May 20, 2015 By Christian Murray
Local residents turned out en masse to participate in this year’s Taste of Sunnyside that was held under a giant tent under the elevated No. 7 line on Queens Blvd Tuesday night.
The event was sold out over the weekend and several people who wanted to buy tickets last night were told they were unable to partake.
The attendees were all there to sample the food and beverages offered by nearly 30 local restaurants. The samples offered were global in scope with Italian, Irish, French, Colombian, Peruvian, Thai, Tibetan, American and Paraguayan food on offer.
Many enjoyed the sounds of a local jazz-group and the sights of Flamenco dancers.
There was also beer provided by two local breweries (Queens Brewery and SingleCut Beersmiths) and plenty of wine.
Throughout the evening—which went from 5:30 pm through 8:30 pm– a continuous wave of people kept coming through the tent entrance, especially after 6:30 pm. Over the course of the night, more than 600 people attended.
The location proved to be a hit once again, the second year it has been held under the elevated No. 7 line.
“I think the venue is great,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “It is done in the heart of the community under the 7 train where both sides of the neighborhood come together.”
“Thousands of people are drawn to this [event] as they drive by or get off the train,” he said. “Even if they don’t know what is taking place or they can no longer get tickets they leave thinking that this is a community where things happen.”
The aim of the event, which was put on by Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District for the fifth time, is to introduce attendees to restaurants that they may not ordinarily go to. The idea is if they enjoy their sample, they will dine at the restaurant at a later date.
Furthermore, the event is also a way for Sunnyside Shines to showcase the area as a food destination.
Rachel Thieme, the executive director of Sunnyside Shines and last night’s organizer, said the event continues to get better.
She said that it was good to see several newly-established restaurants participate such as Dumplings & Things, Nonna Gina Brick Oven Pizzeria, Punda Tibetan Restaurant, Soleluna and Tibetan Dumpling Café.
While Sunnyside Shines’ event got rave reviews last year, Thieme said that she changed the layout to ensure that people had more space to eat and that people were able to get into the event without delay.
She said that she had received a lot of positive feedback from restaurant owners throughout the night.
“It a big commitment for them so we like hearing that it is worthwhile.”