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Sample the Tastes of Kalispell

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Imagine wandering into one of Kalispell’s most popular restaurants, sampling a few bites of the menu and then repeating the process at another sought-after eatery. This gastronomical journey will become a reality for food enthusiasts of all kinds on Aug. 6, when at least 20 local restaurants showcase their best for the 2011 Taste of Kalispell. This year’s event takes place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the big lawn at the Museum at Central School. Event organizer Gretchen Apgar said Taste of Kalispell stands out among other festivals in the Flathead Valley because it kicks the idea of food vendors up a notch. Instead of traditional street vendors, some of the valley’s most popular restaurants will offer samples of their fare. “The participants are not your typical people that are vending at events,” Apgar said last week. This year’s sampling menu includes: North Bay Grille; Scotty’s Winchester Steakhouse; MacKenzie River Pizza; ScottiBelli’s Ristorante Italiano; Bonelli’s Bistro; Wrap-n-Roll; Majestic Mountains Bistro Café; Taste This!; Shaker’s Road House Grille; The Boiler Room; Bad Dog Bakery; Montana Bagel Co.; Colter Coffee; Mountain Valley Foods; Ceres Bakery; Glacier Shave Ice; Look at Me Cupcakes; Just Desserts; The Apple Trolley; Tamarack Brewing Company and Fun Beverage Inc. Ticketholders get to peruse the food samples while listening to Cocinando, a local 12-piece Latin jazz ensemble, aids in the digestion process with mambos, salsa music and other Afro-Cuban musical traditions. Though the event’s $25 ticket covers the cost of the samples, Apgar said bigger portions of the restaurants’ food will be available for purchase. There will also be beer and wine samples, with larger glasses available for a fee. There will also be free face painting, and MOXI hair salon will be on site for those wishing to spruce up their hair. The proceeds from the ticket and alcohol sales will go to the Museum at Central School, Apgar said. Last year, nearly 400 attendees raised roughly $8,000 for the museum. This is Apgar’s second year organizing Taste of Kalispell. As a member of the Northwest Montana Historical Society, which runs the museum, Apgar has received considerable support from museum staff and volunteers. Her husband, Mike, is from the Flathead, Apgar said, and they moved back to the valley five years ago. They attended a previous Taste of Kalispell event when it was not affiliated with the museum, and Apgar said she remembers being impressed with the idea. “We went, ‘Wow, this is a cool event,’” Apgar said. After the original organizer left town, Apgar said she took over with the intention of turning it into a museum fundraiser. The event naturally flows from the lawn into the Museum at Central School, which will be open throughout the evening. The Taste of Kalispell Invitational Art Exhibition will be featured inside, showcasing the work of 24 local artists who depicted both historic and modern characteristics of Kalispell. Apgar’s sister-in-law, Kelly Apgar, donated one of her paintings for the event’s raffle. There will also be a bicycle from Wheaton’s and a $150 gift card from Caper’s, Apgar said. Attendees will also have the chance to win door prizes, which will include gift certificates and gift baskets from other local businesses. While Taste of Kalispell brings well-deserved attention to local restaurants, Apgar said she was thrilled that it also introduced 150 new visitors to the museum last year. “That’s my happiest part about the whole event,” she said. Tickets for the 2011 Taste of Kalispell are available at the Flathead Beacon, Colter Coffee, at the Museum at Central School and at the door. Apgar recommended purchasing tickets beforehand to avoid a bottleneck at the gates. Emaillast_img read more