Taste Off! Votes are in and the 2017 Taste of Edmonds winners are…

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    Everyone can’t win… But great effort, time and care went into each entry for Friday’s Taste of Edmonds Taste Off competition. Kudos to Kafe Neo and Pat’s Philly Steak Sandwiches for offering up dishes for not one, but TWO category entries.

    I’ll describe a bit of each dish, not just the winners. Ultimately, folks will visit and make their own decisions at the Taste of Edmonds this weekend. Bacon topped off several dishes. Main ingredient or accent flavor, I sense a trend.

    Here is the lowdown on the three categories: sides, main dish and dessert.

    Sides
    Simply Soulful‘s Red Rice and Beans were not too spicy, well salted. Rice was tender, ditto the beans and the ham hock in the dish. Comfort food for sure. I overhead one judge’s comment — “Could’ve used a little hot sauce.”

    Corn Roaster’s Corn on the Cob. A perennial favorite at the Taste, kernels were judged a bit mature by Midwest standards, but tasty and well seasoned – the dash of lime juice was a bonus to the plate’s presentation.

    Crab Shrimp Chowder, from Pat’s Philly Steak Sandwiches, offered a traditional flavorful broth. Each spoonful filled with great veggies, excellent crab and a ton of flavor.

    Bacon-wrapped dates prepare to be judged. (Photo by Larry Vogel)

    Category winner: Bacon-wrapped date from local Edmonds restaurant Kafe Neo. Sweet, salty, went down in two bites, just to be polite, but what a tasty morsel.

    Main dishes

    Kathy Hashbarger of My Edmonds News and Taste volunteer brings in the Edmonds’ Kafe’ Neo entries. (Photo by Larry Vogel)

    Kafe Nero’s Gyro contained well-seasoned lamb meat; veggies provided texture and the moistening of tzatziki. Pita was supple and moist, but I personally would have liked an extra spoonful of sauce, and one can request that at the booth, I’m sure.

    Mangosteen 206 sent judges a group of Mangosteen wings with three distinctive flavors. Nice hit of spice, crispy skins on all three, all in all very tasty.

    Mac and cheese Whaaaaaaat? provided Lobster Mac n Cheese  boosted by an additional topping of bacon. In fact, that was the best part. Mac’s noodles were a bit overdone, lobster was tasty but flavor didn’t stand out well enough under the smoky bacon topping. I had great hopes… such a cute name.

    Taste of Edmonds volunteer Juliana Van Buskirk brings in the Street Tacos main course entry from Chilangos, which ended up being the judge’s favorite. (Photo by Larry Vogel)

    Clear winner of main dish category was Street Tacos from Los Chilangos. Yes, this is a restaurant from Bellevue, but a beautiful presentation — cilantro, limes, a radish slice.. They won hands down. Spice level on the meat was perfect; tortillas were tender, still a tiny bit warm — great presentation on all counts.

    Desserts
    Ice cream cone filled with lemon and raspberry swirl from Island Creamery. A tad subtle, but still refreshing, A bit grainy on the tongue, reminiscent of homemade, hand-cranked ice cream. A tasty treat for a hot day.

    Edmonds’ own Loukoumathes’ Greek- style honey puff was an entrant in the dessert competition. (Photo by Larry Vogel)

    Loukoumathes Greek-Style Honey Puffs came three ways: maple syrup and bacon bits, a dusting of chocolate, or topped with caramel. Each little puff was a delicious mouthful.

    Strawberry Shortcake from Biringer’s suffered a bit from standing. Shortcake on the bottom of the cup soaked up the extra juice from the strawberries, that’s to be expected. Beautiful presentation, a little sweet for my taste buds, but a close second to the winner in desserts.

    Red, white and blue crepes, winner of the dessert category. (Photo by Kathy Passage)

    Red, White and Blue Crepes from Pat’s Philly Steak Sandwiches won the day, dessert wise. Fresh blueberry and strawberry fruit tucked into tender crepes with whipped cream and a garnish of either caramel or chocolate, perfect.

    A big thank you to those who helped with the Taste Off portion of the Taste of Edmonds — it was my pleasure to serve as a judge again this year.

    — By Kathy Passage

    5 COMMENTS

    1. Great summary and I am a Kafe Neo fan too, but looks like a good slate of yummy all around. I remember the days when I was a judge and am so glad that I retired as all foods were very good and really hard to pick one in each category. Congrats to all participants.

    2. That goes for me too. The Mill Creek Kafe Neo serves brunch from 9 to 2. It’s well worth the 30 minute drive over there.

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