The Best Of The 2014 Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor

Posted: September 19, 2014 in Dessert, Drinks, Events, Food, Long Beach, Restaurant
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The annual Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor of Long Beach concluded just last night. This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs every year from May through September on the third Wednesday, and the Thursday immediately following. Guests may purchase booklets containing 12 tickets that get redeemed at participating businesses along 2nd Street in Belmont Shore. The products offered by participating businesses range from appetizers to drinks to desserts to even full plates of food. Ticket prices vary based on the location, with some offering more than the value of the tickets, and many offering less than the value of the tickets. The chance to sample what Belmont Shore has to offer makes the value of the tickets negligible, seeing that Belmont Shore does have amazing eats.

Domenico’s has remained one of the few historical restaurants of Belmont Shore, and for good reason. One bite into their signature Ground Pepperoni Pizza will hook you in. Just take care not to over-indulge – each slice basically contains a day’s worth of sodium.

Pandor Bakery participated for the first time this year. They served these rather dry pastries which definitely does not represent what they actually sell inside their shop.

Known for their Danish-style ice cream, Paradis always delights visitors, especially on hot days. They always have a cooler outside where they serve four or five of their popular flavors during Stroll & Savor.

Locally popular dive bar Acapulco Inn (A.I.) occasionally participates in Stroll & Savor, usually serving small bar food bites that does not appear on their menu, such as a Corned Beef Slider or Al Pastor Taco.

Belmont Shore newcomer Pho-Nomenon started participating in Stroll & Savor this year, offering a variety of “safe” options to visitors. For example, they have Frog Legs available, but did not have it available for Stroll & Savor.

Due to the extreme heat, I had to hydrate myself with an iced tea from the local Starbucks, who also participates in Stroll & Savor.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory sometimes has a Stroll & Savor menu up, but rarely makes any spectacle about it to drive visitors in to try their goods. Rather, RMCF focuses on actual sales instead of Stroll & Savor items.

Sweet Jill’s remains a favorite during Stroll & Savor because of their full-sized items that cost just three tickets. That said, they participate nearly every single time and offer almost the exact same things each time.

La Creperie Café participates once in a blue moon, and when they do, they stick with a safe option. For example, they served one of their standard items from previous Stroll & Savor years – their Chicken Carbonara Crepe.

If Yen Sushi feels like opening a stand for Stroll & Savor, they use the exact same list of offerings each time.

Nick’s On 2nd always serves up something new with every Stroll & Savor. From the Hickory Burger to the Prime Rib Dip Sandwich to the Breakfast Burrito, for only three tickets each, Nick’s delivered a standout tasting each time.

Frosted Cupcakery typically serves the same two items: Mini Cupcakes and Hi-Tops, or inverse cupcakes. Each time, they switch up the flavors of either the cake or the frosting. Each unit costs one ticket, making for a great closer to the evening.

Within the last year or two, Aroma di Roma closed their former location and moved down the street. They still serve wonderful espresso, paninis, and gelato, of which they served a collection of the latter during Stroll & Savor.

La Strada participates in every Stroll & Savor as one of the foundation restaurants of the event. New visitors definitely should check them out. However, as they never change their offerings at all, returning visitors will have already seen what they have to offer.

Although Thai Gourmet By Sri Maya represents one of multiple Thai restaurants in Belmont Shore, they do nothing different for Thai cuisine. When you come here, you will get exactly a Thai restaurant and nothing different.

Newcomer Gallo’s Italian Deli participated in their first-ever Stroll & Savor this year, serving up traditional deli-style sandwiches.

Tavern On 2 has generated tons of momentum this year, especially after their airing of Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives. In regards to Stroll & Savor, they only participated in the first month, then went dark from that point on. They cited that Stroll & Savor does not reel in new customers, and requires more resources to participate than the event would cover for, not to mention that the food sample does not even appear on their menu.

2nd Street newcomer Eat Shabu whipped out something different this year: ice cream freshly churned on the spot with liquid nitrogen. I seem to see a lot of this around lately. Perhaps this will turn into some sort of hipster trend?

One of my personal favorite ways to end a Stroll & Savor evening, Powell’s Sweet Shoppe serves their classic mini cones that only cost one ticket. Flavors vary each time, and range from ice cream to sorbet to gelato.

New Japanese restaurant Sushi AI started participating in Stroll & Savor this year, and they do it right by offering new items each time, such as their Popcorn Lobster.

One of the other major Thai restaurants of Belmont Shore, Phuket Thai, generally keeps things the same every time Stroll & Savor comes around. They do participate in every single one, and never appear to change the offerings, albeit they have to rewrite the menu each time.

Last but not least, perhaps the most famous of all restaurants during Stroll & Savor, George’s Greek Cafe brings forward the greatest value of Stroll & Savor – a full meal on a plate for just four tickets. This plate contains hummus, tzatziki, pita bread, salad, spanakopita, and gyro meat. No one else on 2nd Street offers so much food for so little tickets, and everyone else agrees. The line for George’s Greek Cafe typically wraps around the corner past Dog’s Bar, so if you have never tried this plate, I urge you to visit George’s early while the line has not had a chance to stretch out far.

Besides all the food & drinks, as an event that attracts thousands of visitors, local music acts would not pass up the chance to perform for tips during Stroll & Savor.

Do not miss out your chance to taste the best of local flavor in Long Beach! If you missed Stroll & Savor, keep in mind that it occurs five times a year from May through September. Even if you cannot wait for Stroll & Savor to return, head on down to Belmont Shore anyways and dine at any place that piques your interest!

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Comments
  1. […] Ana gets their very own strolling tasting event this Thursday night! Folks who have attend any Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor will already know the drill. To participate, simply show up, buy a booklet of 12 tickets for $10, […]

  2. […] Santa Ana to sample food & drinks from various participating businesses. Set up similarly to Belmont Shore’s Stroll & Savor, visitors must purchase a $10 booklet containing tickets that they can redeem for food or drink […]

  3. […] Ana gets their very own strolling tasting event this Thursday night! Folks who have attend any Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor will already know the drill. To participate, simply show up, buy a booklet of 12 tickets for $10, […]

  4. […] to sample the tastes of Downtown Santa Ana called Savor Santa Ana. Folks who have attended any Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor already know the drill. This all-ages event allowed visitors to sample eats from various […]

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