Taste of Arlington May Expand Next Year

by ARLnow.com May 21, 2012 at 10:45 am 5,928 87 Comments

(Updated at 10:55 a.m.) The 25th annual Taste of Arlington was held on Sunday afternoon.

Thousands came out to enjoy the nice weather and to sample a wide variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts from local restaurants. There was also beer and wine for the over-21 set.

Of the 35+ restaurants that participated in this year’s event, three captured top marks, as determined by a contingent of roaming judges. P.F. Chang’s (901 N. Glebe Road) won for Best Appetizer, brgr:shack (4215 Fairfax Drive) won for Best Entree, and Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road) won for Best Dessert.

As before, the event was held in front of the Ballston Common Mall along Wilson Boulevard. Even though the footprint of the event was expanded up N. Stuart Street and into Welburn Square this year, it was still difficult at times to get around, especially in places where long lines had formed. New Ballston Business Improvement District Executive Director Tina Leone says organizers are working to fix that.

“We have some pretty big plans for next year,” she told ARLnow.com. “We would like to further expand the footprint of the event. Of course we want more people to come every year, but we need to accommodate them. We really want to make next year’s event even easier for people to get there, get tickets, get around, and just enjoy themselves.”

Other plans in the works for next year include more entertainment — perhaps an additional stage — along with an expanded “kid zone” and a new “dog zone” for those who bring their pups to the event.

  • Corey

    Ugh. I am so sick of these hipster giveaways I could scream. The traffic around Ballston yesterday was nightmarish; my kids were 15 minutes late to soccer.

    Attention Arlington hipsters: if you want to live in a city, move to DC! Arlington is a suburban place, for families.

    • drax

      And dogs? Leave your expensive toys at home!

      • why??? What is the problem with dogs? Furthermore, those are there for adoption. They are not toys.

        • drax

          Welcome to ArlNow, Lauren. It’s teeming with sarcasm.

    • Eds

      This schtick is getting old – and will soon be as annoying as the soccer moms.

      • WestoverPam

        There are people being way too schticky on here. Doesn’t work on sites that don’t require registration.

        • porkchop_milkshake

          Yeah. Because no one would register multiple novelty accounts for their schtick-posting fun. Not in a million years.

    • ArLater

      Sounds like your kids were late due to your poor planning and anticipation of extra traffic due to road closures. Dont blame others for your lack of preparedness. And since when is a food festival considered hipster?

      • Eds

        ArLater – you must be new here – Corey does this just about every article now. He’s being sarcastic, mocking actual suburbanites that make complaints like that. Hopefully he’ll get tired of it soon.

        • drax

          I hope he keeps it up.

          • Rosslynite

            Hi Corey!

          • drax


          • very cool *howls*

          • drax

            Are you me too, Pup? I’m losing track of myself.

    • Lola

      Arlington isn’t just for families; if you want pure suburbia, move your soccer-playing kids to Loudoun.

    • Josh S

      From now on, to save electrons, I think you should just leave the following entry:


      People’s lives will not be changed in the smallest bit as a result of the change.

    • bred

      Nice to know that my wife and I are “hipsters.” We both are in our 60s and went with our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter to the event. Now if this isn’t family in Arlington please tell me what is?.

      • drax

        You’re not hipsters, you just aren’t in on the sarcasm.

    • Cry me a river

      I like how suddenly everyone, regardless of age, race or gender is suddenly considered a “hipster” that lives in Arlington and takes part in community stuff that is meant to be fun. The term has jumped the shark. I wasn’t there, but i see a lot of different types and ages of people in these pictures. Perhaps if you had made note of the fact that this was going on (and you are apparently an ArlNow reader), you wouldn’t have had this problem.

  • Quoth the Raven

    Corey is giving FREDTERP a run for his money!

    • Josh S

      How? FREDTERP remains a true ARLNow enigma. Corey is just a boor.

    • WestoverAndOver

      FREDTERP is a legend never to be matched WESTOVERANDOVER

  • ArlingtonWay

    Corey seems to think it’s amusing. In fact it is only true. And a lot less funny for that reason.

    • drax

      Your kids were 15 minutes late for soccer, AW?

