Can't decide whether it's Mexican or Italian night for dinner?
The Taste of Hilliard & Business Expo could solve the dilemma – for one evening, at least.
The annual Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce event is from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, at the Makoy Center, 5462 Center St.
Since its first year in 2010, when the 16 restaurants and 16 businesses drew about 500 people, the event has expanded to include 30 restaurants, 50 businesses and more than 1,000 patrons, said Libby Gierach, president and CEO of the Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce.
Event details are available at hilliardchamber.org, but ThisWeek has distilled them into 5 Things to Know. Bon appetit!1. Bring your appetite
The 30 restaurants will serve selected appetizers and entrees covering virtually every variety of food styles available in central Ohio.
"You can find anything you want or try a little of everything," Gierach said.
The lineup includes such regular participants as Lunada Mexican Grill & Cantina and such new additions as No. 1 Gyro Shoppe, Dickey's Barbeque Pit and the Crazzy Greek II.2. Vote with your palate
A people's-choice award will be presented to restaurants in four categories: appetizers, entrees, desert and ice cream.
Ice cream is its own separate category this year because several creameries are registered for the expo, Gierach said.
Last year, pizzerias were in a separate category.3. Pick up a 'passport'
"Passports" will list the names of participating restaurants and businesses.
Obtain a stamp for all the entries and get entered in a drawing for $100.4. Forget reservations
No advance or online ticket purchases are available, and credit cards will not be accepted for tickets.
Admission is $15 cash for adults and $5 for children ages 10 and under.
However, credit cards will be accepted at the cash bar.5. Skip the sitter
New this year is a second-floor zone staffed by the Kiwanis Club of Hilliard to provide activities and entertainment for children.
"The (kids zone) provides a place for children to play games, or even do a service project, while parents eat and socialize," Gierach said.
The Kiwanis Club of Hilliard recently joined the chamber and staffing the kids zone is a means to provide a community service, said Lori Lee, Kiwanis vice president.
Children can help make fleece blankets for Nationwide Children's Hospital or color food bags for the Hilliard Food Pantry, she said, and games also would be available.