105 Main St.

Jim L Jim L
Feb '17

Thank you, Jim L....

Joyful Joyful
Feb '17

Looking forward to it! My wife and I are having friends over to enjoy the day.

Dancicus Fighticus Dancicus Fighticus
Feb '17

Thanks GC & Jim L ---- sounds like some seriously good eats!

happiest girl
Feb '17

Sounds good to me and with the weather being mild I will go have a look. :) I want to try the Enjoy Creperie place!

Natari Natari
Feb '17

Natari - Don't be afraid to try the savory crepes. Everyone thinks sweet fruits and ice cream. But go for the tomato and mozzarella, it's really good.

I agree with GC - I've had Enjoy's spinach and cheese crepes and they are fantastic.

I'm looking forward to Winterfest, as I tried to go last year and it was all of 9 degrees outside. Good for the ice sculptures but not for walking around!

honestyseasy honestyseasy
Feb '17

Re: Winterfest

Any chance I might have over done it slightly??

PS - I still hate who ever the guy was in front of me with his family that ordered the chocolate covered twinkie at Tracey's.

Natari & honestyseasy - Just for the record, the crepe in the far back right is "eggplant, peppers, sun dried tomato, and cheese". Do I have to say that again? Eggplant. Peppers. Sun dried tomato. AND cheese. ;-)

Might have a touch of sriracha too if you ask real nice....

GC --- how did you bring all that stuff home -- did you have a red wagon?

I too got the eggplant-peppers-sun dried tomato-cheese - with sriracha crepe. Pretty good!!
Also ate the 3-bean chili from the Health Food Store, and Yellow-Curry Soup from TOPO.
Brought home a Cheese Empanada from Frutimex and Cheesecake topped with Baklava from Demi's.

happiest girl
Feb '17

I did not need a red wagon - I made two different rounds dropping the stuff off at the car in between. That plus Tracy had pity on me and gave me a shopping bag to put several other things in. That was like stop number 8 at that point.

You'll notice between the two brownies from Demi's, is that exact same Baklava min-chese cake. In the picture, Uzma's 3 bean chili is right in front of that crepe on the right. The chicken noodle soup with nice cilantro in it from Fruitimex was surprising good. Plus I couldn't resist the chorizo empanada. They were $2 just like the soup.

I'm surprised you had the curry coconut soup - did you get without the dumpling? I didn't think that was veg.

GC --- there was no dumpling in the soup. When I went in, I asked if they had any vegetarian offering for the tasting and he said "I can give you Yellow Curry Soup"
It had vegetables in it.
But you scared me ---- so I just looked on their menu and it is listed as 'vegan'.

The Health Food Store is really nice --- I had not been in there since she moved locations as I do all my vegetarian shopping at the Newton co-op. Had no idea she had a buffet lunch available every day (I *think* I heard about that a long time ago but forgot ....) But I was also able to partially see into the adjoining meditation room. I had no idea she had that.

happiest girl
Feb '17

happiest girl - Today's special was the regular curry soup with dumpling. If you specifically asked for veg then you got the soup without the dumpling the rest of us got as a bonus The soup normally does not come with dumplings, it was only for today's special.

It was my first time at the new store as well. That's not just the store now. It's the store, a whole kitchen/eating area plus that wonderful quiet room. I can imagine holding yoga classes or a kirtan in there.

And yes, she's had full meal lunches for a long time. She runs cooking classes as well on how to make the meals she serves.

I wish these events would have more participants. My son and I were there around 12:30 and there was one ice carving, and two food participants. Of course if there were more, you could not tell cause no one had balloons out. Another disappointing hyped up affair in Hackettstown which turned into a bust, And the few other people which were out also felt the same way.

More participants? There were 14. The minute you went into one, they had you fill out the entry form for the contest which had the name and address of everyone. If you went to the BID office with the people standing outside, they gave you the same entry form. There was a sign on every door that participated, and I was there right from 12:00 up until 1:30 since it took me that long to go around to everything.

The line at TOPO was out the door, Tracey had people sitting on the benches outside, Rico Pan was standing room only, Enjoy Creperie was full, and Czigmeister I think had 300 people.

You get out of it what you put into it. From my picture you can tell I sure got a lot out of it.

