House-brewed kombucha, bagel bites spread with chopped liver, horchata, gluten-free tea cookies, pistachio sorbet sandwiches and lemongrass-pumpkin soup and creamy crawfish stew—Taste of Temescal ticket-holders were invited to sample these and more at Tuesday’s food crawl, which lasted almost three hours.
The fourth annual event put on by the Temescal-Telegraph Business Improvement District included 27 restaurants this year, including Burma Superstar, Lanesplitter, Scream Sorbet, and many more. Crawl-goers ambled up and down Telegraph Avenue, from 43rd Street to 51st Street, ducking into restaurants or stopping at outdoor food stalls to sample the diverse offerings. At each stop, the purveyor or an event volunteer checked off a box on the list of restaurants printed on the visitor’s ticket.
Although about 500 tickets were purchased, organizers estimated approximately 1,000 people attended the event. As clusters of people tasted their way down the street, paper food trays in hand, musicians provided live entertainment. At least three bands were there, each claiming a different stretch of the avenue, and a pedicab—a bicycle hauling a covered banquette—conveyed visitors, both the hungry and the sated, to their destinations along the street.
The event is an opportunity to bring people to Temescal and showcase the neighborhood’s culinary offerings, said Darlene Drapkin, executive director of Taste of Temescal. It was created to foster nightlife in the area. “The first year the idea of people coming out at night here was kind of like, ‘Huh?’” Drapkin said. But four years later, the district is a popular dining destination.
All participating restaurants donated their food for the event, and funds raised by the sale of $30 tickets were gifted to four local schools, Lions Center for the Blind and Women’s Cancer Resource Center.