I was invited to attend the Taste of Downtown by McFarlane Promos and I happily accepted. I meant to go the last two years (!!) but something came up both times and I wasn’t able to make it. Stacey was my cohort for the evening and we planned on tackling this event the simple way: just go down 5th and swing around to 6th until we hit 14 spots.
Why 14? Stacey insisted we should do one more than the last time I did one of these events (which I had guessed to be 13 spots hit).
We parked at Horton Plaza and got our free validation at Nordstorm’s and then headed out to our first spot that was on 4th in the former location of the Lincoln Room.
1) The Commons
Item: Buffalo Chicken Bites
Not terrible, but also not super memorable. Fair amount of chicken bites, slight spicyness. No sauce. I ate all of these with my toothpick. Seemed more exciting that way.
2) Gaslamp Tavern
Item: Teriyaki and Buffalo chicken wings
You had your choice of either, but we asked for one of each. Both were quite good with a nice outer crunch and a good amount of sauce. Stacey thought the teriyaki one was a little too sweet, but I liked it. Blue cheese sauce helped make the buffalo wing not as spicy. Good stuff.
3) Urban Bar and Grill
Item: Mediterranean Flatbread
They had cups of water set up for Tasters. Score. Nice flatbread with pear, arugula and a little blue cheese.
Item: Cheeseburger Sliders
Really excellent cheeseburger slider on a soft, but toasted slider bun. Slider bun was slightly sweet, meat was a perfect medium with a sharp cheddar cheese. Yummy!
Item: Bangers & Mash
We had to walk up a crap load of stairs to get to this, they put this in the VERY back. Stacey got a beer here since they were having specials. Most places were having alcoholic specials, trying to get you to spend just a littttttle bit more.
Bangers & Mash: cold and kind of gross. Unimpressive.
Item: Jalapeno Popper
I don’t remember what Stacey though of this, but I don’t remember her being very impressed.
6) Whiskey Girl
Item: Thai Chili Chicken Wing
Stacey had this since I was already sick of chicken. She said it was slimy at first, but that it had good flavor.
6) Whiskey Girl
Cheeseburger & ??? something slider
I opted for another slider. There was something kind of slimy on top of it and the cheese was only partially melted. Flavor was off. Didn’t like it.
Item: Pasta and Bruschetta
We were so happy to see something different! Yummy marinara pasta with bruschetta on toast.
8) La Fiesta
Item: Chicken Taquito & Chips
Not bad, was still crunchy. Flavor was okay.
9) Henry’s Pub
Item: Rice and Chicken with Garlic Lemon Sauce
The sauce put on the chicken was really yummy, I was happy to see a chicken dish that wasn’t wings!
10) The Field
Item: Corned Beef & Cabbage Croquette
Fact: Bars are really dark, making it hard to take photos. This was definitely interesting with a spicy mustard sauce on it. Pretty good, nicely fried and still hot.
Item: Hummus with Pita Chips
I think this was the “eh, whatever” sample. The people before us got the last of something else and then they brought this tray out. Hummus was pretty good, pita chips were a little overdone. Once the pita chips were gone we were left with a ton of hummus, not much else to do except chuck it at that point.
12) Heavenly Cupcakes
Item: Topless Cupcakes
Cute mini cupcakes! These are their new “topless” lower calorie cupcakes. Top: The Blue Banana – A topless banana cupcake swirled with a blueberry cupcake and filled with a light banana custard. Bottom: Skinny Hostess – A topless deep chocolate cupcake filled with a light and airy marshmallow filling.
12) Heavenly Cupcakes
You can see the creamy insides. Pretty good little cupcakes even though they didn’t have frosting. I liked how the blueberry/banana one looked swirled on the inside.
13) Ciro’s Pizzera & Beerhouse
Item: Spinach and Feta Turkey Meatball
I took one bite and then spit it out. I didn’t like the flavor at all. In no way shape or form. Brutal honesty, folks.
14) The Counter
Item: Sweet Potato French Fries
The Counter had run out of whatever they were offering (sliders, I think) and all they had left were the sweet potato fries. Not wanting to go anywhere else to complete our lineup of 14, we waited for these samples. They were good, nothing special but tasted fine.
It was a lovely night for the Taste of Downtown and I’m glad we got all the walking done in between, because I’m think we might have burst otherwise. I waddled a little bit back to the car anyway.
Thanks to McFarlane Promos for the complimentary tickets to Taste of Downtown. I was not paid for reviewing this event and all opinions listed here are my own.