With more than 20 local vendors, the Taste of Faribault will again provide area restaurants with an opportunity to impress potential clientele and community residents with a chance to try a wide selection of foods.

Most vendors at the Sept. 19 event return from previous years. They include the Depot Bar and Grill and The Cheese Cave. There will be new vendors on hand as well, such as Faribault’s Crooked Pint Ale House. Crooked Pint opened its Faribault restaurant last September, just before the Taste of Faribault, so it wasn’t able to participate. The Faribault ale house is part of a chain that includes a dozen locations spread throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

This year, the Crooked Pint hopes to come to Taste of Faribault with some hits, including a selection of tacos and the restaurant’s award winning tater tot hotdish.

“It will be great to get to know Faribault more,” said Ashley Kern, Faribault Crooked Pint manager.

Even returning vendors are always looking to mix things up and provide something different. For Bluebird Cakery, that means trading the bakery’s traditional offering of cake samples for a sample platter of cookies.

In years past, Bluebird Cakery has often brought a wedding sample platter to Taste of Faribault. This year, attendees will get a chance to try four different flavors of Bluebird’s sugar cookies — buttercream, cocoa cinnamon, snickerdoodle and gingerbread caramel.

Bluebird Cakery manager Teddy Campbell said that last year was her first Taste of Faribault experience. She noted that last year’s Taste of Faribault was interrupted by a tornado that caused a power outage.

Nonetheless, Campbell said she enjoyed participating in the Taste of Faribault and looks forward to participating again. It seems that many event attendees also enjoyed having Bluebird at Taste of Faribault — Bluebird’s Macaroons and other cakes disappeared from the platter well before the power outage.

“It’s always a really fun experience because you get to see a lot of different members of the community that you don’t always see,” Campbell said. “It’s a good opportunity for us to bring in new people.”

The Cheese Cave will also participate in this year’s Taste of Faribault. Cheesemaker Rueben Nilsson said that The Cheese Cave plans on bringing not only its award winning bleu cheese but also cheddar and gouda cheeses aged right here in Faribault.

“We want to be part of the community,” Nilsson said. “It gives us a chance to show off the great local cheeses that we’re producing, that people may not be aware of.”

This year’s Taste of Faribault is organized by Casie Steeves, Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism’s office manager and member events coordinator. Steeves, in her third year on the job, always looks forward to Taste of Faribault.

Steeves said that like many people, she tends to fall into the habit of ordering the same thing over and over when she goes out to eat. She loves that Taste of Faribault gives her an opportunity to sample a variety of foods.

“If it wasn’t for Taste of Faribault, I wouldn’t get to experience that,” she said. “It’s just easier to try new things here.”

Reach Reporter Andrew Deziel at 507-333-3129 or follow him on Twitter @FDNandrew.

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