The place to taste


Fraze’s The Taste event returns

By Paula Johnson

Photo: Selections at this year’s Taste event include everything from deep fried cheese curds to tiramisu to gourmet dog treats

“It’s the 29th year! It’s our biggest fundraiser,” Ann-Lisa Allen, president of the Kettering Moraine Oakwood Chamber of Commerce excitedly explains. She’s talking about The Taste.

She continues, “The Taste benefits the Chamber of Commerce, and everyone who loves good food, wine and music!” Last year the event drew 3,500 people, with restaurants putting out more than 2,000 samples of food. This year over 40 restaurants will participate.

“It’s a great after-hours networking event, and a fantastic way to meet people and find out about new places to eat,” Allen says. “Our restaurants love us, so we have no trouble attracting them. We provide the booths and all the set-ups including electricity and lighting. We even pay for their health permits. And we provide them with exactly what they are looking for—exposure to their target market: people who love to dine out. Lots of them!” she laughs.

Don’t wait for it

Allen continues, “The people who come love it because there are no individual tickets like a lot of events, so there’s a lot less waiting in line. You receive a wristband, which enables you to try food at any booth you’d like. It’s streamlined and a lot more simple.” Wristbands are available for $25 in advance at the Chamber office at 2977 Far Hills Avenue (937.299.3852) or at The price for a wristband at the event is $30. (Children’s tickets are not sold in advance. They are available for $10 at the event only.) Drinks are available at The Fraze concessions stands.

Luscious line up

Just which restaurants and what kinds of food are we talking about? Some of the highlights include: deep fried cheese curds form Young’s Dairy; chicken and shrimp lettuce wraps from Bar Louie; pasta carbonara, lobster bisque and tiramisu from Brio; Dixie Dairy Dreem’s sundaes; chicken salad sliders from Archer’s Tavern; Figlio’s crab and corn chowder; gyros from Chicago Gyros and Dogs; chocolate salted caramel cake from Tiers of Sugar; a sampling of soups from Zoup!; fruit crepes, Siesta Key yogurt parfaits and lemon chicken quinoa from First Watch; and Sumera Sushi will have fusion PB & J rolls and apple pie rolls, plus some surf and turf sushi.

Any new participants this year?

“We’re excited to welcome Indian cuisine from Amar India and Persis Indian Grill,” Allen notes.

In addition to food, many restaurants will be handing out menus and coupons, and the Oregon District’s Spice Paradise will be distributing sample spice packets. Lindy’s Gourmet Pet Treats will be there too, handing out treats to take home to your pet. A doggie bag for Rover to get over your guilt for leaving him behind is a great idea, and it’s a great way to get to know Lindy’s. Their products are made by homeless people and sales supports Daybreak, a local temporary housing shelter. Unfortunately The Taste is not pet friendly, but you can still do your pooch a solid by grabbing a treat.

Bid early, bid often!

What else can Taste-goers expect once they’ve eaten and sipped their fill? There’s a great silent auction line up. Allen’s advice: “Come with a group of friends—some of the packages are ideal for six or eight people. We always have groups who come together to bid on them. We’re offering one of last year’s most popular experiences again this year. It’s a private tour for six. You’ll be picked up in a vintage 1947 Plymouth and driven to a dinner at Moraine Farm, the sprawling residence of Colonel Deeds, one of Dayton’s most famous industrialists,” she says. The residence is now owned by Kettering Health Network and is not open to the public. The property includes an observatory, a shooting range and a barn where Deeds hung out and invented with the likes of Charles Kettering and John Patterson. You’ll hear amazing stories and anecdotes about some of Dayton’s most influential figures.

New this year is the aptly named Renew You package. Not only does this spa package include gym membership and personal training, you’ll also get teeth whitening, a haircut, manicure, pedicure and massage. Perfect for the New Year’s resolution to reinvent yourself that you haven’t gotten around to yet.

At arm’s length

“We’ve also got chance drawing baskets, all with values of at least $1,000,” Allen adds. Tickets are $5 individually, or $20 for “an arm’s length.” Whose arm, I wanted to know? Allen laughs, “It can be anybody’s arm, so you’ll see a lot of people looking for big tall guys with long arms to measure out their tickets!” Note to self: Take long-armed friend to event.

As you stroll around The Fraze’s sylvan setting, you can listen to a great mix of jazz, blues and a little rock and roll from the Chris Bowman Band. The fountains will be on, the wine will be flowing and you’ll be among fabulous people sampling fabulous food. What could be better, Dayton? I can’t think of a thing. See you there!

The Taste takes place 6-10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3 at Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd. in Kettering. For more information, please visit

Dayton City Paper Dining Critic Paula Johnson would like every meal to start with a champagne cocktail and end with chocolate soufflé. As long as there’s a greasy burger and fries somewhere in the middle. Talk food with Paula at

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Dayton City Paper Dining Critic Paula Johnson would like every meal to start with a champagne cocktail and end with chocolate soufflé. As long as there’s a greasy burger and fries somewhere in the middle. Talk food with Paula at

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