WATERTOWN A mixture of new and familiar faces was a recipe for success during the Taste of the Town event Saturday.
Among those making their debut at the Dulles State Office Building was A Lo Boricua. The Puerto Rican-themed restaurant opened at 527 Coffeen St. in July.
Norma I. Pachecho, who owns the store with her husband, Carlos, said she was nervous going into the event. However, they got a break with a location near the front of the building.
The people started coming, she said.
The restaurant served its pernil and arroz con gandules, or pork and yellow rice, which went over well. It won Golden Taste of the Town, the events top award.
Its a blessing, Mrs. Pachecho said.
Video from the event can be seen at http://wdt.me/taste-of-the-town.
About 40 restaurants, wineries and other local and national vendors set up shop during the event, which drew thousands of people throughout the day. The event was put on hiatus last year because of limited staffing. Proceeds from the event support the Victims Assistance Center and the Sunrise Rotary Club of Watertown.
It seems like this community really loves to support a good cause, said Jennifer S. Loonan, the events co-chairwoman. When you add food to it, its even better.
Jaime L. Short, owner of the Old Garage Deli on outer Washington Street, said the event was a way to build exposure, as she served up the restaurants turkey and ham sandwich, called a Thunderbird, and an Explorer, a ham and salami sandwich. She said many visitors to her booth were unaware of her deli, which opened last April, which made Saturdays event even more important.
They know were here now, Ms. Short said.
The addition of fresh faces is a good thing, said Brenda T. Cavallario of Cavallarios Cucina, 133 N. Massey St. The restaurant has participated in all but one of Taste of the Towns years, and she said the event has grown dramatically since its beginning.
Her husband, Peter G., said events like the one held Saturday are important for Watertown to maintain its reputation for locally made food, especially as the number of chain restaurants grows.
This is who Watertown is; this is where we represent who we are, he said. We pride ourselves on good food.
Cavallarios Cucina took home the peoples choice award.
Little Sisters Inn, Herrings, won the events award for best presentation, while the Clipper Inn, Clayton, won the Silver Taste of the Town award.