Taste Prince George’s Food and Wine Festival
Washington, D.C., is not quite the foodie haven that is New York City, where I ate, ate and ate last weekend. But, Georgetown Cupcake and the capital city’s cupcake revolution, Chef Jose Andres’ restaurants, a number of Top Chef contestants and a season set in the District, a budding craft beer industry, Virginia wines and Maryland crabs have placed Washington, D.C., and its surrounding suburbs on the culinary map.
The metro area is full of foodie-friendly neighborhoods — Alexandria’s Old Town, Arlington’s Village at Shirlington and Clarendon, downtown Bethesda and historic Annapolis. And, now Prince George’s County is striving to be the area’s next culinary destination.
Yesterday, my sister and I attended the first Taste Prince George’s Food & Wine Festival. It featured cooking demos, speakers, live music, and food and wine tastings from Prince George’s County and area restaurants, bakers, caterers, food trucks, grocers and wineries. The family-friendly, culinary event was a celebration of local cuisine, featuring Maryland wines, crab dishes and flavors influenced by the county’s ethnically diverse population.
Through the festival’s website, I purchased my $25 ticket that covered parking and admission to Six Flags America. It was a solid deal since we rode some head-spinning roller coasters with wild twists, upside down loops and wicked turns before visiting the festival.
Tickets for most of the tastings were $3 a piece. For two tickets, you could get a full glass of wine at Romano Vineyard & Winery’s booth. Many of the festival attendees redeemed a LivingSocial deal that included tasting tickets.
These are some of the dishes and drinks we tasted:
- A light garlic pasta from KitchenCray, a private chef and pastry chef team that will “take over” your kitchen
- Sweet corn cake muffin and a crab cake from Proud Mary, a Southern seafood restaurant in Fort Washington, Md.
- A creamy crab dip from Jasper’s, located in Largo, Md.
- A fruity and citrus-flavored lemon berry cupcake from The Cake Courtesan, a cake and dessert baker based in Bowie, Md.
- Brown rice shrimp tempura and California sushi rolls from Wegmans, a family-owned grocery chain with a location in the Lanham, Md., area
- The Cayuga White, Breton Bay Shoals and the Captain’s Table wines from Port of Leonardtown Winery, a Southern Maryland winery that locally grows its grapes
- Sweet red wines from Romano Vineyard & Winery, a true Prince George’s County winery based in Brandywine, Md.
We went back for second helpings of the creamy, seasoned crab dip from Jasper’s and for the Rougeon sweet red wine from Romano Vineyard & Winery. I first discovered Port of Leonardtown Winery at the Wine in the Woods festival a couple years ago, and I really enjoyed the Breton Bay Shoals, a smooth and slightly spicy semi-sweet red blend.
The inaugural festival highlighted some of the county’s well-known eateries, such as Proud Mary, a waterfront restaurant with live jazz music on Friday nights. Hopefully, as the festival grows, it will attract participation from more of the county’s well-known establishments, including Franklin’s in Hyattsville, Md., and Rip’s Country Inn in Bowie, Md., as well as some of the newer eateries at National Harbor and in College Park, which hosted its first Restaurant Week this summer.
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Wish you were here,