For 27 years, A Taste of Colorado has offered locals the opportunity to sample local and national music acts, artisans, and performance-- but most of all, hundreds of items from the menus of area restaurants. Each booth offers at least one choice in “taste” sizes-- small portions exchanged for two or three tickets (as opposed to six to ten for a full portion.)
This year, with over 50 restaurants featured at the festival, there are plenty of options to choose from. The following five items are available in “taste” sizes at the 2010 Taste of Colorado.
1. White Gazpacho with Manchego Crisp, Assignments Restaurant (Fine Dining Area)
Assignments is a fine dining establishment located at the nearby Art Institute of Colorado, featuring food prepared by students of the school’s culinary program, and this Gazpacho is a ringing endorsement of the program. The chilled, tangy and creamy soup is a perfect refreshment to enjoy under the nearby culinary demonstration canopy.
2. Buffalo Beer Brat, Colorado Buffalo Grill (booth #8)
One of the square state’s gifts to the culinary scene is the introduction of “Buffalo” (actually American Bison) into a variety of dishes. For easy eating in a crowd, none of these dishes beat the taste of Buffalo bratwurst with spicy brown mustard and sauerkraut.
3. Chipotle BBQ Pulled Wild Boar, Saltwater Cowboy (booth #20)
The leaner cousin of domestic pork is great smoked and smothered in this tangy sauce, available at the festival in either a sandwich or alone in a small taster cup. For a couple of food tickets, the taster is a great way for those who want to try out “exotic” meats to enjoy some without committing to an entire meal.
4. Crawfish Etouffee, Bayou Bob’s (booth #2)
The spicy Cajun stew is so flavorful that the small cup the taster is served in packs as much punch as many of the full sized items available at other booths. At only two tickets per taster, it’s also one of the most economical choices around. For those who are interested in more exotic meat choices, there are also fried alligator nuggets.
5. Fried Pickle on a Stick, Cherry Creek Concessions (booth #10)
There is an unwritten law about street festivals that requires the presence of both deep-fried food and food on a stick. This booth offers both-- and though it isn’t on the menu, they will happily batter and fry up a dill pickle on a stick if you ask nicely.
For the sweeter side, see Denver Confections Examiner's guide to the sweets of Taste of Colorado.
For more info and a full schedule of festival events, visit www.atasteofcolorado.com