Every year that we’ve been together, Matt and I have attended Phantom’s Feaste at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. It’s a pre-Halloween, “R-rated” interactive dinner theatre production with a different theme every year. This year’s theme was a bit of a departure from the (literary-allusion-filled) themes of the past: Zombie Prom! Per their website:
Join us for the exciting and blood-curdling Phantom’s Feaste! Become part of the class of 1959, as you celebrate your Senior Class Prom. The horror is that many of the students are turning into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. This will be a very interactive dance, complete with a five-course meal served buffet style. Come sing, dance, and join in the fun as the Prom continues into the wee hours of the night. But be mindful of who you dance with, or you might just be on the menu!
One thing I LOVE about Halloween-time is that it gives me an excuse to don old clothes and accessories from high school that I pretty much never get to wear anymore.
I’m still a goth girl at heart. (That actually IS an old prom/homecoming dress of mine, hehe.)
My 2009 post about Phantom’s Feaste is actually the first time I ever mentioned Matt on this blog! My 2010 post contained a more detailed account, but as you can see, we still “made do” back then with the dairy-heavy vegetarian meal option they offer. This time, I called ahead and asked if they could accommodate us with a fully-vegan meal. I didn’t have high hopes – boiled potatoes and a bare salad seemed likely – but we were floored by what Chef Frank came up with for us. Keep reading…
The night (and the story) starts at dusk at the gates of RenFest, after which we’re led through the fairgrounds to the Hall of the Royal Smoker. We take our seats on the benches and are brought water, wine, and hot bread by the serving wenches.
The “students”/”prom guests” (i.e. actors) interact and talk and dance around us, often engaging random people in conversation. One artist-guy carrying around a sketch pad drew this silly 30-second portrait of me and Matt, then gifted it to us.
After taking in the ambiance a little, the first course is served. While everyone else got a nasty-smelling beef-and-barley stew, THIS is what was brought out to us:
HOLY CRAP! The chef totally outdid himself right out of the gate with this plate, which had mountains of bite-size broccoli florets, tomato wedges with capers and basil, two types of crackers, blanched green beans, and slivered almonds, plus little bowls of mixed olives, artichoke hummus (!), and an awesome raspberry vinaigrette. Our jaws just about hit the floor.
See, THIS is a perfect example of why you should never be scared to ask for vegan accommodations in restaurants or at events. As opposed to being annoyed, the chef got excited about creating something new and different, and he knocked our socks off course after course. Yes, there’s lots more!
Soon after that Platter of Amazingness, we got a big bowl of crackers and fresh fruit (while everyone else was chewing on cheese cubes—poor them!).
Side note: within this bowl, we found the weirdest-looking grape ever. Check it out—grape boobs!
The storyline started picking up right about then…
…as some of the “students” began turning into zombies…
…which, of course, required expedient killing.
Our main course (in place of roast meat of some kind) was roasted potatoes with peas and Portobello mushrooms. Not bad!
The wine kept flowing, and the carnage all around us continued…
…but not without some fun, lighthearted breaks, such as to climb up on the benches and group-sing songs from Beetlejuice.
When it was time for dessert, I’ll admit that I was wooed by the rest of the room’s mini Oreo bundt cakes…
…but Chef Frank thoughtfully whipped up banana smoothies for me and Matt. He even came out at the end to ask us if we liked everything.
Thank you again, Chef Frank, for the wonderful vegan feast!
QUESTION: Have you ever requested a special vegan meal at a restaurant or event and been completely blown away by how delicious it ended up being?