The Grand Finale Tasting is about as grand a way to wrap up the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach as there could be.
Held this year at Port O’ Call in Kill Devil Hills it was three hours of amazing food, wonderful Champagne cocktails with some great music thrown in. And we don’t want to forget the fantastic IPA and Scotch Ale Lost Colony Brewery was pouring.
Given the weather today—northwest wind, spitting rain, generally miserable—this was a great day to be inside, and there were a lot of people there. We had some beautiful weather for our Joe Lamb, Jr. BBQ & Wings Showdown on Friday, but the weather went downhill quickly after that.
For the 500 or 600 or 700 or so who did go, this is knowledge already gained; for anyone who has never been to the Grand Tasting and is hoping to go next year, some advice. Eat nothing on the day of the event before going. With 18 vendors and 37 selections even nibbling on everything that’s offered requires an appetite rarely achieved.
A couple of things deserve a second visit; however, by the time everything is sampled, a second visit doesn’t seem to practical—or comfortable.
A couple of notes about the food. Everything we tried we felt had real merit and truly deserved to be there. There were a few standouts though—keeping in mind that taste is very subjective.
The Buttermilk Fried Duck Skewers from Saltbox Cafe were the crowd favorite for our group. Bonnie’s Bagles’ Salmon Mousse with Fresh Dill on a bagel chip was a refreshing change from the usual fare. The Crab Cake Sunrise from Cravings called out for either a good cup of coffee or a Champagne cocktail.
One more observation: the chocolate chip cookie cheesecake from Good Winds Wine & Seafood—which was very good on its own—paired beautifully with the IPA that Lost Colony Brewery was pouring. A surprising pairing, but it did work.