The annual Taste of Bowling Green was Thursday, April 10, and it’s taken me this long to get over being stuffed to write about what a great time we had! Over two dozen area restaurants and beverage providers lined Sloan Convention Center’s ballroom with samples of their specialties and tasty treats. My husband and I were joined by another couple, making this our night out for the week because it is rather expensive. At $35 a ticket, I justified it by comparing it to going out to a nice dinner and having a few drinks.

And that’s exactly what we had… a great dinner with a variety of drinks to sample, but instead of paying the restaurant after our bellies were full, our money went to help make the wish of a sick child come true. The event is a benefit for the local chapter of The Dream Factory, an organization run by volunteers that is similar to Make-a-Wish in that they grant dreams for critically and chronically ill children ages 3 through 8. The South Central KY Chapter of the Kentucky Restaurant Association puts on the event, and each one of the participating establishments donates all the food and drink they serve during the evening.

I highly recommend this event to EVERYONE, but it is particularly helpful if you’ve recently moved to the area, find yourself in BG for business a lot, or have a hard time trying a new restaurant. With so many places in town from which to choose, how does anyone know where to go? Where’s Duncan Hines when you need him! The Taste of BG is the perfect opportunity to ‘sample’ all the places about which you’ve heard, good and bad.

From Montana Grille’s barbeque to Cambridge Market’s cream cheese dip we went, and then we discovered that The Cellar brought their divine dates- trouble. I think I counted six going into my husband’s mouth alone. The Hilton Garden Inn’s restaurant, Great American Grill, wowed patrons with its bacon wrapped scallops and stuffed pork tenderloin. Wha Bah Steel Horse Ranch had the biggest crowd in front of its table at many points in the night with their huge steaks displayed on a bed of ice. (They weren’t serving those that night, don’t get too mad you weren’t there!)

After a few more trips around the room, running into many friends along the way making it that much more festive, we found the crab cakes from 440 Main and seafood artichoke dip from Rafferty’s. Then I had to say hello to the Brickyard guys before we indulged in Mariah’s chocolate fountain. Us girls sampled the new, tasty batch of brown ale from the BG Brewing Co. and sipped a few types of wine while the guys liked the Maker’s Mark table and the Absolut Vanila from Republic Beverage Co. of KY.

I didn’t even mention that the whole extravaganza was complemented by the tunes of Skip Bond and the Fugitives! Plenty of people busting a move while waiting for a spot to open up at the next table! So definitely check out the Taste of Bowling Green next year… I’m sure you will leave happy and full knowing a small indulgence for you means a dream coming true for another.