I am getting to be old hat at these events, but I still look forward to these sorts of things every year. Is it difficult to eat, say, 29 entrees at 9 AM? Yep. But the same strategy I use for food-related events like Taste of NFL and 1 Night 12 Kitchens can help you at the Taste of Cincinnati, where you join 500,000 of your hungriest friends for three days of a very Cincinnati celebration.
1. If you want to be particular about what you try, take the time to do a round around the entire event. You may see something that looks good on the menu, but maybe doesn’t look so good in person. Or maybe you see ten people walking around with something amazing. And heck, it’s about a mile from one end to another, so you can pre-emptively walk off a few calories.
2. Try something new. La Rosa’s? You’ve probably had it. Izzy’s? Yeah, that too. Branch out a bit. Try out some restaurants you may have never tried before (though, I admit it, I will at some point eat one of Izzy’s Potato Pancakes. Oops.).
3. Hydrate. Water is so important– though there is great beer and wine available, with 90+ degree weather predicted all weekend, you’ll want to drink water. Promise.
4. Pop in someplace cool. Yes, it’s possible for you to leave Taste of Cincinnati and grab a drink or snack somewhere else that’s air conditioned. Many places will be open, and you won’t even need to move your car.
5. Leave room for at least one impulse buy. You may have walked up and down 5th street and thought you picked up everything you wanted to try. You’re wrong. There will be something more. Accept it.
So what will I be eating at Taste? Well, I won’t quite reveal the dishes for the first Grub Crawl (meet at 1 PM each day at 5th and Race near Saks!), but here are some other dishes you shouldn’t miss:
1. Anything from Mac’s Pizza Pub, particularly the gyro pizza.
2. Coconut pudding, Thai-style from Arloi Dee. One of the lovely ladies at the Best of Taste awards (and Bridgett from 365 Cincinnati) insisted I try it. It’s cool and refreshing, perfect for a hot day.
3. Something from one of the new food trucks. I’m so glad there’s a place for them this year (and the Food Truck tour is at 1 PM on Sunday– sorry, had to plug it).
4. Andy’s Gyro Wrap. It was ridiculously good at Best of Taste.
5. Moerlein beer (in between copious amounts of water, of course)
What’s your plan for Taste?