MusikFEAST 2023

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Jon Lunger

By: Jon Lunger
Director of Content Marketing & Engagement, ArtsQuest

Working behind the scenes at Musikfest affords me the somewhat-unique perspective of getting to eat all my meals at the ‘fest for 11-days straight. It’s admittedly one of my favorite things in life, so you can imagine I was thrilled that our friends at PNC Bank green-lit another season of “MusikFEAST,” the blog and video series in which I eat my way across the festival.

Check back to this page throughout the ‘fest for my reviews of ‘fest foods, so you can plan accordingly, to maximize every. single. calorie.

Eat well,

          – Jon

Sunday, August 13th – The Final Update

It’s the final update!

The goal for me (and you) today should be to eat as much as possible, as it’s our last chance to ‘fest until 2024!

Gigantic thanks to PNC Bank for once again helping to make these reviews possible!

In lieu of a video, and because I forgot to take a picture of the incredible Bistec Tacos from Aqui Es I wolfed down, I figured I’d wrap up this year’s blog with a recap of some of my absolute favorite items from this year’s ‘fest. It’s worth noting that the list is in completely random order – it’s not a ranking, it’s just a list of delicious items that I highly recommend.

  • Nutella Empandas w/ Raspberry Sauce – Homer’s Girl’s inside the Wind Creek Steel Stage
  • Bistec Tacos from Aqui Es at Guardian Zinzenplatz
  • Falafel Wrap from Try Vegan at Air Products Americaplatz
  • Funnel Cake Fries from the Fud Truck outside of Wind Creek Steel Stage
  • The O.G. from Slide on By at Handwerkplatz
  • The entire menu at Theo’s Gyros at Plaza Tropical
  • The Thai Not Smash Burger from Why Not Burgerz at Air Produts Americaplatz
  • The Make-Your-Own Mac & Cheese from the Town Square Marketplace at the Air Products Town Sqaure
  • The ‘rogie bowls from Wiz Kidz at Wells Fargo Festplatz
  • The Freezies from Dinky’s at PNC Stadtplatz and Air Products Americaplatz
  • Anything from Karl Ehmer’s at Wells Fargo Festplatz
  • Dill Pickle Pierogies from Island Expressions at Plaza Tropical
  • The classic taco from Take-a-Taco on Provident Bank Main Street
  • The Lobster Mac & Cheese Burger from Hotel Bethlehem
  • The Gyro Fries from Greek Street at Wells Fargo Festplatz and/or Air Products Americaplatz
  • Cajon Alligator Sausage on a Stick from Big Wil & the Warden at Plaza Tropical
  • Anything from Sherry’s Crab Cakes at Guardian Zinzenplatz
  • Aw Shucks (duh) at Plaza Tropical
  • Everything from Cubano Xpress at Plaza Tropical
  • Chick-n-Bap’s bowls at Guardian Zinzenplatz

I’m sure I’m forgetting a ton, but I can honesty say that this year (my 19th festival working behind the scenes) had the most deliciousness of any ‘fest I can recall across the entirety of the festival. You literally can’t go wrong.

So a huge shout out to all the official ‘fest food vendors this year! A doubly-huge shout out to all of you for helping to keep the ‘fest free by purchasing food from our truly amazing official ‘fest vendors!

We’ve only got one more day, so eat well my friends!


Saturday, August 12th – Dinner Update

I strolled down to Greek Street tonight for a gyro. It was quite literally perfect. No notes!

19.75 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Saturday, August 12th – Lunch update

I consider myself an expert on pierogies. My Grammy’s homemade pierogies are one of my strongest memories of growing up, and we still gather the family together once a year to make ’em. I’d venture to guess that I’ve eaten my body weight several times over in pierogies throughout my entire life, so when I say these are fire, it’s coming from a place of experience.

Honestly – I want nothing more than to get an order of every single flavor they have at the same time and just pig out, no matter how impractical that may be at the ‘fest. Make sure you try at least one variety this final weekend. My go-tos are the Dill Pickle and the Sauerkraut.

