Spring has sprung — well, as much as it really can up here in Rochester — and that means it’s time for the upstate-renowned Lilac Festival.

I had never actually been to the Lilac Festival before, but today I had a tiny bit of downtime and a mother in town, so it seemed like the perfect place to be.

The Lilac festival has a seemingly endless wealth of food stands and trucks offering an exciting yet overwhelming abundance of options. Sadly, I was a fool and did not go into this situation hungry enough, so I only tried items from two different stands. But, they were both wonderful, so at least I have two viable options to pitch to the masses.

First, my mom and I ordered meatballs in a cup from The Meatball Truck Co. I was super impressed by these meatballs. The meatballs themselves were very light and moist and the tomato sauce that they sat in had a lovely sweet, fresh flavor. I also loved the creamy ricotta on top and the lovely hint of basil.

I was really feeling the grilled bread on the side as well. The bread itself was really fresh and delectably moist, hearty, and springy in texture. It was grilled perfectly with a nice char to add another flavor into the mix. Letting the bread soak up a little bit of that sauce and ricotta made for a brilliantly blissful bite. Small cup, big ambitions.

In addition to The Meatball Truck Co., my mother and I also hit up the Smoked Turkey Legs station. I’m not sure if that’s a brand or anything, I just know that the big sign said “Smoked Turkey Legs,” so at least you know what you’re signing up for. Anyhow, that was exactly what I signed up for and that was exactly what I got — and I enjoyed it exactly as much as I’d hoped to.

The turkey leg was very smoky in flavor, which was glorious. It was also ginormous. I always get excited at the sight of giant turkey legs, and this one certainly did not fall short. The skin was caramelized well and the meat inside was incredibly juicy and flavorful. The underlayer of the skin was quite fatty, but like, it’s festival food, so I was overall quite pleased with it.

Also, pro tip we found that the best way to conquer this colossal feast was to just rip chunks off with our hands. It’s truthfully too big to gracefully and neatly get your mouth around and the meat is so tender that you can just tear it off anyway. Felt like Medieval Times. Would recommend.

I was highly impressed with not only the vast and diverse array of dining options at the Lilac Festival, but also with the quality of the food. With commencement upon us and parents coming to assist in the moving-out process, many of us have family members in town around this time of year. I would definitely encourage you to take them on a wholesome family trip to the Lilac festival.

I mean, who doesn’t want to sit outside and listen to live music while tearing apart a titanic turkey leg with your bare hands? No one I’d want to take to a festival, that’s for sure.

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