Just a taste

F. C. Foodie's picture

Of course Foodie was at the annual Taste of Fayette event this past Sunday (you didn’t see a guy in a fedora and sunglasses?). Numerous area restaurants all putting their cuisine out there for the people to try? Fuhgeddaboutit. It’s a no-brainer. Foodie simply must attend an event like that. And what does Foodie think of Taste of Fayette, (since he’s apparently still writing in third person and some weird tense)?

Ehhh.

Taste of Fayette was mobbed on Sunday and the weather, though it was a little hot, was beautiful. Bands rocked out on a stage by the fountain and when they were taking breaks, a DJ (or somebody’s iPod) cranked out some good tunes. Never thought I’d hear Daft Punk in downtown Fayetteville, but kudos to you DJ (or iPod) whoever you are.

The selection of food was decent, but not awesome. That isn’t the fault of organizers, per se, but did anybody lobby restaurants of different cuisines to join the event? For instance, there was no Chinese food and Fayetteville and Fayette County have a number of good restaurants that could have stepped in, no Japanese no Thai and no Mexican, either. Maybe the folks at Sabri Kebab didn’t know about it or declined, but this would have been a great way to get the word about their restaurant. Same goes for Courtney’s Cafe. They could have brought over a gigantic pot of jambalaya, charged a token for a little sample cup and introduced the throng to their spicy delight.

Let’s not focus on what wasn’t there (it’s making me too sad) and focus on what was. There was a lot of pizza (all hail the Greek pizza from Partners II), some good BBQ and numerous delectable desserts. Taste of Fayette was a great way to get reintroduced to some places that I had forgotten about, particularly Longbranch. Their grilled and fried samplers were great. The ribs were delicious and the chicken and steak on a stick were decent, while the fried pickles were out of this world. Other restaurants with popular booths on Sunday were Broadway Diner, Baci, Bugaboo Creek, Moe’s and Mangarelli’s among others. The aroma wafting from Atlanta Rub’s grill was incredibly enticing too, creating long lines for their lip-smacking ribs and other dishes.

Aside from the fact that many of the booths seemed very similar, the other problem was the size of the “tastes” and the cost. Here’s a perfect example. Partners had slices of Greek pizza for three tokens (basically, $1.50) while Mangarelli’s had a slice of pepperoni for six tokens ($3). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a food critic to know which one is the better deal. A slice is more than a taste and Mangarelli’s slice was bigger, but the better deal was Partners, so lots of people visited that booth instead. Want ribs and mashed potatoes from Bugaboo? That’s nine tokens and you likely will be so full you won’t want to sample anything else. The Cheesecake Boutique had it exactly right, one token for a small sample of their cheesecakes. It was no more than a few bites, but those bites were heavenly.

Taste of Fayette should be about tasting as much as you can from area restaurants, especially ones you’ve never tried before or haven’t visited in a long time. That’s why Longbranch stood out to me. The two samplers cost nine tokens, but several of us ate from it. I guess everyone could share “tastes” but overall, the whole thing seemed more like “Meals of Fayette.” The novelty of paying for food with tokens wears pretty thin when your bag of tokens is gone at one booth.

And since it appears I’m on a bit of a rant, I’ll take this one step further. I love Moe’s. I go there at least once every few weeks, if not more often, but if you are a national chain restaurant, you shouldn’t be at an event like this. They aren’t just places that can be found in Fayette. If you go to Walla Walla, Washington and visit Moe’s or Bugaboo Creek, it tastes exactly the same. They aren’t local recipes, they are created in a food lab somewhere. It’s all really good, but it is taking up space that could go to a local business that could use the exposure. (ahem, Sabri Kebab, Royal Chef, ahem).

Lastly, and this may go against the logistics of the event and therefore be impossible, but the food booths should be spread out. They were all along one alley and that alley got really crowded. After walking through that main pass of food booths, there were booths for other businesses and they had plenty of space and few visitors. If you want them to have more traffic and visibility and get people to visit all areas of your event, spread it out. Let people breathe and explore. It all felt a little cramped.

Looking over this, it seems like a negative review of Taste of Fayette. Honestly, I don’t mean it to be. I love having an event like this, I would just like to see it be the best it could be. Taste of Fayette should have more local restaurants offering smaller samples at a lower token price, so the people can actually taste all that Fayette has to offer.
Note: Atlanta Margarita Man won Most Amazing Booth and Finest Taste went to Cheesecake Boutique. See above.

inkslinger
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inkslinger
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Mirko Pasta at The Avenue

Has anyone tried Mirko's yet? I'm thinking about it.

I just looked a their website. Two dollar homemade Sangrias on Tuesdays sounds pretty refreshing.

Spyglass
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Goil, for pasta..

I find it hard to beat Pascal's. He is trying everything he can do run a nice place here in town. His restaurant is worthy of your business.

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Pasta, spy

I agree. I am on Pascal's email list. Anyone who isn't should be. Just email karen@pascalsbistro.com and ask to be added to the list.

I just enjoy trying new restaurants to see what they have and like to know any feedback before I go.

