La Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s 9th annual Taste of La Mesa, another great year of business

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Mixing business with pleasure? That is an excellent way to describe the ninth annual Taste of La Mesa, staged by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce to highlight the wide and delicious variety of businesses among local eateries and catering enterprises. The event was held during three lively hours of feasting and socializing at the La Mesa Community Center during the evening of June 12.

Mixing business with pleasure? That is an excellent way to describe the ninth annual Taste of La Mesa, staged by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce to highlight the wide and delicious variety of businesses among local eateries and catering enterprises. The event was held during three lively hours of feasting and socializing at the La Mesa Community Center during the evening of June 12.

Residents and Chamber of Commerce members and guests showed up to pack the center’s east and west wings with happy diners, who could taste fare ranging from small bites appetizers and heavy hors d’oeuvres, to entrée samples, featured beverages, and scrumptious desserts.

The Hills Local Pub served up sliders fresh off the grill, as Hooleys Public House dished up corned beef tacos and Cali Comfort BBQ filled sturdy boxes with plates of short ribs and cups of apple crumble dessert. Luna Grill treated diners to chicken kabobs, the Brigantine Restaurant offered shrimp andouille gumbo, and Cucina Basilico had signature pasta plates. A particular favorite among attendees was Sycuan Casino’s small taster of drunken cherry short ribs.

Enterprises from the local financial services and other business sectors turned out in force to boost awareness of their organizations, including San Diego County Credit Union, SDG&E, Berg Taxes, Sam’s Club, and realtors. The health and fitness sector was represented by Humana and Total Thermal Imaging. Orchard Supply Hardware surprised attendees by offering gifts of a choice among small succulent plants, with a clay pot and repotting soil mix that could be stashed away in a large canvas reusable tote bag.

Mary England, president and CEO of the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, was delighted as the evening’s festivities were concluding. “We’re thrilled,” she said. “The food is fantastic, everyone here is thrilled. We’ve had a tremendous turnout and featured all of these businesses here. What more can you ask?”

England noted further that the local Chamber is eagerly gearing up for next year’s 10th celebration of “tastes” from around the area.

England was especially enthusiastic over the loyalty of returning restaurants and eateries, and she expects next’s year’s event to be bigger and better. She singled out the Brigantine Restaurant as one longstanding participant in the Taste of La Mesa. England also pointed, for example, to Michael Rammelsberg of Riviera Supper Club, who has brought staffers from his family-owned steakhouse to the Taste of La Mesa gathering for five years. England expressed appreciation to Rammelberg’s restaurant for donating wines for the year to this and other Chamber events.

Michael Rammelsberg concurred with England’s assessment, as he poured oenophiles a selection of eight different wines. “This is a great event to showcase restaurants both in and out of the Village.” Riviera Supper Club brought samples of hearty entrees, with portions of fried chicken, as well as pulled pork with fresh salsa. And Riviera also offered tastings of the restaurant’s rich and impressive bacon chocolate cake from the dessert menu.

San Pasqual Winery contributed beverages as well, with nine wines for imbibers to choose from, including two unusual passion fruit wines.

The gathering also raised Chamber activity funds with a silent auction and a 50-50 opportunity drawing. Donated items and services for auction were such enticing possibilities as skate lessons, overnight stays at area hotels, food and drink collections, genealogy research, and sports outings for golf or Padres baseball. The opportunity drawing brought in $1150, which was split with the winning ticketholder taking home $575.

More information about the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce and upcoming business mixers is available online at www.lamesachamber.com or by phone at (619) 465-7700.

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