Good food, good music and a good cause. That’s been the mission of “The Taste of St. Augustine” year after year, and the 23rd annual event, held April 28, did not stray away from that undertaking.
Hosted at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, “The Taste” featured samples from some of St. Augustine’s most well-known restaurants, as well as some newcomers to the scene. Pellicer Creek Band and Chillula jammed throughout the afternoon at the Amphitheatre’s Front Porch. And once again, proceeds from the event — over $60,000 this year — benefited Epic Behavioral Healthcare, a nonprofit organization providing substance abuse prevention and treatment and mental health counseling.
“We like to consider it one of the premier food festivals here in town,” said Teresa Andrews, director of development for Epic Behavioral Healthcare. “People get to come in and try out new restaurants maybe they haven’t tried before, or go to a favorite and see new dishes they’re trying to serve, and enjoy live music.”
Per annual tradition, restaurants at the event competed for a number of awards at the event. The Reef ultimately won the award for Best Family Dining with their Datil Lime Scallops and Grits. Meehan’s Irish Pub took home the honors for Best Ethnic Taste with their Irish Cuban Sandwich. Best Upscale Taste went to Villagio’s/World Golf Village Renaissance Resort, which sampled a Seared Scallop with Apple Salad and Watercress Pesto. The Hyppo received the award for Best Dessert, after wowing event attendees with their Orange Cream Ice Pop. The People’s Choice award went to Santiago’s at Guy Harvey Oceanfront Resort, which presented their Bahamian Conch and Ciderhouse Bacon Encrusted Gulf Shrimp with Datil Pepper Orange Blossom Honey.
For the 10th year, the event kicked off with “The Race to the Taste,” a 5K run/walk starting and ending at the Amphitheatre, going through Anastasia State Park and surrounding neighborhoods. Event attendees also enjoyed a free children’s activity area featuring crafts, face painting and other activities.
Established in 1973, Epic Behavioral Healthcare serves over 5,000 people a year. For more information, visit www.epicbh.org.