Taste of DC’s throw back to prohibition

There are few things in life as satisfying as a delicious meal and ice-cold margarita. And before attending this weekend’s Taste of DC I would have doubted anyone over the age of 21 seriously disagreed.

But clearly someone organizing the event wants us to all go back to the days of brewing moonshine in the basement.

Saturday was my first time attending the now annual Taste of DC. The streets were crowded with happy participants and unhappy protesters (protesting the lack of jobs in the current economy, not the lack of food at the festival). There were booths representing many local restaurants, and such a wide variety as to satisfy any possible craving.

Quite simply put: the food was delicious. But this isn’t a post about the food.

View of the Stop the Machine march during Taste of DC

The first indication of the Taste of DC’s surprising prohibition was at the ticket booth. Tickets for alcoholic beverages and food were sold separately, i.e. you had to buy special booze tickets. Both sets of tickets were an expensive $15 for 10 tickets.  IDs were checked at the entrance and those of legal drinking age were given a green wristband to wear.

Now, I normally would have just chalked up the separate tickets to an ingenious way to scam a little extra money out of us common folk. But then I discovered why the festival is called the Taste of DC and not the Tasty Drinks of DC.

In the middle of the festival was a fenced in area of approximately 80 x 80 feet. There, and there alone, was alcohol available for consumption. No drinks were allowed outside of the chain-linked fence area. You could bring food in, but no drinks could go out. Why would anyone want to go to a festival and spend the majority of it chained in a small space?

As my friends and I looked around in disbelief at our new alcoholic pigpen, we realized there was only one thing left to do. Scraping together our special alcohol-only tickets we each bought a Mar-Go-Rita, basically a margarita inside of a Capri Sun-like pouch. At an expensive 3 tickets each, the pricing almost felt like a subtle endorsement of the 18th Amendment. Or a guilty bargain, I couldn’t decide. We drank quickly so that we could get back to the outside world. A world that we sadly now knew frowned upon mixing Mar-Go-Ritas and funnel cakes.

As we walked home several hours later with full bellies (and perfectly intact livers), I suddenly remembered something that put a renewed hop in my step. A beautiful thought that not even the no-adults bounce house at Taste of DC could dampen…

DC Wine Week starts in six days.

– Lindsay

About Lindsay Golder

Freelance writer, book-fiend, lover of shamefully bad films regularly featured on TBS or TNT.

2 Responses to “Taste of DC’s throw back to prohibition”

  1. Wow…what a scene. Not quite what we have planned for DC Wine Week but we hope you have a better experience 🙂


  1. Compiling a DC dream meal | broadsofthebeltway - 2011/10/12

    […] Lindsay, I attended the Groupon-sponsored Taste of DC over the weekend. I actually had a good time. This […]

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