On Saturday we went along to The Big Grill Festival in Herbert Park – the 1st year of this event. Earlier in the Summer I had bought us tickets for this, however I was then kindly offered free weekend tickets by the organizers. The tickets I had purchased went to a good home as I donated them to a charity raffle in work…hopefully the recipient enjoyed their day out!
The weather seems to have turned since August came around, its a little more autumnal, slight chill, not as much sunshine about so it was nice to have this event to look forward to in the latter part of the summer months. With all the buzz across social media that this event was generating I was eager to visit and see what it was all about…
The location and setting was great in Herbert Park. It’s a lovely park, located in between Ballsbridge and Donnybrook so its reasonably accessible with buses, not too far a walk from Luas or Dart stations either. The park itself is quite small and the festival area within it was well positioned and laid out.
There were great decorations around the park, giant plastic flowers complimenting the real ones! A huge deckchair and bench also… there were tables with benches to sit out along with taller wooden tables you could stand at but overall think not enough furniture around the place, some more seating options next time!
We tried a hot dog from Asador – I have to say we have been to Asador a good few times in the past and this wasn’t a reflection of their normally very good food. It was a bit bland and tasteless helped a little by some sauces but not much.
We fared better with the chicken tikka from Kinara Kitchen, flavoursome juicy chicken on a naan bread with some leaves and a mango chutney style dressing. This was delicious.
I really wanted to try Pitt Bros BBQ but the queue was long, really long most of the time and feeling a little ‘delicate’ from the previous evening, I wasn’t really in the humour for queing. However after seeing Kate from Kate’s Kabin amazing looking pulled pork I’m sorry I didn’t stay!!
While it was great to have all the different restaurants there, the dishes were full size so it would be hard to taste food from all of the nice places. I’d much prefer if the dishes were smaller and I could have more from different eateries at this type of event. Each dish like burgers, chicken etc were generally around 10 smokins (the Big Grill Festival currency – 1 smokin – 1 euro). Smaller food would help with the actual eating – when there’s a drink in one hand, and you only have one spare hand to eat with…
The festival was marketed as a BBQ festival with a significant focus on craft beers. While there were individual restaurant tents, this wasn’t the same for the beers. There was just big bars serving all of the different beers. I would have liked to learnt more about the craft beers (I’m a Gin or Wine drinker normally!) so I think it would have been nice if there was seperate little bars for the craft beers, where you can talk to someone who knows the beer and know what you’re trying…there was also a wine bar in case beer wasn’t your thing!
We caught a demo on campfire cooking for a few minutes. This was probably more targeting at families and kids. With the size of the festival and amount of people, it could support more demos and displays I think. But it was year 1 so hopefully its upwards from here!
While we really liked our afternoon at The Big Grill Festival, there’s certainly improvements that could make it lots more enjoyable and hopefully the organizers will take on board the feedback they receive. The ticket price at €15 was steep – there wasn’t much for the entry price and this should be looked at – increase and provide more or make it less!
I would like to say I’d go again; hopefully the festival & organizers can make some improvements and deliver a bit more in its next outing next Summer or sooner…