Foodies put their palates to work downtown |

Foodies put their palates to work downtown

John Barrette

Two vendors from The Lady Tamales Restauran work at theirt booth during Saturday's event.
John Barrette/Nevada Appeal | John Barrette/Nevada Appeal

An assault on the senses invaded downtown Carson City with tempting tastes sandwiched between sights and sounds Saturday night.

The Lady Tamales was among the booths for tasty samples that drew long lines during the 2014 Taste of Downtown. Included was Fire Chief Stacey Giomi and friends, all of whom gave what they ate there high marks. The Mexican fare was served at one of 43 booths from participating restaurants. But almost as diverting were sights like an orange-haired lady who was on hand for friendship as much as food and sounds from nine bands through the evening.

“Don’t eat the carrots,” said Starr Nixdorf, featuring her orange locks, who was attending despite spurning most offerings that aren’t plant-based foods.

“Carrots will turn your hair orange,” said Nixdorf, owner-operator of Paradise Salon, Spa and Wellness. After her joshing reference to nutrition and food choices, she added: “I eat a lot of carrots, actually.”

Most others roaming along Curry Street from 3rd to Telegraph Square, however, were scarfing down the various offerings along with libations available on 3rd Street just north of Firkin & Fox restaurant or at Artsy Fartsy art gallery just west of Telegraph Square.

As people strolled or hurried along Curry, they could stop for a chat with Supervisor John McKenna who had set up a booth with a sign luring them in for a chat. The sign said a donation of $5 would go to Advocates to End Domestic Violence for any question asked of McKenna, who is seeking re-election.

Advocates to End Domestic Violence sponsors the Taste of Downtown, an annual summertime favorite for foodies. This 21st annual tasting event began at 5:30 p.m. and was running until midnight for some 2,000 ticket holders. Lisa Lee, the organization’s executive director, said going into this year’s gala that it has gotten bigger each year with more restaurants, bands and interest.

Tickets cost $40 in advance, $45 at the door and are limited each year to what the vendors believe they can accommodate. Lee before the event called it a huge block party and when it arrived Ronni Hannaman, Chamber of Commerce executive director, said it’s always a hit that helps showcase downtown.

“Everyone in the community looks forward to this event,” she said. “People really love this.”

Loving it along with the other 1,998 ticket holders were Rosetta and Malah McFadden, who stopped by the LA Bakery booth to sample brownie bites there. LA Bakery offered two kinds of quiche and other kinds of sweets if the brownies didn’t tempt. Malah McFadden said they knew Lee and were taste-of-downtowners from the beginning, though they haven’t been able to attend every year.

LA Bakery also enticed Gaylene Miller to stop and sample the wares there. “It is only about my second time” attending the event, she said. “It’s wonderful.”