08/12/09 — Mmm good: Tasting the best in Wayne

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Mmm good: Tasting the best in Wayne

By Laura Collins
Published in News on August 12, 2009 1:46 PM

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Steve Grady, of Grady's Barbecue, makes a barbecue sandwich for a customer during the Taste of Wayne held at Wayne Community College Tuesday evening.

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Three-year-old Jeremiah McCoy takes a bite out of a garlic knot.

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Reginald Sutton tastes some of the many food samples at the event.

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Eleven-year-old Cody Howell eats a forkful of lasagna.

The delicious smell of everything from buffalo wings to pizza to barbecue filled the air Tuesday night during the annual Taste of Wayne County event held at Wayne Community College.

Armed with a plate and a fan, courtesy of the event's sponsor, United Way of Wayne County, about 1,000 people visited the 27 different vendors and nibbled on samples ranging from duck to desserts.

Dean and Kathy Combs said they've been coming to the event for the past several years and added that this year didn't disappoint.

"It's really good and there's been some unique choices this year," he said. "It's worth the $12 and it goes to a good cause. I've never left here hungry. If you do, it's your own fault."

Mrs. Combs added that the duck and mahi-mahi were new choices, but said the Village Steakhouse's ribs were their favorite. Although they've been coming for years, she said the event gives people a chance to see what new restaurants in the area have to offer.

Both added that the Taste of Wayne County seems to always fall on the hottest day of the year, and said moving the event to spring or fall might bring in larger crowds.

New at the event was Sweet Treats Bakery at Berry Towne Crafts. They brought Key West tarts for people to try.

"We wanted to increase our exposure. It was a way for us to introduce ourselves to the public," said Charles Spiron, marketing director. "The turnout has been terrific, especially considering the heat, it's been amazing."

Even larger operations, such as Wayne Memorial Hospital and Wal-Mart participated in the event. The hospital provided cold bottled water and Wal-Mart provided several varieties of wings.

Chris Merritt, owner of Brooklyn Pizzeria, has been a vendor at the event for the past seven years.

"Every year it gets bigger and better," he said. "All the vendors are very gracious and it's an honor to be a part of it."

The pizzeria served lasagna and garlic knots in addition to several kinds of pizza.

"It's a big marketing event for us, but the main goal is supporting the United Way," Merritt said.