The 7th Annual Taste of the Chamber at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo was a prime opportunity for us to meet a few of the area’s chefs and try samples from 22 restaurants, caterers, delis and the Girl Scouts. The vendors lined the walls around a few cocktail tables and offered appetizers, entrees and desserts along with a cash bar to wash it all down.
Right out of the gate we enjoyed the 36-hour brined and slow roasted pulled pork sandwich from Webster’s Prime. In a ‘show down’ we think it would edge out the pulled pork from Big Moe’s, but Moe’s meatballs with tangy BBQ sauce would be a fine hors d’oeuvre. Martell’s had 2 of our overall favorites: the Lemon Chicken Goat Cheese Macaroni and Cheese and the Pot-roast with Mashed Potatoes. The goat cheese produced a rich deep flavor and the tender, moist pot-roast was complimented by the creamy-smashed potatoes.
The Kalamazoo Winner
Our third reviewer was taken in by last year’s Taste winner, the Park Street Market. They brought a bevy of dishes, but he really grooved on the crunchy and complex Beef Egg-roll. Both the beef and chicken eggrolls were great as was the soul food and everything else they provided. So, last years winner with their wide variety provided the right thing for enough people to be crowned again this year for the second straight year. Congratulation to the Park Street Market!
More Tastes of Kalamazoo
We agreed that it is unlikely that there exists a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting which we would turn away. So, it came as no surprise that the version from the Beacon Club was beyond just fine. Burdick’s offered four mini desserts which made me think of a mousse. Our favorite was the key lime.
It was the Water Street Coffee Joint that insured my return next year with their beignets. They actually only make them for special events and they are worth the price of admission. I like to think I know coffee. Grind my own beans etcetera. If it is possible, the folks from the Joint know too much about coffee. Hit their website and try out the Chooserific Coffee Finder tool. It will help you narrow in on your selection before you arrive at either location and hold up the line as you decide. I had a fantastic cup of java with the raspberry buttercream frosted chocolate cupcakes. Really, I would need to try 2-3 more to be properly prepared to relay to you the true depth of their goodness however, my waistline wouldn’t allow it.
The Girl Scouts were in attendance and, for us, their cookies were more alluring than most things as it has been a year since we had them.
Participating in this year’s event were: Big Moe’s BBQ, Coca-Cola, Events Without Boundaries, FireKeepers Casino, Girl Scouts-Heart of Michigan, Gun Lake Casino, Happy’s Pizza, Henderson Castle, Hooters, Jimmy Johns, Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, Millennium Restaurant Group, Old Burdick’s, Park Street Market, People’s Food Co-op, Smashburger, The Beacon Club, The Wine Loft, Water Street Coffee Joint, Webster’s Prime and Zazios.
This is a great event and whether you are hanging with friends after work, would like to meet and greet the businesses or find a new dining venue to try, the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber’s Taste of the Chamber is an excellent opportunity to do all three and have more fun than you expect.
See you at the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Taste of the Chamber in 2013!