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Phantom’s Feaste 2011: Zombie Prom

November 16, 2011

Every year that we’ve been together, Matt and I have attended Phantom’s Feaste at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. It’s a pre-Halloween, “R-rated” interactive dinner theatre production with a different theme every year. This year’s theme was a bit of a departure from the (literary-allusion-filled) themes of the past: Zombie Prom! Per their website:

Join us for the exciting and blood-curdling Phantom’s Feaste! Become part of the class of 1959, as you celebrate your Senior Class Prom. The horror is that many of the students are turning into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. This will be a very interactive dance, complete with a five-course meal served buffet style. Come sing, dance, and join in the fun as the Prom continues into the wee hours of the night. But be mindful of who you dance with, or you might just be on the menu!

One thing I LOVE about Halloween-time is that it gives me an excuse to don old clothes and accessories from high school that I pretty much never get to wear anymore.

I’m still a goth girl at heart. (That actually IS an old prom/homecoming dress of mine, hehe.)

My 2009 post about Phantom’s Feaste is actually the first time I ever mentioned Matt on this blog! My 2010 post contained a more detailed account, but as you can see, we still “made do” back then with the dairy-heavy vegetarian meal option they offer. This time, I called ahead and asked if they could accommodate us with a fully-vegan meal. I didn’t have high hopes – boiled potatoes and a bare salad seemed likely – but we were floored by what Chef Frank came up with for us. Keep reading…

The night (and the story) starts at dusk at the gates of RenFest, after which we’re led through the fairgrounds to the Hall of the Royal Smoker. We take our seats on the benches and are brought water, wine, and hot bread by the serving wenches.

The “students”/”prom guests” (i.e. actors) interact and talk and dance around us, often engaging random people in conversation. One artist-guy carrying around a sketch pad drew this silly 30-second portrait of me and Matt, then gifted it to us.

After taking in the ambiance a little, the first course is served. While everyone else got a nasty-smelling beef-and-barley stew, THIS is what was brought out to us:

HOLY CRAP! The chef totally outdid himself right out of the gate with this plate, which had mountains of bite-size broccoli florets, tomato wedges with capers and basil, two types of crackers, blanched green beans, and slivered almonds, plus little bowls of mixed olives, artichoke hummus (!), and an awesome raspberry vinaigrette. Our jaws just about hit the floor.

See, THIS is a perfect example of why you should never be scared to ask for vegan accommodations in restaurants or at events. As opposed to being annoyed, the chef got excited about creating something new and different, and he knocked our socks off course after course. Yes, there’s lots more!

Soon after that Platter of Amazingness, we got a big bowl of crackers and fresh fruit (while everyone else was chewing on cheese cubesโ€”poor them!).

Side note: within this bowl, we found the weirdest-looking grape ever. Check it outโ€”grape boobs!

The storyline started picking up right about then…

…as some of the “students” began turning into zombies…

…which, of course, required expedient killing.

Our main course (in place of roast meat of some kind) was roasted potatoes with peas and Portobello mushrooms. Not bad!

The wine kept flowing, and the carnage all around us continued…

…but not without some fun, lighthearted breaks, such as to climb up on the benches and group-sing songs from Beetlejuice.

When it was time for dessert, I’ll admit that I was wooed by the rest of the room’s mini Oreo bundt cakes…

…but Chef Frank thoughtfully whipped up banana smoothies for me and Matt. He even came out at the end to ask us if we liked everything.

Thank you again, Chef Frank, for the wonderful vegan feast!

QUESTION: Have you ever requested a special vegan meal at a restaurant or event and been completely blown away by how delicious it ended up being?

3 years ago…
October “leftovers”
2 years ago…
Almost Vegan in Patmos & Santorini, Greece
1 year ago…
Matthew Kenney Academy: another menu teaser

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41 Comments leave one →
  1. bitt permalink
    November 16, 2011 12:37 pm

    good for you for asking for the vegan meal! yes I have been blown away sometimes when I’ve made that request, other times it’s been just adequate, but i didn’t starve at least. always good to self advocate.

    love seeing you in goth!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 16, 2011 1:22 pm

      Indeed, at least getting fed at all is better than the alternative ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. November 16, 2011 12:55 pm

    That sounds like tons of fun. So glad the chef was up to the challenge and didn’t just throw a salad at you. Also, you rock the goth look lady!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 16, 2011 1:22 pm

      Thanks! I like to think that although I lack the facial piercings and multicolored hair I used to have, I can still pull off the style. ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. November 16, 2011 1:30 pm

    What a meal!!! I have found that at non-chain restaurants, the kitchen loves a good challenge and will happily prepare different types of food!!!

