Sunday July 24, 2011 / 11:00amOld Towne Orange Food Sampler Tour
How was your experience?
The review I write depends if I write as a "foodie," local historian, or event participant. As a foodie, I would have to say, I was disappointed. However, Deanna and Renee have no real control over what each establishment does in presenting their food. In my mind, I was expecting someone to come out and, at least, show some passion about what they were presenting to us as their signature food for the restauarnt/shop. In the case of all of these restaurants, it was as if "yeah, here comes some more freeloaders." Case in point, the Cuban restaurant had by far the most flavorful dish on our tour, empanada and fried carmelized plantain. Yet, we arrived, it was placed on the tables and the staff disappeared. Talk to me about what the dish is flavored with, tell me the nuances the chef hoped to achieve. But no, here it is enjoy it, clear out of our space for paying customers. At the sandwich shop, the young lady that came out to speak about their product acted as if we had just asked for a complete menu run-down, and she recited without inflection what they had to offer in their shop. There was no mention of the 80 kinds of root beer they had there, a point Deanna brought up to us as we were getting ready to leave, There was no mention that the breads were baked on premises and their specialty was chocolate bread, and even more chocolate bread grinders were their signaature. We were served prepackaged sliced turkey with shredded lettuce on a half a kaiser roll. But come on, your specialty is chocolate bread grinders, give me a taste and be proud. A relatively new concept store was the gluten-free shop. Here we sampled their signature gluten-free chocolate chip, peanut butter, and chocolate cookies. The young lady that invited us to try their product, baked on premises, picked up three zip-locked bags placed them on the counter and left us to dig out our cookies. They weren't cut into servings, and I wasn't sure my wife had washed her hands so I dug in first. The cookies were stuck together. Two came out together. What do you do now. I offered my dirty fingered wife other cookie. I think the reader can see, Deanna and Renee cannot control how the owners portray their product. As a local historian, the City of Orange is awash with interesting stories of its founding, its growth, and its culture. We got very little. I now know that the locals have had an online poll as to the preferred name of the Plaza. It is now popularly called the "circle" after more than 130 years of being the Plaza. But, I didn't find out that Orange was orginally named something else, Deanna and Renee, please, do some homework and beef up what you do control. Now that that is out of the way, if you want to have an enjoyable outing, tasting new fare from a wide-array of restaurants, enjoying the company of other folk, walking a little, talking a little and eating a good bit, this is a must do event. I commend Deanna and Renee for the concept, for the opportunity, and the pleasure of visiting and eating in their charming community.