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Published: Monday, 6/30/2008

Downtown food festival this weekend

Tastetoledo, presented by the Northwest Ohio Restaurant Association, will be part of the Red, White, KABOOM 4th of July Celebration presented by The Blade this weekend. Beginning at noon on Friday until 30 minutes after the downtown fireworks display, and from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, restaurants will sell samples of their best creations.

The event will be located in Promenade Park in downtown Toledo. All booths will have items starting at $3 and ranging up to $6. Each booth will have up to five featured items.

It s a wonderful time to taste food from some of the classic restaurants of Toledo, such as Mancy s Steakhouse with steak on a stick, fresh-cut steak fries, and peppercorn crusted smoked salmon. Also participating is Mancy s sister restaurant Shorty s BBQ True American Roadhouse; Tony Packo s, with the original hot dog and fried pickles; the Original Gino s Pizza with pizza and gelato Italian ice cream; Gladieux Catering with paella, and Magic Wok, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. The company founded by Sutas Pipatjarasgit in Toledo in 1983 is now run by his son and daughter-in-law, Tommy and Annie Pipatjarasgit.

For tastetoledo, Magic Wok is serving fried rice with different choices of chicken, including sweet and sour and orange chicken as well as their signature Magic Wok egg roll.

We have sold nearly a million egg rolls, says Mrs. Pipatjarasgit about their eight locations in Toledo and three in Michigan.

Other local favorites at tastetoledo include Poco Piatti (sister restaurant to the Beirut/Byblos), serving grape leaves and lamb chops; Focaccia s Delicatessen with chili cheese fries, pierogis, corned beef, and turkey bacon and chips, and its sister restaurant The Blarney Irish Pub, with an Irish Banger Sandwich, bread pudding, fish and chips, cheeseburgers, and chicken chunks with sauce.

Tea Tree Asian Bistro will offer bacon-wrapped scallops, spicy cilantro chicken, and marinated boneless short ribs. General manager Lynn Wang reports that Tea Tree is keeping busy this summer with community food events such as tastetoledo and special events at the restaurant such as a Sushi and Sake and Wine Tasting July 16 and July 22. Call 419-874-8828 for reservations. A Dinner by Tea Tree cooking class at Kitchen Tools & Skills at 6:30 p.m. on July 9 will feature Gourmet Seafood Soup, Bistro Maki, and Spicy Cilantro Chicken. To register call Kitchen Tools & Skills at 419-872-9090.

Also part of the lineup at tastetoledo is Mezzmerize, located in Maumee. It will offer lamb and beef kabobs and baklava. Busia s Narozny will feature cheesy potato with corn and kielbasa casserole, pigs in a blanket (ground beef and cabbage rolls), breaded pork on a skewer, pierogies (cheese, potato, and kraut fillings), and a kielbasa with kraut sandwich. CityQ Barbecue will sell pulled pork sandwiches, beef brisket sandwiches, four-bone ribs, fries with sandwiches and slaw, and large fries.

Look for a Cajun dish at Fat Fish Blue, and gourmet cupcakes and cookies from Petit Fours Patisserie & Cafe. Also participating is La Scola, Coldstone Creamery, and the American Roadhouse in Perrysburg.

A portion of the sales from the event will benefit United Way. Tastetoledo is the former Taste of the Town that was held on Jackson Street downtown in previous years.

The majority of the tastetoledo food booths will be in Promenade Park, although a couple of food vendors will be outside COSI. The majority of vendors are local vendors. It is truly a taste of Toledo. They are local homegrown businesses.

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