Monday, May 20, 2013

Taste of the Highlands Was a Great Success!

Mother nature must like children, too, because on Saturday, the rain held off, allowing Taste of the Highlands to come off without a hitch.

I was a judge, so I jumped at the chance had to try everything on offer at the event. Alas, even though I moved from table to table at warp speed, some popular stands were out of their dishes before I got to them. Tough break, DBA, I couldn't vote for your dishes although I heard they were good! Fortunately I got to try more than enough tasty bites and beverages.

The Cypress Street Pint and Plate team dishing out sliders and Sublime Doughnut burgers

An early fave was Cypress Street's Mini Sublime Doughnut Burger. You often hear about these gimmicky doughnut/burger combos, and it's usually in the context of "isn't it gross what pigs Americans are?" But I'm not going to lie, this was delish. I can't say I'd want to eat an actual full sized version but a slider hit the spot with its combo of sweet and savory.
Pozole's winning cocktail, - a jalapeno margarita 
There weren't that many cocktails on offer, so the competition wasn't too fierce for best cocktail. Goldilocks style, The Real Chow Baby's was too sweet, Rosebud's was too tame, but Pozole's was just right. Everyone I spoke to agreed that their jalapeno margarita was a knock-out.
La Tavola's prize winning ricotta gnocchi with lamb ragu

Adventurous Tastes' fave La Tavola delivered as well with a ricotta gnocchi served with a lamb ragu. This hearty dish ended up in 2nd place just behind a surprisingly good lobster bisque from Fontaine's. Can't say that it would ever occur to me to eat there, but apparently I've been missing out because that soup was damn fine. An honorable mention goes to Alma Cocina's subtle and flavorful corvina ceviche. It was my favorite cevinche of the day, while STK's slider, which came in third, was the judge's favorite burger of many. My fellow judges preferred it to the doughnut burger, but I gotta say, it was close in my book.

For desserts, Frozen Pints' ice cream sandwich made with gingersnaps and peach lambic took the cake, so to speak. It was by far the most unique dessert on offer, and I loved the unique flavor combination.

This was my first time at Taste of the Higlands despite living in the neighborhood for over three years. I'll definitely be back next year as it's the perfect combination of low key and fun. The live music was entertaining but unobtrusive; the crowd was festive but not in-your-face, and the food and booze was plentiful with no significant lines to get dishes. And of course, best of all, you are supporting a wonderful cause in Children's Healthcare of Atlanta! Congrats to all of the winners and to  my little brother and sister and the rest of the planning committee for putting on a great event!

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