If you’re looking to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, support minority-owned businesses, and help local restaurants get back on their feet, look no further than Taste of Prospect Heights.
Despite the name, the event will be held in both Prospect and Crown Heights. This is the first time that the Tastes of Brooklyn group will hold a crawl in this area. With the pandemic, they saw an opportunity to highlight more minority owned businesses, as well as branch out to more participants in more neighborhoods, while giving their neighbors a chance to get out of the house a bit more in a socially distanced, safe way. The group has already done Taste events this year, including a nearly sold-out one in Gowanus.
The crawl is a fundraiser for the non-profit organization Seeds in the Middle, run by founder Nancie Katz. The organization works to eradicate food deserts around Brooklyn with a “teach a man to fish” mentality, building farmstands in schools and teaching those involved how to sell the produce back into the neighborhood. Proceeds from the Taste of Prospect Heights event will be split between SITM and the restaurants, and will likely go towards building other farmstands, organizers tell us.
“[These farmstands] can sustain after the pandemic, after all this free food and money for free food runs out. That ensures that children can get fresh fruits and vegetables no matter where they live in Brooklyn,” Katz said. “We know that if it’s locally run, these people will sustain it for their communities.”
25 restaurants and businesses are involved so far, including Island Pops, Hunky Dory, Ras Plant Based, Mexicocina Agaveria, and Memphis Seoul. The tastes are still being determined, but most will likely involve both food and drink, with things like elotes, craft beer, and cocktails.
The event is ticketed, with two options for attendance. Patrons can choose between four tastes for $30 and 12 tastes for $80. Organizers remind everyone that this is a grab-and-go scenario, and not to take up a table unless you plan on buying more from the individual restaurant. Many restaurants may also choose to allow attendees to redeem their tickets later on for a free item on top of their meal, after the event is over, Katz says.
“It’s a big morale booster for everybody, since we’re all so depressed,” Katz says with a laugh.