Downtown restaurants were met with enthusiastic customers Saturday evening during the Taste of Downtown event.
Over 50 tickets were sold and participants were treated to four-course meals featuring delectable options from the multiple participating restaurants. Begonias Restaurant, Collins River BBQ, Cumberland Biscuit Company, Kimmi’s Tea Room, TOPZ/Metro Deli and Vanilla Bean Baking Company brought their best to the table to wow their customers.
Menus included appetizers, soup and salad, entrée, dessert and drinks. Event-goers were able to choose the items they wanted to include in their respective dining experience. The restaurants were able to elect what to offer, affording some, such as Begonias, the opportunity to introduce some new items.
“I love this kind of event. It’s nice to get to elevate a little bit,” said Seth Davis, owner of Begonias. “Second Saturday has really been a great addition for downtown and this is another way we can all work together as local businesses. It’s also a great chance to show the community what we’re made of. It’s the first time we are introducing Burton Creek Farms. We’ve been working with them for beef and filet-mignon. So, this has been a way for us to start that, and show everyone not only the quality of our food, but what we can do with local products.”
The event offered the restaurants an opportunity to connect with the community as the diners moved from one restaurant to another on a rotating schedule. There were two offered timeslots, one between 4 and 7 p.m., and another between 5 and 8 p.m. As the event coincided with Second Saturday, it resulted in large crowds at all restaurants and made downtown McMinnville a bustling center of activity.
Davis was elated at the large crowds lured out by the tandem events, and indicated he enjoyed seeing everyone turn out for a night of relaxing atmosphere and sharing the delicious options on their menu.
“We’ve got such a great set of cooks right now, it’s really rewarding for us to let them show the community what they can do,” said Davis. “Our head chef Megan Kennedy is of Polish descent, and she’s honestly the one who pulled the trigger on the menu. She said we were having pierogis, so that’s one of the items we offered. I have had them before. They’re excellent every time, and I was glad to show those off.”
While nothing has been announced for future returns of Taste of Downtown, hopes are high from the downtown restaurants that consideration will be given to a reappearance of the tasty event.