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Taste of Bethesda, 20th Anniversary


mbucher
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Just got back from Taste of Bethesda, and had some really delicious food. Tickets were 4 for $5, and I wound up blowing through 16 of them, though I easily could have used double that. I'll give details on a few of the highlights.

First thing I went for was Visions' Crab Mac & Cheese (3 Tickets): It was good, and there was plenty of crab, but I did get enough cheese flavor, and it was a little dry. It was far surpassed though, surprisingly, by Rock Bottom's Chicken and Mac (2 Tickets), which was cheesier, creamier, and overall more satisfying, while also being cheaper. Another cheap but really satisfying choice was California Tortilla's Turkey Chili (1 ticket), a nice sized bowl that was a little spicy, and tasty, though completely out of place given today's heat. Another favorite (which was free, actually) were the samples from Spring Mill Bread: Pesto Asiago Bread, Apple Streusel Bread, Brownies...they were all so good. Finished the day with a Nutella Crepe (2 tickets)from Original Pancake House that was buttery and delicious.

I also tried food from Penang, Jaleo, Angeethi, and Bangkok Garden, but none of it really stood out. Ruth's Chris had a constant line that was way too long to bother with, though I would have liked to give it a shot, and Brasserie Monte Carlo's onion tarte looked really good, but I wasn't willing to shell out 4 tickets for it. I'd been looking forward to trying Passage to India, but their food just didn't look appealing, especially in comparison to the other Indian options. There were a lot of others I wanted to try too, but I had to limit myself somewhere.

Anybody else go? What were your favorites?

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Anybody else go? What were your favorites?

Stopped by yesterday for some lunch after my gym class up the street. This 'Taste' was larger than I can remember in years past. Had some tasty treats at Jaleo (chicken paella w/mushrooms, asparagus, red pepper?), Hanaro (a skewer of chicken tempura), Morton's (steak slider)[sliders were big this year]; Divino Lounge (Argentine paella w/chicken, sausage, duck, +some other meat); Honest tea. The two best value treats were at stands run by Black Finn Restaurant (classic slider - small cheeseburger, pot roast slider - a nice scoop of tender pot roast in a savory gravy topped w/horseradish sauce) @ 1 ticket each; Ruth's Chris Steak House (small plate of rare tenderloin w/scoop of creamed spinach and mashed potatoes) @ 3 tickets.

The entertainment was better than I can remember, especially those acts on the Dance Stage. A really fun time at this 20th Anniversay Event.

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Since I had some errands to run in Bethesda around lunchtime, I thought I'd give it a try. Only did two blocks of tickets ($5 for 4) and given other priorities, I did not look around as much as I should have before using them. Really might have enjoyed spending the same amount at Burger Joint more since I left hungry, too.

On the other hand, it was fun to roam and look around. I'm a sucker for giant paella, so I made a beeline for Jaleo and lucked out on the scoop I got, full of mushrooms, a piece of chicken, cauliflower, peas, red peppers... Also did the Morton slider (heavy on bread, stingy on good, rare meat) and a rather boring plate from Delhi Dhaba. I'm a sucker for saag [though the potatoes w spinach were called aloo palok here, aloo saag elsewhere] and it got me in the mood for Indian flavors, but I just am not a fan of steamer-table food.

Burger Joint was asking $5 for two sliders that looked awfully well-done. See first paragraph above. Judging from appearances, one of the best deals and tastes was Nest's tall, oil-soaked cone of wispy, sweet-potato frites w darkened bits on cut edges and a drizzle of thick balsamic reduction. An Asian booth (sorry) had a range of great-looking offerings, including tempura. Divinna's grill of plump Argentine sausages and skirt steak looked wonderful, too, as did the itsy-bitsy offering at Ruths (mentioned above). Divinna was also handing out coupons (10% discount) at its booth, so there might also have been other promotions available.

Though I didn't know Passage to India was there, the other Indian restaurants were offering pretty much the same fare. The national franchises were quite popular: Ben & Jerry and Haagen-Dasz, the latter selling sealed packages of sundae-in-a-cup. Cups of Pepsi or Coca Cola Zero were free.

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I'm a sucker for saag [though the potatoes w spinach were called aloo palok here, aloo saag elsewhere] and it got me in the mood for Indian flavors...

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Anna, me too! In fact, I'm addicted to the potato w/ spinach dish, which I've been getting lately from Indian Ocean near my place. They call the dish "aloo palak". I'm still a novice where Indian food is concerned and am trying to discover (and eat!) more veggie dishes.

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