What restaurant gives you the mouthwatering choice among pad thai, ahi tuna, lobster bisque, pizza, pasta, burger sliders, jerk shrimp, red velvet cupcakes and turtle pie slices — all made by people who specialize in them?
There's only one, and you have to be there when window of opportunity opens. The feast lasts for a day at Riverside Park in Bonita, thanks to the annual Rotary Club Bonita Springs Noon "Taste of Bonita." This year, says chairman Rob Grady, the emphasis is on local, with all the food coming from locally owned restaurants.
"This is a community event, and what better way to give back than to have it be with restaurants that are part of the community?" he said.
The event will begin Saturday with a free concert by a Jimmy Buffett tribute band, Caribbean Chillers, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the park. It promises happy music and Rotary food for sale with a "Margaritaville" flair: pulled pork sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs, margaritas, beer, wine, soft drinks and energy drinks. There's a children's area as well, with inflatable fun.
Taste of Bonita
When: 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, pre-event entertainment, food; and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, main event
Where: Riverside Park, 27300 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs
Admission: Admission and parking are free for both events; tickets for Taste of Bonita are $1 each, and dishes cost from one to five tickets
More information: www.tasteofbonita.com
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, restaurants take over, offering delectables such as:
■ summer roll, pad thai and chicken saute from C Grape;
■ seafood sliders from Big Hickory Fishing Nook;
■ Italian ices and slices of turtle pie from Royal Scoop;
■ cheese, chicken and beef empanadas from Bella Colombia;
■ jerk shrimp from Hot Caboose;
■ red velvet, key lime and chocolate cupcakes from Cupcakes in Paradise;
■ seared ahi tuna from the Fish House; and
■ the intriguing Not-So-French Toast from Survey Cafe.
There are more than 20 restaurants offering sample sizes of their most popular dishes.
Also on Sunday there will be an expanded children's area, including laser tag, bounce house and more, for a nominal charge. Entertainment will be by the Estero High School Jazz Band and Tim Poindexter.
There's no admission and parking is free. Participants buy $1 tickets, and sample-size dishes cost from one to five tickets. Again there are soft drinks, wine, beer and wine-based cocktails. Part of the restaurants' proceeds will go toward Rotary Noon's local community projects.
It's the 19th year for Taste of Bonita, and Grady expects 9,000 people, making it, for a day, Bonita's largest and most diverse restaurant.