To kick-start the Memorial Day Weekend festivities, Charleston’s annual Taste-of-ALL, a FestivALL event, invited foodies from around the Kanawha Valley and beyond to take a bite out of the city’s best eats on Saturday.
Lisa Woo, a Charleston resident, said the quality and taste of the food is the reason she comes back every year.
“I came last year and the food was great,” she said. “It gives you the opportunity to sample foods from restaurants and vendors that you normally would not have the opportunity to.”
Woo said she felt the event has been well-organized in the past few years and likes that there is no longer a long wait in line for tickets, like when the event was held at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center years ago.
Now that Kanawha Boulevard is Taste-of-ALL’s home, Woo said she thinks the event is much more enjoyable.
“You can sample all the foods in one place in one day,” she said. “Then, you have the rest of the summer to venture out.”
Woo said she was excited to eat some of her returning favorites, Bridge Road Bistro and Adelphia, and try something new at Sitar of India and Eggs Will Roll.
Sitar of India featured chicken tikka masala, samosa, chana masala and veggie korma, while Eggs Will Roll had jambalaya, Mexican street corn, chicken and waffles, and Reuben egg rolls.
For Amy Priddy, of Nitro, it was her second year attending the event. She went for Dem 2 Brothers & A Grill, as well as Recovery Sports Grill.
Dem 2 Brothers & A Grill featured pork and brisket sliders, baked beans, potato salad and sweet potato casserole. Recovery presented buffalo chicken wontons, crispy artichokes with lemon garlic aioli, and Maryland crab cakes.
“It was delicious,” she said about the crab cakes.
Dan and Robin Sizemore attended with their 6-year-old grandson, Mack, from Tennessee, to enjoy a fun Saturday full of food.
“We’re just going to end up at Dem 2 Brothers [& A Grill] because they’re West Siders, and we’re West Siders, so we want to support the West Side as much as we can,” said Dan Sizemore.
Sizemore said he looks forward to the creativity the different restaurants and chefs bring to the event each year.
“I love some of the specialty things the chefs put out,” he said. “The things that are special just to their restaurant.”
For Robin Sizemore, attending the event was a first for her, but she said she was looking forward to getting to try a variety of unique food and spend time with her grandson.
“I think it’s just a part of what the City of Charleston is doing, and it’s something that we try to support,” said Dan Sizemore. “We’re locals, we live here in town and try to support the locals as best as we can.”