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Foodies Relish Fare At Ridgway’s Outdoor Events

When you think of festival food, what comes to mind? If grease and oil as well as over-salted and sugary foods popped into your head, you obviously haven’t been eating at the summer festivals and concerts in Ridgway, which feature fresh, healthy eats as well as hearty meals.

Probably the most popular and frequent local festival vendor is Melry’s Lunchbox, with delicious food served by Melissa and Ryan Bailey. They were hired for the Love Your Valley Festival in May, RAT (Ridgway Area Trails) Fest! In June, and Ridgway Summer Concert Series in July, all in Hartwell Park. They were also serving at the Ridgway RiverFest in Rollans Park this past June and the June before, plus they opened up a restaurant on Sherman Street this past spring.

 “We love being a part of all the local festivals to ensure visitors have a delicious lunch or dinner option. Our festival menu includes the customers’ favorite: london broil steak sandwich topped with grilled peppers and onions with our signature horseradish cream sauce,” says Melissa. “We find it important to use fresh, local, organic. Supporting our local farms and friends.”

Additional Melry’s festival sandwiches include beer bratwurst and chicken Caesar pitas. Her favorite is a local kale and garden green rustic salad, topped with tart organic cranberries, apples, blue cheese, pumpkin seeds, vinaigrette, and optional chicken or steak. The food stand also features gluten-free options such as three amazing skewers: caprese, fresh fruit, and the Wines BFF (basically a cheese and deli meat plate on a stick) – all are big hits with festival goers!

Other food vendors at June festivals were Mountainside Sweets Fudge at the RAT Fest! And Chee-Z-Does It at the RiverFest. Mountainside Sweets is a Ridgway company that creates fudge by mixing all natural products by hand, with no preservatives, to create one-of-a-kind, fresh tastes.

Available locally at Cimarron Coffee & Books and Cafe Ridgway a la Mode, fudge flavors include dark chocolate with pieces of mint chocolate or white chocolate, peanut butter, peppermint, sea salt, mixed nut (peanut, almond, cashew, hazelnut brazil and pecan), single nut (peanut, almond, walnut, pecan and others), caramel, candied cherry, S'more, espresso, toffee, Funky Monkey (dark chocolate swirled with crushed banana chips and pecans), and candy (M&M, Butterfinger, Reese's Pieces, or Almond Joy).

Chee-Z Does It from Montrose serves an array of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches on local breads including gluten-free options. Specialty sandwiches include the All American, Traditional, Italian, Hawaiian, The Popper, Southwest, E-Z Brie-Z, and Backyard BBQ, plus dessert sandwiches: Hazelnut Monkey (Nutella and banana) and The 911 – a grilled glazed doughnut with sharp cheddar cheese.

Blue Ribbon BBQ has become a popular food truck at the Summer Concert Series in July and will be at the Ridgway Rendezvous this August. The Montrose-based vendor serves a full menu of barbecue specialties from ribs and pulled pork to chicken.

Also at the summer concerts are Surfin’ Salmon from Palisade, serving Copper River salmon tacos, halibut cheek sliders and more, as well as Land & Ocean, a food stand spinoff from the Costa Rican restaurant on Sherman Street that serves fresh, healthy South American fare.

Last but not least, the Ouray Masonic Lodge will be at the Rendezvous serving its tasty ribs, made famous during that city’s annual fourth of July celebrations. And more food vendors are being added to the art fair’s list as this is being written, so expect to have a mouth-watering selection of meals and snacks to choose from.

Come out to Ridgway’s summer events and be sure to arrive hungry! Our food options are sure to satisfy.

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