It’s that time of year again when festivals fill my social calendar, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t absolutely love it. And my most recent festivities definitely had me going back for seconds. Literally!
Recently I hopped over to Taste of Atlanta, which celebrated its 14th year serving out-of-this-world food and beverages from many favorite local patrons… over 100, to be exact! Returning to Tech Square in Midtown this year, Taste of Atlanta offered a ton of activities: extensive bite and beverage tastings, cooking seminars, mixologist competitions, and celebrity chef demos, to name just a few.
But one of the best parts was my (large amount of) time spent at the Hop City VIP Grand City Tasting Experience. Hop City was one of the sponsors, so their setup was special to say the least. In their VIP area, we had the chance to hang out and have our try at over 100 craft beers and wines from around the world. Can you blame us for taking our sweet, sweet time here? It’s not every day you get to drink around the world, after all!
Although we loved tasting the spirits of other cultures, we knew we couldn’t spend the whole day at Hop City. So we checked out Coca-Cola’s tent, another major sponsor, and I’m thankful we did! My phone battery had taken a toll from all my selfie snapping, but Coca-Cola had a clever recharging station, so we relaxed and recharged in their lounge on comfy sofas, all of course while enjoying a refreshing Coke!
Also associated with Taste of Atlanta were a bunch of awesome charities that serve our community and nation on a daily basis:
You never realize how much it takes to put together an event like Taste of Atlanta, but once you see it all come together, the saying rings true: It takes a village!
Now I’m sure you want to know which bites have my seal of approval. Being that there were over 200 eats to try, I couldn’t sample everything, but I definitely have some highlights. And now that I look back, I guess I got to eat around the world, too!
Serving up southern style eats, 1Kept offered juicy pork tenderloin with smoky braised greens, bacon fat hatch chile cornbread with tomato jam, and vanilla panna cotta with bourbon peach jam. With all these new flavors, my taste buds were pleasantly surprised! Then, for traditional BBQ bites, Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ provided hand-pulled pork sliders with creamy coleslaw.
To alleviate the void of Asian-style eats, Oak Steakhouse served big eye tuna sashimi with wontons, jalapenos, tobikko and lemon, as well as scrumptious Maine lobster roll with savory Old Bay chips. To top it off, we sampled the C.A.B. Beef Carpaccio, which included arugula, whole grain, aioli, crostini and local herb goat cheese.
We got a delicious dose of Italian from Davio’s with Cavatelli Bolognese, filling our tummies with braised veal, beef and pork underneath a fantastic tomato sauce.
And my seafood satiety was provided by Article 14 with succulent sea scallop and a summer succotash salad with curry vinaigrette.
One of my absolute favorite dishes of the day? The Gangsta Fries from Bellwoods Social House. With a name like that, you better believe this dish was incredible… so much so that we had the hankering for another helping. 😛 The Gangsta Fries are a delectable masterpiece comprised of bleu cheese dressing, chili oil, and chives and bacon. Also from Bellwoods Social House, we tried the Baller BBQ Burger, which has Swiss pimento cheese and house-made B&B pickle, topped with special Baller BBQ Sauce.
And last but not least, a three-course sample meal from Polaris: Starting with a yellow watermelon and cucumber gazpacho with opal basil brussel sprout salad, then a juniper berry-scented wild boar tenderloin with hazelnuts and champagne vinaigrette, and finishing with their signature Blue Chocolate Dome.
Needless to say, the Taste of Atlanta weekend was an event to savor. It kept me fed not only with food and drinks, but with fun, too! A weekend wrapped with festivities fit for foodies, it had me licking my lips and ready to come back for seconds (kind of like those Gangsta Fries). I sure hope my palette has the patience to wait until next year. 😉