The Washington Post

Taste of DC dishes that will punch your ticket

Dickson’s banh mi is among the fancy fare that you can try at this weekend’s Taste of DC festival. (Evy Mages for The Washington Post)

Taste of DC ran successfully for years on a steady diet of kabobs, pizza and eggrolls until the festival simply disappeared in 2003. Beginning Saturday, it’s back for the first time in eight years with higher-end eats that reflect the city’s new restaurant boom.

The festival asked each eatery to offer one dish that you can snag for two tickets, and many are also offering bigger plates for three or four tickets. If you snag the festival’s online-only deal for 20 tickets for $25, each ticket will run you $1.33 apiece (including the small service charge).

So, which booths should you hit?

The lobster roll from Luke's Lobster. (Photo by Susan Biddle for The Washington Post)

It’s a great time to check out Washington’s new cafe Wicked Waffle, which offers an assortment of waffle sandwiches. The most compelling for foodies? The hoisin duck sandwich (4 tickets).

Co Co. Sala will bring its two most raved-about dishes, the choco-bacon-topped macaroni and cheese and the Chocolate Onyx dessert, both clocking in at 2 tickets.

Banh mi (along with tacos and gourmet burgers) will be everywhere this year, but you should try the ones at Dickson’s booth. The Vietnamese sandwich comes in chicken, pork belly or beef ribeye varieties for 5 tickets. (Sauca will do its banh mi for 2 tickets, in case you’re wondering.)

The new Cajun Experience brings several dishes to rep its Louisiana roots, but the one to get has to be its tasty etouffee (2 tickets).

One of our favorite late-night snack stops is (finally) serving its delicious, flaky fare in the light of day: the U Street club Patty Boom Boom brings four varieties of patties (all of which must be experienced with the sweet, peppery mango sauce). The ones to try: the curry vegetable patty and the guava goat. (2 tickets)

Nirvana Express will fire up the dosa griddle. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

While there will be many a slider floating around, Lincoln’s barbecue pulled-pork incarnation looks promising ( 2 tickets).

And finally, you’d be remiss if you didn’t get the grilled fish tacos from Surfside (8 tickets).

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