Despite being holed up in the office much of the weekend, I was able to get to the Taste yesterday and enjoy much (maybe too much) scrumptious food. Here's a few random thoughts.
1. My brief feelings of nostalgia for when Taste was on Central Parkway ended as I walked the block of the festivities between Sycamore and Broadway. Like Central Parkway, that area is wide open--and almost completely shade-free. The shade of the tall buildings that surround Taste between Race and Sycamore really does help to keep the temperature comfortable.
2. Julie led a discussion here (and at her solo blog) a little while ago about national chain restaurants winning "Best of Taste" awards. I agreed with her that it seems a little off-putting for those restaurants to win awards in a "Taste of Cincinnati" competition. But maybe I'm being hypocritical. Is it really chains that we don't want to see win, or was it the type of chain that won this year that's upsetting? Carrabba's is just so corporate suburban. Red Lobster may as well have a booth. But I don't remember any opprobrium when Hamburger Mary's was winning for best dessert. It, too, is a national chain, but maybe not so off-putting because it's not so cookie-cutter.
3. I wish there were a little more participation from downtown restaurants. I'm also always intrigued by the placement of the booths. For instance, who decided to put Taz next to Andy's? I kept hoping some sort of shish kabob street brawl would break out.
4. Finally, is it just me, or are strollers becoming the size of SUV's? And why do mothers seem to need to use them as battering rams to cut a path through the crowd? Maybe that's just the selfish, single guy in me speaking, but there's a special place in Hell for women who bruise your shin with their fortified stroller.