Nosh goodness back for more

Published 9:05 pm Thursday, May 3, 2018

Clear skies and a high of 89 degrees set the mood for a jam-packed Thursday afternoon of tasty food, cold beer and good company at Constant’s Wharf.

The Rotary Club of Downtown Suffolk held its second annual Nosh on the Nansemond by the river with local restaurants giving residents savory samples from their menus. Crowds filled themselves on food and drink while the BadDadz acoustic trio played on stage.

Ticketholders enjoyed offerings from more than a half-dozen local spots, including fresh greens from The Neighborhood Harvest and Amici’s Pizza Café slices. Mason’s Grill and Smokehouse served up hot and juicy pork ribs with creamy mac and cheese.

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“It’s good to get our name out there,” Mason’s Grill and Smokehouse General Manager Jeremy Branch said. “The best thing is to get our food in their hands. There’s no better way to advertise.”

Jackie Cherry with the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts and Tom Powell of The Addison Group were the judges that decided the afternoon’s three winners: Garden Grille at the Suffolk Riverfront Hilton Garden Inn, Mosaic Restaurant and Rajput Indian Cuisine.

People lined up in front of Mosaic’s tent for sweet potato ham biscuits and plastic martini cups filled with shrimp, grits and cheese.

“It’s like happiness in a sweet little bite,” Justice Green said as he pulled a fork-load of shrimp and grits.

Muhammed Khan, manager of Rajput Indian Cuisine in Harbour View, served up coconut rice with baked garlic tilapia and a sauce with homemade Indian spice made especially for the Nosh.

“It’s a little bit spicy but with a really good flavor,” Stacey Grooms said between bites.

Wine and soda were in abundance to go with the food. Both the Sweet Cherry Pie Blonde Ale and Nansemond Pale Ale provided by Brick & Mortar Brewing Co. were crowd pleasers.

“Both of them are good summer beers,” Julie Vargas said as she enjoyed one “Sweet Cherry Pie.”

The culinary event was originally organized as an annual United Way fundraiser from 2004 to 2007 and then took a hiatus until the Rotary Club brought it back last year. First-timers like Randah Gaitan and Wanda Whites of Suffolk hope the event comes back for another year.

“The food selection is excellent and the entertainment is great,” Whites said as she moved to the music.

“This is a fabulous way to kick off spring,” Gaitan added.

More than 250 tickets were sold for the event. The proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships will go to the Rotary’s charities fund, which provides grants and scholarships for the community and helps numerous nonprofits like the Cheer Fund, ForKids, Suffolk Literacy Council and the Western Tidewater Free Clinic.

“It’s just an awful lot of good that comes out of this, with everybody eating and drinking on a Thursday afternoon,” Rotary Club President Win Winslow said.