Out by the pier in downtown Long Beach Wednesday and Thursday night, there were more craving options to choose from than the usual. On these nights, the Downtown Long Beach Alliance concluded its Taste of Downtown summer culinary series, bringing to the Shoreline Village many different local restaurants located in the DLBA’s 1.38 ‘un-square’ miles to distribute some of their samples to the public.
“It’s been a great turnout,” said Tina Shultz, a vendor at the event.
Taste of Downtown was free to the public, encouraging locals to stop by conveniently by providing a bike valet at entry. Serving nearly 60 dishes from over 20 different restaurants, the event gives the public the chance to sample a variety of cocktails, smoothies, desserts and entrees.
Tourists and residents were welcome to enjoy their refreshments while playing lawn games, browsing souvenirs and surrounding the live entertainment provided by a jazz band and DJ booth. In the late hours, the fun took a turn for the better. Out in the ocean, against the dark night’s sky, an exuberant display of fireworks grabbed the attention of every attendee all at once.
For a quick appetizer, attendees could spend a few tickets on hummus and pita chips from the Ammatoli Mediterranean Bites booth or try, maybe for the first time, eggplant rolls from Buono’s Pizzeria. For drinks, they could choose juice shots from Plant Junkie or Movita Juice Bar or a beer from Auld Dubliner.
Gladstone’s lobster macaroni and cheese was a popular serving, though event-goers could also try a simple dish like a seafood salad from Parker’s Lighthouse or a turkey sandwich from Jersey Mike’s Subs. A slice of pizza from Buono’s or a tostada from Padre’s would also do.
Deserts were everywhere as well. Ladie Kakes was a go-to for its strawberries & cream, cookies & cream and snickerdoodle whoopie pies. Pies were also given out at The Pie Bar and Sir Winston’s, while Breakers Road Show gave guests the devouring serving of churros with ice cream and caramel.
It became clear that guests wanted to experience a fair share of everything that Taste of Downtown had to offer. By the end, visitors were still hurrying to the ticket counter.
“This is the time when everyone starts needing to get their last bites,” Shultz said.