Posts Tagged ‘Food Fest’

The first of this year’s summer series of Belmont Shore’s Stroll & Savor of Long Beach wrapped up last week. This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs every year from May through August on the third Wednesday, and the Thursday immediately following. Free to attend for all ages, guests participate by paying $10 for a booklet 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 costs 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. Although most of the participating businesses served the same things that they serve yearly, sometimes things will stand out from the crowd. I took one booklet last week, and went on a nice stroll through Belmont Shore.

Not much has changed in the way of offerings from the participating businesses. Between each year, most of the restaurants stick to their guns and offer what the people like, opting not to experiment or offer anything different. For that reason, I do not always attend every Stroll & Savor event in a given year. This year, I felt hesitant to go, knowing that not much will have changed. However, I bit the bullet and went last week to see if anything new had popped up. I got a chance to try the following:

  • Rance’s Chicago Pizza had replaced the former Shore Public House, a restaurant that did not fare too well in Belmont Shore.
  • The former Powell’s Sweet Shoppe had closed for good, and Rocket Fizz swooped in to replace it. They served craft sodas for the event.
  • Pho-Nomenon did not last very long in Belmont Shore, as they had closed. Lasher’s Kitchen has since moved into that spot from their old location on Broadway & Redondo.
  • Frosted Cupcakery featured a new item this time, Sugar Cookies, in addition to their standard mini cupcakes and hi-tops.
  • Saint & Second finally participated for the first time in Stroll & Savor. Matching their pricey menu, they served meatballs that cost $2 per meatball.

All in all, a few things may have changed, but most restaurants have kept their offerings the same for Stroll & Savor. If you like what you see, check out what other events Belmont Shore has coming up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Returning to the Anaheim GardenWalk for its 22nd year, the Taste of Anaheim took off last Thursday evening. This annual event covers most of the northern portion of the GardenWalk, closing the area off as guests could enter to savor the local flavors of Anaheim’s great food & drink businesses. Due to the House of Blues relocating from Downtown Disney to here, all of the walkways leading to it had to remain open to the public, so the space normally taken up by the Taste of Anaheim went away. As a result, the Taste of Anaheim had to condense the participating businesses into less space for this year’s event. For $40 presale or $45 at the door, all attendees received admission to this all-ages festival, where attendees could sample all the food they could handle, bid in a silent auction, jam to live music, sip on finely crafted cocktails, and more.

After browsing through all the participating businesses at Taste of Anaheim, one could almost call this a Taste of Disney & Friends, as Disney generally takes up most of the space. Can a city continue to live under a notion that one business entity represents the entire city? When you have great local establishments like Slater’s 50/50, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim Brewery, The Ranch, and more, why settle to puff the space up with corporate entities that operate only for themselves and not the locals? Sometimes, event planners need to scale back and plan smaller, more intimate events. By hosting a smaller food fest consisting of only local establishments and no corporate entities, visitors can truly receive a taste of the city. For example, if I traveled up to San Francisco for a food fest, I would want to try food from restaurants only found there, not from standard corporate entities like Hooters or Buca Di Beppo. I suppose that if a corporate donates enough money, they can earn a good spot in the food fest, which explains Bubba Gump Shrimp Company’s position at the front of this food fest. Because of this, I always advise visitors to start from the back, since most attendees start from the front, where the corporate vendors usually set up, whereas local vendors set up in the back. Regardless of this all, I still enjoyed my time at the Taste of Anaheim, as I got to try lots of great food and talk to lots of great people. Always stay on the lookout for local businesses, as supporting local business stimulates the local economy, providing growth and jobs necessary for that area to flourish.

The 22nd Annual Taste of Anaheim returns to the Anaheim GardenWalk this Thursday evening. This mega event covers an entire portion of the GardenWalk, closing the area off as guests can enter to savor the local flavors of Anaheim’s great food & drink businesses. For $40 presale or $45 at the door, all attendees receive free parking and admission to this all-ages festival, where attendees can sample all the food they can handle, bid in a silent auction, jam to live music, sip on finely crafted cocktails, and more. The entrance to the tasting area starts at the center of the GardenWalk, and the event covers the entire northern section.

