Friday, August 5, 2011

Taste of the Valley 2011

I love Pioneer Day.
Mostly because I got Monday off to observe the holiday so I had a 4-day weekend. Holla!

But seriously. The real reason we love Pioneer Day is for  
Taste of the Valley.

What is Taste of the Valley, you ask?
One of our favorite food festivals that we look forward to ever year. (Melis- much better than that food festival at BYU I dragged you to. I swear!)

Here's how it works.
Restaurants around the valley set up booths and give participants a sampling of what they offer.
Participants show up and buy a punch card. $10 per ticket.
The punch card gets you one sample from each booth. (I use the word sample loosely. Most places are generous in their sampling.)
Then you eat yourself silly. Literally. Just look at how many places were there. Forty-one, people!
Definitely should have worn expandable pants.

All the crowd favorites were there: P.F. Changs, Tucanos, Gloria's Little Italy, Cupcake Chic and La Jolla Groves. Even Noodles and Company, who gave my mom a shirt emblazoned with the words 'Mac Daddy' on it.

Word to the wise: share a ticket. We learned our lesson the first year. Even with sharing a ticket, we still didn't make it to all of the booths because we were so stuffed. Enter serious food baby. (food baby, not real baby. I posted that on FB and was rushed with a flurry of pregnancy questions. I am not, I repeat, not pregnant.) CPK and Malawi's pizza gave out full slices. And Cafe Paesan gave out a full meal. They didn't mess.

A very happy and full Jacob.

When you purchase your ticket you are given a box to carry all of your treasures inside. Some people did not play around and brought cookie sheets to carry their food. Overkill? A tad.

Go early. Like, right when it starts. End of July in Utah is hot and swarms of people make it hotter. This is only a snapshot of the crowd. And plus, it takes time to make it to 41 booths while eating.

 Enjoying fro-yo. Or is it frozurt? What do the kool kids call frozen yogurt these days?

Mama and the little sisters.
{Other attendees not pictured: Kiki and Neal's fam and the Lows.}

One of the booths was a massage therapy school, which entitled you to a quick massage.
My 6-year-old (soon to be 7!!!) niece collected everyone's extra punch cards and got herself some extra massages.
She is a smart little girl.

Gazebo in the center of Riverwoods where local musicians played.
In recent years, Taste of the Valley has been held by the courthouse.
This year they upped the ante and Riverwoods hosted.
Have you been there recently? The work they have put into it has paid off.

The only thing I didn't like that a few stores in the Riverwoods were on the punch card. But once you went in the store, they gave you a coupon. Definitely not worth my punch. (Do you hear this, Taste of the Valley planning gods? Leave those stores out!) Although not all business punches were a waste. Williams and Sonoma was the surprise of the event with fabulous food. Delicious.

Taste of the Valley is the Saturday closest to Pioneer Day.
Schedule it.
You're all invited to come with us next year.

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