Ladies and Gentlemen: Start Your Forks!
The July 9th weekend has been circled on my calendar for a long time now. It’s hard to believe that the 2011 Taste of Buffalo is almost upon us again. I am gearing up by eating light all week and ramping up my exercise routine.
If we believe the early forecasts, the weather gods will be smiling upon us with temps in the 80s and sunny skies all weekend. If you’d like to ponder some “Fun by the Forkful” facts as you mull over your eating strategy or sign up for that extra spinning class, consider these nibbles:
- The Taste of Buffalo, celebrating its 28th year, is the largest two-day festival in the U.S. It runs along Delaware Ave. from Chippewa to Niagara Square.
- More than a quarter million dollars has been raised at the festival for local charities and five scholarships are awarded each year to high school students pursuing a culinary career.
- 2011 Taste chairman Mark Zawodzinski said 57 restaurants will participate, including a taste-sized item for only $2.
- The Taste of Buffalo is still the only food festival in the country that requires all participating restaurants to offer a healthy menu item as part of the “Healthy Options” program.
- Live, free entertainment is provided by local acts both days.
- Despite the long hours, veteran restaurateurs like Orazio Ippolito say the Taste is a great way to build rapport with existing and new customers. Orazio’s has been at the Taste for 16 years, while 13 new eateries are participating this year. Nearly a half-million food fans are expected over the weekend.