Despite restaurant participation being voluntary, many restaurants still came to the Quality Inn – Fitchburg and presented their items to the judges. I must say, all the restaurant employees were very friendly and eager to talk about their food items, and I’m sure they would have been this way even if they weren’t being judged.
All the food was displayed at various tables around the room, and judges were allowed to help themselves. (In an adjacent room, the vendors had their food weighed to make sure the portions weren’t too big.)
I sampled 16 different items and rated each on a scale from 1 (bad) to 5 (good). Most items for me were rated 4 or higher; my lowest ranking was a 2.5 (though I won’t say which item). I kept into consideration travel time; since the food was not cooked on site as it will be at Taste of Madison, some items were a bit cold.
My favorite item was Sweet Sophie’s peach soup, which also won my award for “most unique” (a category). A close second was Joey’s Seafood’s firecracker shrimp.
The only downside to the event is that the vendors could come anytime from 1-4 p.m. That meant I had finished eating by the time some vendors were just showing up, so I didn’t get as large of a tasting selection.
Still, I immensely enjoyed the event and hope to be back next year.
Tags: Taste of Madison