Every year downtown Carrollton kicks off the fall season with “Taste of Carrollton” in Adamson Square (the Square). Each restaurant in the Square picks a few popular dishes and drinks from their menu and set up a booth outside. Attendees can buy a food and brew package for $20, or they can buy food tickets for $1 each. One ticket is required at each booth for a sample of food and an alcoholic beverage is an additional ticket. There will be a mix of dishes with an assortment of seafood, pizza, Italian, Mexican, Brazilian, pub food and barbeque.
There is a little friendly competition among the restaurants; critics vote for their favorite one, and the winner is named Best Restaurant in Carrollton for the year. The winner is determined by a three judge panel and they judge the restaurant based on taste and presentation.
Restaurants plan food and booth appeal early so they can attract people and win. The idea is to present to consumers what makes that restaurant special. Samba Loca Brazilian Steakhouse won Best Restaurant in 2014 and began preparations a couple of weeks ago. General Manager of the restaurant, Michael Hart, works very hard to make sure the Steakhouse delivers at the “Taste of Carrollton.”
“We have a reputation to uphold as does every other restaurant,” said Assistant Manager at Samba Loca Tiffany Bell. “It’s how we attract new customers.”
Last year the restaurant served their famous picanha top sirloin, a seafood and rice dish called paella and a couple of their appetizers.
“We figure why not let people try what makes our restaurant exotic,” said Bell. “It is the best way to get a new crowd that was nervous to try us over to the restaurant.”
While Samba Loca won in 2014 another restaurant that resides on the Square, Little Hawaiian, won last year pulling out a very impressive spread. Little Hawaiian offers some unique seafood dishes to Carrollton that has led the restaurant to do very well in the past few years. It will be hard to beat either one of these restaurants considering they both have some of the most unique menus on the Square.
Food and brew packages are currently available for the event. Each package comes with a souvenir cup that allows unlimited beer at brew stations and five food tickets. “Taste of Carrollton” begins Sept. 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is expected to be crowded, and due to the mass amount of people downtown Carrollton will be shut off.