  4. November 16, 2011 1:33 pm

    WOW!! What an amazing chef! I love how they can be so accommodating! The best vegan meals I’ve ever had (that were served in non-vegan, high-end restaurants) were at The Georgian in Seattle and The Watermark in Niagara Falls. Both times, we let them know ahead of time and they just blew us away! Sounds like you guys had the best meals at the party ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, the whole thing sounds like so much fun!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 16, 2011 1:41 pm

      Calling ahead is always a wise move! I’ve had some great vegan meals in omni restaurants too.

  5. November 16, 2011 2:25 pm

    What a fun Halloween! You look festive and fabulous. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And hey, major kudos to Chef Frank and staff for being accomodating and presenting such awesome eats.

    Side note: this post was marked as junk in my gmail account (just this post, your others weren’t). Boo! But I’m glad I checked in my junk folder (I always do — I know, weird to some but it seems something ends up there that shouldn’t).

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 16, 2011 5:12 pm

      Junk folder? Yikes! I hope that didn’t happen to too many other people ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I always check my spam before I delete it, too!

  6. November 16, 2011 7:04 pm

    How fun (and delicious!)! I’d love to try the artichoke hummus ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s always worth asking for something vegan anywhere you go. Worst case scenario, they say they can’t accommodate you, but they might surprise you, too. You know the fancy AMC on Main Street? We had a work outing for a lunch and a movie a few months ago and, despite not one vegan item on the menu, their chef whipped up an awesome pasta and veggie dish for me. I know a pasta and veggie dish doesn’t sound particularly overwhelming or creative, but was it was seriously one of the best dishes of its kind I’ve ever had.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 16, 2011 10:11 pm

      That’s awesome! You know I’ve still never been to that AMC? I need to make it point to go sometime. Pasta & veggies always = awesome to me!

  7. November 16, 2011 8:25 pm

    How nice to get an unexpectedly decent meal! Sounds like a fun outing. I need an excuse to bust out my old goth clothes too! (Or maybe I don’t need an excuse – I should just do it!)

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 16, 2011 10:11 pm

      Yeah! No excuse needed, I concur! DO IT. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Monica Soto permalink
    November 17, 2011 10:56 am

    I remember when I was a part of the LGBT group at KU we would have a few food-related events. I’m not stereotyping but a LARGE majority of gay students at KU are vegan. Pretty much all of them. We knew our events would be a total failure if we didn’t have vegan options. We decided to do about half vegan and half non-vegan. In the end hardly anyone had the non-vegan food because our vegan stuff ended up being so much better. Oops, lol.

    The Phantom’s Feaste looks like so much fun. I don’t know why I have never gone!

    The veggie plate with hummus looks fantastic!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 17, 2011 1:53 pm

      Not only is it awesome that you provided vegan options, but it’s even awesomer (though not totally surprising to me) that people preferred the vegan stuff to the omni dishes! ๐Ÿ˜€

      I don’t know why you’ve never gone to the Feaste either! You should seriously come next year. We always say it would be even more fun with a group; let’s make it happen in 2012.

      • Monica Soto permalink
        November 28, 2011 2:06 pm

        Oh, it’s going to happen. It’s a date!

  9. November 17, 2011 11:52 am

    My friends used to work the Renn Fest and the Phantom’s Feaste, but I’m not sure if they did this year. They’ve tried to get me to go but I just haven’t gotten around to it, lol.

    Love the prom dress, though! Mine was a similar shade of noire. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 17, 2011 1:56 pm

      Haven’t gotten around to it?! You’ve gotta get on top of that next year! I bet you’d love it.

  10. Monica Soto permalink
    November 17, 2011 12:56 pm

    Oh, and I forgot to comment on the grape boobs!

    LMAO!

