By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Combining great food with a great cause, the first “Taste of Goshen” fundraising drew a healthy crowd and even healthier appetites.
Sponsored by the Center for Healing & Hope, attendees of Saturday afternoon’s event were able to purchase tickets for one of three restaurant “groups” at a cost of $44 each, which included a donation to the center to help provide medical care to 43,000 uninsured Goshen-area residents.
Depending on which restaurant group was chosen, attendees were able to visit three preselected downtown Goshen eateries from 3 to 6 p.m. where they were presented with a sampling of some of the eateries’ best and most famous dishes.
Those choosing the “Green” group were able to visit Rolling Scones at the Old Bag Factory and Mattern’s Deli and the Olympia Candy Kitchen in dowtown. Those choosing the “Blue” group got to visit the Venturi pizzeria, the Electric Brew and Constant Spring, while those choosing the “Red” group got invites to Rachel’s Bread, the South Side Soda Shop and Universal Tamal.
“It’s the first year they’ve done it, and basically it’s where people can go to different restaurants and coffee shops around Goshen and get a feel for what the companies serve, and at the same time the proceeds go to the Center for Healing & Hope,” said Olympia Candy Kitchen owner Kare Andersen. “So it’s for a good cause, and it’s good for Goshen too. Anything that draws people to Goshen and gets them moving around, it’s great. They get to see the uniqueness that Goshen has to offer.”
Goshen’s Beck Unternahrer was one of several visitors to make their way to the Olympia for a taste of the restaurant’s famous nut-olive toasted sandwich.
“I was intrigued by the idea of the event,” Unternahrer said of why she chose to participate. “I heard about it a while back, and I think the Center for Healing & Hope is doing wonderful work. So I guess, it’s a way to support it, but also have a really good time.”
Unternahrer’s friend, Judy Mishler, Shipshewana, was quick to agree.
“I was actually planning breakfast this morning, and Beck called me and said there was this charity food walk happening and invited me along, so I said ‘Sure, why not?’” Mishler said. “This is our first stop, and it’s wonderful. It’s a set menu when you arrive, and they had a nut-olive sandwich that’s to die for.”
Just down the block, hungry patrons at the Venturi pizzeria were tempted with a half fig, half margarita pizza that seemed well worth the cost of admission.
“It’s excellent,” event participant Carole Herbon of Goshen said of the Venturi experience. “It’s a lot of food. We may have to ask for some to-go boxes.”
Gene Hollingsworth, who had joined Herbon at Venturi with his wife, Beth, and family friend Holly Cabbalier, said he couldn’t think of a better way to support both a great cause and Goshen’s many excellent downtown restaurants.
“It’s just a great opportunity to taste some items from the different restaurants downtown and also support a very good cause,” Hollingsworth said. “I highly recommend it.”