For a Concord foodie, there isn't a day more anticipated than the annual Taste of Concord. When most of Concord's restaurants get together in one room and hand out samples of their finest fare, the Food Snob won't be far behind.
Usually, this event gives us a chance to try a little bit of everything. However, this year's affair, held last week at the Grappone Center, featured a competition for the best slider in town, so we ignored all the other intriguing options and focuses solely on the task at hand: eating nine sliders.
Surprisingly enough, not one of the nine options was the traditional burger slider. Blaser's Fireside Tavern, Washington Street Cafe and Arnie's Place all offered pulled pork (with Arnie's Place's sweet and spicy slider the clear favorite of the three). The Barley House had a lobster BLT, The Common Man offered a tasty meatball sandwich (rendered tough to eat by the lack of structural integrity in the garlic toast) and Cheers offered a sweet-and-sloppy braised short rib.
The top three choices in our eyes (or mouth) came down to Alan's of Boscawen, Tandy's Top Shelf and Makris Lobster and Steak House. Alan's had a fresh-cut prime rib au jus with horseradish sauce that was spectacular. Tandy's featured a crab cake slider with a sweet, tangy sauce. Makris's blackened swordfish slider with citron sauce and a hint of cayenne, however, was far and away the best thing we ate all night. It could not have been any better!
The actual competion was settled American Idol-style, with text-messaged votes determining the winner: Tandy's Top Shelf. With all due respect, though, we stand by our vote. Hopefully, the blackened swordfish slider makes its way onto the permanent menu at Makris. Just give us a minute - we are stuffed!