There aren’t too many events in Carson City that bring so many people together to enjoy a night of food, drink and laughter as The Taste of Downtown event. This event was a great way for people, especially newcomers like me, to get a chance to explore all Carson City offers.
Nearly 2,000 people attended the Taste of Downtown Saturday night, where vendors from all over Carson City provided samples of food, alcohol and music. The event, put on by the Advocates to End Domestic Violence, closed down various streets along Carson Street from 5-10 p.m. for people to mingle freely.
So, the Nevada Appeal photographer Brad Coman and I set out to see what the event held for us. Before we started the event, I was a little hesitant about the quality of the event; I figured each vendor would offer a sample small enough to barely wet the whistle, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Our first stop was the Nugget Casino where we were served a hearty and delicious mini pulled pork sandwich. While we sat and ate our sandwiches, we got to enjoy a great set by Mo’z Motley Blues Band. It was the perfect setting to start the night, the band was great, with a good upbeat rhythm made you want to get up and dance.
From there, we casually went down Carson and Telegraph Streets, sampling great food and drinks from vendors and restaurants and the whole space had a great atmosphere. It seemed like the whole town was out to enjoy the perfect weather and the company of its fellow Carson City residents.
“We love to come every year,” Janna Tisea said. “It is a great kick off to summer.”
It is a great event for everyone, both old and new residents. Brad and I met Karin and Bob Pitcock who were also new to Carson City, and enjoying their first Taste of Downtown. They were having a great time dancing to the band Chaser as they sang “Margaritaville.”
“I love this event,” Karin said. “This is our first year because we just moved here from Dayton and our friends talked us into coming. Our favorite part was this, the dancing, and the drinks aren’t bad either.”
Patrons got to listen to a whole host of musical stylings, with a different band on nearly every street corner along Curry Street from original songs by hometown sensation Molly Seals of American Idol fame to the bluegrass sounds of Hick’ry Smith.
That may have been one of the best parts was seeing the community come together and share such a fun time. People were dancing and singing to the music, talking to new and old friends and just having a good time. The Taste of Downtown really shows what kind of community Carson City is.
I got more of a feel for what type of town Carson City is after talking to Frankie Quintana, a local Carson woman. When I approached her, she had just finished talking to a former classmate she hadn’t seen in years and reunited with at the Taste of Downtown.
“It always ends up being a Carson High reunion,” Frankie said. “It brings us all in with good local food and music.”
And Frankie was right; there was great food, which always has been my favorite part of any event. There was so much to choose from, whatever you were in the mood for, there was a good likelihood that it was there. Sushi, cookies, toffee, pizza, Mediterranean, Mexican, literally every sort of food you could ask for and it was all great.
“It’s been good, I liked the sushi the best (of everything)” said Frankie’s eight-year-old daughter Clarissa Quintana.
Though I was upset I never made it to the Kei’s Sushi (I heard from multiple people it was fantastic) there were awesome alternatives. My personal favorite was Coma Coffee’s platter it served; it was an open faced West Lox sandwich with avocado and cream cheese with a spinach salad that was to die for.
The only downside to this wildly popular event was the lines for some vendors seemed to stretch a half a mile long, so there were quite a few places we never got to try. That was a bit disappointing, but we had enough great food from other places to make up for it.
So in the end, Brad and I left the Taste of Downtown with bellies stuffed to the point of explosion and happy smiles on our faces. For someone like me, who had only recently called Carson City home, this was an amazing event that not only benefited a great cause, but allowed everyone to experience what Carson City was all about and support and enjoy the local foods and shops around town.
Oh, and if you were wondering, the best drink category in my book was a tie between the Blue Bull’s blackberry-sage Collins and the Artsy Fartsy’s white sangria. They were great and satisfying summer drinks.