Hog Fest is nearing…Only 3 weeks and the frenzied cooks will be buzzing like bees, huddled around their smokers into the wee hours of Saturday morning. They will be religiously checking their meats and trying to stay warm around campfires as the festivities start inside Moores and The Forge Friday night. Several will dash into the warmth of one of the local venues to be greeted by friends and strangers. All will have stories detailing their eventual win of the Feral Hog Cook-off. That night the Hog queen will be crowned and the fun ensues for yet another 24 hours, to include a comedic parade, an onslaught of free wild hogmeat, amazing music coming from every pore of the little town, vendors selling all sorts of East Texas pride, and the outpouring of visitors who are experiencing it all for the first time. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Ben Wheeler’s Hog Festival.
People ask me what it’s like. Some would giggle and scoff, but once you get there, you see what a feast it is. It is a feast for all the senses. Those who take part in the parade design floats that prove their devotion to the small town through unique pig inspired moving creations, the smell of the smoked meats and campfires, the taste of the homemade sweets from the local Scouting troop, the music resonating through your body and the feel of that cool October breeze bringing it all to you on a silver platter wake every sense that you have. You find yourself falling in love with a small town that would otherwise never have been on your radar.
That’s when you step inside a place like the Forge. It’s been dubbed “Our Cheers.” If your old enough to remember that show, then you know what I’m talking about. There is something about walking into a small bar and feeling like you immediately belong. When you get there, that’s when you know that this is a place you’ll come back to. The locals will tell you their tales and tell you about the great shoppes. You’ll probably even get to meet a few of the shop owners. It will then become clear to you, why we love this place. It has a heart and soul and when you walk in, you immediately become a part of it.
This little town was forgotten for a long time and now it’s thriving with life again. The Hog Fest is not only a “small town festival,” it’s a small town revival. There is no shortage of food, music or fun that weekend or any weekend for that matter. So if you want to see what it feels like to really be a part of a community, come down that for the festival. You might just end up loving it here.
Schedule for Hog Fest Weekend at the Forge
Friday Night, Oct 25
Saturday, Oct 26-
HOG FEST MUSIC at THE FORGE Hog Pen:
$7 advance tickets through outhousetickets.com or $10 Door
• 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. CRAIG WALLACE
• 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. HEATHER LITTLE & MATT BRADSHAW
• 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. CHASE & NEW SOUTH
• 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. JEFF ALLEN BAND
And the winner is…..
Travis Cormier, a full time cook and great person extraordinaire won the hearts and taste buds of the patrons at the Forge this Sunday with his very sweet and tangy potato salad. The competition was strong and all the salads were delicious. Many had a very hard time deciding which one is the best. Travis’ potato salad will now be the official side of the Forge Bar and Grill in Ben Wheeler with all the bragging rights that come with it.
In two weeks we will be hosting another food war of epic proportion, this time… SALSA! So grab your tomatoes and get going. You have two weeks to come up with an ridiculously yummy salsa that will make us all want to order the taco plate every single time.
So get after it and enjoy these pics while you plan your entry into the NEXT FORGE FOOD WAR!
This Friday and Saturday, March 8th & 9th we will be serving a Beef Stew and Salad. Nothing warms you up in this March weather like a hearty stew! All specials are for a limited time only!
Stay tuned next week for Irish Tacos and Corned beef in honor of all things leprechaun and Irish!
Celebrate Valentines Day at the Forge!
Come down to the Forge for a special night to remember. You and your Valentine can enjoy a steak and shrimp or smoked salmon and shrimp dinner while listening to the smooth voice and acoustic of Taylor Heard, 7 p.m.
No reservations required.
No romantic evening would be complete without chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne! So bring your special someone down to the Forge for a night of romance followed by live entertainment with Taylor Heard.
Valentines Day at The Forge, Ben Wheeler, TX
Before or after dinner, stroll the many shops featuring
one-of-a-kind finds for that special loved one.
Thank You County Line Magazine for naming The Forge the “Best Restaurant of the Upper East Side of Texas for 2012” and “Best Pizza.” We are honored to be given such high acclaim by such an excellent publication read by so many. Our little bar and grill is not going to be much of a secret for much longer. But don’t think we stop just at pizzas and beer, we have a wide selection of wines too, including many Texas favorites like All my Exe’s and Rte 55 by Miranda Lambert.
Here’s what County Line had to say about us:
The Forge in Ben Wheeler. Thin-crust pizzas with all the usual toppings: But that’s not all. The menu also includes half a dozen reasonably priced specialty pizzas: The Buffalo with grilled chicken and a spicy wing sauce; The Greek with garlic-infused olive oil, feta cheese, and more; The Caesar with tomatoes, fontina and mozzarella, grilled chicken, and more; The Taco with homemade salsa, spicy taco meat, and more; The Razorback with smoked bacon and jalapeno, a variety of cheeses, and more; and The Great White with white cheddar, mozzarella, and fontina. 1610 FM 279. 903.833.5970. www.benwheelertx.com. Runner up: Angelo’s in Winnsboro.
The Forge in Ben Wheeler. Small, soon-to-expand bistro in a rustic old blacksmith shop has an eclectic menu ranging from smoked salmon wraps to wild hog pork tacos and a variety of sandwiches including three little pigs, The Big Easy, the apple-smoked bacon, the rooster, spicy veggie wrap and veggie tacos, baked Portabella, and more along with frequent specials. Add an appetizer or salad. There’s also a full bar, and there’s live music every Thursday, Friday, Saturday night and on Saturday afternoons. The Forge is a 50-seat bistro that’s expanding to 70 seats with some renovations. It’s also expanding hours to seven days a week: Monday-Tuesday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Thursday-Friday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-midnight, and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 903.833.5970. 1610 FM 279. 903.833.5970. www.benwheelertx.com. Runner up: Liefie’s in Winnsboro.
Once again, thank you County Line, perhaps next year we could get one for best Music Venue… you never know!
If you want to check out more Best of’s by County Line Magazine, check out their website or grab a paper at any participating store.