Taste of Bloomington

The Webmaster (aka That Nice Boy I Married) and I just got back from our local "taste" event, Taste of Bloomington. We hadn't actually been out on a date for a while, and it was a nice evening, not too hot, so it seemed like just the thing. Had a very nice time, and I am now quite full.

These things always have an abundance of carbs. Among the things we did not eat were all manner of sandwiches, fried rice, egg rolls, pizza, sugared strawberries, and ice cream. So what did we have?

First we shared some barbecued ribs from Smokin' Jack's Rib Shack. We'd heard good things about this place, and some tender smoked pig seemed like a good place to start. The ribs were very good. The sauce was pretty sugary, but they weren't drowned in it, just coated.

Next I had a Thai Spiced Chicken Salad, with diced chicken, green peppers, cabbage, shredded carrots, and chopped cilantro. I was hoping this would be hot, but it wasn't. Still, very tasty, and clearly very low carb. TNBIM had four Thai Pot Stickers; I tried a bite and they were excellent.

Wandering to the far end of the festival space, and browsing the booths, we found way too many dishes that didn't seem worth the money or the carbs -- your standard fried mozzarella sticks, pulled pork on big white flour buns, stuff like that. We considered a barbecued turkey leg, but then I spotted King Gyros, and discovered they had Greek salads. Big, too, for the $3 they were charging! I'm a fool for feta and olives, so I grabbed one, and shared the olives and feta with TNBIM, while we shared a stand-up table with a charming man eating a sandwich.

After that, TNBIM, who can tolerate more carbs than I, wanted to try the award-winning mac-and-cheese from Noodles, so we got him some. I sat that one out entirely; just not my thing.

Our final pick was from a Cajun place called Dats; they had Bourbon Chicken. I was figuring this was barbecued chicken, but it wasn't. Turned out to be shredded chicken in a sweet bourbon sauce, served over rice. I skipped the rice, of course. It was good, but too sugary for me to seek it out again. Too, I thought it could be hotter (do you see a trend here?) I did dose it good with Louisiana hot sauce.

We considered having a beer, but a single 12 ounce beer was going for $5. Call me cheap, but that's just ridiculous. We figured we had beer at home.

So there you go; that was our Taste Of Bloomington dinner. Plenty of protein for both of us, and plenty of vegetables for me. More sugar than I would normally eat, but I'm betting that all told I got less than 20 grams. And a nice change, and some good music, and a lot of fun people-watching. Even ran into some folks we knew, though fewer than I expected. I think of Bloomington as a town where I know practically everyone, but at a big event like this it becomes clear that I really don't.

Oh, and I discovered the band Polkaboy. Thought they were terrific. Of course, keep in mind that I'm almost fifty and tragically unhip.

Anyway, thought I'd demonstrate that you can go have fun at a local street event and not junk out! Go thou and do likewise.

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Taste of Bloomington takes place in mid-June each year, bringing together dozens of Bloomington's best restaurants, local wineries and breweries and live musical entertainment to create the perfect festival atmosphere at Showers Common, just next door to the Bloomington City Hall. Be sure to check out this year's musical line-up and the list of participating restaurants list to get a feel for what this year's event will offer.