Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Taste of Tyler: Culinary Masterpieces of East Texas Unite!

Who would have thought that the once humble City of Tyler (Home of the University of Texas At Tyler!) would become one of the most well-known hubs of culinary treasures in Texas? For all of you foodies out there, whether you're a starving college gourmet or a food aficionado from the Tyler community, or you're even a visitor from the surrounding area, this annual event is one that will whet your appetite and hopefully satisfy your dizziest foodie daydreams.

Do you see all of these people? And this was the smaller room! 

A Taste of Tyler premiered its 30th annual occurrence this week on Tuesday, April 15th. I was promised live music and "cupcake wars" by the fliers I saw hanging in restaurants around Tyler, as well as a host of delicious samples from a large network of participating restaurants in the area. Now, I'll let you in on a little secret... I LOVE food. I can admittedly be a huge food snob and adore trying what people consider "High class" food... Maybe a little too much. ;)
That's meeeee
Let me tell you, though. This event was a food-lover's dream come true. I would estimate that 30-40 restaurants and food companies were in attendance last night, and each one of them featured a sample of a couple of their signature dishes for members of the community to experience. Here's just the list of things I tried when I was there:

  • Famous barbecue joints such as Stanley's (an office favorite!) gave out amazingly succulent brisket and ribs; 
  • Cake and cupcake places featured samples of their best sellers. My favorite was the edible glitter cupcake from The Luscious Crumb
  • Sadlers, another small local restaurant featured slices of their best selling pies. 
  • Newk's, a restaurant I habitually frequent thanks to their delicious food and my best friends working there, featured three of their famous sides, each a type of salad. (On a side note, if you're a starving college student looking for a summer job, they're hiring! Apply in person.)
  • Curbside Taco featured a delicious brisket taco with a mini taco bar to fix it up
  • Cork had a gorgeous setup for their variety of offerings, like caprese salad and sushi
  • Yamato offered up delicious crab rangoons paired with a bit of spring roll or fried rice.

By this time, I was so full, I couldn't even look at any more food. However, I did play errand girl for friends stuck at their booth who were requesting samples, so I got more time to peek around and get some pictures. They had two live bands performing in separate rooms to entertain the diners of the evening, and even featured an award show based on community votes for best dessert, best entree, and best display table. Unfortunately, I didn't hear the results of that segment, but I thought everything I tasted was a great contender. :) They also had a cupcake wars segment, but since I arrived a little while after the start time, I missed that, too. Dang it.

The band and the giant "Cupcake Wars" balloon

The event itself is a collaboration between Tyler Sunrise Rotary and the Tyler Restaurant Association, which uses the funds for supporting education, community projects, and scholarships for students in East Texas. It cost me $20 to get a ticket, but it was totally worth it. Next year, consider taking some time out with your best epicurean friends or your significant other and enjoy a wonderful night getting your mouth acquainted with some of the best cuisine East Texas has to offer. 

No comments:

Post a Comment