Sawdust Arts Festival
935 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
When Sara invited us to go to the Sawdust Festival, I was not too excited. I had been when I was a kid, and just remembered my parents taking forever to shop for who knows what. I remember all the sawdust on the ground, and those were my two memories of the famous arts festival of Laguna Beach. After checking the Sawdust web site, I learned that they have food there too, so I decided to make the most of it, and blog about the food at least.
The Sawdust Festival has been around, in its current location since 1968. The non-judged art exhibit has local artist showing off their works, and draws 200,000 people, during its nine week run. I will not even try to pretend that I am artsy in any way, I am sure that these people are talented, but lets get to something that I do know about, the food.
To start off our Sawdust experience is Jimmy's pasta. He got this pasta from Thasos Greek Island Grill. I did not catch the name of it, but it looks like a tortellini pasta with chicken and marinara sauce over it. Jimmy was pretty hard on this pasta dish. He thought that it had too much sauce, and that the chicken was too tough. He also commented that the tomatoes were rough and chewy. Not a good start for our festival experience.
Dennis and Lynn both ordered the Fillet Mignon Tacos, from Mark's Restaurant. As bland as these tacos look in the picture, Dennis and Lynn assure me that they were every bit as bland when eaten. They also were not too impressed by the tenderness of the meat. That makes 0 for 2 now.
Kevin went with more traditional fair food, when he got the Fried Chicken Po-Boy Sandwich, with homemade potato chips, from Sallie's @ the Sawdust. Sallie's specializes in deep fried foods. Think of this as the equivalent of the Heartattack Grill of the Sawdust Festival. Kevin liked his sandwich, even though he got it plain. He also thought that the chips that came with this were great.
Katie and I decided to split a deep fried trio of foods. This hat trick of artery clogging nourishment started off with the Fried Zucchini above. The six large strips that were served were fried perfectly, and complimented with a good ranch dip. These were served hot, and broke our streak of mediocre food at the Sawdust. The Shrimp Po-Boy kept the good times coming with a tasty sandwich. The shrimp on this was tasty, and with the addition of tomatoes and pickles, this sandwich almost seemed good for you, (okay, not really, but almost!). The fries were just okay, not anything to get excited over.
Above are the Deep Fried Nutter Butters we had for dessert. These were okay. I thought that they were a little dry, and they would be fantastic with chocolate dipping sauce. They did give you a generous portion of these, you get four cookies, enough to share with our whole table.
Just in case I did not get enough calories for the night, I also sampled a cookie from Espresso On The Go. This cookie was very floury to me. As I ate this cookie, it grew on me, but I would skip this in the future.
The food at the Sawdust Festival was a little under-whelming. It is your standard fair food, but a lot cheaper than the OC fair. You can probably find some decent things to snack on, but Laguna is so blessed with many good restaurants, your best bet would be to snack at the Sawdust Festival, and then head out for dinner.
The Sawdust Festival runs through August 29th. Get more information on the festival here: http://www.sawdustartfestival.org/