Cambridge showcases local Tastes
CAMBRIDGE — The 12th annual Taste of Cambridge, hosted by Cambridge Main Street, returned Saturday, July 8, and showcased local flavors during the downtown street festival and Crab Cook-Off competition.
Visitors packed Poplar and Race streets from 5 p.m. through the evening, sampling crab favorites prepared by local restaurants in the Crab Cook-Of f, while enjoying a variety of food and drinks from local vendors and businesses. Clayton’s Seafood Co. and Lindy’s Seafood sponsored a crab picking contest with professional crab house contestants.
The Crab Cook-Off featured 11 restaurants and five crab dish categories. Ticket holders got to vote on who they felt were the best dishes. Cambridge Main Street announced the People’s Choice winners Wednesday, July 12.
Bistro Poplar earned the People’s Choice “Best in Show” title and best crab specialty with its Thai crab tacos.
RAR Brewing won best crab cake. The High Spot won best Maryland crab soup. Black Water Bakery won best crab dip. The High Spot won best cream of crab soup.
“We had a great turnout, and everyone is having a great time,” Cambridge Main Street Executive Director Katie Clendaniel said. “The Taste of Cambridge is a great chance for us to showcase all of the great restaurants, businesses and people we have because we offer so much variety.
“The concept of the tasting the crab dishes and voting is really popular for people,” she said. “They get to participate in voting for their favorite. The restaurants love it, and it is a great time for the community.
“I want to thank all of the volunteers, businesses and organizations for helping to put this great festival on,” she said. “We had a great group of volunteers from the community who helped get everything set up.”
Celebrity judged by Bruce Mattel of Culinary Institute of America, Rita Calvert of What’s Up Magazine, Bob Yesbek “The Rehobeth Foodie,” Steve Konopelski of Turnbridge Point Bed in Breakfast and Denton and Cecil Johnson of Cambridge Spice Company also vote on their picks for best crab dishes at the competition.
Bistro Poplar also earned the judge’s “Best in Show” title with its Thai crab tacos. The win earns Bistro Poplar a berth in the World Food Championships.
In the Best Cream of Crab Soup category, Jimmie and Sook’s Raw Bar and Grill won first over Riverview at the Point and The High Spot.
Jimmie and Sook’s received a second victory by winning the Best Mar yland Vegetable Crab Soup category over The High Spot.
Three Sixty at the River’s Edge earned the best crab cake title over RAR Brewing and Rock Lobstah.
Black Water Bakery won best dip over Stoked Wood Fired Eater y.
Palm Beach Willies took the title for best crab specialty for its Buffalo Soft Crab Bites. They beat the buttermilk fried soft shell crab by Blue Point Provision at the Hyatt.
“This was a great contest,” Mattel said. “Ever y contestant here did a great job. We had some really, really great food. It was very difficult making these decisions.”
The Taste of Cambridge also featured a street festival with live music, food and family fun throughout Race and Poplar streets in downtown Cambridge.
“The best part about the Taste of Cambridge is the traffic in brings from across the Bay Bridge and other parts of the region, which we love,” said RAR Brewing coowner Chris Brohawn. “When you are here, you don’t just experience just the festival, you experience all the downtown small businesses.
“Business community really does a great job of working together with local organizations to put on this big event,” he said. “The city offers a very unique variety from the restaurants, to the shops and art galleries. We can find something for everyone and help one another bring success to the city.”
RAR Brewing also hosted a popup art gallery, featuring a creative set of one-of-a-kind artworks by brewery illustrator B.J. Wheatley. The pieces featured a caricature of each of the brewers. The gallery was open at 519 Poplar St. during the Taste of Cambridge. The works were auctioned off, with proceeds going to Cambridge Main Street.
In the streets, visitors watched local talent perform their craft, which included some line dancing by local ladies. Sen. Addie Eckart, R-37-Mid-Shore, danced several songs with the group.
“The Taste of Cambridge celebrates the best of Dorchester County, our seafood,” Eckardt said. “It is a great time to taste all of our wonderful restaurants that continue to grow. We have great art exhibits and music to accompany the food.”
For more information about Cambridge Main Street, visit cambridgemainstreet.com or find the organization on Facebook.
Devin Wheatley, left, and Erica Doty from RAR Brewing serve a crab cake sliders during the Taste of Cambridge Saturday, July 8. RAR Brewing’s crab cake was voted the best in the People’s Choice tally.
Judges voted Bistro Poplar’s Thai crab tacos as the “Best in Show” winner during the Taste of Cambridge Saturday, July 8.
Jimmie and Sook’s Raw Bar and Grill won first place from the judges for its cream of crab soup and vegetable crab soup at the 2017 Taste of Cambridge.
Black Water Bakery won best dip from the judges and the People’s Choice vote at the 2017 Taste of Cambridge.
Palm Beach Willies took the title for best crab specialty from the judges for its Buffalo Soft Crab Bites at the 2017 Taste of Cambridge.
Three Sixty at the River’s Edge earned the best crab cake title from the judges at the 2017 Taste of Cambridge.