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Photos from Taste of Arlington

by ARLnow.com May 23, 2011 at 10:05 am 5,122 38 Comments

You would have thought that gray skies and the threat of rain would have persuaded more people to stay at home but, alas, Sunday afternoon’s Taste of Arlington in Ballston was as crowded as ever.

Long lines snaked up and down the rows of food and drink vendors, at times making for human (and dog) traffic jams. The lines moved relatively fast, though, and most restaurants had enough food on hand to last well into the 4:00 hour. The award for longest line goes to Sangam Restaurant (1211 N. Glebe Road), which was practically offering an entire Indian dinner (complete with dessert) for two tickets.

There were numerous local ‘celebrity’ spottings, as presenting sponsor WJLA hauled out half of its news team and as local pols angled for votes. Among those spotted in the crowd were WJLA reporters Pamela Brown and Scott Thuman, as well as County Board reelection candidate Walter Tejada, Commonwealth’s Attorney candidate Theo Stamos and state Senate candidate Barbara Favola. We even spotted David Gaines, the host behind the classic Arlington County TV segment, “Know Your County Wastewater Plant.”

Here are a few photos from around the festival.

  • What was Tejada judging? Immigration status?

    Very cool dog in pic #9.

    • KalashniKEV

      Haha… who in the world would let that guy judge ANYTHING?

      • KalashniKEV

        He probably cast a write in vote for the El Chilango truck.

        • eater

          Because he’s Hispanic! I get it! Hahahahahahahaha!

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Ditto on the dog pic!

  • wilbur

    Way way weigh over crowded.

    • JamesE

      If they banned children and people with over sized strollers there would be no crowd issues.

      • eater

        Yeah right. If they banned 20-somethings in flipflops and jeans that are too long so they rip at the heels, maybe.

        • RJ

          Yeah but i was wearing shorts yesterday

          • doodly

            I remember when I thought standing in line for hours for a small, overpriced product was fun too.

  • JamesE

    I went in early used all my tickets and left, the traffics jams were getting insane, mostly due to parent’s with strollers blocking off entire sections.

  • Jake

    Celebreties – is that a joke? Who gives a f*ck..

  • SD

    Did anyone try the snowcones from Bayou Bakery? We couldn’t make the festival but have been wanting to try those.

    • rossl

      are the snowcones from bayou what everyone was raving about? i kept hearing people say “ohmygod this is SO good” about something that looked like a snowcone..but in a chinese takeout type box…

      • AllenB

        Yup, that’s them.

        • doodly

          Take any cheap product, jack up the price, and people will like it even better.

    • JJDRP

      I tried the Wedding Cake flavor and it was very good. It reminded me of snow cone I had growing up in the Caribbean. I went back within 20 minutes to try the other flavor and they were out of ice.

  • Lola

    I went yesterday and decided that I’d never go again. The lines were extremely long, and, contrary to what’s stated here, a lot of the vendors were sold out well before 4, so I didn’t even get to use all my tickets (and I only had an 8 pack).

    • JJDRP

      It is not too bad if you get there early. I arrived @ around 2 and left at 4. I used up 16 tickets.

  • John Fontain

    I’d like to understand the draw of this event. Is the food a particular bargain during the event? Do they sell food that isn’t otherwise available any other day of the week?

    • CW2

      The draw is that for a cheap price, you get to try a sample of a restaurant’s food, to see if you like it. It would take a long time (and money) to visit 12-15 different restaurants in Arlington. But at this event, you can hit 12-15 different booths in an afternoon. The restaurants are hoping you like their offerings enough to come into their establishment in the future.

      Also, there are a lot of free giveaways that attract folks. The beer tents were actually set up pretty well this year. Good choices for brews, and those particular lines weren’t too bad.

      • John Fontain

        Ok, got it.

      • Lola

        But you can’t really hit all the restaurants because the lines are way too long. In addition, as I said earlier, the food ran out early for many. Lastly, you don’t actually get a sampling of the restaurant’s food as they’re trying to feed long crowds so they make food more suited to a buffet or something.

        • doodly

          Plus there are these things called “reviews” of restaurants, often found in things called “newspapers” and “magazines,” in which other people taste so you don’t have to.

          • david

            What if I have different tastes than a reviewer? There are movies I’ve enjoyed that reviewers have hated. Taste is subjective.

          • doodly

            True. And getting tastes is a great idea – too much of one, in fact, which is why the experience has been ruined by crowds, long lines, and food running out too fast.

          • Eponymous Coward

            “Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.” -Yogi Berra

  • SD

    For one, it’s just for entertainment. And two, for people who aren’t able to eat out frequently (kids, other constraints), it allows you to try multiple restaurants at once to see where may like to go in the future.

  • Set the Controls

    If you can’t sit down to eat it’s just not civilized. What a cattle call.

  • chris

    It wouldn’t be Arlington without bitching.

    • John Fontain

      Maybe that should be the slogan on next year’s property tax decal.

      • GuyWhoSecondsThings


  • Rick

    It was real nice of the police (or whoever was doing crowd control) to regulate the beer floating around. The trashcans outside NSF were filled with half-drank beers this morning

  • NotImpressed

    I can’t say I was impressed of the idea of standing around the middle of Wilson Blvd eating mass produced food. It seemed like too many bar food establishments there to make it worthwhile. Not enough international cuisine. Mad Rose Tavern, Thirsty Bernies, Union Jacks, McCafe… seriously? Is that what Arlington is becoming? Or is it just places that had high hopes and are not up to par? It’s a nice attempt, but do it at a park next time. I’ll keep my hopes up for the food truck cookoff! Go SOLAR CREPES, you girls rock and your crepes are amazing!!

  • Nova

    I agree, something like this needs to be moved to a park or stadium or combining it with the County Fair and replace the vendor food with the food from these Arlington Restaurants?

  • Jordan

    It was fun. If you ignored BGR and Sushi Rock, the max wait in any line was like 10 minutes, with many places having very short lines or no lines at all. If you hated it, don’t come next year. The rest of us will enjoy ourselves.


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