The Urbanite – Jon Liedtke – Nov. 20, 2014
Culinary showcase jumps the rails to tour the streets
Windsor was the first Canadian city to install electric streetcars and a new culinary experience is reviving the trolley to tantalize local foodies’ taste buds and provide an unique experience.
“… we wanted to get the community to know [the community],” explained Papa D’s Hot Sawce owner Jeff Denomme. “Certain restaurants might not be known by certain people, this way we have a little surprise for everyone.”
The first trolley event on Nov. 14 was sold out in advance. Tickets cost $65 and participants are taken to three local restaurants where they sample fares plated for the event. Signature cocktails are also provided at each restaurant, and a local brewery, distillery or winery representative is on hand to provide samples.
“We bring them to three different restaurants that they may or may not have ever been to, to help each restaurant find new clients [and to] get customers to enjoy their city more,” said Denomme.
Teanna Lindsay, whose company also organized the Walkerville Night Market and September’s Sandwich Towne Festival, explained there is a need locally for these events.
“Following the success of the Walkerville Night Market we noticed that there is a need, people want to know what is going on in their community, they want to buy local, they want to experience local restaurants and local food,” she said. “This is an opportunity to meet some people you’ve never met, dine at some restaurants you may never have never attended and have a really good night on a trolley.”
“They might learn some things about the restaurant, where they get their products from, their produce, their meat, why they named the restaurant that, how long they’ve been around and really make people feel like they’re a part of the [businesses],” she added.
The allure of the experience is both the trolley itself and the secretive nature of the experience in that diners don’t know the chosen restaurants in advance.
Denomme enjoys organizing events like this because he feels Windsorites deserve these types of experiences.
“We have to stop bunting and start swinging for the fence. There’s this thing in Windsor where we’re almost being happy with being complacent or mediocre … everybody always puts [Windsor] down … You have to experience it, and we’re trying to get people to change their mind and their tune … compare Windsor to like cities and you’re not going to beat Windsor.”
The Tasting Trolley runs again on Nov. 28, with a special Holiday Trolley on Dec. 12. Tickets are $65 and space is limited to 40 people. For more information, call 519-800-6404 or visit thetastingtrolley.com.
Jonathon Liedtke is the managing editor of The Urbanite, Windsor’s alternative newspaper. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.