I spent the morning strolling through Tower Grove Park. Thousands of others had the same idea and for good reason. It was the first day of the annual International Festival of Nations sponsored by the International Institute. With more than 40 food booth to choose from, I felt like a fly in a candy shop—there were so many tasty treats, I didn’t know where to begin. Below is a photo review of my wanderings.
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Maplewood Street Festival
I know the Good Book say, “judge not,” but I couldn’t resist the invitation to judge the Taste of Maplewood Street Festival this weekend. Along with Lern Elwell/KSHE95 and Charlie Gutherie of We Eat Stuff blog, we nibbled our way through more than a dozen entries.
We treated our taste buds in several categories: Best Sweet Tooth (desserts); Best Savory Dish (presentation/flavor); Best Overall; and Best Cocktail/Mocktail. I opted out of the latter, since being a teetotaler during my formative years, I felt ill-qualified. (Though my grandfather was much-revered in his farm community for operating a whiskey still during Prohibition—for medical purposes, I’m told. But I digress.)
Seen on the Street
Winners of the Taste of Maplewood Street Festival
It was a tough decision, but we finally came up with the following winners.
- Best Sweet Tooth: Aztec Chocolate Bread from Great Harvest Bread
- Best Savory Dish: Plantain and Chorizo Empanada from Maya Cafe
- Best Cocktail/Mocktail: Sutton’s Gone a Rye from Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions
- Best of the Best: Mayan Cafe
Other entries that we especially enjoyed were the Goat Cheese Truffles from Kakao Chocolate and the Spicy Chickpea Vindaloo from Larder & Cupboard.
Even a short visit to Maplewood and you’ll fall in love with the friendly city with the charm of a small town. The community takes pride in its many fine places to eat and their annual street festival is another chance to strut their stuff. A shout out is due Jeanine Beck, Director of the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce, for another lively, successful celebration.