A bleak and rainy Saturday afternoon called for some indoor time and comfort food; luckily we found both at the Space Coast Food Festival + 34th annual Chowder Cookoff. Held inside the Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal 1, the event housed 10 local restaurants and dozens of other local businesses showing off samples of their goods and services.
We sampled all the chowders each restaurant had to offer, plus some additional signature items (entered into the “twist” category of the contest). It was interesting to taste how different (but amazing!) each unique recipe was from the others.
Some of our non-chowder personal favorites included the “Not from A Can Tuna Salad” from Wild Ocean Market, the Seafood Mac n’ Cheese from Coaster’s Taphouse, and the Shrimp Nachos from Rising Tide Tap & Table. We had heard of almost all the restaurants in attendance, but had only eaten at a few, so we definitely left with some new “must try’s” to add to our restaurant bucket list!
After moseying around each booth and debating over our favorites (Coaster’s Taphouse won our hearts in the end!) we sat and enjoyed the live band, Rocket City, and listened to the winners be announced of prizes auctioned off by local businesses.
There were also samplings from local breweries (Hell n’ Blazes, Intracoastal Brewing Company, and Florida Brewing Company) sponsered by Fish Lips Waterfront Bar & Grill.
In the end, the judges chose the Lobster Chowder Bisque by Hilton’s Salt to take first place in the chowder category, while the Tuna Poke from Grills Seafood took first in the “twist” category. We have to agree, both were delicious!
A special thanks to Space Coast Living for hosting us as the media sent to sample all the goodies at this event! It’s a hard job but someone’s gotta do it.