  • Once attendees get past the entrance gate, the restaurants will start to line up, set up tables, and serve their food and/or drinks.
  • A silent auction typically takes place at the Taste of Anaheim. Items mainly include gift cards and event tickets to Angels games and concerts at The Grove, plus a few other random goodies. The location of the silent auction changes every year, as it could happen near the back, or near the front.
  • Once past this initial entrance area, guests enter the open promenade area of the fest, filled with chairs and stages for the bands.
  • While guests will find most of the food upstairs, the strong businesses generally take up residence downstairs toward the back, such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Slater’s 50/50, and Noble Ale Works.
  • Upstairs at the GardenWalk, plenty of participating restaurants set up to serve all the guests their unique eats. Vendors up here may include local restaurants like The Ranch and The Catch, local caterers like Sally Ann and Mother’s Market, local breweries Hangar 24 and Bootlegger’s, local artists selling their work, and corporate businesses like Rubio’s and Hooters. For all other spaces, Disney takes up the rest, with restaurants from inside the Disneyland park and from Downtown Disney.
  • Though the lineup of participating businesses will certainly change since last year, the general setup and structure will remain the same. Guests will find most of the food upstairs, while guests will find other things downstairs, such as more places to sit, the music stage, non-food vendors, guest services, and more.

Although the Taste of Anaheim usually has more Disney establishments present than anything else, this event still has great local establishments. If you do go to this event, spend more time with the local businesses as opposed to the corporate businesses, as supporting local business stimulates the local economy, providing growth and jobs necessary for that area to flourish.

Food business means serious business. In any given 24-hour period, over a billion dollars circulate in the economy that pertain to food sales, both prepared foods and food ingredients. As such, this makes the food & beverage industry a vast world to explore, proposing little barriers to entry but a long climb to the top to remain successful in a large industry. Any daring entrepreneur can step into the food industry, but remaining in the industry poses an entirely different challenge. Catering has remained a less popular aspect of the industry, as most people prefer to do their own choosing and selecting when it comes to food. However, an organization hopes to change that perspective with their ezFoodFest, an event aimed at showcasing the best of local food.

Hosted by ezCater, the ezFoodFest represents a gathering of dozens of local restaurants and food businesses under one roof, all sampling their goods to the hundreds of attendees throughout the night. The ezFoodFest started in Boston, and the Los Angeles event took place last Thursday night on the first floor of the California Market Center in Downtown Los Angeles. So what makes ezFoodFest stand out among the rest of the multitude of food festivals that take place in the greater Los Angeles area? One word: FREE. Indeed, it costs zero for interested attendees to come on in, check out the event, and stuff themselves full on this night. Even better, attendees received TWO drink tickets good for any drink at the bars, including straight liquor on the rocks. Of course, this meant that anyone under 21 could not attend. According to one of the organizers of the event, they make their ezFoodFest events free as a means of paying it forward, hoping that attendees would not only give their business to the participating restaurants, but also use the ezCater service.

Interested in checking out what ezCater has to offer? They will hold two more ezFoodFest events this year – one in Atlanta later this month, and one back in Boston later this year. Check out ezCater’s website linked above, and also take a look at their Facebook and Twitter pages to see what neat things they have in store.

The second Taste of Downtown Long Beach of 2017 will occur this week on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Free to attend for all ages, numerous businesses in Downtown Long Beach will set up along Pine Avenue to serve food & drinks to guests who purchase food tickets. Guests can purchase 12 tickets for $10 online, or one ticket for $1 each at the event. The restaurants that serve at this event range from the many restaurants around the East Village to those along Pine Avenue to the handful of restaurants in Shoreline Village and Rainbow Harbor. In addition to all the food, local bands will play music throughout the night, and local artists and vendors set up to sell their merchandise and other work.

If you cannot make it out to this food fest, the Downtown Long Beach Association will host the taste one more time in late August. For a simple method to sample what Downtown Long Beach has to offer, you do not want to miss the next taste or two.

The first Taste of Downtown Long Beach of 2017 will occur this week on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Free to attend for all ages, numerous businesses in Downtown Long Beach will set up booths in the East Village Arts District to serve food & drinks to guests who purchase food tickets. Guests can purchase 12 tickets for $10 online, or one ticket for $1 each at the event. The restaurants that serve at this event range from the many restaurants around the East Village to those along Pine Avenue to the handful of restaurants in Shoreline Village and Rainbow Harbor. In addition to all the food, local bands will play music throughout the night, and local artists and vendors set up to sell their merchandise and other work.

