My Review of All the Food I’ve Eaten at the Bristol Renaissance Faire
An unofficial guide to your Renaissance food adventure.
If you live in the Chicagoland/Wisconsinland area and haven’t ever been to the Bristol Renaissance Faire, you’re seriously missing out. Last year, it of course was closed all season, but they’re back in business for the summer (through Labor Day weekend) and it’s like no time has ever really passed. There’s a ton of stuff to do, from dressing up, day drinking, watching performers do cool things, buying handmade leather goods, and of course: eating. Honestly, the other stuff is fun but as I am a food-motivated individual, it’s the food adventure that really makes me want to go year after year. So here is a review of everything that I’ve ever remembered eating at the faire.
Of course there’s going to be an item on the menu that’s just cheese—the faire is in Wisconsin after all! Cheese fritters are basically just balls of Monterey Jack that are battered and fried, with barbecue sauce and mustard to dip in. At first, the idea of large fried cheese balls sounds amazing, but every time I eat them I’m less than impressed. I think it’s the consistency of melted Monterey Jack cheese. It’s too gooey for what the product should be. Maybe that’s just my ignorance for expecting fried cheese to have the consistency of mozzarella. Dipping it in barbecue makes the experience better, though I don’t have any idea how the mustard fares because I’ve never wanted to dip anything into mustard ever in my life. Also fair warning: this is great as a shareable snack with friends but is NOT something you’ll want to commit to finishing on your own.
It’s just an ear of corn. We live in the Midwest, who doesn’t fucking love a hot corn on the cob slathered in butter? I honestly have no notes with this snack. It’s perfect, filling, and they give you enough stalk of the corn that’s perfect for holding and minimizing messy hands.
They sell them ready, but they for sure aren’t hot. They’re only $3 so it’s not too bad when you’re just sitting around at the joust and the person with a whole stick full of pretzels shows up but overall it’s a pretty disappointing snack, especially compared with what else is out there.
As a potato food item, you can’t go wrong with the butterfly potatoes, but at the same time there’s just something that’s lacking. The potatoes are cut super thin, so when they fry them up they’re super crispy. They’re basically just freshly made potato chips with less seasoning and grease than a regular bag of chips. They’re good, don’t get me wrong, but personally when I see cut up fried potatoes, I want them to be a little potatoey. Anyways, they’re great for sharing and a good side dish for another meal.
Cheesecake on a Stick
It’s cheesecake, it’s dipped in chocolate, and it’s on a stick. It’s great.
Now the vegetable tempura is on a completely different level than other foods at the Renaissance Faire. This food item is the reason why I keep going back year after year for over a decade. The vegetable tempura is just that: deep fried vegetables with some sweet and sour sauce to dip in. They’ve got mushrooms, broccoli, onions, carrots, zucchini and potatoes all battered and fried and ready to go. A true delicacy.
Ice Cream Crepes
If you’re looking for something sweet then look no further than one of the crepes because man, those things are sugary! I personally do not fuck with a crepe unless it also involves a pile of whipped cream (and ice cream preferred, too) and these crepes have it all. There are strawberry ones, chocolate ones, mixed fruit ones. Overall, a great time.
How can beef jerky do you wrong? It can’t.
To be honest, I’ve never ordered a full turkey leg, but have only eaten bits and pieces off of other people’s turkey legs. To be fair, these things are massive and I don’t eat that much meat. That being said, the meat is very good on these bones, and those of my friends who order them enjoy the whole process. Just be prepared for a meaty commitment.
If you’ve never heard of a pasty before, it’s basically a calzone but with just meat and potatoes inside of it and with pie crust. It’s pretty good! It definitely is something that came from Great Britain, the place that specializes in meat and pie crust dishes.
It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten this at the Ren Faire but I still remember it. It’s a very standard shepherd’s pie with mashed potatoes, ground meat, and vegetables in the middle. It’s a comfort meal for sure.
Have you had your frass today? For only $2 you can get yourself one of the best beverages the world has to offer. It’s kind of like root beer, but also has a hint of black licorice flavor. Trust me, though, it’s really good and refreshing. The best stuff in town!
Soup in a Bread Bowl
Unfortunately, I cannot give you a review on this menu item. The last time I went to the faire, it was my goal to eat this dish because eating soup in the summer is something I love to do. I didn’t plan well and ended up eating too many other things so I couldn’t really enjoy eating a whole bowl of soup in a loaf of bread. So I will have to leave you here wondering how it tastes, the way that I still wonder every day since my last visit.
This is not a full list of everything that you can possibly eat at the Bristol Renaissance Faire, but it is still a pretty good list. Sorry for the pickle lovers and roasted nut enthusiasts, I don’t really care for those kinds of things so I’ve never ordered them and thus cannot review them for you but I do know they are fan favorites. There will be many more visits to the faire in the future, and thus, more food items to review at a later date. If you’re planning on going to the faire soon, let me know if you agree with me—I’m ready to fight if you don’t!
Guess what? Your girl has another comedy piece published in Slackjaw! It’s called: Help! My Sleep Paralysis Demon Is The Snowman From Michael Keaton’s “Jack Frost”