Twin Cities Food and Wine Experience
Has anyone been to this before? It's coming up again at the end of February. I was wondering if it is worth the $55 per ticket.
I went two years ago. You certainly can get extremely full and drunk for your $55. I thought it was fun, they especially had some good cheeses and chocolates to taste and if you like local wine there are lots of choices. The down sides are that it gets very, very crowded later in the day (we went on Saturday), and some of the food is not exciting at all. I have several friends that go every year and make a semi-drunken event out of it. I don't think we'll be going this year because I just have memories of how sickeningly stuffed I was that day.
We couldn't get tickets for the special chefs dinners the year we went but that seemed like a great opportunity.
You have to remember to survey all the aisles and pick the best items to try. The first time I went, I started up the first aisle trying one of everything. What a mistake!
Same thing with beverages. After the first dozen wine samples, they all start to taste the same.
If you get there at opening time, I would recommend going straight to the center of the hall where the Lund's/Byerly's pavillion is and trying that. A very long queue forms there throughout the day. (Assuming L/B is still exhibiting there. It has been a few years since I attended.)
My DW & I went to the "Taste of the Twin Cities Originals" thing at Landmark Center last week for our wedding anniversary treat. It was like a mini Food and Wine Experience with only(!) 36 restaurants. They also issued everyone a Reidel wineglass at the entry. It was pretty fun and we stuffed ourselves with some tasty food. The standout item for me was Murray's silver dollar roast beef sandwich. Oh, so tender, and so rare that I wasn't sure if it had been cooked at all.
I didn't think that the event at the Landmark for TC Originals was all that great. While some of the food was good, not all the restaurants put their heart into it (Jax and the Sample Room in particular) and the silent auction didn't look like it actually went to charity, which is just weird. I typically think of these types of events as charity events (The Food & Wine Experience benefit MPR) so it was odd that the TCO event wasn't.
TCO did the same "taste of" at the Nicollet Island Pavilion during aquatennial, Reidel and all. Terrific blast, but I got there late-ish and many of the food items, the Great Waters beer, and many of the wine pours had run out. I do hope they do it again this summer!
We have tickets to go on Saturday the 24th. We have some plans later in the afternoon, and were wondering if anyone knew how much of the F&W Experience can be... "experienced" in ~3-4 hours?
If we had to choose how to optimize our time, does anyone have advice from previous years? (This will be our first visit.)
Especially if you go early, 3-4 hours will be enough. Most of your time is taken up fighting the crowds. I believe when we went we arrived around 2 and it was starting to pick up. To get the most in, avoid the 3-3:30pm pouring break. It's kind of a pain to try and remember which wine and beer places you want to come back to when they begin pouring again.