In his memoir A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway reflected on a lifetime of munching granola bars on the go and eating Thanksgiving dinners on jet skis. Toast to meals in motion with today's Groupon: for $15, you get a ticket for an Appeteasers USA appetizer and pub crawl in downtown Folsom (a $30 value).
Appeteasers USA's four-hour pub crawls are high-energy explorations of Folsom's finest eats and drinks. After delivering a brief orientation on Sutter Street, Appeteasers USA's enterprising guides lead the way to an assortment of up to eight dining and drinking establishments within a five-block radius. At each stop, pub crawlers are treated to a spread of complimentary appetizers, a menu of discounted drinks, and a piggyback ride from their bartender of choice. The free fare may include Mexican delicacies at Hacienda del Rio, European favorites at Old Europe, or the famous garlic chips at Pizzeria Classico. After 30 minutes at each stop, the intrepid tour leader blows a whistle, and the group moves on to further culinary adventures.
Participants receive an agenda of the evening so they can catch up to the group if they choose to linger at one stop to nurse a drink or settle an old grudge with a mechanical bull. Although ambulatory imbibers are welcome to come with friends, Appeteasers USA provides a great venue to meet new pals whose interests also include free food, discounted drinks, and rented beekeeper suits.
Everything changed for Bob and Chris Quinlan when they organized a successful pub crawl for their local Rotary club in 2005. The positive reception to their event led the pair to found AppeteasersUSA in 2011, which has since expanded from its initial tour in Folsom to include outings in Northern and Southern California, Washington, and Florida. Across the country, AppeteasersUSA’s savvy guides can be found leading patrons from culinary hot spot to hot spot.
Throughout the four-hour tours, herds of at least 25 tour goers stop at restaurants and bars unique to the area—eschewing chains and large franchises—for 30-minute stints, nibbling on appetizers and noting which kitchen appliances might come to life after the restaurant closes. To wash down savory flavors, patrons can swig discounted drinks at each establishment.