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Bite of Seattle

I should have done this post last week as I had planned so that the information might have been useful! I guess, instead, you might just need to file it away for next year. 
I have always enjoyed the idea of the Bite of Seattle but over the years the "bites" have become too large to really be able to do anything more than one or two tastes unless you are with a large crowd and everyone is sharing.  Those larger portions defeat the purpose in my mind.  I’d much rather pay $2 or $3 and be able to try 4 or 5 items than $6 and be done for the day.  So for many years my destination at The Bite was, "The Alley".  It started as John Hinterberger’s Alley and then after his retirement it became Kathy Casey’s Alley. 
The Alley was a great concept: several of the most popular Seattle restaurants prepared small bites.  You paid one fee, got in one line, and got all the bites on one plate.  And the best part was that the proceeds benefited Food Lifeline, an organization that I like to support.  Perfect! 
The Alley was always immensely popular and the line could get pretty lengthy.  Whenever, possible I’d get down to Seattle Center at 11:00 on Friday of the event (the opening) and generally be able to sail through pretty easily.  Over the years, though, the offerings in the Alley seemed to lose a little of their luster and quality.  The last couple years were a bit disappointing.  I guess the festival organizers realized this, too. 
This year the Alley was out and a new feature was in:  Tom Douglas’ Flavors of America: Cooking for Food Lifeline. Instead of individual restaurants creating little bites that represented their cuisine, Tom Douglas did the whole spread and, for variety, did bites from different regions of the country. 
Now I love Tom and the way he really supports the local community – he gives tons of time and materials to support all the local food-related charitable organizations.  It’s pretty amazing.  And this was a cool idea except for one thing, which I realized as I was eating.  This concept did not let me sample from all Seattle has to offer, which is one of the things the Bite and the Alley are supposed to do.  So in that way, it was a bit disappointing. 
Would I go again next year?  Probably – but just because I like contributing to Food Lifeline in any way that I can.  While I appreciate Tom stepping up and taking on this big project I’m a bit sad that it’s lost a little something in the translation.

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