Location: Capitol Hill
Summary: An event that combined the charms of a small town festival with the culinary expectations of a large city
Capitol Hill’s 8th St SE, otherwise known as Barracks Row, is rich with history dating back from the founding of the Capitol city, home to longest manned post of the Marine Corps in the U.S. and an ever changing ethnic makeup of residents whom have each left their own mark on the area. Like many other DC neighborhoods, the area has gone through a significant amount of change and redevelopment in the last few years. Restaurants have opened up and local business have taken over vacant buildings. Barrack Row’s Fall Festival is an opportunity for the neighborhood to not only showcase this growth, but attract plenty of newcomers to the area. The Festival succeeds in featuring the best the area has to offer and the best characteristics of Washington itself.
Although many vendors and restaurants set up shop along 8th St, we were able to easily pick out our favorites. Sapore’s wide selection of olive oils and balsamics were divine for any foodie, the garlic-infused olive oil the best that we sampled. Lavagna takes pride in offering new Italian dishes using only the best local ingredients and meats; their 50/50 burger, a mix of beef and sausage, was by far of of the best pieces of food offered during the entire event. Playing on the attendees hunger and the area’s namesake, chefs from all branches of the United States armed forces, including the White House, competed for the trophy as Top Chef in the US Military during the 9th Annual Military Culinary Competition. The large list of prepared dishes was impressive and made us envious of the judges presiding over the competition.
As we strolled down the street and took in everything the festival had to offer, we reflected that the presentation that Barracks Row put forth could very well have been the same of any small town or rural community. Minus the ferris wheel and a stand selling chocolate covered bacon, the country fair atmosphere mirrored perfectly with what Washington D.C. was meant to be: a Capitol city that had all of the virtues of a small town. Barracks Row’s Fall Festival not only delighted us with its sights, sounds, and tastes (especially tastes), but also showed us that parts of the the city could still exhibit the charm of a small town community.
As with our previous coverage of a festival, we decided to let our pictures more or less speak for themselves. Let us know your feedback and if some additional narration around these pics would be worthwhile.