Today's PGA National Gourmet Pig Out and Car Show was small, but many favorable comments were heard throughout the field as eventgoers sipped, strolled and scarfed small plates of excellent food. In spite of nearly triple-digit temperatures and fairly expensive ticket prices, the event drew a substantial crowd, and there are good lessons to be noted for anyone who wants to plan a similar event:
- The entire affair lasted four hours, from noon to 4 p.m. In this heat, that's about as much time outside as most people can handle, even with the availability of shade, tables and chairs.
- The show was a benefit for Wounded Warriors of South Florida. If you've served, or know anyone who has, you know what their work means to those who return from military service and need assistance.
- There were nine trucks that required a ticket in order to get food, but the tickets were part of the entry wristband. The helpful ROTC high school candidates who were stationed at every truck pulled and collected them. No worry about holding or losing tickets or buying them for each truck.
- Some of the food was offered free of charge: PGA National's own iBar food truck offered Parmesan truffle French fries, siracha shrimp and St. Louis ribs. The thin, crispy fries were perfectly addictive. Whole Foods offered free pulled pork sandwiches with a side of creamy cole slaw. The pork, roasted seven hours in a device called La Caja China, was gone in two bites and no sharing; it was that good.
- Other standouts included the potato gnocchi and Bolognese sauce from Il Florentino, the still-life lovely chicken and rice composition from Inspir-Asian and "Da Bomb" Burger from Burger Shack, which was certainly not a bomb, with its topping of bacon, onion, pepper jack cheese and guacamole. On the contrary, it was messy but good!
- Each truck offered one item and did it extremely well. It kept the lines moving and people eating. And by pre-setting the menu, the organizers ensured just enough variety to keep the food choices interesting.
Hopefully, the resort will offer this event again, in a bigger venue on the grounds. And maybe when it's a bit cooler out.