I've made it pretty clear over the years in this space that I do not subscribe to "Team Bridge Phobia." I'm certainly not making light of any phobias at all, but I do know the majority of the people who read this column have no interest whatsoever in crossing the Talmadge Bridge, no matter what I tell them is awaiting on the other side.

This week is a great opportunity to reconsider that notion. One of the best food events of the spring is being held this weekend. Taste of Bluffton is about as good as it gets for outdoor events around here.

For starters, the scenery is among the prettiest in the area. Old Town Bluffton is straight out of a postcard. If you've visited the area, then you know. If you haven't, well then, you should. Taste of Bluffton is right in the heart of Old Town, a takeover of Calhoun Street, which is lined with shops, galleries, restaurants and more. Add the weekend's Taste event and you have more than a fair share of bites to eat and like.

 

That takes us back to the original reason why we share this time together every week: good food. I've been telling people for years — anyone who asks really — that some of the best hidden gems for food around here aren't in Savannah. They are in Bluffton. Of course, we know I am not discounting our food scene on this side of the bridge. I am just adding the fact that 25 to 30 minutes down the other side of that span are some great eats, as well.

FARM Bluffton is one of the best restaurants in a 50-mile radius of downtown Savannah. Beyond that, there are a handful of others that are exceptional, but those aren't the only names represented this weekend. Taste of Bluffton is a celebration of all of the food in the area. Baked goods, she crab soup, barbecue, shrimp and grits and, of course, oysters can and will be found at Taste of Bluffton. Add to that some great homemade ice cream and much more. And it is all in one spot.

Saturday's event is free admission. You do, however, have to purchase tickets to taste to your heart's content. And there will be plenty to taste.

One event added this year which is definitely worth a look is the Sunday Gourmet Tour of Homes. Some of the best chefs in the area will be offering cooking demos and wine pairings in model homes at the Hampton Lake community in Bluffton. Guests will be shuttled around on trolleys looking at new homes. Oh yeah, and the food will be fantastic as well. Of that, I am certain.

Short notice, or not, to plan a trip to Bluffton if you don't live nearby, but I chose to wait until now to share because a lot of times the weather dictates what people will do with their weekends. If the weather man or woman says it will be beautiful out, you should brush off that bridge phobia and make plans to visit Taste of Bluffton on April 6 or 7. Either way, you will eat it and like it.

See you on TV,

Jesse