Pensacola, Florida
Sunday November 23rd 2014

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Take a Taste of the Beach

By Jennie McKeon

Yes, summer is over, but there’s still fun to be had on the beach. This weekend is the 5th Annual Taste of the Beach weekend.

“Taste of the Beach came about because we wanted to highlight the beach during one of the most beautiful times of year,” said Maureen LaMar, president of the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Twenty-one Pensacola Beach chefs will be showcasing their signature dishes and restaurants will offer portions of the dishes for $5 or less. And back by popular demand are the chef demonstrations, which started at last year’s Taste of the Beach weekend. Five chefs will present a 30-minute demonstration to show the audience how they prepare their signature dishes.

Foodies play an important role in the Taste of the Beach events. They’re entrusted with choosing the winners of the dessert contest and the Pensacola Beach Songwriters Festival bartender’s contest.

“It’s like the People’s Choice Awards,” LaMar said. “They vote for the best booth and best dish. We’ll give the awards out on Sunday for restaurants to hang up for bragging rights.”

Adding to the entertainment, will be a Corvette show, live musical acts and a kid’s area. The free event tends to crowd the beach.

“It gets pretty full,” LaMar said. “It appeals to both locals and tourists. We have some people that come from out of town. It’s become a regional event.”

TASTE OF THE BEACH
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16
WHERE: Gulfside Pavilion on Pensacola Beach
COST: Free
DETAILS: pensacolabeachchamber.com

Taste of the Beach Menu:
Bamboo Willies – Virgin Island Blow Pop
Beach Pops & Wild Roots – Organic Frozen Treats, Organic and Garden Fresh Salads, Sandwiches and Sweets
Castaways – Gumbo
Crabs We Got ‘Em – Crab Cake Sliders and She Crab Soup
Dog House Deli – Mama Dawg’s Red Beans and Rice, Signature Hot Dogs and Banana Pudding
Flounder’s – Flounder’s Chowder and Shrimp Kabobs
Grand Marlin – Honey Jerk Shrimp with Island Rice and Pineapple Rum Butter
Hemingway’s – Ropa Vieja and Key Lime Pie
Hilton’s H2O – Cajun Club and Crab Cake Salad with Ginger Dressing
Hooters – Naked Wings, Breaded Wings and Drums with Dipping Sauces
Laguna’s – Blackened Fish Tacos with Roasted Corn Salsa, Cilantro Sour Cream and House Made Hot Sauce
Lillo’s – Sausage Sliders
Paradise Bar and Grill – Shrimp Salad and Mini Cuban Sandwiches
Peg Leg Pete’s – Cajun Fried Catfish with Shrimp and Coconut Shrimp
Riptides – Holiday Inn Resort – Yucatan Crawfish Lettuce Wrap
Shaggy’s – Big Pig Sliders
Sidelines – Fresh Fried Grouper Nuggets and Steamed Shrimp
Surf Burger – Slider Burger and Red Beans and Rice
The Dock – Jan’s Famous Corn and Crab Bisque
The Wine Bar – Cuban Sandwich with Jarlsberg Cheese