      • ArlingtonWay

        Yup. Crazy day All that Taste of Arlington traffic. That and I couldn’t get your Mom to get dressed and go home. We missed almost the whole first half!

        • WeiQiang

          Why the harshing, brah?

          • ArlingtonWay

            Sorry. I take it back. I got a case of the Mondays. 🙁

    • AllenB

      Actually, I think his “rants” are a lot more amusing than the tired brown flip-flop, pizza, froyo, one party rule rants that others think we’re interested in.

  • DeportEmAll

    Didn’t go this year. Not worth it.

  • drax

    So the best entree Arlington could come up with was a burger?

    • Jason S.

      Mid-tier chain of bad Asian food wins best appetizer.
      A clone burger restaurant wins for entree.
      And a terrible “bakery” wins dessert.

  • Genny Eveeve

    Arlington sucks every which way, I’m only living here under duress, can’t wait to get out of here, back to AZ.

    • Christine

      Does this actually have anything to do with anything? Or you just wanted to whine?

    • drax

      We can’t wait either.

      • WeiQiang


    • Your Mom

      Arlington does suck. It will always be a revolving door of people coming and going so I think the suck factor will continue to grow. Cracks me up, all these urban, green, hipster know-it-alls. Buy local produce sticker, bike riding wieners.

  • bemused bystander

    Just imagine — if VDOT didn’t control Glebe Road, we could hold the Taste and other mass outings at Wilson and Glebe, a huge space now completely paved over and consigned to use mainly by cars.

  • Paul Wickre’s biographer

    I plan on getting pizza for lunch today. Is Trevor still in custody?

    • First

      It is official; moving forward, for any mention of pizza and Arlington on Arlnow there must be a Trevor reference in the comments. Five years from now mentioning the name “Trevor” in relation to pizza and Arlington can be are own inside joke.

      • WeiQiang

        Is there a minimum number of comments required, brah?

    • Onjulic

      No Trevor escaped and they’ve unleashed the hounds at Donaldson Run to try and track him down.

      • JohnB

        I’m concerned all the rain will have washed away his scent.

        • Quoth the Raven

          With all that garlic, he’ll be easy to find.

  • JamesE

    No giant paella pan?

    • NancyDrew

      I saw an empty giant paella pan around 4:30. I assume it was full earlier…

  • First

    Did not make it this year, but I do have two questions:

    Was Ballstonsboy there and did any Bro or Brah slide him a slice?

    Was Trevor there and was he able to go easy on the garlic?


    • JamesE

      Trev bought all the tickets

      • SomeGuy

        Perfect segue to a gun show anecdote…

  • John Fontain

    Those people holding the beers are either really big or those beers are really small.

  • novasteve

    Going out this weekend here in ARlington, there is deperately a need for some dive bars here. Each place was in a competition to be even more snobby than the other.

  • novasteve

    The shameless obama supporters there did make me chuckle.

  • Your Mom

    Typical Arlington. Can’t have an event that doesn’t have someone connected to local politics, Artisphere or voter registration. I’ll take a dixie cup of chili and I’ll wash it down with a dixie cup of beer. Wish I could have stood in a line all day for that. Worst.

  • U ROY

    P.F. Chang’s won for Best Appetizer, nothing more to say. Did McDonald’s have a table?

    • SomeGuy

      Because only local restaurants and those with few locations can make food that resonates with a large number of people?

      • Person 4,362,706

        I’m still vibrating and I wasn’t even at the event.

    • JamesE

      Sam’s Corner should have won but they ran out of food at 11:45

  • novasteve

    Good thing Obama wasn’t there at this Taste of Arlington thing, that dog in the pictures wouldn’t have been safe.

    • drax

      Keep trying.

  • BeerO

    WOW, I am glad I didnt go those beer cups are a joke!!

    • Eponymous Coward

      How this thread got all meta with the off-topic fake comments on OT real comments is beyond me. I guess when you have too many out-of-work PhDs, the neighborhood blog turns into a stage for post-modernist performance art.

      If you were going for the beer, you got robbed. Most was being served in plastic shot glasses. Food, however, was pretty good. Caribbean Breeze, Rabbit had some bang-up offerings. I’m wondering if PF Chang’s was the only one in their category, because they were not the best by any measure.

