Feasting Alfresco

(food with a view)

"Seating themselves on the green sward they eat while the corks fly and there is talk, laughter and merriment, and perfect freedom, for the universe is their drawing room and the sun their lamp."

 

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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Doesn’t food somehow just taste better outdoors? When feasting alfresco, as in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location.

 

Open-air dining—whether under a canopy of trees, the big blue sky, stars & moonlight, on a backyard deck or a sidewalk café— seems to satisfy a primal instinct & evoke an air of adventure.

 

While the refined foods of top Michelin-rated restaurants have their place for special occasion splurges, there’s nothing like the instant pleasure of street food from carts, stalls or hip foodie trucks where the basil & balsamic crowd can peacefully coexist with the beer & brat types in a harmonious culinary collision of high and low brow.

 

When the mercury creeps up, some are drawn to the walkabout feeding of fairs & carnivals with their deep-fried Oreos, funnel cakes, & corn dogs. (Clearly our health is not their concern.)

 

How about rooftop parties in the city & backyard BBQs in the burbs?  (With apologies to all other contenders, my friends Brenda & Duane Viola’s annual all-you-can-eat crab fest & pig roast has raised the bar on the backyard BBQ forever!)

 

And  how about pulling the perfect portable feast from your picnic basket or backpack beside a babbling brook or while overlooking a sweeping vista on a hike (finding just the perfect spot is part of the pleasure of the occasion), or sipping boozed-up hot cocoa from a thermos when snowshoeing or skiing?

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And then there’s the granddaddy of them all—tailgating aka picnicking on steroids. Gone are the days when simple food & a  6-pack would suffice for the rigors of spectating.

 

Now it’s a carnival atmosphere of lighthearted mayhem & licensed anarchy taking place in the humble parking lots of sport stadiums and concert arenas countrywide.

 

Leave it to radical sports fans to really up the ante with smokers, fryers, & over-the-top accessories like jalapeño-popper grill roasters & anti-flare-up chicken wing racks. Replete with  flat screen TVs to watch the pre-game show.

No matter which way you like to serve it up, few experiences satisfy like the simple pleasure of feasting in the wild.

 

 

What’s your favorite way to dine alfresco?

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