Monday, October 8, 2012

Taste of DC 2012

Taste of DC is a food and entertainment festival that ran throughout Columbus Day Weekend (October 6-8, 2012) from 12pm-7pm.  Featuring over 60 of Washington, DC area’s diverse restaurants, food trucks, and wine/beer vendors, Taste of DC is a 3 day weekend of food and live entertainment.

Keith and I went to this festival last year and had a great time, so we decided to return again this year.  We went on Monday, when the crowd was much lighter and the weather much cooler.  I was anxious to see what food options would be best to keep me warm.  The set up was a little different than before.  Now, each food booth accepted cash as opposed to tickets, but drink stands accepted either cash or prepaid tickets.  Food prices ranged from $2 - $10, and beer and wine sold for $5 or $6.  Even though the prices were a bit higher, I guess the convenience of paying cash for what you like, as opposed to feeling trapped to spending all your tickets correctly is better. (You know how sometimes you are left over with a single random ticket that is not enough to buy anything? You either throw it away - waste! - or give it to a stranger to use.) Various food trucks were also on hand and the enclosed beer garden was removed, allowing for easier walking around and being able to have a drink with your food.  Plenty of picnic tables were setup in the middle for seats.  The occasional vendor with free samples were sprinkled in between.  We snagged some 5 Hour Energy shots, Tums, Werther's Original Candies and sampled Vitamin Water, Fuze, and Pinkberry.

We purchased a variety of things highlighted below.  The Fish n' Chips from Brixton was very tasty, but the mini size and the regular size looked identical.  Regardless, it was a nice taste for $3 and I am still interested in checking out the full menu at their U St restaurant some day.  I also liked the Octopus from Station 4.  I thought this was an unusual dish to feature and certainly caught my eye as opposed to the typical sliders, meat-on-a-stick, and spring rolls seen at multiple booths.  I must make it to their establishment as well.  The Paella Carne from La Tasca was piping hot and perfect for this cool day.  The sausage was surprisingly flavorful and provided substance to the fragrant rice dish.  Keith thought the banh mi was good, but the bread was too soft and did not seem like the traditional type of French bread used.  It did have a thick piece of meat inside with fresh jalapeno slices and other veggies.  He also enjoyed the Hoisin Duck Waffle Sandwich, but would have liked more sliced duck meat as opposed to the "sloppy joe" style.  It was quite messy to eat without a fork.  Keith was excited to try it at first, since the restaurant is located close to his work, and said he was less likely to go back for lunch but wouldn't mind trying one of the dessert offerings.  The beef ribs from Ulah Bistro were just alright, a bit on the fatty side, but nice and warm making a heartier sampling than other dishes.  Overall, the Taste of DC is a great event for the public to sample both new and old restaurant offerings in a casual festival atmosphere.

What I ate:
The Brixton on Urbanspoon
Mini Fish n' Chips ($3)

Station 4 on Urbanspoon
Octopus with Fingerling Potatoes ($4)
red peppers and onions

La Tasca on Urbanspoon 
Paella Carne ($5)
with chicken and sausage

Plus Keith ate:
Dickson Wine Bar on Urbanspoon
Chicken Banh Mi ($3)
with chicken pâté

Ulah Bistro on Urbanspoon
Beef Short Ribs ($4)
with corn bread

Wicked Waffle on Urbanspoon
Hoisin Duck Waffle Sandwich ($6)


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