      • Person 4,362,706

        I agree that the place is definitely trending dangerously close to unreadable. It’s semi-interesting from kind of a sociological point of view, but in the end post-modernist performance art is boring as hell.

      • SomeGuy

        But P.F. Chang’s WAS the best by at least one measure. Particularly the one that earned them “Best Appetizer.”

    • bred

      There was a way to get away from the small beers. Not going to say what, but there was.

      • bred

        Should and said around the small beers.

  • JohnB2

    I know the dog people would crap a brick but I recommend they prohibit dogs next year (disclaimer: I have a dog).

    While some dog owners kept their dog under control and out of the way, many I saw weren’t even watching their dog as they went through the extremely crowded areas. In an environment like the ToA, dogs should be given no more than a foot or so of leash space while in the crowds and smaller dogs should be carried so they don’t accidentally get stepped on.

    I suppose that’s the intent of the potential ‘dog zone,’ to keep them out of the crowds. We’ll have to see how it works out…

    • Dom Hills

      I agree. Same reason I don’t take my dog to other crowded places where he’s likely to feel stressed or overheated and/or be bumped into.

  • meh..

    Wine tasting of Barefoot brand wine??? Seriously?? SMH…

  • Taken

    Am I the only one who thought the $30 day-of ticket price was absurdly high for very little value? I felt totally ripped off. Caveat emptor.

    • JohnB2

      Yeah it was too expensive at $30. What was the pre-order price?

    • John Fontain

      Yeah, but if they charged half the price, they’d only get half the crowd. Many, many people in this area get off on spending too much for things. They think things are better if you pay a lot for them.

    • drax

      It was a charity event. Your money went to a good cause.

    • bred

      Remember this is a charity event. The food venders only get 75 cents for each ticket collected.

  • I hope they expand the beer cups next years. Beers were worthless.

    As for people complaining about price, this is cheap relative to other Bites/Tastes of X I’ve been to. At $2.50 a taste (presale), that’s incredibly cheap for some of the dishes offered.

    • Quoth the Raven

      Very true — you ever go to Bite of Seattle? (I think you’re from west coast, yes?) You’d go bankrupt trying to eat a meal there!

  • Mike

    The people in that very first picture (and the trendy French bulldog) pretty much sum up Arlington in the 21st century.

    • nom de guerre

      How many pairs of brown flip flops can you spot it the first picture? How many cargo shorts?

    • CW

      That French Bulldog looks mysteriously like a Boston Terrier. How un-trendy!

      • Mike

        Ha! Right you are, just glanced at it. But still…trendy.

        Also trendy from walking around in Arlington yesterday: booty shorts. Seriously, the Ballston-Courthouse corridor has made the full turn into a giant sorority convention.

  • SamW

    I thought most of the samples were a decent size for the price. Layout needs some tweaking, but we were there until about 2 pm and it was a manageable crowd. If you missed the Churros from Willow, you have failed at life.

  • ARLrez

    Does anyone know how many pounds of testicles were consumed?

  • Mary

    I had a great time at the Taste of Arlington! The taste booklets were a little pricey but once you broke down the “per taste” cost it was actually a very good deal for what you got. Beer and Wine cups were actually 5 oz cups so that was a great deal. I especially loved the Barefoot Sparkling Wine that was offered. It was too crowded later in the afternoon so expanding the event to a larger area to accommodate the crowds will really help for next year. I would love to see a local restaurant win and not a chain.

    • Yacht Owner

      You “loved” the Barefoot Sparkling Wine did you?

      I use that stuff to water my plants.

  • Southie

    Wow, those beer cups are huge! Next year, I will bring the Thimble game piece from my Monopoly game.

  • Huh?

    Brgr Shack propbably won becasue despite only offering well-done burgers for safety reason, they were juicy, still had a lot of flavor, and weren’t overwhelmed by their own tasty sauce.
    PF Chiangs actually had a very tasty appetizer, nicely presented (also one of the factors in grading).
    The amount of food was generally more than worth the price per ticket.

  • Jack Saunders

    Thanks To everyone who visited The BRGR Shack tent at TASTE OF ARLINGTON yesterday.


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