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Sep 9, 2006 09:32 PM

Taste of Clearwater--Ever Been?

I see that the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce is putting on the 17th Annual Taste of Clearwater on Tues, Sept. 19. Have any of you Hounds attended in the past and if so, what did you think? We went to the Taste of South Tampa in April and had a blast, but were disappointed by the Taste of Pinellas. Is the Taste of Clearwater Hound-worthy?

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  1. I went last year. While it was ok, I would rather have saved the money for a nice meal. I really did not think it was worth the money.

    1. Is there a Taste of Tampa? If so, when is it? What is the biggest "Taste of..." in the area? I had thought it was Taste of Pinellas, but maybe not.

      1. We attended the first-ever Taste of South Tampa in Hyde Park Village this past spring and LOVED it. Wow was it a great experience. For $35 ($45 to include wine tastings) you get an incredible assortment of tastings from a wide variety of really good restaurants, plus beer and bottled water (maybe sodas too, but I don't do soda). I must have tried crab cakes from five different restaurants. My husband kept going back for more empanadas. There was seafood, Italian, barbeque, varied ethnic, desserts, you name it. Smiling people shoving food in our face all day--can't beat it. Plus they had live entertainment. Great fun and a great value.

        On the other hand, Taste of Pinellas was a big disappointment. We won't repeat that one.

        1. We attended Taste of Clearwater tonight and I would give it a C+. Certainly there was more than enough food to fill you up, and some of the offerings were quite good. I was pleasantly surprised by the offerings of O'Keefe's, for example; I'm usually not into the whole Irish Pub thing, but their corned beef hash puffs and bread pudding were very good. Some of Clearwater's better restaurants (such as Island Way Grill) were represented, but several, such as Wild Fish and Thai Coconut, ran out of food early. There were several chains there, too, such as Boston Market and Chipotle. I would have liked to see more of the local restaurants represented in comparison to chains. Overall, it was a good value for the price. The place was packed and quite festive. Not sure I'll be back next year, though.

          1. I have been attending this event since its inception many years ago when it was held in a bank lobby.

            I agree that it lacks energy and pizazz; sort of "we do it just to do it" atmosphere. There is not a lot to look forward to, no speakers or organization. It just sort of happens...

            I was also pleased with the offerings of okeefes Irish Grille. the Irish puffs were not "hash" though they were a delightful blend of corned beef, cream cheese and I know not what else but they were complemented by the white wine sauce they were served with. Also the people working the booth were knolwagable and seemed to be VERY into what they were seemed fun and and comfortable...they were not just dishing out food...I got Green Margaritas there, everywhere else one had to wait in line for an warm beer... if only the whole atmosphere were like this one pubs booth the event would be something to sincerly look forward too..

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ink

              I so agree! O'Keefes is one of those places I'd be hard-pressed to try were it not for the event. I definitely want to patronize the restaurant now. I gave it my vote as the best booth of the evening.