Food Vendors @ Trail Days | Damascus, VA

Outback Kate's @ Trail Days

You'd think from all the pictures of food I post that Cody and I have the worst diets on the planet. Sad to say, but to some extent, we do. I'm sure it doesn't come as a surprise that we indulge a lot more often than we probably should with foods that are greasy, fattening, and generally unhealthy, but I can't help it. They're soooooooo good! (If you stay until the end of this post, I will tell you how this is going to change.)

In a recent post, I shared with you how we spent our day in Damascus, Virginia for the annual Trail Days event that brings hikers of the AT together from all over the country for a reunion. During this 25th anniversary celebration, this small town is bombarded with backpackers taking a break from (or just finishing) the trail.

Even though we weren't hikers coming off the trail, we arrived super hungry and ready to grub. The smells wafting through the tents made our hunger had to ignore, so we headed straight for the food. We walked around to see what was cooking and after scanning over a dozen or so vendors, we ended up going to the place with the longest line. You know the place with the longest line has the best food, right?!

Chicken-on-a-stick @ Trail Days

This food vendor was one we've had the pleasure of trying before, so we know it's good stuff. Outback Kate's had one of the largest menus of any other vendor. They had everything from burritos to veggie plates to alligator bites on hand. Cody and I ended up getting the chicken-on-a-stick ($6) after waiting in line a good 10 minutes. The chicken-on-a-stick was no where near as flavorful as the sauce coating it was, the inside was a little bland. While waiting in yet another line to get a sweet tea, we ended up scarfing the whole thing before it was our turn at the window, so it wasn't too bad!

Still in a munchie mood after the chicken-on-a-stick, I wanted to get something else to go along with that. I mean, we did share it! We contemplated a bloomin' onion ($7), but because Cody was not feeling as hungry as I was, we ended up just going with a little basket of chili cheese fries ($3) instead—it was much cheaper, too. 

Chili Cheese Fries @ Trail Days

For dessert (as if we needed it), a bourbon bacon brownie I got while waiting in line at Outback Kate's was beckoning for us to give it a taste. The brownie was rich and chocolately with bourbon soaked walnuts the size of a knuckle and slivers of bacon sprinkled throughout. I could hardly taste the bourbon flavoring because it was too subtle and the bites of bacon were thicker (and longer) than I expected. I'm wondering if the bacon would have blended better if they chopped it up a little finer, so that you didn't have bites with such large pieces. Either way, it was an interesting combination that I couldn't resist trying. 

Bourbon Bacon Brownie @ Trail Days

Cody couldn't believe that I still wanted to eat after sharing chicken-on-a-stick, chili cheese fries, and ½ of a bourbon bacon brownie, but I used some restraint, and we decided to venture to the outdoor gear vendors to see what they had to share and/or sell. One table that we stopped at was the PRIMAL tent where they were issuing samples of their strips. (Yay! More food!)

Primal Strips @ Trail Days

Think of something similar to beef jerky without the beef and other fillers they manage to mix in. The Primal strips have no preservatives, no artificial colors, they are safe for vegans, are gluten-free, and all natural to name a few selling points. I've tried them before, and they are available in a local grocery store here in Boone called Earthfare, but that still didn't stop me from sampling them again. The strips have an interesting texture, not too hard and chewy, and the flavors they have like Thai Peanut, Teriyaki, and Hot & Spicy are delicious. I'd like to pick some up the next time we go backpacking or camping for a hardy snack. Give them a try, they might be available in a grocery store near you!

If you'd like to see/read more about Appalachian Trail Days, check out the overview I posted of the event, here.

Now that I have removed all doubt about our seemingly unhealthy diets, I would like to reveal that we will soon be altering our eating habits in a really dramatic way. At the beginning of June our weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares will begin, which means tons of fresh veggies from our favorite farmers. The Farmer's Market has started back up, too, which will also inspire us to eat healthier by providing a plethora of fruits and veggies. With our new diets, we will cut out sugar and processed foods. This isn't going to be easy, especially for us, but we are making a commitment to improve our diets once and for all!

How does your household maintain healthy eating habits?
 Please share in the comments!

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  1. bacon brownie!! I knew that was a bad idea! but i would of eaten it anyways! I love chicken on a stick... you put a stick in anything and its fun!!! Looked like a great festival!

  2. Very healthy eating habits here....maybe once every month or two I will indulge in something that's bad, but not totally bad.

  3. we basically eat it if it doesn't eat us's worked so far:)