If you cannot make it out to this food fest, the Downtown Long Beach Association will host the taste once again in early June and late August. For a simple method to sample what Downtown Long Beach has to offer, you do not want to miss the next taste or two.

The 2016 Cerritos Taste of the Region & Business Expo returned to the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts this past Wednesday night. Open to all ages, this food fest, colloquially known as the Taste of Cerritos, allows all attendees to sample food, drinks, and dessert from various restaurants from the Cerritos region. Participating restaurants and caterers, which contained more corporate businesses than local businesses, hailed from neighboring cities such as Artesia, Norwalk, and Whittier. At first, this sounds less likely of a taste of the region if attendees mostly sample food from restaurants found nationwide. However, this event focuses on all businesses in the area, corporate or not.

Taste of the Region stands out from the pack with its great value, despite raising the admission fee in 2014. Unlike many other tasting events that either cost over $40 or cost low but limit how much food attendees may receive, the Taste of the Region costs a mere $10 to enter, then allows attendees to eat & drink all they want until the participating businesses run out of food or drinks. Early arrivals can consider this “$10 All You Can Eat” considering the businesses bring their best food at the beginning, then start to run out after an hour or two. By about two hours into the tasting, over half of the booths had run out of food, so this becomes an early bird case. Also, starting at 4:30pm on a Wednesday makes for a strange time to host such an event.

For the price to enter this annual tasting event & expo, you cannot go wrong unless you arrive late. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements from Cerritos every year around September, as they will run this again next year. It appears that with each year, they shift more towards the business expo while shifting away from the restaurants. Make sure you attend the Taste of the Region next year, as they may scrap the tasting altogether, god forbid, and focus solely on the business expo!

The second of this year’s summer series of Belmont Shore’s Stroll & Savor of Long Beach wrapped up last week. This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs every year from May through September on the third Wednesday, and the Thursday immediately following. Free to attend for all ages, guests participate by paying $10 for a booklet 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 costs 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. Although most of the participating businesses served the same things that they serve yearly, sometimes things will stand out from the crowd. I took two booklets last week, and went on a nice stroll through Belmont Shore.

Not much has changed in the way of offerings from the participating businesses. Between each year, most of the restaurants stick to their guns and offer what the people like, opting not to experiment or offer anything different. For that reason, I completely skipped every Stroll & Savor event in 2015. This year, I felt hesitant to go, knowing that not much will have changed. However, I bit the bullet and went last week to see if anything new had popped up. I got a chance to try the following:

  • Legends Sports Bar had their own tri-tip sandwich this time to rival that of Shannon’s usual tri-tip sandwich. I do not remember what Legends used to serve, but I definitely remember something else.
  • I got a samosa from Natraj Cuisine of India just to try it out.
  • Powell’s Sweet Shoppe served up their mini cones as usual. This time, they had a peanut butter gelato and a mango sorbet.
  • George’s Greek Cafe served their sampler plate as usual. However, they had raised the ticket price to five up from four from previous years.
  • Domenico’s Italian Restaurant served their variety of items, also as usual. One can never go wrong with their pizza, and I will proudly proclaim theirs as the best pepperoni pizza I have ever had.
  • Pandor Bakery & Cafe has something they call the OMG Bar. I have no idea what they put in this dessert that they classify as a cookie, but I would gladly keep going back to try this unique creation of theirs.
  • Lastly, I capped the day with some ice cream from Paradis Ice Cream.

All in all, a few things may have changed, but most restaurants have kept their offerings the same for Stroll & Savor. If you like what you see, check out what other events Belmont Shore has coming up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

When one business or organization defines a city, local businesses tend to have a tough time solidifying a name for themselves without piggybacking on that entity or other local marketing media. For example, any hope of business flourishing in Buena Park will quickly get overtaken by Knott’s Berry Farm, hence why a Taste of West OC featured Knott’s food as the majority of participants. Elsewhere, everyone regards New Orleans for Mardi Gras without a second thought to anything else. Back in California, if you travel to Anaheim, you will see Disney Disney Disney everywhere. Face it – Disney practically owns Anaheim. This comes off as a shame, as many tremendous local establishments call Anaheim home, and manage great business out of Anaheim. Without strong marketing, they would simply get lost in the sea of Disney media. Leave it to the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce to pool everything together so guests can experience all of Anaheim, Disney included, in their annual Taste of Anaheim.

Returning to the Anaheim GardenWalk this year, the 21th Annual Taste of Anaheim took off last Thursday evening. This mega event covered the entire northern portion of the GardenWalk, closing the area off as guests could enter to savor the local flavors of Anaheim’s great food & drink businesses. For $40 presale and $45 at the door, all attendees received admission to this all-ages festival, where attendees could sample all the food they could handle, bid in a silent auction, jam to live music, sip on finely crafted cocktails, and more.

The front section of the second floor held the silent auction and the VIP lounge.

The Taste did not discriminate in which businesses to invite. Traditionally, a Taste of ______ should focus on the local flavor, not corporate businesses. Unfortunately, for as many great local establishments that Anaheim hosts, even more corporate businesses run Anaheim, especially Disney. Like any festival, those with money always get placed at the front, which explains the corporate restaurants greeting guests as they entered.

After browsing through all the participating businesses at Taste of Anaheim, one could almost call this a Taste of Disney & Friends, as Disney took up most of the space. Can a city continue to live under a notion that one entity represents the entire city? When you have great local establishments like Slater’s 50/50, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim Brewery, Umami Burger, and more, why settle to puff the space up with corporates that operate only for themselves and not the locals? Sometimes, event planners need to scale back and plan smaller, more intimate events. By hosting a smaller food fest consisting of only local establishments and no corporates, visitors can truly receive a taste of the city. For example, if I traveled up to San Francisco for a food fest, I would want to try food from restaurants only found there, not from standard corporates like Hooters or Buca Di Beppo. I suppose that if a corporate donates enough money, they can earn a good spot in the food fest, which explains California Pizza Kitchen’s position at the front of this food fest. Because of this, I always advise visitors to start from the back, since most attendees start from the front, where the corporate vendors usually set up, whereas local vendors set up in the back. Regardless of this all, I still enjoyed my time at the Taste of Anaheim, as I got to try lots of great food and talk to lots of great people. Always stay on the lookout for local businesses, as supporting local business stimulates the local economy, providing growth and jobs necessary for that area to flourish.

The 21st Annual Taste of Anaheim returns to the Anaheim GardenWalk this Thursday evening. This mega event covers an entire portion of the GardenWalk, closing the area off as guests can enter to savor the local flavors of Anaheim’s great food & drink businesses. For $40 presale or $45 at the door, all attendees receive free parking and admission to this all-ages festival, where attendees can sample all the food they can handle, bid in a silent auction, jam to live music, sip on finely crafted cocktails, and more. The entrance to the tasting area starts at the center of the GardenWalk, and the event covers the entire northern section.

Once attendees get past the entrance gate, the restaurants will start to line up, set up tables, and serve their food and/or drinks.

A silent auction typically takes place at the Taste of Anaheim. Items mainly include gift cards and event tickets to Angels games and concerts at The Grove, plus a few other random goodies. The location of the silent auction changes every year, as it could happen near the back, or near the front.

Once past this initial entrance area, guests enter the open promenade area of the fest, filled with chairs and stages for the bands.

While guests will find most of the food upstairs, the strong businesses generally take up residence downstairs toward the back, such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Slater’s 50/50, and Noble Ale Works.

Upstairs at the GardenWalk, plenty of participating restaurants set up to serve all the guests their unique eats. Vendors up here may include local restaurants like The Ranch and The Catch, local caterers like Sally Ann and Mother’s Market, local breweries Hangar 24 and Bootlegger’s, local artists selling their work, and corporate businesses like Rubio’s and Hooters. For all other spaces, Disney takes up the rest, with restaurants from inside the Disneyland park and from Downtown Disney.

Though the lineup of participating businesses will certainly change since last year, the general setup and structure will remain the same. Guests will find most of the food upstairs, while guests will find other things downstairs, such as more places to sit, the music stage, non-food vendors, guest services, and more.

Although the Taste of Anaheim usually has more Disney establishments present than anything else, this event still has great local establishments. If you do go to this event, spend more time with the local businesses as opposed to the corporate businesses, as supporting local business stimulates the local economy, providing growth and jobs necessary for that area to flourish.