I did a little preview of The Original Taste here, and last night I attended the event for the first time. The Scottsdale Waterfront was fenced off and filled with food and wine vendors, who handed out samples for attendees whose ticket purchases benefited charities such as Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (which I used to work for–a great cause, in my opinion!)
The crowd was young and what you’d expect from anything in Old Town Scottsdale. The event was so massive, I sort of felt like I was in a herd of cattle for most of the night, moving from purveyor to purveyor to score samples. I was disappointed the vast majority of food offered wasn’t vegetarian, and I really only tried pita and cilantro jalapeno hummus from Pita Jungle, which I’ve already enjoyed many times.
There was a ton of great booze, though, as well as a cover band. I was surprised more people weren’t eating–it seemed like more of a drinking affair despite the large number of restaurants represented.
Because of how many people were there, the event just seemed more raucous and crowded than classy and upscale, but it still served as a great opportunity to sample offerings from many places. It just seemed sort of odd to get all fancy to stand in a parking lot–though the weather was as gorgeous as could be.
Hopefully in future years, restaurants will be more mindful of non-dead-animal diners and bring vegetarian options. With tickets costing between $150-$250, the vegetarian offerings seemed meager.