Dear Dallas Chowhounders, I need your expertise.
I am a foodie from Kansas City (and a big fan of Chowhound) who is using my summer to travel to six different food festivals across the U.S. My goal is to truly get a "taste" of each city and then write about my food experiences while contrasting the differences and similarities of each festival for a local food magazine I currently write for in KC.
Many foodies I have spoken with show complete distain for these types of food festivals as they don't believe one can truly get great food at them. I am aware that most of these food festivals feature restaurants that are more fast food in nature and that very few of a city's culinary heavy hitters ever attend these events. I also know that chain restaurants also use these events to drive their business.
However, I believe there are hidden gems at each of these festivals that are locally-owned and truly represent the tastes and flavors of city that they live and do business in. Those are the places, I am trying to find.
I just returned from the Taste of Chicago last weekend, which is attended by over 3.5 million people during the week it is held, and is considered the biggest food festival of its kind in the U.S. Upon asking the locals what I should eat to "Taste Chicago," I was kindly pointed to and gladly ate the following (listed in the order of most recommended):
#1 - Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza
#2 - Chicago-style Hot Dogs
#3 - Italian Beef Sandwich
#4 - Pierogies with sour cream
#5 - Billygoat's Cheeseburger, cheeseburger!
#6 - Rainbow Ice Cream
Now, I am headed to Taste of Dallas this weekend, and I am needing to know what I should eat there to get a "taste" of your city.
If you see my link below, I was disappointed to see so many chain's on the list of restaurants participating in the Taste of Dallas. I want to make sure I hit only the best places that really will demonstrate what Dallas is about from a culinary standpoint.
If you can point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it. Then, I guess my bigger question for you is if I cannot really find a "taste of Dallas" at this festival . . . what restaurants or types of cuisine should I hit outside of my time at the "Taste" to really taste Dallas? Many thanks!