The Taste of DC is a wonderful annual festival for foodies. Whether you enjoy upscale restaurants, the convenience of a food truck or grabbing a sample from a vendor, Taste of DC is “one stop shopping” for all of these experiences. It is wonderful living in a city that is so rich in history, culture and adventures. I look forward to Taste of DC each year. I learn about a new restaurant or dish. I sample beverages, desserts or creations that chefs hand out after demonstrating a recipe. I enjoy finding out about new vendors in the area.
Taste of DC CEO, Steuart “Stu” Martens said, “Having all of these restaurants all in one place makes “Taste of DC” unique. We have three music stages and the ABW Culinary Stage. We’ve taken a parking lot and transformed it into a venue.” There were 65 restaurants, dozens of vendors and several food trucks at RFK Stadium this year.
The location was a departure from Pennsylvania Avenue and it worked. There was a glitch with the software loading credits to wristbands. Some of the guests had an inconvenient wait and shared their disappointment on social media. I guess I am a “the glass is half full” type of person. And there were plenty of vendors to fill it! The team worked hard to fix the issue and it is worth returning next year!
Here are reasons to attend Taste of DC:
The food, the food, the food!
|Chicken grilling at Teak Wood's booth.|
There were lots of bites and food items for sale and a ton of samples. Zico Coconut Water poured four samples. The chocolate was my favorite. NakedJuice had several tastes of their fruit and vegetable flavored items. Coca Cola had sips included diet, zero and low calorie cokes. They didn’t mind repeat visits! Giant food handed out healthy snacks and nutritionists were available to share tips.
The variety was convenient. It didn’t matter if you were vegetarian or vegan or had special restrictions. There was something for all foodies. The large variety of food choices included: lamb, seafood, grilled items, fries, salads, sandwiches, sweets and so much more. As if the food choices weren’t enough, the beverages were varied too. There were wine samples, frozen daiquiris, craft beers, brewed sodas and teas.
You can watch chefs prepare dishes as they share their secrets.
|Colada's Chef Mario Monte, Chef Matt Finarelli, Rebellion's Chef Travis Weiss|
Chef Matt Finarelli must have sampled some of the energy drinks. He cooked several dishes on the ABW Cooking Stage (including risotto and crabcakes), MC’d Southwest Airlines Snackoff competition AND had time to judge the ABW Chili cook off! Some of Chef Finarelli’s tips for success included: squeezing the water out of the meat before making crab cakes, using fresh black pepper for any dish and squeeze your own lemons. Southwest Airlines sponsored it’s annual “Snackdown” cooking competition. Coloda Chef Mario Monte served Peanut Rum Cake and Rebellion’s Chef Travis Weiss served Potbelly Pork with peanut butter and jelly. Chef Mario won the “savory vs: sweet “ competition. The chili cookoff was sponsored by ABW Appliances. Each chef cooked on equipment that could be purchased in one of ABW’s showrooms. This year’s winner was Anna Maria Angelakis from Angeli Gourmet. Her spicy Greek chili was delicious.
Musicians shared a variety of tunes on three separate stages. One moment you could hear opera, jazz, rock, a choir or salsa. LBF (Latin, Blues and Funk) was a highlight for me. It was also nice seeing the return of Batala DC. This colorful women’s group play drums with joy. Taste After Dark continued the musical feast with additional acts. It was nice having so many local bands showcasing their talents.
My recipe for a successful Taste of DC:
- Charge your phone.
- Wear sun block.
- Bring baby wipes or hand gel.
- Bring a cinch sack or rolled up grocery bag for samples and swag.
Wear comfortable shoes - you will do a lot of walking.