A Taste of Downtown Manchester 2010

Wahoo! Dave and I went to the Taste of Downtown yesterday evening, finally!  We have known about it for like 4 years now and were never able to go. Thanks to Grammie for babysitting!  It’s a really cool event that they hold downtown where they take 25 shops and pair them with 25 downtown restaurants. They set up a food station inside the shop and you can go in and get samples of a couple of their dishes, while checking out the local downtown businesses that you might not normally go into. The “samples” offered weren’t that small! They were like small lunch or appetizer portions, so after only a few stops we started getting full pretty quickly.

I did my best to take pictures of what I could, and tell the story of the evening. It was really fun, and some many of the foods we sampled were really impressive.

First stop was Fratellos! They were serving at the downtown YMCA. They had their delicious cheese ravioli with an antipasto skewer. YUM.

Then we hit Margaritas! They served chips and salsa, guacamole, and tacos -your choice of beef or chicken. I LOVED this guy in the hat making the tacos. As you know, where there are sombreros and tacos is probably where you’ll find ME. But there was no time for hanging out for very long, there were many more stops to make!

Another stop along the way was 900 Degrees in the Downtown Nails & Spa. They served 3 kinds of bruschetta and 2 kinds of cannolis. We were very impressed with their food, it was delicious. I had the white chocolate & blueberry cannoli. Awesome.

Dave’s favorite was the seafood/crab cake from the Pavilion, served in Dumbass Gifts (ha ha. I had no idea what this was, but it’s fishing-related t-shirts and stuff). They are located down underneath Ben & Jerry’s–I would never have known it was there if not for this event!  This nice chef was servin’ them up! (click the photo for a larger image).

Another good one to hit up was the Van Otis stop! Probably the least messy of all of them that evening. They had quite a selection of chocolates to choose from and I had the Key Lime. Dave -for the win!- got the fudge covered Oreo and it was AWESOME. I like this photo of my chocolate, where you can see the inside of the creme with the nice sunset light. I think if there is a picture of a whole chocolate somewhere, there is something very very wrong going on.

Taste of Downtown Manchester | Van Otis

One surprising and unexpected delight was from “Z Food & Drink.”  Surprising only because I knew nothing about this restaurant before last night. The food was incredible. The sign described the dish as “Braised chicken thighs, dried mission figs, butternut squash, pickled onions, pumpkin seed pesto, braised rainbow swiss chard, and fingerling potatoes.”  It was CRAZY good, all of those ingredients totally worked together and it was delicious. That poor chef was working SO hard to layer all that stuff into individual bowls for hundreds of people. I took one bite and said, “ok that guy can cook.”  The humorous and ironic thing about that stop was that it was in The Chair Gallery, a furniture store filled with expensive tables and chairs and all these people standing around eating, but not allowed to eat on the tables. LOL. There was a guy running around with Windex and cloth in hand wiping up every stray fingerprint.

Another great combination was Wings Your Way, held at the Segway store. I didn’t even know there was a Segway store, AND they do city tours. How cool is that. I would totally like to do that one day. There was a long line out the door for this one, but I really enjoyed waiting in line there because the studio was really beautifully decorated with all these canvas gallery wraps of the Segways downtown, and they used historical photos of old Manchester and the mills and everything. The blend of history and space age technology & modernity was really cool and well done. We really liked watching the flat panel screen on the wall run through the slideshow of amazing historical photos. AND the food was terrific!! WYW is really new on Elm St and their food is SO good just from the samples that I tried: spinach artichoke dip and 2 kinds of wrap sandwiches. Delish.

 As we finished up the night walking back from The Framer’s Gallery where we had a Ben & Jerry’s sample (Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz for me!), it was mostly dark and I got two of my favorite photos from the night: the lit up scene outside of Margarita’s. I just don’t get out after dark very much, so I love seeing those neon signs!!  For this one I was as far back as I could get without falling out into the street, LOL. Oh well, someday that 24-70 lens will be mine. 🙂

Don’t miss photos from other years of the Taste of Downtown!

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