Festival Foods: What Do You Eat at Homecoming?

From authentic Polish and Italian to elephant ears and butterfly chips, there's plenty of munchies to choose from. Here are some of our top picks.

It's a hard assignment, but our contributors were able to be talked into it.

They will be taste testing the many food options at and reporting back to give you a heads-up on the best eats. (For a full list of food and drink options, go to the City of Dearborn's Homecoming page.)

Advertising Manager Nicki Sharer tells us why she beelines for the Italian American tent every Homecoming:

I look forward to Homecoming every year for many reasons, not the least of which is enjoying a gigantic serving of homemade gnocchi at the Italian-American tent. Homemade meatballs, married with little potato-filled pasta pillows, drenched in homemade meat sauce. The meatballs are seasoned perfectly and not lacking in size or density. They are complemented by the perfectly cooked gnocchi, with its little ridges trapping every bit of goodness of the amazing homemade meat sauce.

Does it get any better? Only by adding the amazing fried dough, or panne fritto, for dessert. Made fresh on-site, these deliciously crisp and airy pockets are dusted with just the right amount of cinnamon and sugar. These Italian morsels are the perfect ending to another year of good eats at Homecoming. Delizioso!

Editor Jessica Carreras explains her penchant for any kind of meat wrapped in pita bread.

Hoagies, sandwiches, salads and wraps–give me a choice and I'll always pick the fourth option. There's something about taking a whole bunch of delicious ingredients and throwing them all into a warm pita–yum.

At Homecoming, there are several wrapped meal options, from a traditional shawarma (courtesy of Cedar Grille) to the several options offered by St. Clement Orthodox Church. The latter caught my eye with their Southwest Chicken Pita: a giant piece of Greek bread stuffed with grilled chicken, peppers, onions and drenched in spicy sauce. While the sauce was a bit much for my taste, the chicken and veggies were perfect. Just what I like in a wrap!

Reporter David Uberti will eat any type of food at Homecoming, as long as it has an authentic ethnic taste. 

When it comes to ethnic food, Dearborn doesn't mess around. And the vendors at Homecoming live up to this standard every single year. They serve anything from homemade gnocchi to halal hot dogs, holding true to authentic regional tastes.

That's why I was pleased to hear the gyro vendors from the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association speaking Greek before I approached them for lunch Saturday afternoon. When I want non-American cuisine, I want people of that culture–people who know how it's supposed to taste–cooking it.

It's not often that you get to eat a gyro while listening to reggae music, but that's exactly what I did at the Homecoming food court. Fresh tomatoes, onions and tzatziki complemented delicious gyro meat–all wrapped in a warm pita. I might have been sitting in Ford Field for lunch, but I felt as if I was in Athens for those 10 glorious minutes.

That is, until the bongo drums started up again.

We asked our readers on Facebook what they eat at Homecoming. Here's what they had to say.

Firefighter Ryan Dickey: "Free corn!"

Christopher M. Olind: "Polish tent BABY!"

Alysia Schuler: "Gotta have the old Italian ladies' donuts."

Jenni Dunn: "Lamb shawarma from Cedar's. Yummy. (Next to Fordson in the food court)."

Silvio Davis: "Italian Tent all the wayyy!!! Meats balls, pasta, sausage, BEER, and live entertainment. Bada Bing Bada Boom!"


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