Lucy I think we were the ones that ran into you !
The BID site clearly said follow the balloons. Sure we had the list of restaurants but it would have been nice seeing something outside as you were walking down Main Street. We spoke with one owner who was pretty clueless and said how disorganized it was this year. There was food yes but you really wouldn't know it from the outside
And btw it was stout fest at czig ....hence the crowd

Missrx Missrx
Feb '17

Well I have to admit I have no idea what was going on at Marley's Gotham Grill. I walked in and no one was there to greet me --- I waited a little and then went into the bar area and waited there too and was ignored. I went back to the dining room area and stood there a couple more minutes and then walked out.
Were they selling any $2 tastings? Were they part of the chili-tasting contest?

happiest girl
Feb '17

happiest girl - That's par for the course. You have to wait before someone out in the dining room greets you. You order at the bar if you want something to go. If you asked at the bar they would have told you they had a $2 chili for the Winterfest. It was pretty good, nicely spiced, crunchy tortillas added, but a bit heavy in beans for my taste. In my picture it's the one that's right in front of the Sprite can.

I didn't go but seeing what GC took home I so regret it! What a great assortment and i will have to go to try the crepes for sure.

Natari Natari
Feb '17

sure do wish the balloons, which were a great IDEA, were used....

pmnsk pmnsk
Feb '17

It was a beautiful day. We went for the first time thanks to GC's reminder. I'm smacking my head because we never thought of getting the hot food to go! We split what we did sample- the eggplant crepe (yum), the soup at Rico Pan (good but we didn't finish to save room), chili at Marleys (also good but yes we did have to wait a bit), we talked to the people at James on Main and Bea McNally's but didn't sample because we were full.

Then we went to Tracy's candy shopped and brought some fudge home. We missed TOPO, the Heatlhfood Store and Demi's biscotti and didn't go into C&L because we go there often and we already know Carl's soup is delicious. Next time we'll get take-out like GC so we can try more samples.

There was an Olaf ice sculpture and a heart one that we saw. We had the list but each place participating also had a sign in the window. I think we were supposed to follow the snowflakes, were the snowflakes supposed to be on the balloons maybe?

Anyway, looking forward to next time.

hktownie hktownie
Feb '17

hktownie ---- I know!! I also never thought to bring home a smorgasbord like GC did! Next time, will park car on Main St and bring a tote!!

happiest girl
Feb '17

I actually saw someone from the bid come by one place with a shiny silver spiral cutout that I think was supposed to be the "snowflake". That could have been better done.

And a quick note on bringing stuff home - there was also the James on Main soup. It's the one thing that they didn't really have lids for me to take home. So I ate it on the way to all the other places. It was darn good though, and spicy - yeah!!

So after seeing GC's haul, next year must go! Plus have insulated tote bags for the goodies. :)

Natari Natari
Feb '17

Hktownie...please tell me about Carl's soup. I love homemade soups and am always looking for somewhere new to try.

Bessie Bessie
Feb '17

Bessie - C&L's soups are always good, they're one of the specialties of the deli. Both of the ones made for Saturday include beer from the local micro brews. There was French onion which as a dark soup to begin with is very well suited for porter or stout. A subtle hint of the grain in the beer brings out the onion flavor. Chili was the other soup for Saturday, very meaty version, beans but not as many as some of the other entries for the contest. That's also made with beer, stout I believe, that wasn't as noticeable. It was good, and a good consistency to it.

They have a number of other soups they do regularly, I believe it was their Italian Wedding soup they did last year that was the overall soup winner.

I didn't get to Every tasting, but to about 1/2, and they were all very very good. The only disappointment I had was James On Main was closed at about 3:00 when I arrived so, unfortunately, I had no taste at James. But, the husband and I had brunch at James on Friday and it was very Yum!! I do think a balloon bouquet or something Eye Catching should be outside of each participating establishment, and it should be very visible.

MrsPipes MrsPipes
Feb '17

Congrats to our $2 tasting winners:

C&L Subs for their soup
Marley's for their chili
Tracey's Candy for their dessert

Our next $2 tasting will be at Maifest which is May 20th. We will have better participation signage for that one. :)

Jim L Jim L
Mar '17

Good job to the winners. We have C & L Subs soup all the time good to see they won again this year. Tracey's must of won for some good fudge.

Tracey's could win for any of a hundred things. Not that I have experience in any, or all, of them for sure. ;-)

Congrats to C&L for sure.

All things considered, it just goes to show what a great place to eat Hackettstown is. James on Main made a fantastic soup too, as did Hackettstown Healthfood, and the Fruitimex chicken noodle with cilantro was right there with them. To me the runner up was actually the TOPO curry coconut soup. One of the two super choices for soup at TOPO. The food at all of the places was great, no let downs anywhere. It was more of choosing the 10's out of the other 9's than anything else. And where else are you going to get $2 samples?

