When we first moved to Minnesota in 1992, one of the great discoveries was Taste of Minnesota, which at the time was held on the grounds of the state Capitol. I can't imagine a better setting for the fireworks than the Minnesota Capitol. The food was provided by some of the finer restaurants in the region.
Fast forward. The Taste is under new ownership and it's now held on Harriet Island, but has time passed the Taste of Minnesota by?
Greg Bossany of Elk River sent us his review this morning:
I went to the real taste of minn. some 20 years ago. There was real food products from many places. This year was a bad carnival version of what i was expecting. The worst part was two of the things i had were not even cooked all the way. If it wasn't for the music i would call this a total flop from what it used to be!!!!!
The Star Tribune's review of Taste echoed Greg's, describing it as "warmed over."
We await your review.
We're the real taste of Minnesota
Last night I watched Judas Priest put on an amazing show, and all the concert production (lights, sound, camera-work for the Jumbotron) was all A+. Security was professional and courteous, and I thought that the "pay 10 bucks and get two beers" admission fee was more than reasonable.
Taking the long view, if the taste keeps putting on great concerts (with huge audiences, going from last night's crowd), restaurants will be beating down their doors to get on the island. Give the new guys a break.
Taste of Minnesota has had no taste for a long long time now. I too remember when it was a chance to taste and try delicious food from some of the area's top restaurants. Now it food and crowd make the State Fair seem like a food and wine show. I wouldn't go to TOM if it were free, let alone pay admission. Blech!
On the 4th I go for fireworks mostly, anything else is secondary. With the taste at the capitol you could go with kids. It wasn't a far walk, you could put down a blanket, then go sample food for an hour, then watch great fireworks.
I didn't go this year because last year was so bad. Now the taste takes a 15 minute bus ride to get to, it's packed into a small area. There was barely any room for good firework watching (last year we got to watch from next to a lemonade booth - nice!)... and the whole thing wasn't very kid friendly. You couldn't get away from the music to relax with your family, there was no where to sit down and eat your food without people walking right next to you. bleh.
This year I went to a local burb with a small band and small food area and abosolutly loved it.