Humble Start to Big Flavor
Looking back on the newest tour experience in Rome, I can’t help but be overwhelmed at the huge response of the new Flavor Tours. What started out as a small idea, quickly turned into a labor of love in the early days of the year. As a huge supporter of the culinary scene in Rome, especially downtown, I knew I had to figure out a way to make it extra special to give locals and visitors alike something a deeper understanding of our rich cuisine.
The flavor tour started off well on an overcast day in early March, leaving the Downtown Welcome Center on our way to the first of several delicious surprises for my guests. For our first stop, we started off strong with Harvest Moon Cafe, where we were center stage in the restaurant with a revolving platter of top apps like fried green tomatoes, fried catfish, and wicked pimina cheese; that mesmerized and drew the attention of diners surrounding us with wide eyes, seemingly forgetting their own plates. Next we were heading on over to Jamwich, where we were treated to classic Coca-Cola and the fabulous Dirty South Mouth; after Shadae gave us the low-down about behind the restaurant and food, we kicked it into second gear (because those Roman Chariots only go so fast).
After cleaning our plates, we made a trip to Rome City Brewing Co., where Jay Shell walked us through the brewing process as everyone enjoyed flights of his newest brews, as well as his new brew grain pretzel and beer cheese. This is where the excitement really began, because not only were we having a blast, other curious patrons came up to see what was going on. On our last stop, we just had to go to the Honeymoon Bakery, where I chose a little-known but awesome treat for everyone. Despite, everyone having been to the bakery, none had tried the chocolate mousse, and none were expecting the rich decadence of the treat as well, and excitement turned to bliss as they had discovered yet another awesome food right under their noses!
After some constructive criticism, we concluded our tour with full bellies and high spirits, and I set to work getting it ready for the April unveiling to the public. So fast forward a few weeks and here I am giving two tours featuring the same places, and wowing locals and tourists alike. The best part is everyone coming together and sharing stories. If you want peace, you come to the dinner table, nothing brings people together like food.
2017 in Perspective
Fresh off the success of the first tour, I started getting requests from those that had heard from friends who enjoyed the first tour. One of the biggest draws was keeping people coming back for an ever-changing menu each month and the prospect of unique tours down the road. We had everything from Vegetarian, Taste of Summer, Taste of Fall, and even the insanely popular Best of Rome themes. I knew I had created something with the local chefs that could become staple experience for Downtown!
After seeing firsthand an incredible first year of the Georgia’s Rome Flavor Tours, I want to thank the Romans and visitors for joining me on this journey and I hope you will join me for another exciting year of culinary adventures around Rome. We’ll be returning on Jan. 20 with a big 2018 Kickoff featuring more stops from some of our newer restaurants as well as classic favorites with plenty to tickle your taste buds. We’ll also be celebrating couples and singles alike on Feb. 10 with our Couples-Only and Singles-Only tours, both featuring unique menus as well as a chocolate and wine tasting at the end of the tour! More exciting tours are in the works, so keep an eye out for more info!