What do you want to sample? I enjoy trying things that are new and unfamiliar. Tasting longtime favorites is enjoyable, but a unique offering from a newer purveyor is more likely to produce a lasting memory.
How much do you want to eat and drink? I try to avoid getting quickly stuffed. Bread and beer are filling. If you get, say, a piece of brisket on a bun, toss the bun and enjoy the meat. Should you pick up a food sample that is less than delightful, you don’t have to eat it all.
If you choose to booze… there will be wonderful beers available. But I try to limit beer consumption at tasting events because, for me, it is more filling than wine.
How do you know which of the longer lines are worth the wait? Ask people. Almost all attendees love to talk about the foods they’ve enjoyed most.
Is it okay to get seconds? Generally, yes, although I don’t recommend it—for two reasons: (1) Each restaurant has a finite supply of food. (2) When you’re waiting in line for another taste of something you liked, you’re missing out on trying something different.
How do you avoid being overwhelmed by it all? Take notes. A quick memo to yourself on your phone’s notes app can help you recall highlights. Taking pics of the best-looking offerings also helps aid your recall. Many participants will have business cards or menus for you to pick up.
Remember that while these are food and drink events, they are also people events. Offer compliments to the folks whose food and beverages make you happy. Take a moment to greet old friends you encounter as you rush to the next food station. Honor the preferences of the person(s) you’re attending with.
Should you run into the people who have organized your tasting event, be sure to offer thanks for all their efforts. It’s a big job!
For full details of Thursday night’s Iron Fork tasting event, click HERE.