By Phil Devitt
NEW BEDFORD — Downtown New Bedford was a food and art lover’s dream come true Sunday afternoon for the second annual Taste Our SouthCoast, an outdoor festival featuring live music, artists at work and cuisine from 19 local restaurants.
Hungry people from throughout the region sampled food under two white tents at Custom House Square in the historic district while Entrain, a Martha’s Vineyard-based funk band, kept the mood light and the energy high. On the cobblestone streets surrounding the square, local artists painted cityscapes that were raffled off later.
The event, produced by Downtown New Bedford Inc. in collaboration with Artworks!, is part of a larger effort to revitalize interest in the city’s economy, according to Richard Poyant, chairman of the Downtown New Bedford Inc. events committee.
“This is a great way to get people to come down to the historic district, and once we get them down here, they’ll want to come back,” Mr. Poyant said.
For $15 ($20 at the door), people had a wide variety of food at their fingertips for up to four hours. If their palates were pleased, they made it known by casting votes for their favorite restaurants.
At the end of the day, M & C Cafe on Belleville Avenue won the People’s Choice trophy, and On A Roll on Union Street won the Best Booth Presentation award for its colorful, tropical theme. But a clear winner was too close to call for some people earlier in the day as they chewed, swallowed and repeated.
“I’m kind of a foodie so I like to try things like this,” Debi Rapoza of Dartmouth said, adding that she liked the shepherd’s pie from The Kinsale Inn but still had more to go.
“I’ve eaten probably 75 percent of what’s here. Why not go for the rest? I’m here so I should get my money’s worth.”
June 23, 2008
By Phil Devitt