Taste of the Triangle

Taste of the Triangle

Mardi Gras ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.

Tuesday, March 8, marks the day when everyone celebrates rich food, wine, spirits, friends and fellowship before they bid the Mardi Gras festivities farewell. For those who follow the Catholic rituals of the Lenten season, this is also a chance to feast freely before the 40-day fast leading up to Easter. It’s Fat Tuesday, folks.

But cooking time cuts into eating time, and guilt tends to follow a feast devoured in one sitting. Why not try a little bit of everything, in the company of friends, for a good cause?

When you purchase a $20 ticket to the Taste of the Triangle ($15 in advance) you enjoy the generous samples of nearly 50 businesses that participate in the annual event. Food tastings, wine tastings and beer tastings for two hours—you’re gonna to leave full.

“And happy,” added Melody Celli, public relations coordinator for the Taste. “You can sample all there is to sample, and it’s a really happy event.”

Newcomers to the Taste will certainly enjoy rounding the circuit of tamales, ribs, chicken tenders, seafood, bread-pudding—but don’t let “tasting” fool you. Jay Jenkinson of Cheddar’s will be armed with 500 racks of ribs, 650 chicken tenders and 250 pounds of broiled shrimp, and he’s only got two booths. But you won’t want to get full off the first few tastes.

Especially when you’ve yet to hit Richard Courville’s booth. In his 27th year participating in the Taste of the Triangle, “Big Rich” is the Tasting’s man of the hour — this year’s event is dedicated to the beloved owner of Courville’s Catering and Special Events, who plans to bring a special signature dish of his own for the evening — his rotisserie Shiner Bock beer-glazed pork loin.

“We take a center-cut pork loin that we marinate for 24 hours in a Montreal Canadian steak seasoning and Cajun-power garlic sauce,” Courville revealed. “Then we rotisserie grill it, smoke it, slice it, then we glaze it with a Shiner Bock beer glaze, brown sugar and honey.”

And he’ll be bringing plenty to go around — 250 pounds of pork, enough for 3,000 tastes, he said.

“There’s nowhere else you can go and pay that kinda money to walk into a party with great food, great fun, great music and literally tastes from all over the Triangle. You’re getting a taste of everything, and there’s great food in Southeast Texas.”

While all the participating restaurants enjoy the pleasure of your company (and compete for bragging rights) all ticket sales will be donated to the Sabine Area Restaurant Association.

“The money that SARA raises goes to many different things,” said Courville, adding that SARA purchases livestock from young local farmers every year in order to donate the meat to local charities including Some Other Place, Girls’ Haven, Boys’ Haven and the Hospitality Center in Port Arthur.Yes, it’s a guilt-free food spree at the Taste of the Triangle. If you don’t leave full, well, you didn’t try very hard.Ford Park is at 5115 I-10 S. in Beaumont. For more information about the event, call (409) 892-2752.