More than 500 munchers, sippers and nibblers tread the faux grass on a converted indoor-soccer field at CNY Family Sports Centre on Jones Road Saturday night.
They were walking in circles, enjoying a cornucopia of cuisines and a bubbly batch of beverages at the eighth annual Taste of Baldwinsville, the major fund-raising event for the multi-purpose Baldwinsville Volunteer Center, 44 Oswego St. in the village.
The center, which serves a wide cross-section of the village's non-profit causes, hoped to raise nearly $30,000 Saturday and brought in half that by selling out 500 tickets at $30 each. Two event auctions -- one silent and one live -- also produced a revenue stream as bidders vied for collectibles such as two framed and autographed Jason Grilli photos or a 14-carat sapphire and diamond necklace from Shamrock Jewelers.
Pizza and wings
For most folks, though, the focus was the food. Staffers from 17 local restaurants, pizzerias and delicatessens served a not-very varied assortment of foods. Pizza and wings dominated the menus, but they were slices with spices and wings with zing. In fact, Pizza Man, a village staple since 1983 at 50 Oswego St., won three awards for its delicious pies and superlative chicken wings. The judges' panel of seven area hair-stylists gave Pizza Man the nod for best pizza and best wings, and the Man also took home a people's choice award for its cheesy pies made on fresh dough with homemade sauce.
Tasters washed down those spicy sauces with an array of fine beers, ales and malt liquors donated by local macro-brewer Anheuser-Busch, the event's major sponsor. Besides pizza and wings, there were two other award categories: best in bowl and house specialty.
The judges tapped Tabatha's Family Tree for both awards.
Patricia Personius, Tabatha Babbitt's mother, made both soups served at the event, a creamy baked potato soup and a thick-brothed beef barley, with meat so tender it practically melted in your mouth! She also baked Tabatha's house specialty, a cinnamon-apple crisp.