July 4th in Waldron, Indiana

If our Founding Fathers wanted us to care about the rest of the world, they wouldn’t have declared their independence from it—Stephen Colbert

To me nothing says “America” like small town celebrations. And Waldron, Indiana puts on a beaut. They call theirs “Freedom Fest”.

As soon as you drive into this small town in southeast Indiana you see what seems like all of the townspeople assembled out on their front yards and the rest of southeast Indiana looking for a parking spot. People dressed in the red, white, and blue are everywhere. Cars are everywhere. There are food trucks and vendors. There is a live band and a dunking booth. There is even a hot-air balloon giving rides to the extent of the length of the tether. But everyone is there for one thing…FIREWORKS!!!

So our mission was to somehow find a place to park, eat some food and leave before the fireworks. We knew how difficult it would be to try to leave this congestion after the fireworks with two small grandchildren and a granddad who is always an intestinal twitch away from a public spectacle.

So we parked about two miles out of town on the road by a cornfield. This is something we couldn’t do for previous fireworks shows in eastern Kentucky, big hills and all. Flat land is great for fireworks and avoiding traffic.

When there are two food trucks serving BBQ, it was hard to decide. So…of course I started eating one serving of rib tips from one truck while waiting in line to get a brisket sandwich from another. This was an excellent plan.

The rib tips from Mel’s Catering were very tasty and tender. When you can eat them with a plastic fork, you know they are very tender.

Mel’s Catering had a great menu for festival eating.

My second BBQ meal was from Dave’s Double Barrel BBQ. This was my second time eating Dave’s food and it was just as good this time. The brisket sandwich was really good and the cole slaw may have been some of the best I have eaten as a BBQ side dish. I loved the sweetness of the dressing.

The brisket sandwich from Dave’s Double Barrel BBQ is so good, especially with Dave’s sauce.

I was very impressed by this cole slaw from Dave’s. Even my grandson loved it.

Check out this line for the pineapple whip.

Most of the festival was set up at the Waldron High School athletic complex.

A large crowd awaited the fireworks.

I hope they stopped the balloon rides when the fireworks started.

Some of the fireworks pictures that were taken outside of town.

The “pinwheel”.

I know some folks were unhappy with America this 4th of July but I didn’t find any in Waldron, Indiana.
And Big Surf had the freedom to eat as much BBQ as he could handle.

Let freedom ring!!

Taste of Shelby County, Indiana

The more street food we have, the more it’s embraced by every income strata, the better world we have—Anthony Bourdain

I love festival food.

Mrs. Big Surf and I took to the streets of Shelbyville, Indiana, our new hometown recently. No not to voice our dismay or celebrate anything but to eat, which is my favorite new pastime.

We partook of the Taste of Shelby County 2022. Incidentally, this is part of Shelby County’s Bicentennial celebration. In 1822 the president of the US was James Monroe and future presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes were born. Matthew Brady, known for his civil war photos, was also born in 1822.

OK, enough history.

Shelbyville is a picturesque small town in southeast Indiana, about thirty minutes SE of Indianapolis. It has a pretty center circle or actually more of an ovate shape. The buildings in the town center have lots of character and flowers abound. Also on the this day the aroma of festival food was rousing my senses.

Now I know that man does not live on festival food alone since we usually can’t get breakfast at festivals. However, festivals usually provide good tasting food in a community setting where people are generally happy to be there. And Taste of Shelby County was no exception.

After perusing the layout of food, the missus and I settled on Dave’s Double Barrel BBQ. It was a very good choice. I had smoked ribs and the blue-eyed darlin’ had pork nachos. We sampled other treats and my apologies to the other vendors but I can’t remember their names. I was too focused on maximizing my food-to-time-to-ticket ratio. I do have pictures though.

The ribs and pork nachos were very good from Dave’s Double Barrel BBQ. He has a food truck, lives in Shelbyville and caters.

I maximized my tasting by buying a half of two different sausage dogs.

Taste of Shelby County is an annual event and I hope you can be there next year, you will see me with a smile on my face hiding a mouthful of something grilled.

Cholula Mexican Restaurant, Shelbyville, Indiana

When you roll something this good, it’s usually illegal…Anonymous burrito shop sign

I was a late-comer to the Mexican or Tex-Mex cuisine, only having the occasional drive-thru taco or just ordering tacos in some of the finest Mexican restaurants of Houston when I lived there. I wish I could go back to my early twenties self and slap him in the face with a seafood enchilada and say, “What is wrong with you?”

Now I love foods from Mexico and whatever Tex-Mex is.

We visited Cholula Mexican Restaurant in Shelbyville, Indiana (now my home) for a Sunday lunch with some family. This was the first visit to this establishment and I loved the festive atmosphere. The menu was filled with dishes I want to try and the staff was very friendly and service-oriented.

Now I don’t mean to sound derogatory to the country of Mexico and its chefs, but I consider the appetizer of chips and salsa the best part of the Mexican eating experience. Let me explain…the salsa can tell me a lot about what is to come and heighten my expectation. Everyone is excited to see the chips and salsa and they usually start digging in and the conversation starts. These chips were warm and crunchy and the salsa was delicious.

I ordered the Burrito California, filled with chicken, beans, rice, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and cheese. And let me emphasize the cheese here, because there was a lot and if you don’t like melted, gooey, delicious cheese, I suggest you look elsewhere on the menu. I loved this burrito.

Everyone at the table loved their food and I will be back.

I highly recommend the California Burrito at Cholula’s.

The colorful, festive decor set the tone for an enjoyable meal.

I will compliment the chefs at Cholula, hopefully…”¡Qué rica comida”.

Voy a volver (I will return).