The Taste of Tacoma is a microcosm of things your mother warned you never to eat. Who better to judge the deep-fried fare than a restaurant critic, right? OK, OK, I put away my critical pen today. The Taste of Tacoma is an event designed for bulk grazing. It’s fun. Think of it as a giant food court – a lot of it, and most of it pretty good from a can-I-get-more-fat-and-yum-into-my-mouth sort of way. Keep your expectations of good value in check and wear your Thanksgiving pants because you need to be a professional-level eater to plow your way through this festival.
Don’t expect to find Tacoma restaurants at the Taste – only one will be serving. AmeRAWcan Bistro had coconut drinks and brownie bites when I wandered by earlier today. Most of the vendors are local caterers or food companies that travel the summer festival circuit.
About the cost. It’s not cheap. Gone this year are the $3.75 bargain eats. While many booths had nibbles in the $4-$5 range, expect to pay $5-$7 for most dishes. If you’re curious about prices, here is a blog post with photos of menus.
For selection, it seems there’s more variety this year – and certainly more deep-fried stuff. I saw everything from deep-fried pb&j (just like mom used to deep fry!) and a booth serving a half dozen varieties of corn dogs, fried piroshky, fried Twinkies and even deep-fried green beans. Here are tasting notes: