Warm temperatures and sunny conditions gave way to clouds and a few raindrops Saturday, but that didn’t stop thousands from descending on Woodmont Triangle for the 23rd annual edition of Bethesda’s signature event.
More than 55 restaurants distributed food samples at the Taste of Bethesda, a strong showing that brought a flood of people to Norfolk, Fairmont, Cordell, St. Elmo and Del Ray Avenues.
Maintenance staff from Bethesda Urban Partnership, the nonprofit charged with marketing Bethesda and the organizer of the event, began setting up the more than 80 white tents, tables and chairs before 3 a.m. Saturday.
By 7 a.m., the Taste of Bethesda welcome sign above Norfolk and Fairmont Avenues had been erected, and workers were attaching restaurant names to tents.
A batch of four tickets was $5 and most restaurants offered three-ticket or four-ticket items including small plates, lunch-sized meals and burger, pork or steak sliders.
The tenderloin slider from Ruth Chris Steak House (7315 Wisconsin Ave.) drew a long line, as did the sweet potato fries from BGR The Burger Joint (4827 Fairmont Ave.) and the jambalaya from Louisiana Kitchen & Bayou Bar (4907 Cordell Ave.).
Jaleo (7271 Woodmont Ave.) brought back its crowd-pleasing chicken/mushroom paella pot and the yet-to-open Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club (7719 Wisconsin Ave.) served red beans and rice, gumbo and its own version of jambalaya.
Club Director of Operations Ralph Camilli said construction started on the club this week after a few delays, and operators are targeting a late-December or January opening.
With the Nov. 6 election approaching, there were a number of political candidates and their supporters in the crowd.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) shook hands and talked with a number of Taste participants. His Republican opponent (and fellow Kensington resident) Ken Timmerman also made an appearance. Independent U.S. Senate candidate Rob Sobhani, of Potomac, made the rounds too.
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