EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 13, 2011

Taste of Methuen to be held at National Guard armory

METHUEN — There's always enough food to feed a small army at the annual Taste of Methuen, so it's fitting that this year's event is at the National Guard's armory on Lowell Street.

The armory will turn into a foodie's paradise on Tuesday, May 24, when 23 restaurants from the Methuen area serve their signature dishes. Tickets cost $25, and people can eat as much as they want. The feast runs from 6 to 9 p.m.

All of the money raised will fund the Methuen Exchange Club's service programs.

The event is nine years old. The Exchange Club held the dinner at the Wyndham Hotel in Andover for the last four years. The National Guard completed their new Readiness Center at 679 Lowell St., and there's enough space there to accommodate the food festival. There's also a large kitchen.

"This gave us a chance to bring it back to Methuen," said Exchange Club President Linda Buell.

Restaurants like Piro's, Borelli's, Brown & Budnick and the Sweetheart Inn have been at the Taste of Methuen every year. There will be some newcomers this year, such as The Hampstead House.

"The restaurants are able to get out there and show what they got and get some additional business," Buell said.

There will be raffles, gift certificates and wine baskets. The Exchange Club is trying to limit the event to the first 400 people who buy tickets. One year, more than 600 people attended.

Tickets may be purchased by calling Buell at 978-725-7544.

The Exchange Club's primary focus is the prevention of child abuse. They recently sponsored a program at Methuen High School about teenage dating violence, they give away college scholarships, they built a ramp for a disabled child, and they have ball games with children from St. Ann's Home & School.

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