This is a guest post written by Andreas W. Matthes, owner of Protec Diving in Playa del Carmen, volunteer at the Taste of Playa 2009, and Attendee at the 2009 event. We have titled this post ‘Double Trouble’ as Matt was a great volunteer and attendee AND did a fabulous job photographing the event. Thanks Matt for sharing your perspective and we look forward to having you ‘hanging stuff’ at this years event.
Last year I went to this fabulous event, Taste of Playa- The 1st Annual Sampling, under an azure blue sky with a slight breeze going over my bald head. The event was held in the heart of Playa del Carmen, the Zocalo, Parque Fundadores on Av. Juarez, with the beautiful old beach right in front showing all visitors a view of the Mexican Caribbean . As I have live in Playa for 15 years, I always get invited to help out as I am a big guy so I was not surprised to be asked to come and assist the morning of the Taste of Playa event. Frankly I had no real idea what was going to happen but as kind (and tall) as I am; I always like to help out someone.
So up go the signs and tents in the early morning and I started to wonder what this event was going to be, all the restaurants and bars, many of them my long time friends, coming together for a day to offer a bite to eat. No dish, no plate, no bowl or cup. It was going to be a day of the ‘perfect bite’ from over 25 restaurants.
After hanging up all that stuff, I went for a shower and a nap and when I got back I hardly could believe my eyes how many people where about to check out the bites, food, tastes and fares of I can’t remember how many restaurants and bars. What an event! Lots of people, lots of families with their kids, with everyone enjoying a happy family and friendly atmosphere.
I lost no time getting myself a VIP pass, a little booklet where I could walk up to the restaurants and get a bite and they took a page out of the booklet, entitling me to overeat on tasty food. There was a separate section for the VIP participants with white table cloth tables and chairs reserved for the weary and hungry Very Important Persons, me, and a bunch of friends eating and drinking till the night came on. What a blast, what a brilliant idea. Real money is useless on that day, all coupons need to be pre-bought at the cashier on site so you had a bunch of Playa money, taste money, yum yum money.
What a fabulous idea. The Taste of Playa. A bunch of bars and restaurants offering their particular taste, really cheap and not too much so you can taste and try say 25 different restaurants, well, maybe 15. The presentation of the whole event was very well done, high end you might say, but not with a high end price. The restaurants and bars gave their best and all was very elegantly decorated. The food was awesome, the drinks cool, old friends always good for a laugh and new friends made while eating ourselves around and around the Zocalo.
I am looking forward to the 2010 event, the 2nd annual sampling and I will be there, hanging up some stuff in the morning volunteering again and then have a blast during the afternoon eating’ and drinking’ with old and new friends.
All photos courtesy of Andreas Matthes.