by Melissa Robert photos by Mary Szefcyk
No matter what type of foods tickle your taste bud fancy, if you stopped by Fair Park this weekend you didn’t walk away disappointed. Friday through Sunday DFW residents filled their bellies with culinary delights from over 60 local restaurants. 150,000 square feet of indoor, air-conditioned space hosted cooking demonstrations, Taste of the Town, Taste Tavern, kids areas and even a petting zoo. Outside the Fair Park exhibit halls were a plethora of tasting tents, food trucks and an impressive live music stage. With general admission at only $10 and children 5 and under getting in free, the event was bustling with folks enjoying local food and vendor booths.
Taste of the Town featured dishes from 20 exciting chefs. Recognizable favorites included Quaker Steak, The Egg & I, and Café Brazil. Southfork Texas Steakhouse and Pho House are both new to the Dallas dining scene and prepared bites that would have patrons excited to check out their restaurants. There were two standout plates in my book: a fantastic Italian meatball with savory marinara from Bellavita II, and a spoon full of jumbo lump crab accompanied with juicy tomato slivers served up by none other than executive chef, Bodhi Durant.
Only adults were permitted into taste tavern, and understandably so. This area of the venue was jam-packed with hard ciders, beers, wines and spirits. The Cointreau team was mixing up refreshing summer cocktails in fun, shaker-esque freebie cups. Guests of the drinking age could also enjoy Ravenswood and 14 Hands wines, or if wine wasn’t your thing, Blue Moon and Batch 19 had many return visitors. Two talented acoustic guitar players/singers took turns churning out tunes for happy festival listeners.
The ever-so-popular Deep Ellum Brewing tent was placed right next to the musician’s area. Rarely seen without a line, it’s no mistake this tent was the focal point of Taste Tavern since, lets be honest, nothing pairs better with live music than a Dallas Blonde.
Over 15 culinary demonstrations were held at Taste of Dallas this weekend. Chef Tim McLaughlin and Pitmaster Will Fleischman of Lockhart Smokehouse, Chef Anthony Van Camp of SER, and Chef Bob Stephenson of FnG were just a few of the headliners slated to appear over the 3 day event. The Culinary Marketplace, adjacent to the chef demo area, offered a wide variety of local salsas, nuts, soup mixes and more. Also featured in the exhibit hall were health and wellness products, local service providers and even local clothing manufacturer where shirts with the slogan “eat local” could be purchased. Now there’s a sentiment we Dallasites feel strongly about.
This weekend served up some wacky weather very true to Texas. But, whether you visited Taste of Dallas in 100+ degree temperature on Saturday or rain and 80 degree temps on Sunday, you enjoyed one of the best things about Dallas; great food. This years 26th annual Taste of Dallas benefited the American Heart Associate and the American Stroke Association.