In search of a tempting Taste |

In search of a tempting Taste

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer

The most popular fashion accessory in downtown Carson City Saturday night wasn’t gold or silver, but a thin strip of green paper.

The bracelet was a proverbial golden ticket, opening the doors to 28 of the city’s eateries and shops during the 13th annual Taste of Downtown.

The event, a fundraiser for Advocates to End Domestic Violence, was again a sold-out affair Saturday, with the 1,700 tickets purchased days before the event even began.

“I felt bad. At the thrift store alone on Saturday, we had over 100 calls inquiring about tickets,” said Lisa Lee, executive director of the group.

While the exact amount raised won’t be determined until later this week, Lee estimates the group took in more than $35,000 – higher than anticipated.

Advocates operates a 51-bed shelter and provides a variety of services designed to protect and support local battered women and their children.

The streets of downtown Carson played host to nine bands, 28 vendors and more than 5,000 people spread out over a 26-block region. It was a far cry from the single band and five restaurants that took part at the first Taste of Downtown in 1993.

Patrons sampled everything from prime rib courtesy of the Carson Nugget, to ribs at Stews Sportatorium and Reds Old 395 Grill, to pizza by Papa Murphy’s to chili at the Horseshoe Club.

Waiting in line on Telegraph Street, Ron Allen, of Carson City, was looking forward to the event, having been to every one since it started.

“It’s a great way to spend an evening. It’s a good cause and good food, plus (Advocates) director is a friend of mine,” Allen said.

From experience, Allen predicted the early favorite before heading off in search of his next treat.

“Molly’s (Catering) is always a contender. There are always good things from that booth,” Allen said.

Lee said that in addition to serving as a fundraiser, Advocates hopes to create a community event that brings awareness to downtown.

“We want to be a nice event where you can walk down the street and see your doctor. Where you can connect with the people of this community,” Lee said. “The Taste of Downtown is an event that showcases the restaurants and opens people up to new ideas.”

That was the hope of Nan Watanar, who owns the Basil Restaurant with her husband.

“This is our first year, and we did it because we want to let people know about real Thai food,” Watanar said. “We want to be a part of this community and help out such a good cause.”

With almost no problems, Lee said the event was a big success, and plans are already under way for the 14th annual Taste of Downtown.

“If you drove through Carson City last night, you got a good image of the town,” she said.


Winners of the 13th annual Taste of Downtown:

Best Band: Zion Roots

Best Discovery: The Basil Restaurant

Best Taste: Molly’s Catering

Best Overall: India Curry Restaurant

Best Atmosphere: Coldwell Bankers National Best Sellers

Best Shop: The Purple Avocado

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.