Taste of Alpharetta 2015 – a preview

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

POSTCARD-FRONT-2-6x9-Taste-of-Alpharetta-New-2015Wow, this one sneaked up on us. Amid everything going on right now, Taste of Alpharetta quietly showed up on the calendar. It’s next week!

Shame on you if you don’t know of this event. It’s basically you and about 40,000 of your closest friends all piled into charming downtown Alpharetta to taste little vittles from scores of restaurants. Each year I do a preview article, even though last year I didn’t go. And I probably won’t go this year either.

Why? It’s mainly because I’ve tried just about every restaurant on this list. Chances are you have too. Scoping out new joints is our schtick here. Plus I have a family commitment that night anyway.

There’s always a handful of new restaurants looking to make a splash at Taste of Alpharetta. Here are a few I personally would spend a few tickets on as well as a list of glaring absences.

Mondo’s Pizza Kitchen – They are about to open any day now on Highway 9 in Milton. Here’s your early chance to get the inside story on their menu. I’ve heard this place may have promise.

Real Chow Baby – Did a double take seeing this name on the list. They closed their flagship restaurant in Atlanta several months ago with a promise to open here in Alpharetta. But as of now we’ve seen no evidence that a restaurant is in the works, unless they are outside of Alpharetta proper. Go try their stir fry and ask when and where they will be. And someone send me a tweet with the answer please!

Four Fat Cows Ice Cream – Graze on over to these guys for dessert. They are soon to open on Main Street near Mittie’s Tea Room. I’m excited to try a new ice cream joint in town and have high expectations on the quality of the product. Hope they can deliver. Again, someone send me the scoop!

Oak Steakhouse and Colletta – Wow, they will let the great unwashed at the food festival try their eats without a corporate AMEX? Here’s your chance! Goldbergs and Kona are the only other Avalon restaurants at Taste. Disappointed that El Felix isn’t there. And no-shows from Bantam + Biddy, Antico, Bocado and the others?

Also missing this year are the darlings of downtown – Salt Factory and South Main Kitchen. Perhaps they will do something curbside at their restaurants? Between these guys and the Avalon absence, there are some noticeable gaps in the lineup this year.

That’s pretty much all that stands out this year. Milton’s is always there and worthy of your tickets. Others I’d try include Ceviche, Bite and Noche from Johns Creek.

My only other advice is to get there very early, perhaps before the official 5:00 start. The place is elbow-to-elbow by 7.

Taste of Alpharetta is on Thursday May 7th starting at 5:00pm in downtown Alpharetta.

9 Responses to “Taste of Alpharetta 2015 – a preview”

  1. Rob May 1, 2015 at 10:15 am #

    I’ve never understood the excitment over this event? To me it has always felt too crowded with sub-par food. Now that Alpharetta has moved it to downtown and away from Old Milton in front of Wills Park it has gotten even worse with crowds. Just my opinion but this event has gotten worse over the years and we find the Food Trucks to be a better event that is more family freindly and easier to navigate.

  2. Mike May 1, 2015 at 10:41 am #

    Is it fair to ask why this event is always held on a Thursday night when realistically only locals can get to it? Why not hold it on a weekend for once when everyone around the metro area can enjoy it? Or is that too logical?

  3. James Drinkard May 1, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

    Since its inception, the Taste of Alpharetta has been held on a Thursday night as a convenience for the restaurants who participate in the event. Weekends, including Friday evenings, are typically the busiest times of the week for restaurants; making it very difficult for them to pull staff away from their establishments for a one-night event.

    It is also important to note that the primary target audience for the Taste of Alpharetta is the residents of Alpharetta and our adjoining cities (Johns Creek, Milton, and Roswell). The goal is to introduce new dining opportunities to residents in a fun, casual environment. While we are always happy to have out of town guests in Alpharetta, they are not the focus of this particular event.

  4. JP May 1, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

    I agree with Mike. I always thought Thursday night was a poor choice. For such a “big” event, by the time you find somewhere to park and walk a half mile to get to the action, the event is over.

    I’ll pass.

  5. Cool Papa Bell May 1, 2015 at 10:38 pm #

    Pretty much agree with Rob. As per Mike, I assure you, they definitely do not have to worry about appealing to more people. As Rob said, the crowds are crazy.

  6. Travis Allen May 2, 2015 at 7:04 am #

    I’ve been in the same mindset as Rob. When they moved it to Old Milton in front of Wills Park I thought that finally they had figured out how to thin the crowd…nope, let’s squeeze it in and leave half a mile of roadway empty.

    There have been good and bad years for food, but it just hasn’t been worth going to for awhile. I’m just not interested in waiting in line 10-20 minutes for $2 worth of food.

    Mike – It’s always been explained to me that it’s on a Thursday so restaurants don’t take away from their business on the weekends. Think about it, some of these places are so small they’d have to hire additional staff for a day just to be there.

  7. Travis Allen May 4, 2015 at 12:01 am #

    Checked out Four Fat Cows today…thought it was great. I had an assortment of their sorbets, strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry, all delicious.

    Nice little place, with some small tables and chair setup outside.

  8. Robert May 7, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

    What agreat taste of a variety of resturants in a small location..eat yourheart out Anthony Boudane

  9. Lori May 8, 2015 at 8:31 am #

    FYI… I heard that Chow Baby ( yay!..I can’t wait ) was going in the new retail space at the Lofts of Alpharetta that is being built off of Canton Strret. Also heard that Bantu was going to close and revamp or change their concept.

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