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Munchie Monday – Taste of Bethesda

By Assistant Editor Shayna Spiker

A friend of mine asked me to go with her to this foodie event in Bethesda, called Taste of Bethesda, this past weekend. Being a self-proclaimed “semi-foodie” (“semi” because unlike most foodies, I won’t eat everything. I won’t eat things like veal, escargot, tongue, liver, etc. But I will try almost anything), I of course said yes. I mean, who in their right mind turns down the chance to try delicious food from 50+ restaurants??

Last year, more than 44,000 people attended Taste of Bethesda. This year didn’t seem as crowded, thanks to the frigid temperatures, wind and rain. Still, the event was fairly crowded considering how nasty the weather was.

The payment system for the event was unique. You can’t simply walk up to a vendor and just pay with cash, check or credit card. You go to any one of the ticket booths placed all around the event area, and purchase tickets 4 for $5 and use the tickets to purchase your food. Food items were between 1-4 tickets, depending on the size/amount of food and what it would normally cost. For example, a crab dish might be 4 tickets where a burger might only be 2.

It is a bit overwhelming at first to see all the food vendors. We wound up walking all the way to the end of the festival to see what they had and then decided to start there and eat our way to the front. There were so many restaurants, with cuisines spanning the globe.

Some of my favorite foods that I tried were:

  • Ahi Tuna Sliders with Teriyaki Sauce and Pineapple from BGR The Burger Joint, though I didn’t care much for the pineapple since I’m not the biggest sweet-and-savory fan. Still, it was a super delicious treat, and a great deal too-4 Tickets for 2 pretty large sliders!
  • Grilled Chicken on a Stick from Bangkok One Thai – a super simple dish, but it just had this really amazing flavor. Definitely not just a plain old grilled chicken!
  • Crab Cakes from Chef Tony’s – I am not a big crab cake fan, but I really loved these. Apparently so did everyone else that was there, because we passed by their booth before we left and there was a HUGE line, and the staff announced that they were sold out of crab cakes…that was one angry line of people. Understandably so!
  • Red Velvet Cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake – Yes, this is the cupcake company that can be seen on TLC’s reality series, DC Cupcakes. And yes, they are THAT good! Holy moly!
  • Cheese Pizza from Naked Pizza – My friend’s husband works for this restaurant, and she kept telling me how good the pizza is (keep in mind she has always hated, I mean H-A-T-E-D pizza!) and I thought, “I’m sure it’s good, but it’s pizza. How good can it really be?” But it was actually really really good! It’s made with all natural and healthy ingredients. Healthy pizza that doesn’t taste like cardboard? I’m in! The cheese even has probiotics in it…move over, Activia!
  • Lamb Kabob from Oz Restaurant and Wine Bar – Lamb plus veggies on a stick. What’s not to love about that?
  • Everything from Tout de Sweet – A European-style bakery, where absolutely everything is delicious. Excellent choice to satisfy a sweet tooth.

This is definitely an event I recommend you attend if you like food and trying new foods. It is worth the extra drive, since we don’t really have anything like this in Baltimore, though I’m sure it’s much better on a warmer, dryer day. For more information, visit Bethesda Urban Partnership’s website.

Author: shayna


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