SOUTHINGTON - Pouring rain didn't stop a good-sized crowd from coming to the annual Taste of Southington, bringing umbrellas and healthy appetites.
Many of the guests to the Barnes Museum at 85 N. Main St. were able to visit vendors to sample their offerings before the rain, thunder and lightning hit. They then took shelter under large tents while enjoying the local cuisine and listening to Malorie Leogrande sing popular soul, R&B and jazz hits.
Kerry Obervock and Steve Dante both came to Taste of Southington for the first time from East Hartford. Obervock said that she would eat in the rain if she had to.
"We've never tried anything in the area before," said Dante. "We're hoping to fill up."
"The mac and cheese fritters from Geno's Grille are very good," said Obervock.
Meanwhile, Donna Perry and her family had food from Namaste India, which she said she eats at regularly.
"I tried the mixed vegetable curry," said Perry. "It's really good; not too spicy, just right."
Eddie Jennings came to Taste of Southington with his wife, Gina. He said that they come to the event every year.
"The ribs from Smokin' With Chris are excellent," he said. "I also had Saint's hot dogs with the chili sauce. I like to try all different kinds of food and listen to the music."
Mike Truss, who is a chef at Blackstone Irish Pub, came to Taste of Southington with his 6-year-old daughter Giuliana. He said that he had come in past years as a vendor, when he owned Napoli's Deli. Now the food keeps bringing him back as a guest.
"The pasta from Chef Ralph is some of the most authentic stuff I've had," he said.
Participating residents included Saint's Famous Chili Dogs, Paul Gregory's, Gino's Grille, Sweet Mango, Namaste India, Foodology Cooking School, Sixpence Pie Company, Smokin' With Chris, Ideal Tavern, Paradise Pizza and Chef Ralph.
Each vendor brought out a small menu with some of their most popular dishes and allowed visitors to sample them for a small fee.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.