Saturday (6-10-2017) I took the Lynx commuter train downtown to the Taste of Charlotte 2017. I got an early start, but the heat neared 90-degrees on a clear and still day that made walking the six blocks closed off for the event a challenge.

Some of the City’s best foods are sold in sample sizes on Tryon St.

Mert’s Heart and Soul won the overall “Best of the Taste 2017” award for the second year in a row with their fried salmon bites on rice. I was told, “We make our banana pudding according to Grandma’s secret recipe.” You know Mimi knows what she’s doing in the kitchen.

The second silver platter in a row went to the proud folks that cook up tasty treats at Mert’s Heart and Soul.

Next on my “must try list” was McCormick & Schmick’s Shrimp Kisses. These big shrimp wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cheese won the “Best of the Taste Appetizer” award for the fifth year in a row.

Those five, silver plates are proof that the “Shrimp Kisses” are as tasty as they sound.

The ‘Hoop Man’ was a huge hit with everyone. How he managed to keep from crushing his hands when the hoop spun on the pavement where he held on was amazing. I’m not sure how one gets into this activity, but I bet a lot of pavement pounding pain goes into the process.

Good music and the occasional sideshow add to the allure of the tasting frenzy.

I believe the answer to, “Do you want bacon with that?” is always, YES! Another sign that adage is true is evident in Brazz Carvery and Steakhouse winning the “Best of the Taste Entree” for their filet mignon wrapped in bacon. Yum!

This was my personal favorite! I waited in the longest line of the day for the tender filets in crispy bacon and would do it again in a flash. Hint, long lines always signaled great food.

You’d think there would be some vetting on what vendors at The Taste displayed. I was not the only soul who grasped the irony of a giant, dead cockroach prominently displayed along the tasting route.

A 20-foot-long, belly up cockroach sends a less than appetizing message.

Twenty bucks will get you 15 coins to spend on food and drink at The Taste of Charlotte. Most tastes were 3-coins and adult beverages were five-coins. The food was excellent and the free samples from retail vendor booths were given generously enough to fill everybody’s swag bags. The event closes Sunday, so if you have a hankering for sampling, better go uptown tomorrow. 

 

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