American Taste of

Taste of Alpharetta 2009 Winners and Losers

I didn’t actually plan on attending the Taste of Alpharetta. It was kind of last minute thing, as 2 of my really good friends, Kim and Tim decided to check it out. There were some cool restaurants, some that I would have never thought of trying that I now, can’t wait to check out. One such restaurant is the Olde Dog Irish Pub (mentioned below). Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera, as I didn’t plan on visiting the festival before leaving my house for the day, so I was only able to take a few photos with my camera phone.

As the tastes range from 50 cents to 3 dollars, we each bought 10 bucks worth of tickets to start and figured we’d buy more if needed. Turns out, 10 bucks actually gets you fed pretty good at the Taste of Alpharetta.

BUT, having attended the Taste of Marietta just a few short weeks ago, I was a little disappointed by the Taste of Alpharetta. Here’s why:

  • The posted hours are from 5 to 10 pm, but really it ended just after 9. I got the impression that some restaurants didn’t want to be there as they were packing it up as soon as they could. Some started giving food away just after 9 so they could close it down. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about free food, but for those of us that work a day job, it’s hard to get up to Alpharetta until after 7. So, once up there, it is much harder to go by all the restaurants in 2 short hours.
  • No alcohol. I would have really enjoyed sipping on a cold beer while walking around, Taste of Marietta had this, I don’t see why Taste of Alpharetta didn’t have any.
  • They ran out of water. I was actually saving my tickets for a certain dessert I’d been eyeing since I entered the festival (Krisp Kreme Bread pudding – low in fat I’m sure ;-)). It was all gone by the time I got back up to the front where they had it (should’ve eaten my dessert first). So, I thought I’d hydrate myself with some H20 to use up some of my spare tickets ($1.50 per drink), but all that was left was Coke or Diet Coke.
Beautifully carved watermelon at Taste of Alpharetta

Beautifully carved watermelon at Taste of Alpharetta

Highlights:

The Diner at North Point and Sage Woodfire Tavern
Both of these establishments are part of the Infinite Dining Group, which also owns Avra Greek Tavern in Midtown. I’ve never visited any of them, but they are all on my radar now. Not only was the food excellent, but the little interaction I had with the staff alone makes me want to visit the restaurant. At Sage I had a piece of bruschetta with a generous portion of tomatoes and olives.

The Diner let me sample a sampling of shrimp in a cream sauce – I think it was Shrimp Newberg. They saw I had my hands full, and were so kind as to pull up a chair for me to sit down for a moment. And no, they didn’t know I’m a blogger. If they are that friendly at a busy “taste of” festival, my guess the service at the restaurant is excellent. I was really impressed to say the least.

Shallots
They had a crispy shrimp roll with a ginger sauce on top that was excellent. Can’t wait to give the restaurant a try.

Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub
They had a great booth, with their staff even dressed in Kilts. Not only that, but the great reuben that was packed full of meat was only 2 bucks. So worth it. I’ll be visiting them soon.

Lots of coupons and discounts to give the restaurants a try. So, this was a nice touch as I didn’t see much of this at Taste of Marietta.

Disappointments:
P.F. Chang’s
I haven’t been to P.F. Chang’s in quite a while, so I was happy to try one of their “tastes” There was some rice with a sample of 2 pieces of chicken and a wonton. Not very good at all. I would’ve rather spend the $$ at Panda Express.

Red Hen
What caught my eye here was the cheddar and artichoke quiche. Sounds yummy, except it was burnt on the bottom. The flavor wasn’t all that good anyway. But, I really think if this is your chance to make an impression on people, um, don’t serve burnt food. To their credit, my friend Kim did get their grits which ended up being pretty tasty and I’m not even a fan of grits.

Overall, it was a good experience, and I’m glad the rain held off. If I visit the Taste of Alpharetta next year, I’ll be sure to get there by 6.

About the author

Malika Bowling

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!

1 Comment

  • I lived in Alpharetta for 20 yrs and move in 2005, and I truely wished I had stayed there for good. I miss everything about the town.

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