It was quite a night at the Taste of Venice event last night!
Responses to some of the posts I’ve read:
– Yes, we definitely need a larger venue for next year, (They severely underestimated the power of the Foodies! No one predicted that many attendees).
– The restaurants were not charged a fee to attend the event, which is where the non-food vendors come in to play. We needed them (as they do pay a fee to join) in order to pay for the venue, etc.
– For the first year of this event, it was an INCREDIBLE turnout. Kudos to all the vendors!
– Proceeds from ticket sales were to benefit the Shriner’s Van that transports sick children to the Shriner’s Hospital in Tampa, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
-Bada Bings as well as Chicanos committed to the event and DID NOT show and DID NOT Call.
As for the food:
The wild mushroom ravioli in the white truffle cream sauce from Blu Island Bistro was phenomenal. I’m not normally a mushroom fan, but the pairing of flavors worked well and the ravioli were cooked perfectly.
The salmon puff and gazpacho from Saltwater Cafe: It’s difficult to have anything fried at an event because I felt there wasn’t enough crunch, and the gazpacho was relatively one note.
The pulled pork from Gold Rush with the coleslaw: I really enjoyed the pulled pork and the variety of sauces. The coleslaw had an interesting aftertaste of celery, but overall, not bad.
One of the non-food vendors, Nancy from Young Living, offered a lavender cookie topped with sugar crystals: I’ve never had one like it before, but the cookie was soft with a nice texture from the sugar and the floral undertone was an intriguing new flavor.
Sonny’s BBQ also had a very nice pulled pork slider. I found the pork to be a bit on the greasy side, but the smoking BBQ sauce was very good with a little kick to it.
The chili from Brew Burgers: A hearty, chunky chili that had just the right spice punch to it with a nice melty cheese. I’ll have to remember this when the cold weather comes, as it’s one of the few chilis that I’ve enjoyed as much as my own.
Paradise Grill had the Seafood Dip on a Saltine: Made with mahi, this dip was a pretty tasty bite, but a little too spicy for my liking (although I must admit, I’m not into spicy foods, someone who likes hot sauce/tabasco would probably enjoy this more.) They also served a Meatloaf slider: Meatloaf was pretty dry and crumbly and lacked seasoning. It was also on the greasier side and not really something I’d like to have again. I only took one bite and left the rest.
Overall, we had an incredible night, and I LOVED getting to meet some of you! Let’s do something together again soon.
Also, BIG thank you to everyone who asked about my business or my non-profit. It means the world to me that you took the time to check out what I do outside of the group!