Plethora of Palate Pleasers at Delta Restaurant Tour

Participants line up for sandwiches, soup and desserts at Big Kahuna Sandwich Shop.

By Amy Claire

Nine restaurants enjoyed a stream of 270 visitors during the 2011 Pride of the Delta Restaurant Tour in downtown Antioch. Over the course of four hours on a Sunday afternoon, participants traveled throughout Old Town, enjoying samples at each stop on the tour.

The event, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Antioch, began ten years ago and has since become a tradition. One of the club’s larger annual activities, it brings smiles to participating diners and restaurant owners alike.

“The businesses get people that would never know they’re there,” said Martha Parsons, a member of the Kiwanis organization. Meanwhile, the people are “all having fun eating their way through the city.”

Six of the nine restaurants were tour veterans. Rick’s on Second, one of the new volunteer eateries, treated tour-takers to soft cookies, tuna and turkey avocado sandwiches, and zesty pasta salad. Big Kahuna Sandwich Shop offered roast beef sandwiches with cream of potato soup, chicken sausage gumbo, moist bread pudding and chocolate lava brownies. The third first-time participant, El Porton Azul, appealed to more adventurous diners by offering hot bowls of menudo.

Humphrey’s on the Delta dished up smoked salmon penne alfredo. Carpaccio Ristorante also served pasta — spaghetti, pesto penne, and fusilli marinara — in addition to salads and sandwiches. Some diners at Carpaccio also took advantage of the $5 margaritas.

Celia’s Mexican Restaurant provided tacos, burritos, and two varieties of enchilada, while options at Little Manuel’s included beef Chile Colorado, tortilla soup and a creamy flan. Starbucks provided samples of various dessert breads, lattes and Frappuccinos, and, of course, two blends of hot, steaming coffee. Many participants opted to end their tour at Skipolini’s Pizza with filling slices of barbecue chicken or pasta primavera pizza and drinks of soda or sangria.

The Kiwanis Club uses the restaurant tour as a fundraising event to help sponsor their various charitable activities. The club regularly donates to Relay for Life, the Antioch senior center, and scholarship funds at both Antioch High School and Deer Valley High School. Kay Power, the Kiwanis Club adviser to AHS, shared that the club has also started a recent campaign to eliminate neo-natal tetanus in third-world countries.

Recognizing each other by their yellow tickets, tour participants shared smiles and laughter, chatting about the various foods and joking about how full they felt as the event drew to a close. “This was really fun!” announced a first-time participant at her second-to-last restaurant. “I think it’s wonderful!” The sentiment was echoed by others leaving with happy smiles and full stomachs.

The Pride of the Delta Restaurant Tour occurs every fall in downtown Antioch. The spring Restaurant Tour takes place in April in Southeast Antioch. Tickets are $15 each, and participants who visit every restaurant on the tour may enter a drawing to win prizes.

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