Thursday, August 22, 2019

Don't Miss PTown's Fabulous Carnival Parade, Today Along Commercial Street

The theme Enchanted Forest will be on display during Carnival Parade in PTown.

Provincetown’s annual Carnival celebration began humbly back in 1978, having grown this year to a nine-day party with 17 official events scheduled, and dozens of less-official parties and gatherings at guest houses, homes. bars and swimming pools throughout the town.

Routinely bringing upwards of 90,000 people to this little village of some 3,000 year-round residents, Carnival in PTown has been called the best festival on Cape Cod, and is among the largest LGBTQ celebrations in the nation.

The marquee event of this shindig is our Carnival Parade, which is scheduled to begin at 3PM this afternoon in front of Harbor Hotel, in the Far East End of town, following Commercial Street all the way to Franklin Street in the West End. That gives you about two miles in which to carve out a little space for yourself, maybe set up lawn chairs with a few friends (at least two hours early,) or come late and stand behind eight rows of people crowded onto the sidewalk somewhere along the route. Either way, you'll have fun.
Typically the procession reaches the center of town about an hour after the scheduled start time, but we've been fooled before, when the parade has actually started on time, or been delayed, so be prepared to show up early, and to wait awhile. Fair warning: a handful of real parade zealots may have already shown up at 7AM to get their exact, favorite spot, armed to the teeth with reading material, coffee, pastries, sandwiches and lots of cold beverages (remember, alcohol is not allowed on public streets.) 

Those who walk in shoes like these all day long are the real heroes of Carnival..
Past parades have brought us a wide variety of floats created by local businesses; driving entrees like stars of our famous summer entertainment perched up high in the backs of stylish, open convertibles; perhaps a marching band or two; walking entries, and many others. And this year there are three Grand Marshals of the parade:
Lea DeLaria - comedian, actor (Orange is the New Black,) talented jazz singer and owner of The Club at 193A Commercial Street; Trixie Mattel - drag queen, actor, songstress, and widely known for her win on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars; David Velasco Bermudez - resident of Cape Cod and veteran of the Stonewall rebellion, 50 years ago this month.

Past Carnivals have shown off remarkable costumes like these.
You can expect to see lots of fabulous costumes, glitz-and-glamour, tiny swimsuits, and really big hair. This year's theme is Enchanted Forest, and there's just no predicting what will come from the imaginations of those in the parade, or those who choose not to march in the procession but to create marvelous costumes to wear while they simply stroll the streets or make their way to parties around town.

The gentlemen in this photo had made their own, truly unique costumes for the Carnival theme Viva Las Vegas a few years back, with flamingo codpieces. :ook closely. Fabulous!
For me, half the fun of Carnival is always just sitting on a bench somewhere and watching all of the costumed revelers walking by licking ice cream cones, or having their own little parade, day or night, in the streets.
Remember, there will literally be dozens of thousands of people all around you in Provincetown today, so don't forget - be kind to your fellow humans and animals, tip your servers well, and get out to enjoy whatever Carnival is for you.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

In Celebration of Nachos, and the Man Who Invented Them!

Today's Google Doodle commemorates Ignacio Anaya Garcia's 1943 Invention of Nachos

Yes, today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 124th birthday of Ignacio Anaya Garcia, who had been the maître d’ at a Mexican border town restaurant near a US Army air base outside of Eagle Pass, Texas. One afternoon in 1943, a group of military wives had crossed the border, out on a day’s adventure, in search of something to eat, maybe a few beers…
The women may have walked into the restaurant between the usual lunch and dinner hours, because in order to serve them, Ignacio went into the kitchen himself and grated a mound of Wisconsin cheddar cheese onto a big platter of crispy tortilla chips. He topped the mountain of chips and cheese with sliced jalapeño peppers and slid his creation under the broiler until the cheese was all melted and bubbly, and then he carefully brought the hot platter out to the group of famished women.
His dish was an instant hit, and soon it began cropping up in other restaurants as well, on both sides of the border. “Nacho” was a common nickname, or an abbreviation, for the name Ignacio, and that’s how one of today's truly great snack foods eventually became known around the world.

Venture out to any number of Provincetown eateries for many different versions of this platter of nachos. For example, Rosie’s Traditional Mexican Cantina, at 331 Commercial Street, as the name implies, offers nachos served in the traditional way: tortilla chips covered with melted cheese and jalapeños. The great thing about these simple nachos is that Rosie’s makes their own fresh tortilla chips, frying them up all day in their own kitchen.
Or, for a different take on this staple of bars and restaurants throughout the land, you can head over to Fanizzi’s, at 539 Commercial Street, for their Ultimate Nachos:An enormous plate of our tortilla chips, with spicy beef chili, jalapeños, tomatoes, sliced black olives and scallions smothered in cheese and served with house-made chunky salsa and sour cream.” Add grilled chicken or guacamole, if you’d like.
Combine this great plate of food with a frosty cerveza or a favorite cocktail from Fanizzi's popular bar, along with that spectacular view from your table at the edge of Provincetown Harbor, for one of PTown's most sublime waterfront dining experiences, year-round.

So there we have two very different versions of the recipe created by Garcia some 76 years ago, just south of the Texas border. It can be a meal or a snack, and has become one of the most popular “bar foods” ever created. Step out this evening and celebrate Ignacio Anaya Garcia and the impromptu creation of his simple culinary masterpiece by ordering a platter  of nachos, found in several different incarnations in restaurants.throughout the town.
 Buen Provecho!