Saturday, October 25, 2014

Taste of Atlanta "How To" Guide

Taste of Atlanta is the city's biggest food event held each year in October. Below are some tips to make your tasting experience the best that it can be!
  • Take advantage of early ticket discounts: tickets are available online and at the Cook’s Warehouse. Taste of Atlanta gives many opportunities for you to save. This year codes “Tweet” and “AFBS” provided $5 off while IKEA Family members received $7 off with code “IKEA."
  • Choose your ticket level carefully: VIP tickets are more costly, but you have access to a special area with wine, beer and cocktails tastings as well as exclusive restaurant tastings (no additional tasting tickets required). You may feel the extra money is worth the benefit.
  • Do your Research: participating restaurants are listed well in advance. Research so that you know ahead which restaurant’s sample you simply must try.
  • Make a conscious decision about where you plan to park: Expect to pay $15-20 to park close to the event. Consider taking Uber especially if you have decided to purchase VIP tickets.
  • Check the weather forecast: Taste of Atlanta is held rain or shine. It is better to be prepared than to be too hot, cold or wet!
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes: Do not wear your skinny jeans; you will need some breathing room. The terrain is not optimal for high heels. They may look great but you will struggle to maneuver through the crowds with ease.
  • Consider taking a bag: While frequently there are vendors handing out reusable bags of some sort, you may not have a bag when an opportunity to collect some take home samples presents itself. I take a plastic grocery store bag folded tightly enough to fit in my pocket to use until that better bag presents itself.
  • Get there early! Although most restaurants are fully prepared for the crowds, some have been known to run out of popular items.
  • Allot plenty of time. This is not a “I’m just gonna stop by” kind of event. There will be crowds and there will be lines.
  • Maximize your ticket to appetite ratio: with your entry ticket you will receive 10 “tasting tickets” which allow you to purchase samples. If you go with a friend, you may choose to combine tickets and share tastes thereby conserving not only tickets but stomach space! Be on the lookout for bargains. For example, this year Woody’s Cheesesteaks offered generous servings of their famous sandwiches for only one ticket.
  • Splurge on a bottle of water: You will have to buy water separately, but trust me, you will need it.
  • Take advantage of the cooking demonstrations and competitions: You can rest your feet and your palate, and who knows you might actually learn something.
  • Don’t waste your last few tickets: Many of the restaurants “mark down” samples towards the end of the day, so you can grab a mini cupcake or zeppole on the way back to your car. Other items are portable making it easy to take home a treat for later such as a giant pretzel to nibble while catching the last half of your home team’s football game. If you reach the exit and still have a ticket or two, give them away. I usually look for a child who is clearly on their best behavior!
  • Lastly, cancel your dinner plans! You will not leave hungry.


Yum

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