Side Orders: Taste venue, offerings expand

Side Orders: Taste venue, offerings expand

February 27th, 2013 by Anne Braly in Life Entertainment

An explosion of flavors will fill Stratton Hall as Taste 2013 razzles and dazzles the palates of those in attendance.

Taste, a fundraiser for the Kidney Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, will take place March 7 from 5 to 9 p.m. As always, it will give people a chance to sample menu items from more than a dozen of the city's restaurants without having to drive around town.

Though the location has changed, the premise remains the same: great food and good times.

"We had some suggestions from eventgoers and other supporters from last year and were encouraged to look at Stratton Hall and, once we saw it, we fell in love with it," says Kidney Foundation Executive Director Jennifer McGlohon. "It had the look and the layout we wanted for the event ... A perfect fit."

As the event has grown, more space was needed than in years past when it was held at Warehouse Row. Stratton Hall, located at 3146 Broad St., offers more interior room for restaurants to spread out so more Tastegoers can mingle and move. The venue also features an outdoor area just in case the weather allows.

"We always try to give Taste a new, fresh twist every few years," McGlohon says.

Last year, Taste raised nearly $8,000 for the Kidney Foundation. This year, McGlohon says hopes are high that the figure will be boosted by another $2,000 to go toward the nearly $100,000 that the foundation gives annually to support patients.

"Events such as Taste are very important in order to maintain these programs that no one else offers," McGlohon said.

Restaurants participating in Taste 2013 are:

• St. John's Meeting Place

• Crave Bakery

• Southern Burger

• Public House

• Niedlov's Breadworks

• Sequatchie Cove Creamery

• Fuji's Steak & Sushi

• Marsha's Backstreet Cafe

• On the List Catering

• Bluewater Grille

• Whole Foods Market

• Petunia's Silver Jalapeño

Here's how it works: Tickets are $35 each ($40 on the day of) and, with each ticket, you get unlimited samplings from every restaurant participating, plus one ticket good for beer, wine or a nonalcoholic beverage. Liquor will be available at a cash bar.

And for the first time this year, guests will have the option of reserving a full table for seating through the Taste website.

Continuing with the spirit of all things food, a chef competition will be a highlight of the event. The competition runs from 7 to 8 p.m. and will include several Chattanooga chefs competing to create a gourmet dish using one secret ingredient provided by Whole Foods Market. The winning chef will be selected by a panel of judges to receive a prize at the end of the evening.

For tickets or information to Taste, log onto

I don't know about y'all, but about this time every year, I feel like getting my slow cooker out of the closet and start looking for new recipes. I found this one at It calls for a bottom round roast, but I found shoulder roast on sale and it worked beautifully. It's even better a day or two later. And don't hesitate to add potatoes and carrots. And, of course, extra onions. You won't regret it.

Warm and Cozy Pot Roast

1 (3- to 4-pound) boneless bottom round roast

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion flakes

1 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon dried sage

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, quartered

Mix all dry ingredients together in a plate. Rub roast in oil, then roll it in the dry mix. Place onions on bottom of crock pot, then place roast the roast on top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Leftovers may be shredded for beef sandwiches the following day mixed with the gravy.