I hope you had the opportunity on Sunday to participate in our first local "Taste" event. I want to congratulate the organizers for pulling off a fun event and coordinating with Mother Nature to keep the rain away for the afternoon.
Almost all the restaurants in the hood were part of the event. The map stretched south to Lotus Cafe, north to Ghar-e-Kabab, east to Fenton Cafe and west to Piratz. In all, about 2 dozen establishments were part of the mix - so folks had a good variety of food from which to choose.
We picked up our "passport" at the County parking lot between Thayer and SS Avenues about 2:30 leaving us plenty of time to roam the hood. We were told that each participating restaurant would be offering a special for the afternoon ranging in price from $2 to $5. We then headed over to Jackie's to start our taste.
Well, I guess the one good thing I can say about starting at Jackie's was the afternoon had nowhere to go but up. I will say Jackie's should be ashamed of itself for what they offered.
I mean look at what they offered for $5! And let me tell you, this was the better deal than simply getting the crostini plate (all 2 of them)!! Don't get me wrong, the crostini were tasty -- pictured above the hummus and cucumber, not pictured the smoked piquillo pepper, cheddar and chive. But the choices were either 2 crostini or one plus a mango-basil limeade. Two slices of a baguette topped with a small amount of spread and veggies for $5. I mean give me a break. At most, this should have been $3 and given that I assume Jackie's was trying to build goodwill by participating in the Taste, how about $2?
I'm sure many folks did like my buddy and me and ordered full-price beers to accompany the crostini. So it's not like Jackie's was going to take a big hit on this. I'm not sure if I'll ever be ready to step foot back into that restaurant after this episode. I'm just glad I wasn't that big of fan to start. Again, shameful!
OK, another good thing I can say about starting at Jackie's was we still had a big appetite afterward in order to try other participating restaurants. Next up -- Pacci's. I don't have to say too much about what was being offered here, pizza! Pacci's gave folks the choice of either a personal (8") margherita pizza or spicy salami. We ordered two margherita and one salami for the three of us - and two beers.
Check these pies out - very tasty. We were all pleased. I mean this is what I am talking about. Thanks Spiro! The one bad thing was, we lost a fair amount of our appetites after we chowed down. But I am OK with that. One last thing, by the time we left there was a decent line of eaters taking advantage of this deal - as well they should have.
We bypassed Fire Station 1 after Pacci's - no time for their food today (or really any day in my book) and then checked out the Big Greek Cafe. They were offering $5 gyros and $3 Greek Salads (all day too, not just 2-5:00). But alas we needed a short break. I also did pop into Olazzo too -- you could get 3 arincini (deep-fried risotto balls, yummy) or 2 meatball sliders. Sound like good options to me. But again, we needed to keep walking to build back some appetite.
As we approached Bonifant our friend voiced an interest into heading down to Roger Miller. OK, why not. We hadn't been there since they had re-opened and thought this was as good as time as any to try them again. And we all were glad we did. There were a few folks in line in front of us. RM was offering a sampler plate for $5. It included broiled chicken, plantains, rice and some kind of fab spinach dish. It was all really good (we shared one plate between the three of us) and we all agreed the spinach was the best. I asked about it and they were kinda secretive. One lady opened the menu and pointed to the Egussi stew. She told me the spinach comes with it. The description said spinach, ground melon seeds in an African sauce. I think I'll be back for that one. We all sat on their patio and thoroughly enjoyed the food.
And since we were right next to may fave, Thai Derm, we had to pop in there too. As soon as I stepped in, the owner graciously shook my hand and said, "you know what we have." Yes I do. I would guess I have eaten at TD about 100 times over the last few years. But we opted not to eat and just ordered a couple Singha (and magically some spring rolls appeared before us too). For the Taste, TD was offering spring rolls and your choice of chicken panang, veggie pad Thai, and chicken with basil. Nice.
We were about to call it an afternoon but mustered up enough energy to walk over to Ghar-e-Kabab. They also had a sampler plate going for the event (for $4). They were offering veggie pakoras, basmati rice, butter chicken and something called rajan (spicy red kidney beans in sauce). Good deal for $4! And each dish was well done.
After that we were through. Well we did try to get a sweet crepe to finish things off. But Fenton Cafe was very low on batter and told us it would be about 30 minutes. So we passed. Maybe we'll hit them up for breakfast tomorrow?
What an afternoon. It kinda felt like we tasted the world all in Fenton Village. What a concept. Can't wait till next year.