It was shortly after moving to Florida that we went to our first “Taste of the Nation” event in Orlando. That was a great evening and after an even better experience Saturday, I am not sure why we haven’t been going every year. Combine that with helping to raise money for two very important causes in Central Florida (helping the homeless and ending childhood hunger) and it’s a must do if you have the opportunity. I believe that those of you in the Minneapolis area (ahem, Erin and PJ, ahem) still have yours to look forward to!
There was certainly a lot of good food in the room (of course), but now that a few days have passed there a few dishes that still stand out in my mind from those that I tried.
- Whisky Cola Pork Belly on a Manchego Biscuit (Norman’s) – It also happened to be the first thing that I tried that night.
- Tamarind Glazed Ribs with Jicama-Cucumber Raita and Sesame (Luma on Park)
- House-made Cavatelli and Chocolate Stout Cupcakes (The Ravenous Pig)
The latter two happen to be pretty close to our house and were already favorite dining destinations for The Wife and me. They certainly did nothing to change that opinion (for me anyway).
I also made sure to sample a few beverages as I strolled around the room multiple times. I am sure that a few opportunities were missed, but even with a designated driver I needed to be somewhat reasonable! Shipyard Brewing Company helped build even more anticipation for my planned visit to Portland at the end of September by having their Brown Ale and Export Ale as well as some Sea Dog Blue Paw Wheat Ale on hand. Stella Artois and Leffe had a long line, but the complimentary glassware was worth eating some desserts while we waited. I also enjoyed smaller samples of Brooklyn Local 1 (must try again), Old Chub (couldn’t resist), Avery White Rascal (I enjoy Avery very much), and some Woodford Reserve (I always enjoy a good bourbon).
We also ran into a friend of The Wife and her husband early on in the evening. So as a bonus to all of the great food and drink I also made some new friends, which elevated the evening to a much higher level of enjoyment. Thank you to Caitlin and Kristien for putting up with me for a few hours!
As promised yesterday, I have decided to pass along some of the wonderful beer glassware that the folks from Stella provided at the event in a give away on this site. Consider this a redistribution of marketing goodies. I will be giving away two identical packages of:
Here is what you have to do. . .
1. Leave a comment on this post, telling me what your favorite beer is at this moment and what makes it stand out. (Don’t think too hard!)
2. If you’re on Twitter, post the following tweet and leave me another comment letting me know you did: “What’s your favorite beer? Leave a comment on this post: http://cli.gs/tDvSZT and enter to win some beer-related goodies!”
3. If you’re on Facebook, share a link to this post and leave me another comment letting me know you did.
4. If you’re on Digg, Digg this post and leave me another comment letting me know you did.
5. If you’re on StumbleUpon, “like” this post and leave me another comment letting me know you did.
6. If you’re on any other social media sites, share this post and leave me another comment letting me know you did.
7. If you have a blog, add me to your blogroll and leave me another comment letting me know you did.
You’re allowed one entry per category, so if you’re ambitious, you can get up to seven entries. I’ll randomly select two winners from the comments at the end of the day on Friday, September 4 and announce the winners in a post on Saturday the 5th. Good luck!