A record number of attendants indulged their inner-foodie at the third annual Taste of Del Ray on Sunday.
Organizers from the Del Ray Business Association said approximately 1,300 visitors made their way through to parking lot behind Virginia Commerce Bank for Sunday's restaurant showcase, a jump of about 300 from the previous year when the event was held as a First Thursday celebration.
This year, with celebrity judge Carla Hall on hand, prizes were awarded in two categories—People’s Choice and Judge's Choice.
In the People's Choice category, where winners were determined by votes placed by attendants, Taqueria Poblano took top honors for its shrimp chalupas. Evening Star Cafe was awarded second place for its beet salad and the soon-to-be-opened Pork Barrel BBQ took third place for—no surprise here—its barbecue pork.
Hall, calling herself "a veggie girl," gave her top award to Evening Star Cafe chef Will Artley's beet salad. She gave Del Ray Pizzeria second place honors for its blackened sliders with provolone and frickles (that would be fried pickles). Hall also gave Pork Barrel BBQ third-place honors.
“You have so many restaurants here in Del Ray, you could go out everyday for three weeks and not have any do-overs,” Hall said.
The longest line of the day first belonged to Pork Barrel BBQ, which is said to finally be on the verge of opening, before switching over to Artfully Chocolate/Kingsbury Confections and its ice cream once the sun broke through.
Pork Barrel BBQ partner “Mango” Mike Anderson said the furniture and bar will soon be installed in the restaurant located at 2300 Mt. Vernon Avenue. The lights will be left on sometime this week at the restaurant so people walking by can take a peek.
Participating restaurants and caterers in the Taste of Del Ray included ACKC, A Thyme and Place, Caboose Café, Cheestique, Del Ray Pizzeria, Evening Star Cafe, FireFlies, La Strada, Monroe’s, Popeyes, Pork Barrel BBQ, Sapore D’Italia, St. Elmo’s and Taqueria Poblano.