We just went to The Founders restaurant in Senoia for lunch the other day. First time. It was not a good experience, the staff was good, but the food wasn't, and it wasn't cooked properly, either. I spoke with the manager and she admitted ongoing problems there. The table wobbled (irritating), no condiments on the table (never had that before), not even ice in my water or a straw for my sweet tea. All little things, I would normally overlook, but combined with the food issue, I think they have some work to do. But, as I said, I'm glad I tried it. Now I know.

I think we are blessed to have Pascal here, he works so hard, and consistently puts out a good meal. And, he lives here and I know the money he makes goes right back into his and our pockets here, not out of town. I have seen him in stores locally buying for his restaurant. What's not to like? Finally, his most recent email said "Back by Popular Demand" starting Aug. 2nd, he is going back to his Bistro menu again, not just the Pasta buffet.

NUK_1
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Big Thumb's Up for Pascal's

Been a customer every since they opened and have had nothing great lunches and dinners every time. Glad to hear the dinner menu is coming back and hopefully there will be enough business to justify those fairly elaborate and quite delicious meals Pascal's can serve at night. Great guy and his staff is a cut above the usual restaurant crew you encounter in a lot of places.

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Goil & New Restaurants

You might like to try the Village Cafe, in Togwatee Village, across from the Piedmont-Fayette Hospital (where old "Seasons Tickets" was.) Had lunch there Thursday. Very colorful & restful decor. The Chef moved there from Maxwell's and he was Chef in the old Village Cafe that was in Fayetteville. My Wife had a Salad w/Salmon and I had Fried Shrimp w/Fries & Cole Slaw. Wife says Salad was good. For 10.99, I would liked to have more than 7 Shrimp, but they were good and Fries good too. Wife says Cole slaw was good. Decent House Chard for $5.00. Service helpful, speedy, attentive, but not overbearing. We'll go back.

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AHG, your experience was much better than mine.

I had always gone to and loved the original Village Cafe in Fayetteville. Last Sunday a friend and I wanted to have a nice dinner and decided to try the new location. We got there about 5:15 and there was only one other car in the parking lot. We wondered about that but thought it was only because it was early. When we went in there were only two other people sitting together at a table. All the employees were clustered together by the front entrance and they remained there the whole time we were there. We noticed the menu was not the same as the menu at previous location, lots of sea food dishes missing, but lots of chicken dishes---I ordered the Pork Loin with Mashed Potatoes and Creamed Spinach and my friend ordered the Bar-B-Que Ribs. My pork looked gray, dried out and old. I had to saw at it rather than cut it and I just pushed it aside. I definitely did not want to taste it. Left over, perhaps, from the day before?? My waiter who was standing and talking with all the other employees noticed I was not touching the meat, came over and asked if there was a problem. I mentioned that the pork was dried out and did not look fresh. The owner-manager who was now standing and talking with all the other employees came over and asked what else I would like. I decided to try the Bar-B-Que ribs. By the time I got them my friend had finished her meal and I had eaten my potatoes (small portion) and creamed spinach (even smaller portion-looked like a scant spoonful). My friend had mentioned that the Bar-B-Que was not that good--she was right. The meat was falling off the bone but it tasted as if bottled sauce had been poured over the ribs. By now, all the employees who had nothing else to do but stand there and talk was watching our every move. I had been very discreet about not caring for the pork and could not imagine why they all kept staring at me. Since I wasn't comfortable having my every mouthful monitored, I decided to have the ribs put in a to-go container. We then asked for fresh coffee and I ordered the bread pudding which I had always loved. The coffee came and it was luke warm and definitely not fresh. The bread pudding which had always been rather dense in texture was almost like a puff pastry with scant bread pudding inside. The waiter had been attentive throughout the meal--almost too much so as every few minutes he was back at our table. We did not even bother to tell him the coffee was not hot--something he should have seen for himself--and I am sure he knew it was not fresh. Since we were still on display, I pushed aside the bread pudding and asked for our check. As we left, we went through the gauntlet of employees who all smiled and wished us a good night. I have been in this business and know it is hard to look busy when you have no business but a good manager/owner would have found something for the employees to do rather than stand there in a clump to the side of the front entrance---nothing says no business like a group of employees standing around. While we were there, the other couple left and one other couple came in. Nothing changed, except for the server for that table leaving the group and waiting on them and returning to the 'pod' between trips to her one table--same with our waiter. Hate to seem picky and maybe they just have to get the kinks out but the quality of the food is not the same and even though we were told this is the same chef from the old location I find that hard to believe. The employees seem pleasant enough (and they did smile each time I looked up and saw them watching me--so I guess that counts for something!!). I hope they do get their act together because I would hate to see them fold. Our waiter told us the two owners of Village Cafe also own the El Reposo restaurant there as well as the pizza place and one other place I cannot remember. I wish them luck, they are going to need it.

AtHomeGym
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MYtMite

Sorry you experienced an unsatisfactory exprience. I stand by by original comment. Hey, sometimes, bad things happen.

inkslinger
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MYMITE

Now this is a dilemma!! Thanks for your FEEDback, too. (pun intended)

inkslinger
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AHG-Village Cafe

I never think of them for some reason. We always seem to be on the way somewhere when we go by there (appointments, on a shopping mission, etc., you know) but I will give it a try. Thank you.

