Tag Archives: Food Festival

Taste of Carmel – Recap (Special Event)

6 Mar

I hope some of you were able to make it out to the Taste of Carmel event this past Thursday evening at the Ritz Charles. For those who weren’t able to join us, you missed out on a tasty, and completely reasonably priced, evening. Even without the deal that was promoted, $25 allowed a guest to enjoy over 40 restaurants, caterers, wineries and breweries. I meandered my way through the crowd with hubs and two friends as we filled our stomachs with some great food and drink.

We didn’t get to try everything. A few things I easily passed because I knew what exactly what I would get, like Jet’s pizza. Not that it was necessarily bad, but I just knew what I would be getting from the bite (or in that case, the whole slice of pepperoni pizza). The portions weren’t small either: full sliders, half an enchilada, half glasses of wine. Even if you wanted to go back and get more, there was plenty for you to nibble on.

Here is a recap of a few of the things we ate:

The best thing of the evening was from a new found favorite, The Local. A crisp beet chip with the sharpness of bleu cheese finishing the bite; a tortilla chip with tender, rare sirloin and spicy serrano pepper bringing the bite all together; and a bite of salmon with creme fraiche (though this was a bit lackluster). That beet chip was so fantastic: crisp and creamy, earthy yet sharp. It was a great bite that the whole crew agreed upon.

My second favorite of the night was from Pizzology. One of the reasons I loved it so much was that they featured something other than their pizza: polenta. The polenta had a creamy bite to it, working perfectly with the rich pulled pork that was on top. A sprinkle of Parmesan on top brought a perfect saltiness to the dish.

Though Happy Everything Catering didn’t have the chicken salad I love, they did have other simple foods on hand. A great hummus and tabouli combination (though a few more chips would have been helpful to finish eating the dips), a tortilla Mexican wrap contained cream cheese with basic Mexican flavors, and then a really great meatball. Not dense in texture, it had a rich sauce that was so subtly sweet. Sunny Chinese Kitchen was also there, showcasing her cooking talents with demonstrations, leaving us to have all the great bites that were produced, including this great potsticker. Pan fried on the outside left a crisp crust that was stuffed with a great mix of veggies and meat – not to mention, made to order as it was steamed and fried on-site.

A few other items we tried included Bub’s Cafe & Season’s 52 desserts, Eddie Merlot’s rich and creamy pasta, Cooking Greek’s Mediterranean collection (mmm, cinnamon rice pudding – see above), Taste of Sensu’s sushi, Sullivan’s lobster bisque and cheese steak egg roll (shown above, bottom right), Woody’s Homestyle BBQ pulled pork and brisket, and Daddy Jack’s Asian coleslaw with shrimp (top right). We also sampled wines from The People’s Winery, Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Harmony Winery (sparkling wine shown with Kincaid’s dish), Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Co., and Sun King Brewing.

Among all the food, there was also entertainment from Shane Rodimel, chair massages by Rangeline Chiropractic, and of course, the silent auction that included a variety of packages. It was a tasty evening with good friends and a fun environment. Kudos to all the men and women who made this event possible; I hope Orchard Park benefits greatly from the event (I’m sure they will!) I’ll definitely be heading back next year, and maybe you can join me! If you were there, what did you like best?

Taste of Carmel (Special Event)

22 Feb

I love food events. And there is one coming up in my neighborhood. I’ve been graciously given complimentary tickets to the Taste of Carmel, which will be at the The Ritz Charles on Thursday, March 1 from 6-9pm, and am looking forward to it.

A few restaurants/breweries who will be in attendance include:

I acknowledge I haven’t been huge fan of a few of these restaurants, so I’m actually a little excited to see what they come up with for this event knowing they’ll be bringing them their a-game. I’m most excited for Cooper’s Hawk and Sunny Chinese Kitchen since I haven’t tried them yet. In addition, also excited to see Happy Everything will be in attendance – they have a great chicken salad I’ve tried at the Farmer’s Market and I’m hoping it will be available. This small list is only the beginning of all the restaurants that will be available for tastes.

If you are available and want to grab bites from local restaurants and sips from the wineries and breweries available, tickets are extremely reasonable and all for a good cause. 100% of the proceeds go to the Orchard Park Elementary school as this event is set up by the Parent Teacher Organization. A mere $25 gets you drinks and tastes, acoustic guitar entertainment from Shane Rodimeland, and the opportunity to bid on some great packages including (a personal love of mine) Disney World tickets. Or, grab a group of your friends and reserve a table for 8 at a mere $175.

AND today and tomorrow only, there is a special discount just for you. A buy one, get one FREE offer!  Visit this link and use the code TASTE to purchase one ticket at $25 and receive one ticket at no cost. Remember, two days only! Two tickets for the price of one? You can’t beat that! Update: This offer has been extended to Friday, February 24 at midnight!

I haven’t been to the event before, but I’m looking forward to Thursday. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there as I’m tasting my way around the room.