Dozens of people lined up at a Main Street shop to sample the cheesy lobster chowder, one of many dishes being served up at Patchogue’s annual Chili and Chowder Festival on Saturday.
Cheese Patch owner Paige Pfeifer said she and her staff cooked their creamy chowder — infused with corn and pumpkin beer — over two days and prepared the lobster early in the morning. The shop sold out halfway through the festival, serving more than more than 300 cups.
“It was pretty intense,” said Pfeifer, whose shop was participating in the festival for the fourth year. “We’ve been garnishing, cooking. It was like a little assembly line in here.”
Although the fall festival also had such traditional fare as petting zoos, food carts and craft booths for children, Main Street restaurants took center stage as they vied for first place in the chowder and chili contests sponsored by the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce.
Vendors worked throughout day serving up their finest culinary delights — from smooth chicken and corn chowder to spicy Manhattan Style sausage & clam chowder to chunky turkey chili — as hundreds of festival goers tasted the fare while live music played on a warm fall day.
Shaun Berry, 38, of Patchogue, was enjoying a cup of smoked brisket chili with his girlfriend and family outside Bobbique restaurant on West Main Street. For Berry, sampling the chilies was his favorite part of the festival. “Every place has its own little spin on it, so it’s all different,” he said.
For Regina Medina, a North Shore resident spending the day with friends, what thrilled her most were all the different flavors of chili at their disposal.
“We were just saying how it’s great how easy it is to come in and get the chili, try it and go to another place,” said Medina. “It’s great what Patchogue has done.”