April 16, 2011

Photos: 2011 Pleasure Island Chowder Cookoff at the Carolina Beach Lake

Here are a few photos from today's Chowder Cookoff at the Carolina Beach Lake. The weather was looking pretty iffy this morning as dark clouds began to move in from the west. But as the 11:00am event opening neared, the clouds began making way for some blue skies. And as I type this at 3:00pm, the weather is still holding out nicely although the winds are beginning to increase (weather forecasters are calling for some potentially severe weather today).

It looks like this years event is setting an attendance record as well. Although the good people at the Chamber of Commerce did not have exact numbers, they did say that this year's event has broke all previous records. And what an event it was--$5 for delicious local chowder...what more could someone want?

This years contestants were: Courtyard by Marriott, Havana’s, Lazy Pirate, O’Charley’s, Surfhouse, Tangerine’s, 17th Street Deli and the Treehouse Bistro. They all had some very good chowder but some were definitely better than others.

I have to say that out off all of the ones I tasted (unfortunately, some had run out), the Treehouse's Crab and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque was my favorite. And although it may not have have been a true chowder, it got my vote because it was absolutely fantastic. As someone who grew up spending many a summer easting blue crabs on the eastern shore of Maryland, their crab bisque was like taking a walk back in time. hmm, hmm, oh so good.

I would be remiss if I didn't extend accolades to the Courtyard Marriott as well. Their chowder was excellent and they most certainly have a chance for the gold. I was also told by quite a few people that one of the chowders I didn't get a chance to taste was also a strong gold run contender. So with that, we'll just have to wait for the 5:00 hour to see the final vote (voting cuts of at 4:00pm). Good luck to everyone.

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