For weeks I was looking forward to attending Serious Eats Great American Food and Music Fest at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA. With big-name celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri, and the best of America's regional cuisine — Katz's pastrami sandwiches, Pink's hot dogs, Tony Luke's Philly cheesesteaks, etc. — it was sure to be a fabulous festival.

Unfortunately, the first-time event was plagued with problems, so much so that the organizer, Ed Levine, published a formal apology. The computerized credit card pay system crashed, the staff was unhelpful and clueless, and, most importantly, the wait to get any food was two hours long! Instead of smiling, contented faces and full bellies, the crowd was hungry, aggressive, and angry.

Luckily, as the day wore on and the crowds thinned out, things got a little better. Fieri and Flay both gave enthusiastic demos in front of cheering fans. The wine-tasting room was uncrowded, the line for bacon was empty, and the chocolate-almond-covered caramel sticks were finger-licking good. Did anyone else attend? What food did you eat?

To take a closer look at the festival, check out all of my images and read more.