Sunday, October 11, 2015

Photo Recap: 5th Annual Taste of DC - Day 1

Sub-Radio Standard performs on the Main Stage

Downtown Washington was the place to be yesterday, as it played host to both the Million Man March and the fifth annual Taste of DC. That meant huge crowds along Pennsylvania Avenue (literally thousands upon thousands of people) and enough tasty treats to feed each and every one of 'em. General Admission to the latter cost $20, and included a complimentary beverage + a free bowl at ShopHouse, good through the end of November. Mother Nature did her part (perfect weather) and DC's premiere food festival took care of the rest. Just in case you missed it, it starts all over again tomorrow (from 12-7 PM.) Click here to purchase tickets.

This year's Taste featured more than 50 of the DC area's best restaurants (each offering up to four different items) as well as scores of tasty adult beverages at the Beer Garden & Wine Walk. Lines to get in, literally looped all the way back to (and around) D Street; but once you got in, there were food demos, great music and killer giveaways to keep you busy in between bites/sips. Check out our day one photo recap (and mini food reviews) below.

Hoop Fever, courtesy of XFINITY

Noise in the Basement at the Wine Walk Stage

Krupnikas from Brothers Vilgalys Spirits

Micho's Lebanese Grill

ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen

Great giveaways, courtesy of GEICO


Ambar Restaurant

CapMac Food Truck

Toffee Making with Chef Greg Trexler of The Original Velatis

Welcome to the Dolce Kitchen - Baking with Marie

Sophie's Cuban Cuisine

"The Future of Bus Travel Has Arrived"... Greyhound

Dwell Direct

No end in sight... Line to get in, wraps around 7th & D Streets

Ambar: Rule #1: When Uroš Smiljanić recommends something, order it! The charismatic GM of Ambar (a finalist for DC Outlook's 2015 Restaurant of the Year) has never steered me wrong, and you can add Balkan Smoked Pork Sausage to their long list of delicious dishes. The sausage is smoky & spicy with a mountain of tasty onions on top, for good measure; and the price (a mere $3) cheap enough to order two... or better yet, the larger $7 entree version.

Ambar's Balkan Smoked Pork Sausage

Jamaican Gourmet: And the winner is... Jamaican Gourmet's Signature Tasting Item (Curry Chicken with Rice and Peas) wins our unofficial "Bite o' the day" with room to spare. I gave serious consideration to ordering their $5 Jerk Chicken on a Stick; but thank Heaven, I opted for curry instead. It's not only cheaper (only $3) but loaded with authentic, rich flavors... especially the chicken, which begs for further inspection. The beans/peas were incredibly tender, and the rice... perfectly cooked. Yum, yum, yum!

Curry Chicken with Rice and Peas at Jamaican Gourmet

Morton's The Steakhouse: Talk about "bang for the buck." Morton's Petite Filet Mignon Sandwich (only $3) arrives smartly wrapped, and qualifies as a full sandwich in our books. The steak itself, is practically without equal; and the flavors/value are guaranteed to make you go back for seconds (or thirds.) Even the bun is delicious.

Morton's Petite Filet Mignon Sandwich

Old Glory Bar-B-Que: 2 Smoked Pit Wings for $1! That's game, set, match where I come from. Nice flavor, and perfectly cooked; but a little light on meat. Then again, for a buck... Hands down, best value of the day.

Smoked Pit Wings from Old Glory Bar-B-Que

Pie Five Pizza: I don't expect miracles for two bucks, but Pie Five's High Five Pizza Slice was "hands down" our least favorite taste of the day. For starters, it's not an actual slice (see Pete's New Haven Style Apizza) and it didn't tasted good. Cheddar cheese is a big no-no; and although the tomato sauce is pretty rich, the crust and the supposed quintet of meat (bacon, beef, ham, Italian sausage and pepperoni) were underwhelming at best worst. Greasy too. Pass.

Pie Five Pizza's High Five Pizza Slice