California's Great America: Taste of Orleans

California's Great America: Taste of Orleans
CGA Taste of Orleans-1.jpg

HAAAAAY YOU GUUUUUUYS! 

I was let out of my cabinet! Jim told me there was a food event and I really wanted to go cover it, and to my surprise, he let me go! Some jerk on twitter said that this was a punishment, but I'm not buying it, 'cause it can't be any worse than getting Jim's leftover Chipotle shoved under the door. 

So without hesitation, I hopped on the next available Megabus and headed to California's Great America. I didn't really realize that this was in Northern California. I thought I was going to cover Disney food...but, y'know...eight hours on a bus later...I was not at Disneyland. I was in Santa Clara....at California's Great America. Not...Disney California Adventure. Apparently there's a difference. 

Anyway, I can't complain, 'cause hey, free food. 

So, FOOD. Not just regular food, Deep South CAJUN FOOD. 

So, FOOD. Not just regular food, Deep South CAJUN FOOD. 

Chef Eric here gave this awesome mini cooking show. It was sort of like watching Tastemade, but in real life. Like, if my tv had smell-o-vision, this would have been it. 

Chef Eric here gave this awesome mini cooking show. It was sort of like watching Tastemade, but in real life. Like, if my tv had smell-o-vision, this would have been it. 

This was his work. Fried catfish and spicy slaw. Like, just let me die happy now. 

This was his work. Fried catfish and spicy slaw. Like, just let me die happy now. 

Then he went all double or nothing with BREAD. EFFING. PUDDING. Or like...something carb-y and sugary. I don't really remember. I blacked out from glee. 

Then he went all double or nothing with BREAD. EFFING. PUDDING. Or like...something carb-y and sugary. I don't really remember. I blacked out from glee. 

So yeah. Here's that catfish. HOW WAS THIS A PUNISHMENT? 

So yeah. Here's that catfish. HOW WAS THIS A PUNISHMENT? 

I don't get it..but whatever, I got to eat this, and you didn't. NEENER NEENER NEEEEENER! 

I don't get it..but whatever, I got to eat this, and you didn't. NEENER NEENER NEEEEENER! 

So after collecting myself up off the floor, I mosied...mosey'd...mozied? Whatever, I wandered over to Orleans Place to check out the rest of the event after that special media cooking presentation. If you haven't been to CGA, you really should consider coming out here to check it out, it's become quite a gem of a park for Northern California. 

So after collecting myself up off the floor, I mosied...mosey'd...mozied? Whatever, I wandered over to Orleans Place to check out the rest of the event after that special media cooking presentation. If you haven't been to CGA, you really should consider coming out here to check it out, it's become quite a gem of a park for Northern California. 

Signage. Not New Orleans Square. Not bitter for Jim tricking me... ....ALL I WANTED WAS BLACKBERRY BEIGNETS. 

Signage. Not New Orleans Square. Not bitter for Jim tricking me...

....ALL I WANTED WAS BLACKBERRY BEIGNETS. 

There was a lot of really great areas for families to come together and play big games. Cornhole (teehee), checkers, y'know...party games for party people. 

There was a lot of really great areas for families to come together and play big games. Cornhole (teehee), checkers, y'know...party games for party people. 

For such a small park, they really did have some good theming for a two-weekend only event. It doesn't take much to dress up, and they do it pretty dang well. 

For such a small park, they really did have some good theming for a two-weekend only event. It doesn't take much to dress up, and they do it pretty dang well. 

The entire event is put together really well. Great themed live bands, local (from 'nawlins) beers, and I mean...come on. Abita. Like, HOW IS THIS A PUNISHMENT AGAIN? 

The entire event is put together really well. Great themed live bands, local (from 'nawlins) beers, and I mean...come on. Abita. Like, HOW IS THIS A PUNISHMENT AGAIN? 

Now for the rest of the festival's food... This was the chicken andouille gumbo over rice. I'm not crazy big on spicy, but it was REALLY good. 

Now for the rest of the festival's food...
This was the chicken andouille gumbo over rice. I'm not crazy big on spicy, but it was REALLY good. 

You're sitting at your desk with a bag of Doritos right now thinking 'ah that's just a spicy corn dog.    WRONG, NERD. That's a shrimp corn dog. It was shrimp in corn dog batter and spices and spicy sauce and it was the best damn thing. 

You're sitting at your desk with a bag of Doritos right now thinking 'ah that's just a spicy corn dog. 
 

WRONG, NERD. That's a shrimp corn dog. It was shrimp in corn dog batter and spices and spicy sauce and it was the best damn thing. 

I'll be fair: This was not my favorite, but I tried it. Frog legs are...they have a flavor of fish, but texture of chicken. Like, it's got that salty fishy flavor but also chickeny texture and basically I cried for five minutes 'cause I ate Kermit. I mean, what else was supposed to happen to the frog after the puppeteer got fired?  Too soon?  Yea...too soon. 

I'll be fair: This was not my favorite, but I tried it. Frog legs are...they have a flavor of fish, but texture of chicken. Like, it's got that salty fishy flavor but also chickeny texture and basically I cried for five minutes 'cause I ate Kermit. I mean, what else was supposed to happen to the frog after the puppeteer got fired? 
Too soon? 
Yea...too soon. 

Crawfish Étouffée. New Orleans and their fancy French words for midget lobsters in a spicy sauced up bread bowl. 10/10 would devour again.

Crawfish Étouffée. New Orleans and their fancy French words for midget lobsters in a spicy sauced up bread bowl. 10/10 would devour again.

HA. 'Cause I was media, I got to basically have this twice. So basically my day was made and muddy kitty fish taste majorly good. 

HA. 'Cause I was media, I got to basically have this twice. So basically my day was made and muddy kitty fish taste majorly good. 

uhm...yeah. Beignets. BUT NO BLACKBERRY. THANKS, JIM.  (You can never have a bad beignet, so basically these were super yummy). 

uhm...yeah. Beignets. BUT NO BLACKBERRY. THANKS, JIM. 
(You can never have a bad beignet, so basically these were super yummy). 

Now, back to more of the event: they had a kid station where kids could make their own masks. When I was there earlier getting a photo of this, not a lot were in there, but as the crowds picked up, this place was packed with kids making their own Mardi Gras masks. 

Again, it's great to see how simple and fun this event was for families. 

Again, it's great to see how simple and fun this event was for families. 

After all the food, it's good to walk around and check out CGA. It's a really beautiful park...

After all the food, it's good to walk around and check out CGA. It's a really beautiful park...

Now, here's a fun look at....something. I don't know what it is. They haven't given me this paperwork to clear...but CGA is getting...something, and they're teasing the ever loving hell out of it online. Walls are up around the area, dirt and grass are moved, and they're prepping for something...did I mention something? 

 

So ladies and germs, that about does it. California's Great America has a really great seasonal event on their hands. The park has really been stepping up their game, right alongside all the other Cedar Fair parks. I really have to say it's great to watch everyone put their best feet forward. The food here was Disney-level quality. I'd expect to have had any of those samples at New Orleans Square. So to see this level of quality move the needle is fantastic. I'm really excited to see what happens with this lovely little sister park to Knott's. 

But for now, I have to get back down to headquarters. Jim is already mad the Megabus is delayed. 

BYE FOR NOW. - The Intern