Savor the flavor: Taste of Pelham draws more than 200 people

PELHAM – First-time Taste of Pelham attendee Amy Corbitt said the April 19 event far surpassed her expectations.

“Everything I’ve tried has been great,” she said at the event. “There’s a lot of variety and it’s better than I thought it would be. It turned out to be a fun evening out with my husband.”

Corbitt was among more than 200 people who attended the fifth Taste of Pelham, which was hosted by the Pelham Library Guild and held at the Pelham Civic Complex.

City Council member Maurice Mercer said 21 vendors and two beverage providers participated in the event. Throughout the night guests sampled food and beverages from a wide variety of restaurants and caterers from Shelby County and abroad.

As guests made their way from booth to booth, musician Ray Reach played jazz tunes for all to enjoy.

“These are vendors not only from Pelham bur from area cities as well,” Mercer said. “This event serves as a good opportunity for people to not only support the library, but for restaurants and caterers to introduce themselves to Pelham residents. It’s just a really good way to be introduced to new restaurants in the area.”

Mercer said the event typically raises $5,000 to $6,000 for the library guild after all expenses are paid.

“This event has to be one of the best kept secrets in Pelham,” Mercer said. “If you missed it this year, mark it on your calendar for 2019. It’s a great family friendly event.”

If the event gets any bigger, Mercer said the city may have to find a new location to host it.

“We’re on the verge of running out of space, which is a good problem to have,” he said.

For the first time in the event’s history, awards were given to the vendors with the best food. Secret tasters roamed the event and voted for winners in two categories, Best Bite Dinner and Best Bite Dessert. But at the last minute, a third category was announced, Best Bite Vegetable.

“All of the food was so good we needed to add another category,” Mercer said.

The Best Bite Dessert winner was Swamp Monster BBQ for their bread pudding, Best Bite Dinner (meat) went to Smiley Brothers Specialty Foods for their meat balls and Best Bite Dinner (vegetable) went to Dale’s Southern Grill for their carrot soufflé.

Throughout the night, about 20 door prizes were given out to guests.

“This may have been the best one yet,” library director Mary Campbell said as the event neared its end.