Staring down temperatures hovering near 100 degrees, Taste of Dallas kicked off late Friday afternoon in Fair Park. And as the sun went down, the city's premiere annual food fest heated up with eager attendees — all on the prowl for local fare from big and small names alike. Here are a few things we noticed:
In case you were wondering, BBQ is still popular. No less than 10 different spots (large and small) were set up and ready to serve smoked treats to the hungry masses. Of course, the most notable were the crews from Dallas's Lockhart Smokehouse and Fort Worth's Longoria's BBQ — both still basking in the glow of their respective appearances on the latest Texas Monthly BBQ Top 50.
Deep Ellum Brewing loves a good party. The Taste Tavern, situated at one end of the end of the air-conditioned Automobile Building, was the place to be if you were over 21 and looking to sample some top-notch adult beverages. And at the back of the "tavern" sat the lively DEBC booth, beckoning a siren song to anyone that got close to the impromptu beer garden. Sure there were other breweries and wineries giving out tasty libations, but with a large booth, live music and a nose for having fun, DEBC filled the role of host perfectly.
Food trucks? They're still pretty good at food. Much ado has been made about the decline of food trucks in Dallas, but Taste of Dallas showcased some of the best in Dallas, and it looked like the festival was definitely better for it. And with almost 10 trucks in attendance at any one time, there was a ton of variety to choose from.
Fun. It's what festivals are about. Whether it was the oversized cowboy hats sported by Will and Eric at the Lockhart Smokehouse booth, or the Trailercakes bubble machine that had just about every child smiling like crazy, it was great to see some vendors injecting personality and fun into the event. Fun belongs at festivals. Let's keep it that way.