For the past 13 years, the Taste of the Springs has generated seed money to fund the upcoming Springs River Festival by introducing people to a variety of area restaurants. This year’s Taste was co-sponsored by the Miami Springs/Airport Area Chamber of Commerce and held at the Miami Springs Optimist Club, rather than the Miami Springs Country Club.
“Carlos Santana (Country Club operator) had another event booked this year, so we moved it here,” said Chamber President Jim Borgmann. “The Chamber decided to get involved with the festival committee this year to help support our local restaurants.”
For $20 per person, diners could sample food from different restaurants and mingle with friends. Taking part this year were: A Little Bit of Philly, Bryson’s Irish Pub, Burritoville, Carolina Ale House, Hurricane Bar & Grill, Johnny’s Soda Fountain & Luncheonette, Miami Springs Country Club and The Ping House.
“It gets our restaurants in front of the general public,” said Borgmann. “People may have heard about certain restaurants and this gives them a chance to taste the food and decide whether to go there for lunch or dinner.”
Local attorney Connie Brandenburg has been involved with the Festival committee for about 10 years and she has chaired the event for the past five years. This year’s annual Springs River Festival will take place from April 5-7.
“Last year we raised about $3,000 to seed the Festival,” said Brandenburg. “The Festival will happen, as it always does, with entertainment, food and fun for everyone. It’s all good. However, we can always use more volunteers. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Helping out serving and cleaning up at the Taste were members of the always-involved Miami Springs Senior High Anchor Club and Mu Alpha Theta Math Club.
Said Carol Dodgen, owner of Johnny’s: “We get feedback from the Taste. Hopefully, we’ll get more customers this year.”
“Any event that brings out the community is good for us,” said Patrick Shepherd, owner of A Little Bit of Philly in Virginia Gardens.
Serving chicken wings for Bryson’s were sisters Ronni and Stacy Dean. “It helps introduce people to our food,” said Stacy, who cooks at the lounge.
Sherryl Bowein said, “This gives everyone a chance to taste the great food that’s available. All of our restaurants are excellent.”
Ann Fields had a little bit of everything on her plate, including pasta, a burrito and steak. “Hurricane Steak is still fabulous,” she said.
Kenia Fernandez said, “All the neighbors come out to eat and have a good time and support the River Festival.”
“We always come out to support the Taste of the Springs,” said Linda Cox. “And we eat everywhere in Miami Springs because we want to support all the businesses.”