19.5 out of 11 nomnomnoms

BONUS LUNCH UPDATE I also wolfed down some cajun alligator sausage on a stick (available right near the ‘rogies at Plaza Tropical) to round out what was a truly delicious ‘fest lunch!

17.75 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Friday, August 11th – Dinner Update


The Flying V (located at Air Products Americaplatz) has quickly become a Musikfest and a Lehigh Valley institution! The fries are perfection. They’ve got a handful of different types available too. I opted for the Chicken Bacon Ranch, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them.

Is it big enough to share? Sure. Did I share mine? Absolutely not.

18.75 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Friday, August 11th – 2nd lunch update

With only three days left to ‘fest this year, I doubled up for lunch today and I stopped by Wiz Kidz at Wells Fargo Festplatz for their much talked about ‘rogie bowl. Two redonkulously tasty pierogies absolutely smothered in cheesesteak meat, onions and their house made wiz (which is to die for!).

This. Is. Incredible.

19.75 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Friday, August 11th – Lunch update

If you’ve been following MusikFEAST for the last few years, you already know about the full throttle deliciousness being served out of the Cubano Xpress food truck at Plaza Tropical!

This year I decided to try a new offering, their Cubano Bowls. Rice and beans topped with either pork with mojo sauce or chicken in a chimichurri sauce. Can’t go wrong either way. It’s packed with flavor and it’s gotta be one of the best values of the fest! It’s an absolute must!

19.75 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Thursday, August 10th – Dinner Update

I am pleased to report that the new Ale House Roast Beef Sandwich from the Fud Truck outside of the Wind Creek Steel Stage is delightful!

They’re marinating the roast beef in beer, and then grilling it to get some caramelization on it, before cheesing it up on a long roll. Each bite was more satisfying than the last!

I recommend pairing it with their Funnel Cake Fries for a little sweet/savory action.

17.25 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Thursday, August 10th – LUNCH UPDATE

What. A. Treat.

Today we went up to Hotel Bethlehem Platz to check out their new Mega Bar and their ‘fest menu! This year they’ve combined their two most popular items into one mega item that is the pinnacle of ‘fest luxury – the Lobster Mac & Cheese Burger!

17.5 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Wednesday, August 9th – Dinner update

I went vegetarian today and it couldn’t have gone better, as I dined on another delicious offering from first time vendor Try Vegan AND an all-time ‘fest classic from Van Pelt Hot Dog Co.

Try Vegan’s Veggie Burger Wrap is another outstanding offering – light, fresh, savory… the special sauce ties the whole thing together.

18.25 out of 11 nomnomnoms

And Van Pelt Hot Dog Co.’s veggie dog always delivers – a Field Roast Frankfurter topped with a veggie slaw, sprouts and a vinaigrette… No fest for me is complete without at least one of these beauties!

18.25 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Wednesday, August 9th – A DINNER PREVIEW Update

Today’s afternoon update is all about what you should get for dinner tonight at the ‘fest!

Swing by Guardian Zinzenplatz tonight and check out another incredible first time food vendor, Chick-N-Bap!

It’s a choose your own adventure style bowl where you pick your protein, toppings, and sauce. Good luck deciding, the choices are ridiculous: Korean BBQ Chicken, Sweet & Spicy Chicken, Korean BBQ Steak, or Korean BBQ Pork.

This was so much food! Amazing value, for sure, but even more amazing flavor!

19 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Tuesday, August 8th – 10pm supper update

Remember at dinner today when I told you about Try Vegan’s Falafel Wrap?

Yeah, I had to get another one.

19.5 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Tuesday, August 8th – Dinner Update

BREAKING NEWS: My favorite thing I’ve eaten so far is the Falafel Wrap from Try Vegan, on 1st St. at Air Products Americaplatz.

Every bite is a perfect balance of texture and flavor. The warm falafel contrasts against the cool veggies and tahini.

No joke, I think I might have one daily.

Such a savory, bright, fresh, delicious bite every single time. I will be dreaming of this tonight.

