I was invited to cover the 7th annual Taste of Del Ray that took place in Alexandria, Virginia on Sunday, June 7th. I was very grateful for this opportunity and made sure to enjoy every second of it. I love going to the Taste of (Local Communities) because who doesn’t love a day where you walk around trying amazing food from different restaurants? This year, there were about 17 different restaurants and shops that featured a specific dish or treat that they serve. What I thought would be a little outing ended up taking most of the day. By the end, I was exhausted but my belly was as happy as can be. Here’s a look at what places served what along with my favorites.
- Bon Vivante Cafe and Farm Market: Gazpacho
- Caboose Cafe: Red Lentil Wraps
- Cheesetique: Savory Quiche
- Del Ray Cafe:cold avocado soup,croque-monsieur and chouquette
- Del Ray Pizzaria: Chilled Watermelon Soup with Honey Yogurt
- Emma’s Expresso and Wine Bar: Honey Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs with a touch of cherry balsamic glaze and cold pressed espresso
- The Happy Tart: Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
- Taqueria Poblano: Guajillo Chili Shrimp
- Swings Coffee: Nitrogen Brewed Coffee
- Shakthi South Asian Cuisine: Sri Lankan Chicken Curry, Potato Curry and Vegetable Kothu Roti
- Senzu Juicery: a variety of juices
- The Reserve at DRP: Spicy Chicken
- Pork Barrel BBQ: Smoked Turkey Sliders
- Evening Star Cafe: Popcorn Soup with Blue crab salad
- KAiZEN Tavern: Sushi and Tacos
- Los Tios Grill: Beef Fajita Taco
- Market 2 Market: Sandwiches
Emma’s Expresso and Wine Bar
With a lot of thought, I have to say that this was my favorite stand because of its creativity, culinary excellence and most important, taste. The product was Honey Goat Cheese stuffed in a Dried Fig and drizzled with a Cherry Balsamic Glaze. What? Sounds bizarre but it’s the kind of treat that’s petite but is bursting flavor. Emma’s is a new coffee shop and is already doing great. Fun Fact: They’ve named the coffee shop after Emma Hume, whom they nod to revamping the area the store resides on since 1906.
The Happy Tart
This was the first stand I tried as well as the last stand I tried again a second time. The Happy Tart is a small bakery that’s a hidden gem in Del Ray. They are 100% gluten-free and you can find almost any dessert possible. For the Taste, they served delicious strawberry shortcakes using fresh strawberries from the local market. They decided to go with this classic summer treat because it was the vendors favorite dessert. Trust me, they were the best dessert I’ve ever had that was gluten-free. Thus, I went back at the end to grab another for the road.
I’m not a coffee drinker but when I knew that I had to wait in line for Shakthi South Asian Cuisine, I thought I might as well go and take one for my mom. On the hot day that it was, they decided to hand out cold coffee (who would want pipping hot coffee when it’s 85F out?), but it wasn’t any kind of brewed coffee. It was nitrogen brewed coffee. My taste buds for coffee haven’t developed enough for me to tell you if it was fruity, smooth or however people would want to describe it. I was just intrigued by the way they made it. My mom, aka coffee drinker, says it was great and very innovative.
Shakthi South Asian Cuisine
There was no way that one could miss this Sri Lankan Cuisine; The line was imcredibly long and food was just so fragrant. Their dishes were a Sri Lankan Chicken Curry, Potato Curry and Vegetable Kothu Roti served with rice. Sri Lankan food is very similar to Indian food but the venders made sure to serve traditional Sri Lankan street food, Kothu Roti. This stand definitely had the most cultural flavor and every little bit was a wonder in your mouth. If you ever have the time, I would definitely try this restaurant to get a taste of South Asian Cuisine.
Evening Star Cafe
When your order crabs at a restaurant, you usually get a side of popcorn to munch on instead of bread or chips. But the Evening Stare Cafe took that idea to a whole other level. They made popcorn blue crab soup. Sounds gross, right? It may sound gross but it was the most creative idea that tasted so amazing. When I asked the vendors if it’s a hit on their menu, they said that they just came up with the idea and wanted to test it on a big crowd. By now, this soup is probably on their menu. Thus, if you ever are in the neighborhood, make sure to try this dish. You won’t regret it!