Pride celebrations tickle the senses, from the vibrant colors of the parade to the celebratory music that flows from the festival stage. But this year's Pride celebration comes with a chance to tickle your tongue as well.
Taste of Pride brings together a diverse array of restaurants that over the course of the Capital Pride celebration will offer patrons a chance to not only sample pride-ful fare, but help support Pride as well.
''It's exciting to be more outside of the box this year and work more with the local businesses,'' says Capital Pride volunteer and organizer Lee Granados of the food-focused events that run from June 6 through 12. The concept will be familiar to fans of Restaurant Week, the annual dining spree in D.C. that offers great specials to diners.
For Taste of Pride, participating restaurants are offering a range of special dishes, prix fixe meals and other options to not only support Capital Pride, but to help bring even more people into the celebration.
''We worked with [the restaurants] to give them ideas and they also came up with their own,'' says Granados. ''We've really encouraged them to be creative, to have something that people feel is special just for Pride.''
Taste of Pride helps support Capital Pride through three different ways: direct donations from the participating restaurants, a percentage of sales from restaurants, and gift certificates that will be auctioned off at the Capital Pride Heroes Gala & Silent Auction on Tuesday, June 7 (see page 95 for more info). And, as the list on the following pages show, there really is something for everyone — even one of the city's newest food trucks.
''It doesn't have to be just restaurants,'' says Granados. ''It's more about food and getting involved.''
Taste of Pride also helps Capital Pride expand the reach of the annual celebration of the LGBT community, making sure that Pride season contains events and activities of interest to many different demographic groups within the community. For example, Granados notes that Taste of Pride is a great way to reach out more to LGBT families with children. Social media outreach and local blogs have also brought the interest of straight allies — people who want to be supportive and are eager for creative and locally focused opportunities to do so.
With such a tasty addition to the Capital Pride line-up, Granados predicts big things for Taste of Pride in the coming years. Noting that for some participants this has been a ''testing'' year for their participation, she says the success they see will lead ''to double or triple the next year.''
So when it comes to Pride for 2010, don't forget you can come hungry.
Taste of Pride Participating Restaurants
June 6 through 12
1639 R Street NW
1904 14th Street NW
847 14th Street NW
Hank's Oyster Bar
1624 Q Street NW
1602 U Street NW
1336 U Street NW
1400 Meridian Place NW
1602 17th Street NW
Washington DC, 20009
BBQ Bus Foodtruck
509 23rd Street South
25% of proceeds go to Capital Pride on Wednesday, June 8
Freddie's Beach Bar
422 23rd Street South
2250 Crystal Drive #B
549 S. 23rd Street
10% of proceeds go to Capital Pride on Tuesday, June 7
Tortoise & Hare
567 23rd Street South
Parade - Sat, June 11
Festival - Sun June 12