Wonka swirls of caramel bliss intertwined with peppermint honey, atop a mound of decadent desire. Sound intriguing? You daydreaming? Turn that dream into reality! Celebrate the joys of chocolate at the annual, Old Bethpage Village Restoration's I Love Chocolate Fest. The colonial restoration in Bethpage, Long Island hosts a day full of chocolate treats, chocolate themed food trucks, delicious small business delicacies, music, crafts, bouncy houses, and traditional Long Island fun. This festival brought out the home style mood thats unique to Long Island, New York. Its gatherings like these that remind me how great Long Island actually is!
The event has already come and gone this year, but will most likely make its return in early November 2019. Tickets can be purchased online or at the festival for $16.50 per person. This also includes access into the Restoration Village. Parking is available for free. Dress warm because most of it is outdoors! In the years I've attended its usually been brisk and windy. Not all vendors take cards so make sure you come prepared with plenty of cash. I recommend bringing about $40.00. I had a little under that, but was able to purchase quite a lot. Most vendors are reasonably priced.
My only complaints about the event where the shuttle buses and restroom advertisement. After parking in a nearby parking lot off the grounds, school buses (I know right, throwback) transport visitors from the outside world into the land of chocolate! The buses seemed like an odd choice for transporting adult passengers, but hey I guess we're all on a budget. However, parking lot zones were not communicated effectively. In order to be transported back to your car you had to know the zone letter of the parking lot it was in, but many people were not told their zone upon arrival. This made transporting visitors much more hectic and confusing. The restroom situation was not preferable. There were many porta potties strewn throughout the festival, but lets be real who really wants to use one of those? It turns out there was actually great restroom options in the restoration village, but they were barely advertised so those in need were unaware of their existence. Come on now, spread the love and let me know where the good bathrooms are at.
The food and vendor offerings were bits of heaven. A wide variety of products were offered such as chocolate face scrubs, chocolate ravioli, pretzels covered in chocolate and bacon bits, chocolate covered sriracha pickles, chocolate soda, chocolate smoothies, chocolate honey, homemade chocolate bars, chocolate crepes, chocolate donuts, truffles, strawberry chocolate jam, chocolate chili, chocolate sandwiches, chocolate covered jalapenos, chocolate covered fruit, chocolate covered oreos, chocolate bark, fresh from scratch chocolate chip cookies, fudge, taffy, and chocolate turkeys for the season of giving thanks. Chocolate themed products weren't the only offerings at the banquet though, there were also wasabi pickles, bourbon maple syrup, honey with honey combs, honey sticks, apple chai tea, bacon muffins, fried french toast, pulled pork fries, pulled pork sliders, American wontons, and so much more!
For eating there, I recommend the chocolate doughnut fried chicken sandwich with chocolate drizzled fries. Sounds gross, but oh no it is not! The key lime pie food truck and chocolate chili were also interesting eats. My top three favorites were American themed buffalo chicken and artichoke and spinach wontons from All American Wontons, a black raspberry and chocolate smoothie, and the chocolate covered sriracha pickle from Horman's Best Pickles which was probably one of the best tastes I've experienced in my whole life.
I took home some great treasures for even better prices! Again, have to shout out Horman's Best Pickles for a pint of truly incredible wasabi pickles for $6.00. I've had wasabi pickles before from other vendors, but these better captured the natural taste of the spicy paste. I also bought three honey sticks in exotic flavors, green apple, blue raspberry, and chocolate for a dollar. Inside the restoration village's general store I purchased two traditional, colonial candy sticks in blueberry and raspberry for a dollar.
My top four vendor recommendations for holiday purchases extend into and beyond food. Obviously, Horman's Best Pickles really tied at my heartstrings. All American Wontons located in my hometown of Massapequa, are my new favorite food spot! Nominee for Best of L.I. with good reason, is Sonny & Dew's Best Natural Skin Products. They allowed me to test their chocolate scrub and moisturizer and wow like wow my skin has never felt cleaner or softer. Even my boyfriend couldn't resist a sample. With products for both men and women they are a must on everyone's Christmas list this year. The kidpreneur owned clothing brand, Tied, Dyed, & Beautified had a stand with gorgeous selections! All products are made by Lizzie, a talented young woman bringing color to the world! Check out her Facebook at tieddyedbeautified. Another great option for holiday shopping!
Go to the chocolate festival for the free samples! Go for the breathtaking autumn view surrounding the festival. Go for the photo ops with Willy Wonka, a giant pig, and a walking radish. Go to support small businesses. Go to look at the adorable ducks and rather large pig at the restoration farm. But most of all, go for the free samples!!!