Thanks to everyone who made this, and all the other events possible.

Someone mail me dogs

skippy skippy
Mar '17

May 20th sounds good, keep everyone posted.

friendly reminder this Saturday is Winterfest on Main St.

There are a large group of participating venders. Each participating merchant will have a list to take with you of all the locations. Each vendor should have a white BID flag outside their store as well to help guide you.

Ice carving at the corner of Main and High ( Steve's Pit Stop) starting at noon.

Jim - I see that the event starts at 12, but when does it end? It also seems that many places or offering chili. Maybe too many. LOL

Calico696 Calico696
February 15th

it started out in past years as a soup and chili contest, but they got rid of the contest portion this year.

Don't think there is an exact stop time, I would suspect when each vendor runs out of their "tasting". my guess is 4pm would be the latest it would go based on past years. Then Czig's is having Stoutfest all day/night long so can always end your day there :)

Calico I just got confirmation, 5pm will be the official end time. but I would go sooner then later as some vendors do run out of food.

Also the Ice carving will be Olympic themed:

Olympic Rings, Snowboarder, Figure Skater, and either a Bobsled team or Ice Hockey Player.

so that will be cool to see!!

Thanks for the info.

Calico696 Calico696
February 15th

I'm looking forward to the $2 cheese steak and the $2 empanada.

The chilis are all great. James on Main is excellent, and the C&L is generally made with one of the local brewery's beer in it. The Hackettstown Health's is always vegan. Enjoy Creperie has really good cooks. Theirs is going to be a great one to try for the first time.

I'm hoping the spinach empanada is vegetarian. Hk Health vegan chili is excellent!!
Hoping Davila's will offer something vegetarian.

happiest girl
February 15th

Excited for it this year!! Will definitely hit up some places and see the ice carving.

honestyseasy honestyseasy
February 15th

happiest - You better ask. Sometimes empanadas involve lard.

Calico696 Calico696
February 15th

Thanks calico ------ yes I know to ask.
I've been asking for the last 46 years!

happiest girl
February 15th

Looking forward to a great Winterfest tomorrow!

New merchants are getting involved with some special tastings, and existing merchants are offering some old favorites.

Further confirmation that the ice carving and tastings / specials all begin at 12pm and run until about 5pm or until sold out. Merchants have asked if you could please use cash for their $2 tastings.

Czig Meister's Stoutfest is also starting at 12pm and runs until 10pm so there is plenty to do! Enjoy your day!!

Re: Winterfest

Back to front, left to right.

Milena's cheesesteak and ham/cheese. Enjoy Creperie chili crepe.

Kilhenny's half sour pickle tray. James On Main chili ($4). Hackettstown Healthfood Chili. Tracey's Candy Shoppe maple walnut fudge.

C&L Chili. Sizzle's chicken empanadas.

James on Main is the meatiest chili, and the hottest. Hacketttown Healthfood has a very nice spice in it, least hot, but all vegan. C&L comes out similar to my Bolognese sauce. I have no idea what they do, but I use milk with mine. I know they also sometimes have either Man Skirt or Czigmeister in their soups.

That's a good take all for $20.

happiest girl, I met one of the girls who works at Sizzle a couple weeks ago and she did mention the spinach empanada had cheese in it. I don't think anything there is vegan. Have you ever tried the empanadas from Freakin Vegan? Expensive but sooo good!

Baci's mom Baci's mom
February 17th

Baci's mom ---- I'm vegetarian, not vegan. I had the spinach empanada which was very tasty (no lard in the dough) It came with 2 sauces but I have no idea what they were -- one red, the other green.
Thanks for the tip about Freakin Vegan.

GC ----- "chili" crepe? Mine had tomato & cheese with a garlic sauce. Also delicious.

happiest girl
February 17th

Happiest Girl - Yes, it was called "chili" crepe. It did have tomato and cheese but was also topped with bit of chili paste as well as some bell pepper inside.

The sauces from Sizzle were both greenish, although one was a little mixed. The clearly green one was guac/aoli. it was very creamy with avocado and heavy on the garlic. The other was a salsa verde but had a touch of chopped peppers as well as tomatillo and cilantro. Slightly spicy, and on the sour side.

We got 4 sauces from Sizzle. One was a hot sauce, 1 was green that she said was parsley (looked like avocado). The other two were spicy, I forget what she said they were though.

Re: Winterfest

Anyone get pictures of the ice carvings?
I only got the first one.

happiest girl
February 24th

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