Taste of Anaheim 2012
321 W. Katella Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92802
I know I have said it before, and I will probably say it again, but one of my favorite times of the year is the Taste of Anaheim. It really feels like Christmas in May. I was lucky enough to be able to make it back again this year, which makes it three years in a row for me.
This was the 17th annual Taste of Anaheim, and it was held May 10th at the Garden Walk shopping center, right near Disneyland. This food festival features great restaurants from in and around Anaheim. What makes this one of my favorite food festivals, is that for one admission price you get to eat as much as you would like from almost 50 restaurants. No tickets to buy for food samples. You just wait in line, and get food from the numerous vendors. I have a big appetite, and I was full after making the rounds of almost all the vendors.
For those that were so inclined to dance off the food they just consumed, there were three bands that played throughout the evening. Other non-eating events included numerous community group tents, art exhibits from local artists, and a silent auction that included some really great items donated by members of the community. These were some great diversions, but let's be real, I was here for the food. So let's see what we ate.
K'Ya Street Fare was passing out BBQ Meatballs at their booth. These had a real pleasant sauce. I could have eaten a lot more of these, but this was our first booth of the night. Too much to eat in too little of time.
OC Greek Fest was out to show how they do desserts, with this Baklava and Kataifi. Both were very rich and sweet.
Anaheim Regional Medical Center showed that they not only cure people, but they could also cure your sweet tooth, with these wonderful desserts.
I give Katie's sister a lot of grief about a bad dinner we had at Bubba Gump Shrimp awhile back. I was not expecting to like their offering at the Taste of Anaheim, but it was pretty good. They called these Seafood Hush Puppies. Fish and shrimp are fried, then served with a remoulade sauce. One of the better things I have had at Bubba Gump.
Ruth Chris offered up one of the bigger samples of the night, with their Prime Burger and Sweet Potato Casserole with a pecan crust. The burger was moist, and the sweet potato casserole was very sweet, and more of a dessert item. Very tasty.
Pepz Pizza had all you can eat pizza all night. I had a slice of their Pepperoni Pizza, and it was not too bad. Served hot, this had a good crust, and plenty of pepperoni.
Bowling alleys were well represented here, and 300 Anaheim was serving up their 300 Hot Wings. The mild were very bland, but the hot had a nice kick to them.
Anyone that has read my blog knows my love for Slater's 50/50 has no bounds. I was happy to see them on the list of participating restaurants, but was even happier to see them give out their Vampire Dip and Peanut Butter and Jealousy Sliders. Both were on point here. Well worth the price of ticket for just these two items.
Bar Louie, which is located at the Garden Walk was passing out their Bruschetta Pomodoro and Tabbouleh. I am not really a fan of either of these, so I left these for Katie to try.
The Honda Center is not just for mediocre hockey teams, they also feature at one of their concession stands, Outlaws Steakhouse. Here they were dishing out a mini version of their loaded potato and a pulled beef slider. Both had a very good sauce.
It was not time for dessert yet, but we could not resist the Melting Pot. They were sampling their Chocolate Fondue with Rice Krispies Treats, strawberries, and brownies. Very rich, but we could not stop at one plate.
I have not been to Joe's Crab Shack in years. They had Crab Dip that they were pedaling. Had a smooth flavor.
Here's another restaurant I have not been to in years, Alcatraz Brewing Company. Along with their Dark Ale Smoked Ribs, they were giving out samples of their hand crafted beers. Beer and ribs, the way into every man's heart.
Concourse Entertainment Center always provides an interesting offering, and this year was no different. This bowling alley was hawking their Carnitas and Chicken Tacos.
Not a restaurant, but Farm Fresh To You really had some of the best Caramel Covered Popcorn I have had recently. Every kernel was covered with sweet caramel. Really good.
One of Anaheim's stalwart restaurants, The Catch was giving out their Vera Cruz Chopped Salad, along with their Baked Peach Crostata. The salad had very fresh ingredients, and the crostata was not overly sweet.
This was one of Katie's favorites of the night, Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen. She really enjoyed the soft bread of the sandwich, and I was happy with the delicious sounding Bacon and Jalapeno Potato Salad.
It would not be a Taste of Anaheim experience if we did not go over and try one of Hooters Nearly Famous Wings and BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. It was also really just a chance for me to talk to the pretty girls.
Catal Restaurant is located at Downtown Disney, and they supplied us with this Arroz Con Leche, in a waffle cup. I really liked the waffle part, and Katie was more partial to the fresh fruit here.
OC Brewhouse is a restaurant I had never heard of before. They are located in the Hyatt, and were serving up some of their beers and this BBQ Pulled Pork Slider. Not a bad slider at all. Good sauce on this one.
Cantina Lounge might be in Fullerton, but they have been at the Taste of Anaheim each year we have been here. They sampled their Steak Fajitas, Shrimp Ceviche, and Queso Fundido.
Ruby's Diner did something a little different, going after the breakfast angle. They passed out their delicious Cinnamon Roll French Toast. Tasted great, and makes me want to go to Ruby's for breakfast.
House of Blues has recently introduced some new items to their menu. This is the White Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding. Big on banana flavor here.
By this time of the night we were really full and could not eat much more. After listening to the music and checking out the art we called it a night. Another wonderful event put on by the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. Special thanks go out to Russell Lahodny for providing us with press passes. Can not wait for the next one. May 2013 can not get here soon enough!
For more information about Taste of Anaheim, click here: http://tasteofanaheim365.com/TOA10.php?page=home.php