The inaugural Taste of Alpine event is coming up on Nov. 5. with an opportunity for residents to try food from 15 different local eateries.
Event co-founder Jeff Campbell said interested eaters can purchase their tickets online ahead of time, then bring their receipt to the ‘passport location’ at The Casino Inn where they will receive a map of participating businesses.
Passport holders can then travel between different restaurants from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to sample food from each restaurant.
Co-founder and Alpine Taco Shop owner Claudia Sanchez will have Mexican food on hand along with southern barbecue available at Jay’s Southern Cafe, baked goods at Steph’s Donut Hole, unique dishes from Alpine Social and locally roasted coffees at The Well Cafe.
Also participating: Mediterraneo, La Carreta, Mike Hess Brewing, Off the 8 Café and others.
There are even planned puppy stops, Campbell said, “one of the unique elements of this event” with custom treats waiting for participating pups.
Proceeds from the event will be split between Shadow Hills Elementary School and seed money for next year’s event, Campbell said, primarily because that particular school was willing to put in work to help with the event.
“Shadow Hills was involved for two reasons. First, they are associated with kiddos in Alpine and we want to share the love with them. Also, they were willing to work and they stepped up first to make it happen,” Campbell said, although he did not say how the school plans to use any funding they glean from the event.
Campbell, who said he has lived in Alpine since the 1970s, observed this is the first time he’s seen so many restaurant owners openly sharing ideas.
“I’ve never seen this between restaurant owners. In planning, I’ve watched business owners say ‘Oh, they’re sharing that food so why don’t I do this dish’ or getting to know each other and saying things like ‘I know Dom at Donato’s, let me talk with him.’ That connectivity has grown so high from almost nothing and I call that a win,” Campbell said.
Also, the realtor said, he has encountered other business owners who said they weren’t prepared for the event this year but want to participate next year.
“Now if we can get some new people through the front doors, that’s my goal. You know, businesses supporting each other with a connected open house? That’s another win,” Campbell said.
Post-COVID, he said, it is important for people to ask: how do we bounce back and rebuild?
“Just putting the event together has been good for local businesses. I just picked up 40 t-shirts and I’m going to pick up signs this afternoon— there are so many people who have been a part of this, think of all the people running a business who have been positively affected by the event,” Campbell said.
Alpine already has an ideal blend of restaurants and different types of cuisine, Campbell said but he is excited to see if any of the restaurants develop a buffet style approach after this event. As an example, he said, a Sunday morning brunch would be really exciting to have in town.
“Our restaurants are beautiful because they’re all homemade with local ownership and different cuisine. These aren’t corporate chains in Alpine, these are our neighbors and our community. I think we’ve got that perfect ownership blend,” Campbell said.
Visit https://www.tasteofalpine. com to learn more or purchase tickets for the event.