I probably don’t need to remind everyone that Taste of Syracuse is around the corner. The annual food festival in Clinton Square is back again on Friday, June 1st and Saturday, June 2nd with over 30 restaurants from the Syracuse area. There will also be over 20 food vendors and two afternoons of concerts by local acts of all sorts. It’s a great and affordable chance to get a handle on the many local Syracuse restaurants (skip the chains), hear live music and otherwise welcome the summer (finally!).
This year there are some great restaurants and vendors participating. Something new this year is a heavy emphasis on local BBQ joints such as Galloway’s BBQ, Hammi’s BBQ and of course–Dinosaur BBQ. We’ve all been to the Dinosaur but these two smaller local places sound intriguing. One thing’s for sure, Clinton Square is gonna smell amazing. Other highlights include Jerk Hut and Las Delicias–nice to see some local Jamaican and Caribbean restaurants involved. I’ve heard great things about both. If you love Vietnamese or Laotian cuisine you’re also in luck because Mai Lan and Lao Village will be there. I absolutely love Lao Village–never had anything less than delicious from the place (try “Crispy Garden” under appetizers–trust me). These represent the Guru’s picks. I’m not going to belabor this any further–the complete list is here. You’ll be able to get $1+ samples from many places but also find larger portions. Obviously you won’t find full menus, but you’ll find several key items at each restaurant tent. There will be both wine and beer available, as always.
On top of the long list of restaurants and other food vendors, Taste of Syracuse includes two days of concerts from local and not-so-local acts. The concerts have been expanded this time, comprising three stages. Headlining this year is .38 Special. You’ll get a chance to see Driftwood, Sophistafunk, The Goonies (ToTs may be on hand)–these three will be worth your time, but I can’t vouch for the others. These three acts will be at the Cricket Erie Boulevard Stage. For complete music schedule click here.
Taste of Syracuse (TOS) is something that–hate it or love it–does quite a bit to get much needed attention to the many small, local restaurants that dot the CNY region. If you follow the Guru’s Syracuse restaurant review section you know that we have many great establishments sporting excellent food and drink. Just looking over the long list of restaurants participating in TOS, I see several places I’ve never even heard of. It makes me happy to see some new restaurants on the list but, if I may get political for a moment, I’m dismayed by the concentration of national chains and fast food. I really don’t see how Applebee’s, Arby’s, Pizza Hut and Moe’s Southwest Grill represent a taste of our city’s local food. Not only that but these places take the spots that local businesses producing edible food should have. I of course don’t know all the details, but I know that I stand with many who have the same concerns.
Enjoy this year’s Taste of Syracuse but please keep this in mind. If you want Mexican food when you’re attending, spend your hard-earned food dollars at The Mission, NOT MOE’S.
That concludes my rant. Buy Local.
Taste of Syracuse 2012
Friday, June 1st and Saturday, June 2nd
11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. both days
Clinton Square (Directions)
Any questions call: (315) 471-9597
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