Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Taste of two Cities

I spent last weekend at two events, Main Street Days in Grapevine and Taste Addison in Addison.  They were pretty similar events, both consisting of various food and beverage options, carnivals rides, vendors and live music.  But each also had their own distinct flavors...literally and figuratively.  Friday evening I went to Grapevine for Main Street Days.  Grapevine is located around 20 miles outside of downtown Dallas.  This was the 28th year for the Festival, which consisted of closing several blocks of Main street in Grapevine, and filling it with food, vendors, games, and carnival rides.  The theme was  "A Pizza Experience", although they had many food options other than just pizza.  Walking around, I got the sense that the Grapevine has kept much of the character of the small town, complete with a theatre that was showing Goldfinger, a boot shop, and a few places which seemed to me to be basically general stores.  But, in contrast there were also a few seemingly high-end restaurants, cigars shops, wine shops (there are several wineries in Grapevine), and even a bakeshop that was featured on TLC.  I got a few beers and tried about three different pizza places; the most memorable was Farina's  (, whose restaurant is located on Main Street.  I'm looking forward to a visit there.  Most of the places serving pizza seemed to be small local, places.  There were also a few big chains (why someone would get chain pizza from a pizza experience themed festival is beyond me).  They had all the carnival rides and games one would expect at a local fair. They had a few different stages with different kinds of music varying from blues to country.  The vendors ranged from artwork to wine stoppers with designs from various teams (of course I got one from my beloved Maryland Terrapins).  Overall, Main Street Days offering a nice taste of what Grapevine had to offer (literally and figuratively).   I'd like to visit Grapevine again for a full taste of what it has to offer.

So take Main Street Days, put it in an urban setting,and you've pretty much got Taste Addison.  Instead of a small town, the festival was held in the shadow of office buildings and condos. The setting was a large park around Addison Circle, and the food was from restaurants in Addison, offering a sampling of their menus at cheaper price.  Like Grapevine, it certainly had a family friendly atmosphere (although I got there late afternoon, so I can't say what it was like at night), there were plenty of kids splashing around the foundation.  After walking in and getting a sense of the festival, I got some sangria and a small order of ceviche from Taco Diner (,it definitely hit the spot on a hot afternoon.  They had a great variety of food, everything from crawfish to sushi.  I started out with a few sliders from JC's Burger House (;taste wise there were very good, I definitely want to see how it compares to the food at the restaurant.  I also had a slice from Pastazio's ( and Pizza by Marco, ( were quite good....for Texas Pizza.  I got an order of Pad Thai from Star Thai (  I have eaten there, and it was awesome.  Having had the real thing, the Pad Thai had at Taste Addison was a bit disappointing, but shouldn't have been surprising given the setting.  I topped my gluttonous visit to Taste Addison with cookies from Tiff's Treats ( .  The chocolate chip cookies were warm chewy, and very tasty.  There were two stages, one of which was rather large.  They had bigger names than in Grapevine (Rhett Miller and Mat Kearny), and that was probably part of the draw.  The vendors seems a bit more eclectic here, they included a vendor selling items from India. I gained about four pounds over the weekend, but it was worth every calorie!


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