On a Climatic Wonderland evening of June 15th, locals gathered at Main Street Historic Vista for the 8th annual Taste of Vista Event. The Taste of Vista, sponsored by the Vista Village Business Association, it allowed locals a unique opportunity to sample food and craft beverages from Vista’s finest restaurants and breweries, all while tapping their toes to the sounds of live music entertainment and enjoying the feel of the downtown Vista community.
Tickets to the event were sold online prior to the event for a presale fee of $20 for food sampling and $30 for food and drink sampling, while tickets sold at the door on the day of the event went for $30 for food tasting and $40 for food and drink tastings. With the purchase of these tickets, locals were given lanyards with cards directing them to the different locations on the strip they could go to to enjoy the great tastes of 18 Vista restaurants and 10 breweries and wineries, including favorites such as Rubio’s, Oggi’s, Connie’s, Frazier Farms, Porters, Bear Roots Brewing Co., Mother Earth Brewery, and event sponsors the Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen and Belching Beaver Brewery. In addition to being able to sample the food and craft drinks with Vista princesses greeting them and checking cards at different booths, event goers were welcomed to take a break and sit at finely decorated tables all along Main Street, enjoying the sounds of country band Steel Horse Country and acoustic entertainer James Wells as they enjoying their samples. Event goers were also invited to visit the booths of several businesses outside the 18 restaurants on the list, including that of event sponsor SKY Apartments. With live entertainment and a variety of taste options, from beers and wines to tacos, ribs, cake, pizza and gelato, it follows logically that the event was able to sell nearly 750 pre-sale tickets and sell out at 1000 tickets in just one hour after its commencement. As first-time event coordinator Debbie Medrano proudly announced, this is the first time the Taste of Vista has sold out in the 8 years it has taken place on Main Street!
At the family friendly event, children and teens were able to sample many foods, while adults took the opportunity to try some of the best alcoholic beverages in Vista, leading many to give popular reviews. As some event goers enthusiastically reported “the food was great”, the drinks were “phenomenal”, and the restaurant workers serving the food were “overall very friendly”. Despite the seemingly positive response toward many of the vendors present at the event, event goers were asked to make the tough decision of choosing the restaurant or brewery which they enjoyed the tastings of most, and mark it on their Taste of Vista cards before they departed. The restaurant which was voted to be the most popular would receive the honor of winning the esteemed “Golden Fork Award”, and a trophy in the shape of a large golden fork. Though not all of the restaurants present could win the esteemed Golden Fork, as Vista Village Business Association Executive Director Jeffrey B. Frankel reported, the Taste of Vista is a great marketing opportunity, and a chance to show locals who might otherwise travel outside of Vista to dine and drink that there are fine options for dining that exist “right here in Vista”, some of which might have previously gone undetected before the Taste. Seeming to summarize the satisfied sentiments of many Vista residents over local businesses at the Taste is long time Vista resident and Event Director Debbie Medrano, who proudly stated, “I love this town and I love Main Street…I don’t have a favorite restaurant in town and so bringing all of the restaurants and community together for this event is an honor.”