Hundreds take big bite of Blaine

Published on Thu, Feb 14, 2002
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Hundreds take big bite of Blaine

The Bite of Blaine might have been better named the Big Gulp this year, as hundreds of lip-smacking diners gobbled their way around the Blakely at Resort Semiahmoo, leaving nothing but crumbs and empty serving dishes in their wake.

The February 11 event brought together 16 Blaine and Birch Bay restaurants and a crowd of 250 – almost a hundred more than organizers had expected and double the attendance at last year’s event. Tables were quickly snapped up, along with every scrap of blackberry cobbler from Blackberry House and everything but the bread from Edric’s Birch Bay restaurant. “It lasted 40 minutes,” said co-owner Sue McLaughlin of the heap of cajun chicken and stuffed mushrooms she and husband Ed brought to the event. Across the room, Miguel Ramos of Paso Del Norte looked a little windblown in front of a string of empty serving trays only an hour into the event.

New additions to the roster this year proved to be some of the biggest hits of the event.

The Scianna family of Bella Marina, which will open in March at the previous Contos Restaurant location on Peace Portal Drive, dished out homestyle Italian specialties to a crowd three-deep at their table most of the evening. “It’s a family tradition for us,” said Gillian Scianna, who already runs Nicki’s on Peace Portal with husband Nicki. “Our family has over 100 years in the restaurant business.” Nicki was justifiably proud of their meatballs – light and flavorful. “You’ll never have one like it,” he said. “At least not in a restaurant.”

The Dry Dock restaurant brought plenty of variety but everyone was clustered around the bread pudding with rum sauce at the end of the table. “This is the best I’ve ever tasted,” said one busy taster, scampering away with a handful of little cupfuls.

Some people who visited the Dakota Creek Roadhouse table just wanted to know who was playing this weekend. The lucky ones who got there early got samples of prime rib dip sandwiches and homemade salsa, described by one as “scrumptious.”

Many discovered things they didn’t know about businesses they did. “The C-shop makes Easter Bunnies?” mused a woman with her mouth full of chocolate. Harbor Café blew away any preconception it was just about fish and chips with a salmon that seemed steamed, yet tasted lightly smoked. “We’re featuring our lunch menu,” said Annie Magner of La Bonne Maison, introducing a swathe of open-faced sandwiches including chicken blue cheese and grilled vegetarian.

Bob Morton, who recently moved onto a boat in the Semiahmoo Marina was glad he wandered over. “It’s informative for people like me who are new to town to find out what restaurants there really are,” he said.

“It gets bigger and better every year,” chamber of commerce president Pam Christianson told the crowd. Now go and visit all these wonderful Blaine and Birch Bay restaurants and tell them you tasted them at the bite of Blaine!” “.

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