    It’s even funnier that one is bigger than the other, like real life boobs.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 17, 2011 1:56 pm

      Haha, I didn’t even think of that! You’re so right!

  11. November 17, 2011 5:24 pm

    Ooo How Fun!!!!! I’ve always wanted to try dinners like this where there are actors that get you into the part! I would love this!

    I’ll be in Kansas in March, do they only have dinners like this during Halloween??
    xxoo

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 17, 2011 5:30 pm

      Ooh, where in KS will you be in March?!

      Unfortunately, this particular event only happens in October ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’ve been to a few other (non-Halloween) ones like it at other times, but I don’t know of any offhand…

      • November 17, 2011 5:56 pm

        Kansas City Baby!!!! WOOO HOO! I’m excited to see it, I’ve never been!!

        xxoo

      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        November 17, 2011 5:57 pm

        Umm, let’s do lunch! Or hell, spend a whole day eating (/shopping/whatever)! I can show you all the best spots ๐Ÿ˜€

        • November 17, 2011 6:02 pm

          Agreed!!! I’ll keep you filled in on the dates I’ll be there and for how long!! WOOO HOOO!!!!! โค

        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          November 17, 2011 6:04 pm

          Awesome! I’d love to welcome you to Missouri – quite possibly with treats in hand ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. kris permalink
    November 18, 2011 1:06 am

    ive asked for a vegan meal at a 5 star fish resturant in hawaii and i was so stoked they made me the most delightful local veggies that i ever had i never knew corn on the cob could be so good!!!! It was amazing !! Local hawaiian veggies are the bomb!!!! definetly ask to be accomadated when eating out at least you wont have to pick around stuff…. and if its a nice place they usually do a good job

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2011 9:04 am

      It seems to me that the really upscale places either do an excellent job or a terrible job! Matt was just at a very nice, expensive restaurant the other day with his co-workers, and when he told the waitress he’s vegan, she just shook her head at him. Shook her head! Wtf? But I’ve had some great vegan experiences at upscale omni restaurants.

  13. Bliss Doubt permalink
    November 18, 2011 2:37 pm

    Lovely looking vegan meal, but looks like the potato mushroom entree needed some Sriracha.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2011 2:40 pm

      Now there’s an idea! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. November 18, 2011 10:44 pm

    I requested vegan at my work’s conference dinner, and while it wasn’t exactly splendiferous, I was impressed with the fact that they didn’t just serve me bland pasta or a basic curry (well, there was an element of curry…) I wish I could’ve had that platter of veggies and capers and hummus though!

    That self-portrait will be your wedding invitation, right? Right?

    Oh, and I’ve said this already on facebook, but HOTNESS. PERSONIFIED.

    xo

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 19, 2011 10:00 am

      The mere fact that you cite “basic curry” as a standard go-to vegan accommodation makes me wish I lived in AUS!

      Haha, definitely not…though gothy invites would be fun… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • November 19, 2011 8:00 pm

        Don’t you realise that every time you make a joke like that, it plays with my heart and my emotions? ๐Ÿ˜›

  15. November 20, 2011 2:26 am

    So glad that you were so well served–it sounds like it removes a lot of potential anxiety from the event and makes it even more of an adventure!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 20, 2011 8:51 pm

      I’m not usually too anxious about food (the “almost-vegan”ness helps there, heh) but it really did make the whole event even more spectacular.

  16. November 20, 2011 1:48 pm

    That looks like so much fun! The appetizer plate certainly is a stunner, love the almonds. I’ve definitely been surprised by some great meals.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 20, 2011 8:51 pm

      I was surprised by that generous portion of almonds!

  17. November 21, 2011 4:38 am

    what a fantastic event – food and scenario:)

    We have a small restaurant in Preston which always has one veggie option on the menu, but when I book for my small group of friends, the chef creates a special menu for us with a choice of 4 starters, 4 mains and 4 desserts, all vegan, and mostly gluten free – he’s a star! The dishes look as good as any of the other plates that we see passing by, and taste great – he believes all diners should share the same enjoyment of their meal out. Why can’t all chefs think like that?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 21, 2011 9:39 am

      That chef does sound like a rockstar! How awesome to have a restaurant/chef like that near you. ๐Ÿ™‚

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