Taste testing on M Street

Wisconsin Avenue was bustling Saturday afternoon with hungry pedestrians, lively musicians and an aroma that could make any food connoisseur drool. Responsible for such activity was the 15th annual Taste of Georgetown event, and aspiring food critic Paloma Aelyon gave HatchetArts a sampling of the best of the 26 restaurants that were cooking up the streets.

Agraria Farmers & Fishers (3000 K St., Georgetown Waterfront) – When the man working this booth deemed something “a religious experience,” he was referring to Agraria’s chocolate-covered farmhouse bacon. Agraria Farmers & Fishers, ru0n by the same team that operates Founding Farmers, caters to the new and progressive mission of serving fresh food from local farms while creating a playfully tasty experience. Homemade ciabatta bread with hummus, sun-dried tomatoes and olive tapenade was served as an alternate option for those intimidated by the sweet and salty delicacy mentioned above.

Bodega Spanish Tapas and Lounge (3116 M St.) – If you thought you were waiting behind a few dozen others on the streets of Barcelona to have a taste from the local carniceria (butcher’s shop), you may have been disappointed to realize you were still on Wisconsin Avenue. Once at the booth’s table, however, with dried meats and bags of garlic hanging over your head, a bite out of the “jamon serrano,” a ham dish, made your initial illusion close to real again. Hopefully, your friend chose the other option offered by Bodega’s staff, the aromatic paella, so you could try and fully appreciate the authentic tang accompanying the tapas served at this Spanish venue. Ole!

Dean and Deluca (3276 M St.) – Piquing my interest, the first thing I heard upon diving into the festival’s mob scene was a passerby say, “That Mac n’ Cheese had to be my absolute favorite.” Soon enough, I was able to finally reveal the object of such praise: Dean and Deluca’s Lobster and Truffle Mac n’ Cheese. Evidently, “sinful” would have to be an understatement for the nearly drooling crowd that devoured the upscale version of one of America’s most treasured soul-warming foods.

Café Bonaparte (1522 Wisconsin Ave.) – How can a batter so simple be transformed into a breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert so utterly divine? Café Bonaparte’s menu has the answer to that question, with its first two menu pages dedicated to the art of crepes, both sweet and savory. The table was completely covered with fired-up pans and friendly chefs dishing out sweet crepes, from the Bonaparte (filled with Nutella and topped with powdered sugar) to the Last Tango (filled with chocolate, strawberries, whipped cream, and berry melba sauce). Mouth-watering, to say the least.

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