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Phantom Gourmet Food Festival

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Events & Festivals 17

Phantom Gourmet Food Festival

Kidlington | Oct 5, 2004 05:06 PM

Review: Phantom Gourmet Food Festival

Thousands of former Phantom fans were fleeced on Sunday when the “mysterious” food critic wildly overbooked this event. Festival turned into fiasco as thousands of people arrived at noon to find a line four people wide snaking down the street, around the corner and down the next street. Hungry people waiting in line with tickets, which were purchased at $15.00 a pop, found comfort and food by running across the street to grab a slice or a dog at the Best Sausage Company. Others, more optimistic, held their hunger in anticipation of the delicious dishes that supposedly awaited within the cordoned area.

However, an hours worth of waiting found us at a standstill in the midst of a shoulder to shoulder crowd. Tall people were asked to look ahead, beyond the fenced entrance on Landsdowne Street, and reported seeing the sight that if you ever did get the chance to show your ticket and enter, the arena where the food samples were supposedly available was wall to wall people. Pushing and shoving were the order of the day and I personally saw at least eight people leave before entering, announcing that they had just thrown their money away. The more determined of us remained and eventually were shoved up to the ticket taker and entered a world of madness, where the crowd was so thick and so close that one couldn’t move in any direction. The lines to the food were long, that’s if you could find the end of them, and the portions were small. We spent our time trying desperately to hold onto youngsters and keep them from being trampled, while being assaulted on all sides by pushing and foul language. It was almost impossible to move through the crowd, and yet what was the point of standing in one position? For safety’s sake we formed our family into a train and tried desperately to push ahead at a snail’s pace, in search of a place to stand and breathe. There were none. We couldn’t even get near the food stands to get our samples. Eventually we were able to get -- a cookie the size of a half dollar, a quarter cup of seafood bisque (two of us are allergic to shrimp, so we didn’t) and on the way out a tiny Dunkin Donuts latte and a slice of Entenmanns. All that and an enormous headache for only $15 a head. We would have done better to go to Costco; we’d have gotten much more to eat, and for free!

So was the hot and sour soup good? Did anyone in that endless line for a Fuddrucker’s burger ever snag one? How big was it? Was Kowloon even there?? I never even was able to catch a glimpse of most of the places that were purported to be there, and I’m tall.

Who is responsible for this mega-fiasco? How was the number of tickets sold figured out? Apparently someone figured the square footage of that section of Landsdowne Street and it was decided to admit two people for every square foot of space. It took us two and a half torturous hours to fight our way in, through, and out of the crowd, and then we went somewhere else to eat, since we were all starving.

For next year, let me warn you know if you didn’t understand already, don’t go!! I want my money back. Come to think of it, I want my time back, too.

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