CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA-With the holidays approaching and cooking on the minds of many residents, thousands gathered at the Taste of Mainstreet on Nov. 5 to sample offerings from local vendors of specialty foods. From homemade salsas to turkey dinners complete with all of the trimmings, residents were treated to a variety of food and drink.
“This is awesome,” said P.J. Gardner, 8, who stopped by the event on his way to the beach. “I like the fruit the best,” he said. “I had no idea this was going on today, but I love it,” said his dad, Paul.
Foodies flocked to the local grocery store for a sampling of more than 20 food vendors and to take advantage of one-day only specials. Holiday decorating and food preparation experts and get some holiday tips from the experts. “These are beautiful floral arrangements,” said Melissa Benton, who admired the spread laid out by Allie’s Party Rental.
Inside the store aisles were decorated with balloons to identify items on special. “I got a two for one offer,” said Patricia Benton, Melissa’s sister. I’m going to buy way more than I came here for today.”
Both new and establish food purveyors, the event was a success. Sandy and Malcolm Nicholl’s gourmet nutrition bar, “Winetime,” was a hit with the crowd. “It really is the best kept secret,” said Sandy Nicholl. The bar is dairy and gluten-free and contains resveratrol-the ingredient in grapes that has been shown to forestall the aging process.
Richard Thackerson from Santa Monica Seafood couldn’t cut the smoked salmon and tuna samples fast enough to feed the masses. “We’ve been servicing Seaside Market for 20 years,” he said. “They’re great customers.”
Seaside Market owners John and Peter Najjar, who passed out ice cream bars and sushi to residents during the recent blackout are known for their hospitality. “I always support my local store,” said Bonnie Luetchester. “Of course, it’s right around the corner from my house, but they also have a sense of community about them,” she said. “When I come in they know me, they’re friendly and they really support Cardiff.
The popular event got a boost from the change in weather. “I thought they’d be rained out today,” said Luetchester. “I’m glad to see a break in the clouds and the sun coming out.”
At least one person got inspired to start cooking early for the holidays. “With so much of the food already freshly prepared here I can just buy it now and stick it in the freezer,” said Sherone Pattersen. “It’ll make my Thanksgiving morning a lot less stressful.”