Restau­rants team up for an­nual Taste of Duneland

Post-Tribune - - Local - BY AMY LAVALLEY Post-Tri­bune cor­re­spon­dent

CHESTERTON — Friends Jo-Ellen Ormes of Crown Point and Mary Ann Haughee of Val­paraiso at­tended the Taste of Duneland for the first time Satur­day.

They split fish tacos, bean salad, braised beef ribs and bar­be­cue ribs at the fes­ti­val, held in Thomas Cen­ten­nial Park.

“The food is fab­u­lous, it re­ally is,” Ormes said.

“And it’s af­ford­able,” Haughee added.

The two joined thou­sands of other peo­ple to sam­ple good­ies from more than 15 restau­rants from Chesterton, Porter, Burns Har­bor and Bev­erly Shores in the sev­enth an­nual fes­ti­val, spon­sored by the Duneland Busi­ness Ini­tia­tive Group.

The fes­ti­val draws not only peo­ple from lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, but also those from as far away as In­di­anapo­lis who are in the area for the week­end, said Ross LeBleu, a vol­un­teer with the busi­ness group.

“I love that the lo­cal com­mu­nity comes out and sup­ports their lo­cal restau­rants,” he said.

Nada Kraus, who owns Lu­crezia’s with hus­band Michael, said her restau­rant is one of the fes­ti­val’s spon­sors. She loves that the fes­ti­val over­laps for a few hours with the weekly Euro­pean Mar­ket, draw­ing a crowd from that as well.

“This is re­ally one of the only events we do here where the restau­rants come to­gether” from the en­tire Duneland com­mu­nity, she said, adding that when she opened in 1998, there weren’t that many restau­rants in the area.

The event also of­fered live mu­sic, wine and craft beers.

“It’s the end of sum­mer, and we all come to­gether and say, ‘Isn’t it great to be a part of this com­mu­nity?’ ” she said.

In ad­di­tion to the food Ormes and Haughee sam­pled, the event also of­fered Mex­i­can food, jerk chicken, pop­corn, pret­zels and a wide ar­ray of other tasty treats.

“It’s a good chance to try out restau­rants you wouldn’t usu­ally go to,” said Amy Martin of Val­paraiso, who’s been to the fes­ti­val four times with her hus­band, Dan.

| SUN-TIMES ME­DIA

JoEllen Ormes (left), of Crown Point, and Mary Ann Haughee, of Val­paraiso, share ribs Satur­day at Thomas Cen­ten­nial Park in down­town Chesterton dur­ing the Taste of Duneland.

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