103 - sacred heart fiestas patronales lorain

26.) Sacred Heart Chapel’s Fiestas Patronales – Lorain – July 10, 2010

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I know what you’re saying.

“Another parish festival? Didn’t you learn from St. Anthony’s Pierogi Fest?”

Ah, but I’m a sucker for Puerto Rican food.

Honestly, Sacred Heart’s food at the International Festival is usually wonderful and we didn’t get any this year because they kept running out of pastelillos (a testament of their power). So the pull was stronger and the location was close.

What was the harm in stopping by for some grub?

Arriving around 2:30 or so in South Lorain, there weren’t that many people, but it was still tedious to find a parking space. Once we did, we took delight in some cool vehicles with Boricua flavor.

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Beyond that, a row of booths was set up in the parking lot…
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…representing various organizations….
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…and selling products that celebrated primarily Puerto Ricans and Mexicans.
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Like I said before, there weren’t many people here and I’m sure, with the music and the dinner crowds, that the festival would be best enjoyed in the evening. But, unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to come later.

And we really just wanted the food.

So we continued on into the magic area…
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…fair food and Puerto Rican snow cones on one side…

…the Cocina Internacional on the other.

Fried food perfumes permeated my skin and clothes. I felt my body drawn in, even in the intense heat. Between Julia, my mom, and I, we brought together a small feast….
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…a pastelillo, a tamale, and some rice and beans.

We taste-tested them all, but only the rice and beans were great. Unfortunately, unlike other pastelillos I’ve had from Sacred Heart in the past, this one was doughy. The tamale, which I have high standards for after buying tamales from a woman in Mitiwanga, Ohio, didn’t match what I sought.
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I thought about my disappointment, revisiting the lesson I learned from the last parish festival. I really should stop, even though I’m thinking of stopping at a Ukrainian one in August.

Perhaps I should reconsider.

I pitched the remaining pastelillo and tamale, partially blaming my loss of hunger on the heat (and the pizza and cake I ate an hour before). My mom took home the rice and beans and we headed back to my car.

I still think the food at Sacred Heart is wonderful. It just wasn’t that particular moment.

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