Courthouserules
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goil

I don't go to "avenue." I am male!
The intersection is bad enough, but the place is jammed

AtHomeGym
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CHR & The Avenue

What a shame that you will never visit "Thai Spice" only because of your proclaimed gender.

inkslinger
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Mmmmm, Mmmmmm

pad thai, pad thai, pad thai! Not only tastes great, but it's fun to say.:)

Cyclist
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CHR$ - The intersection is bad enough.

That's why PTC needs a bypass around the city.

inkslinger
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Cy-Or at least the Tunnel

To The Bowels Of The Earth, aka the Paschall Rd. tunnel under 74, would help relieve a few of the car trips thru there.

Cyclist
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PTCGOIL

The tunnel......Oh you mean Underground PTC?

BTW, hows goes the Comcrap battle?

inkslinger
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Cy-yes, that's

a better name for it. You know, they are going to install runway strobe lights to get us in and out of there, don't you?

Comcrap is all up and running. I was right, now to tape using the vcr, I have to make sure the tv channel is set to the same channel that I have programmed the vcr to tape, or I get all snow. So, to get 2 recordings back to back, I have to remember to run in and change the TV channel before the 2nd show tapes. Who am I kidding here?

A minor software issue with the big flat screen tv that they didn't even work on came up after they left. Seems, every time I used their remote to look at the tv guide on screen, if I scrolled with the arrow buttons, it would jump from, say, channel 3, to the adult listings in the 400 channel series, for no reason at all. Now, mind you, I don't go there, and the first few times it jumped, I did too when I saw the titles! It took me days to figure out it wasn't my fingers hitting the wrong buttons. When I called Comcrap, the rep. was one of these non-chalant(sp?)-been-there, done-that kind a guys who knew exactly what was wrong and pushed some buttons and zapped my tv and all was right with the world when he finished. He said it was a common software issue. Ho hum. So, just another 20-30 minutes of my life gone by on the phone with them. And another 20-30 minutes of their very well paid reps. fixing stupid issues that cost them time money and increase our bills accordingly. Oh, and I found out they lied to me. They told me in all those mailers they sent out that after a certain date in July, any old tv without a dta box would only work up to channel 20 something??? Wrong, the little tv without the box STILL gets all the channels from before this transition. Which leads me to believe that the tv with the vcr does, too, right? Now, I just have to undo the cables and the dta box and put everything back to the way it was before they came out here! GRRRRR....

Courthouserules
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GOIL

I have satellite, I have no idea what this blurb is all about! I assume Cycler does?

Cyclist
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PTCGOIL

I always thought it was the "white lights lead to red lights" routine. Oh well, silly me.

Yep, my TVs work without those boxes as well. I suspect that Comcrap had one of those "Houston we have a problem" moments.

inkslinger
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New Cafe/Italian Deli in PTC

Just went to Borgo Italia at the Village Shoppes on Hwy 54 W in PTC. One of the owners is from Rome. She lives in Senoia, her husband is in the Air Force and is stationed in Korea. (How's that for some intl. flair?) Very nice and helpful explaining products that are definitely Italian.

I won't say the same for the skinny little blonde who just stared blankly at us when we came in and looked away. She wasn't waiting on anyone. When we asked "What do you have here?", she said, "Just look around and let us know if you need anything." Duhhh!!! Let's hope she learns what "customer service" is or goes to find a new career.

Check out their web site www.borgoitalia.com for the menu. Didn't eat a meal, but tried the creme brulee. Delicious. Also brought home some fresh wrapped mozzarella with prosciutto. Very good. Look around the little shopping area for authentic Italian products. Will go back again to have a meal. A little pricey, but what isn't now? Give it a try.

Courthouserules
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GOIL: restaurant stuff?

The French are much worse as to personal treatment. If that (opposite of the "skinny little blond") is what you need then don't go there!
I thought skinny, little, and blonde was fashionable! A "little pricey." is that like $20 a head? Glass of wine, $10?

Do they have spaget and meataballs?

AtHomeGym
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Court & Deli

No Spaget but you'll find:
Appetizers
Panini
Pizza
Insalate
Dolci
and of course
Deli meats & Cheeses to go.
Goil,didn't mean to kidnap, but I've got a menu and didn't know if you did!

AtHomeGym
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Goil & Italian Deli

Here's a hint: if 2 of you go, only order one meal--it'll be quite sufficient!

Cyclist
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You know Gym...

That's what the boss and I do when we go out. I'm always thinking that eating less will reduce that bump that hangs over my belt. I'm still waiting.

AtHomeGym
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Cy & One Meal

Yeah, but that only works at some places; others will leave one or both of you still hungry!

Cyclist
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Well Gym...

perhaps I should be going to those establishments instead.

inkslinger
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AHG

Grazie mille for the tip!! Will do.:)

I just checked the link to their web site that I mentioned in my previous post, and it is gone now.

carbonunit52
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Goil

The link to the website is www.borgoitalia.us

I was so happy to finally find real provolone cheese.

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