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Taste of the Beach set for Sunday

By Staff | Apr 29, 2016

Prepare your taste buds: the 21st annual Taste of the Beach food festival, hosted by the Greater Fort Myers Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, returns to Old San Carlos Boulevard Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., where guests can peruse more than 16 local restaurants, savoring morsels from each and every one, while enjoying live music and several local vendors and artisans offering their crafts and wares.

“We are expecting a good crowd this year – we have our participating restaurants that everyone loves – and it’s also a perfect way to try out restaurants you might not have been to yet,” said Georgia Reinmuth, in charge of marketing for the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce, as well as Paradise Creative Group. “Guests can enjoy sample-size portions (primarily, some offer more), which is great because it’s cheaper, and it gives you the chance to try many more restaurants before getting too full.”

More than 3,000 are expected to flock to the venue Sunday, bouncing between some of the best restaurants the area has to offer, including Matanzas on the Bay, Pierside Grill and Famous Blowfish Bar, Bootlegger’s Waterfront Barbeque, Cabana’s Beach Bar and Grill, Royal Scoop, Pincher’s Crab Shack, La Ola Surfside Restaurant, Fishmonger Restaurant, The Fish House, Parrot Key Caribbean Grill, Nervous Nellie’s Crazy Waterfront Eatery, The Salty Crab Bar and Grill, The Doghouse, Beach Brew and Bakery, and Jack’s Farm to Fork, sampling anything from their best appetizers and sandwiches to the most sought-after entrees and desserts.

Be sure you pay attention to what you sample; along with a celebrity panel of judges voting on multiple categories of entrees, a People’s Choice Award will also be honored, where guests cast their votes on Lee County Elections’ voting machines. Judging takes place at 4 p.m., so if you’d like to provide your input, make sure you cast your votes before then. Other categories included in the judging include Best Appetizer, Best Dessert, Best Meat, Best Chicken Dish, Best Seafood Dish and Best Decorated Booth – and while local restaurants’ chefs and kitchen staffs are put to the test, so will their serving staff, with the waitress-and-waiter obstacle course competition.

Jo List and Friends will reign from the stage by the Bay Walk fountain, offering amazing live and local music from noon to 4 p.m.

“Old San Carlos Boulevard is like the event space on Fort Myers Beach,” Reinmuth said. “It’s such a nice area, with the fountain and the back bay, a nice walk down to the Gulf of Mexico, all of the restaurants in between it’s a great walking district, and it’s good to return to Old San Carlos Boulevard, where the event belongs.”

As delicious as this event sounds, it gets even better, as it also acts as a benefit for a local non-profit organization, with proceeds going to the Fort Myers Beach Friends of the Arts, who will have its own beer tent set up during the festival – a perfect way to wash down each savory submission.

Admission is $5 for adults and children over 12. All children under 12 years are free. Food tickets cost $1 each, with the average plate costing around $5.

For additional information, visit TasteOfFortMyersBeach.com or email frontdesk@fmbchamber.com.

“The Taste of the Beach is always a good time,” Reinmuth said. “We encourage you to come out and spend a day in paradise.”