19 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Tuesday, August 8th – Lunch Update

I’m excited to report that this year we’ve got the most vegan and vegetarian options available in ‘fest history!

Take, for example, the Vegan Meatlovers Flatbread available at the Town Square Marketplace.

This flatbread hits all the right notes. Crispy. Salty. A touch of sweetness. It’s truly great. My advice – don’t share it, you’re gonna want one all to yourself!

15.5 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Monday, August 7th – Supper Update

With dinner in my rearview, it was time for a light supper.

j/k, I got gyro fries from Greek Street at SteelStacks. Possibly one of my best decisions ever.

17/11 nomnomnoms

Monday, August 7th – Dinner Update

Q: Is it even Musikfest if you don’t have Island Noodles?
A: No, it is required.

13.5 out 11 nomnomnoms

Monday, August 7th – Lunch Update

Had to check out a first time vendor today and boy howdy am I glad I did! This sandwich was PACKED with flavor. The chicken itself was in fact crispy and very juicy and the combo of peri peri sauce and garlic aioli is a revelation.

I wouldn’t recommend walking and eating this monster at the same time but I absolutely think you should eat 7 of them.

17 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Sunday, August 6th – Dinner update

Above is me just moments before I unhinged my lower jaw like a snake and inhaled this fantastic Crispy Sesame Chicken Sandwich from the Fud Truck on 1st Street at SteelStacks.

The chicken had the perfect crunch and the broccoli slaw brings a nice bit of acidity to the party to cut through that savory, yummy chicken.

Decent chance I’m gonna eat this like 6 more times over the next week!

15.75 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Sunday, August 6th – Lunch Update


We need to talk about Slide On By (located at Handwerkplatz). It’s their first year at the ‘fest and holy cow (that’s an intentional burger pun) are they bringing the good good eats!

These smash burgers are so crispy and juicy and you get two of them, so they’re perfect for sharing. Me? I did not share and I stand by that decision. Pure joy. Get these things and thank me later.

16.5 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Saturday, August 5th – second dinner update

I had a late night gyro from Greek Street at SteelStacks and it was everything I wanted and more. I was so into it I ate the darn thing before I remembered to take a picture of it. I feel the appropriate amount of shame for that, but I can tell you it was heavenly.

15 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Saturday, August 5th – dinner update

You can find Grumpy’s BBQ “Worldly Que” at SteelStacks on the Air Products Town Square. They’re serving up a bunch of BBQ-fusion options, as well as BBQ classics like their Big Tex Brisket Sandwich.

Today I opted for tacos, because… well, tacos.

These are their Barbaco tacos, topped with lettuce, cheese, and fresh pico – the jalapenos in there were a gosh darn revelation. The beef is packed with flavor and super satisfying, without being too heavy.

I’ll definitely be going back for more (and to try their Korean Chicken tacos for sure!)

16 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Saturday, August 5th – lunch update

It’s a like one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books from the 80s but instead of a book it’s mac and cheese. Go nuts with toppings -or- keep it simple with just the classic mac. Either way, it’s slaps.

Note: Several interns and co-workers have told me that I am too old to say something “slaps,” but I’ve decided I don’t care what they think.

This is a tremendous item to get if you want to share a bunch of things. So yummy, so filling.

14.5 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Friday, August 4th

You can never go wrong with the Fud Truck and this year is no exception! I let the crew working the truck pick my dinner, and boy am I glad I did.

I adore this thing! For me, it’s the red peppers and onions that really make it sing!

16 out of 11 nomnomnoms

Thursday, August 3rd – Preview Night

In the spirit of preview night, we were able to do a preview of one of last year’s best selling items at the Town Square Marketplace – the Triple Smoked Grilled Cheese!

First things first – this thing was perfectly grilled. It had the perfect exterior crisp while still maintaining the softness of the bread. Featuring Applewood Smoked Bacon and Smoked Chipotle Cheddar from Boar’s Head, the sandwich is tied together by a smoky tomato jam, that brings just the right touch of sweetness to the party.

15 out 11 nomnomnoms

Watch past year’s videos

Check out our past seasons-eatings on YouTube:

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