Since 1993 the Congregation Emanu-El Israel has hosted the wildly popular Taste of Westmoreland. Visitors to this premiere one-night event can sample servings from a wide array of local and regional fares. With a wide array of appetizers, sandwiches, pasta, pizza, pulled pork, dips, entrees, and desserts, it is easy to see why this event has become a local staple. In fact, this festival of food, friendship, and fun draws over a thousand visitors annually. And yes, visitors can go back for seconds… and thirds.
With over thirty premier restaurants and caterers from the area, this is a foodie’s paradise. Featured restaurants pair the fabulous talents of local culinary experts alongside popular chain restaurants from the area like Olive Garden and Buffalo Wild Wings. So in addition to that Bloomin Onion, guests can expect the savory Italian Beef on Ciabatta and the Mediterranean Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives, or the sultry chocolate-covered raspberries to the just plain sinful like Triple Layer Chocolate Cake. Beverages – including soft drinks, alcohol, and bottled water – are available for a small fee
While the main event at Taste of Westmoreland is certainly the delicious food, there is a refreshing amount just plain fun. There are a ton of door prizes as well as a Chinese auction and the Famous Silent Auction featuring a slew of goods from local merchants and shops. It is not unusual for there to be other pleasant distractions such as caricatures from local editorial cartoonists. All told, the event is as much about community and friendship as it is about the food, and that seems to be evident at this event. The chocolate-covered bacon may get people in the door every time, but it seems that the genuine fellowship keeps them coming back for more.
Taste of Westmoreland is open to all and it certainly draws crowds and attention to back it up. But this event is more than a food event, as Taste of Westmoreland has loftier and more inspirational goals than tantalizing palates. Keeping with the mission of the sponsor and it’s hosting Seton Hill University, Taste of Westmoreland seeks to help foster a dialogue between the Jewish and Catholic communities and proceeds from the event benefit diversity education and programming.
Admission cost is moderate with a discounted price for children under 12. Tickets are available in advance at participating locations or at the door. Anyone bringing canned and/or non-perishable items for the Westmoreland County Food Bank will receive one free ticket for the chinese auction