Cam­bridge show­cases lo­cal Tastes

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

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.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

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.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

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.

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