Taste the World, a local business that offers tasting tours of Lancaster city's multicultural restaurants, offered its 50th tour Friday evening.
The tour offered food or beverage samples at eight different restaurants or food businesses Friday, including Callaloo Trinidadian Kitchen, 351 N. Mulberry St. — a restaurant that has just recently been added to the stable of eateries that participate in the tour.
Friday's tour was sold out, with 36 people on a waiting list, said Timm Wenger, who runs the company with his wife, Kristina. Taste the World began in 2009 as an extension of the Wengers' other business, Kids & Cultures, which provides children with storytelling, camps and hands-on cultural-learning activities.
The self-guided tasting tours, which run the second Friday of every month from May through October, start at The Common Wheel bike shop, 324 N. Queen St. Those taking the tour walk around the city at their own pace, visiting the multicultural restaurants in whatever order they choose, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wenger said.
Samples are often served at a special table outside the eateries — which are offering their regular dinner service while the tour is going on. Caterers participate in Taste the World, as well, serving their samples at tables at food businesses along the tour.
Different combinations of city restaurants participate in the tour each month.
The theme for Friday evening’s tour was “fresh foods,” which included vegetable biryani at Himalayan Curry & Grill, 22 E. Orange St.; Moroccan meatballs with spiced tomato sauce, over corn grits, at Cabalar Meat Co., 325 N. Queen St.; and a strawberry and banana fruit shake at Aura Espresso Room, 44 N. Queen St.
At Callaloo, Taste the World volunteer Joy Whalen of Lancaster was dishing out the eatery’s pineapple chow — a fruit salad featuring pineapple, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper. Her husband, Andrew Whalen, was stamping the passports that serve as Taste the World’s tickets for the evening.
Andrew Whalen said volunteering for Taste the World is like a free date night out for him and his wife, since they get free passports to visit all the restaurants once they finish their shift at the restaurant.
The couple said a lot of those they were serving on the tour Friday night live outside Lancaster city.
Couples and large groups of friends walked through the city, passports in hand, to line up at the serving tables on a warm but pleasant evening.
Chef Oliver Saye, who offers catering through his company, Culinary Services by Chef Oliver, had a line at his table set up in Lemon Street Market, 241 W. Lemon St.
He was serving up a sweet potato salad, featuring caramelized onions, apples, raisins, mint, olive oil, lime juice and lime zest.
“I like the mint in this,” Kate Hicks of Elizabethtown told Saye as she tasted the salad sample. She and her husband, Jonathan, were celebrating their fifth anniversary by taking the Taste the World tour for the first time.
“We thought it would be great to eat at all our favorite places,” Kate Hicks said, by getting a food sample at each.
There are three more themed Taste the World tours this year: a “mystery meal” tour Aug. 10, meat dishes Sept. 14 and “chef’s favorites” Oct. 12.
Tickets for the tours are $17 per person until four weeks before a tour; $19 per person online after that; and $20 at the door, if there are tickets left. The tours generally sell out in advance.
Visit the Taste the World website for more information or to order tickets.