Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: Great food to headline Taste of Arlington on Oct. 20

Cacharel Restaurant has participated in Taste of Arlington every year.
Cacharel Restaurant has participated in Taste of Arlington every year.

Taste of Arlington is fast approaching, and it’s time for food-lovers everywhere to take advantage of this chance to sample delicious food and drinks from nearly 30 restaurants — all in one visit, all for one price. No telling how long it would take to visit this many eateries doing it the regular way — one-dining-out-excursion-at-a-time.

We sat down with Valerie Galloway, the executive director of Theatre Arlington, because she’s the leading authority on what to expect at this 33rd year of Taste. Take notes to make sure you don’t miss a flavorful moment Oct 20.

One of the first questions people always ask is how many restaurants will be there?

Everything is much bigger this year than last. We currently have nearly 30 booths planned, and more are coming on each week. Many more restaurants are participating including some who are returning to Taste after being absent last year, and many brand new to Taste such as Division Street Diner, Restaurant 506 at the Sanford House, World of Beer and Andalous Mediterranean Grill to name a few.

What’s on the menu?

Bar Louie, Beef Jerky Outlet, Ben E. Keith, Birraporreti’s, Black Dog Pizza, Black-eyed Pea, Blue Mesa Grill, Bone Daddy’s House of Smoke, Cacharel Restaurant & Grand Ballroom, Catering To You (Candlelite Inn), Chili’s Bar & Grill, Dave & Buster’s, Division Street Diner, El Chico, El Fenix, Freebirds World Burrito, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Improv Comedy Club, Mariano’s Hacienda, The Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant, Nothing Bundt Cakes, On the Border, Restaurant506, Rockfish Seafood Grill, Sheraton Arlington, Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub, Spring Creek BBQ, and World of Beer. Check our website at for the newest additions.

What about live entertainment at Taste of Arlington?

The Metroplex’s hottest band, Inside Out, will be playing their classic hits to keep the evening livelier than ever. And Theatre Arlington’s celebrated youth touring company SRO will entertain and charm Taste goers in the lobby of the ACC.

The auction swag on the website is impressive. What are some standouts?

We have a lot to offer bidders this year, and we are very excited about the Disneyland tickets and the Times Ten Wine Tasting and Tour for 10 people, as well as all the arts related items. We have quite a few sports items from our Texas Rangers and a suite at the American Airlines Center for a Dallas Stars game.

What's your best advice to a first-timer at the event?

Come hungry and wear comfortable shoes.

Advice to veteran Tasters?

If a veteran Taster has never purchased a VIP ticket, he/she should this year. We will have personal tables with complimentary wine AND wait service.

Taste of Arlington has a clever theme each year. What did you choose this time?

It was an easy and obvious choice this year to capitalize on the City’s re-branding initiative, Arlington the American Dream City. It was a logical decision to theme our event “Tastes of the American Dream City”

Since the event benefits Theatre Arlington, we believe our theme will help highlight the arts in the American Dream City. Theatre Arlington, along with other downtown arts organizations, is leading the charge to get the downtown area designated as an arts district. The American Dream City deserves one.

Who’s on the Taste of Arlington event committee?

Valerie Galloway, Kim Lawson, Michelle Hoover, Tim Hoover, Rene’ Demaree Amy Scott, Lisa Wilson, Melissa Unger and Beth Marshal.

Taste of Arlington is more than just an extraordinary dining experience. It also benefits a good cause. Tell us about that.

The proceeds go to Theatre Arlington’s extensive education and outreach programs. It will enable us to continue and even expand our ACT UPS program in Title I elementary schools in the AISD and fund ‘Camp Be A Star’ for homeless and transitional housing children. It will help TAG, our readers theatre touring company comprised of senior adults, to continue performing at area nursing facilities, schools and civic festivals.

Taste of Arlington does serve our cause but it also has a broader economic impact because it stimulates the restaurant business in Arlington by highlighting the many corporate food establishments, and also introduces new restaurants to our community. It’s a great place to meet city leaders, artists, business people and new friends.

A fun part of Taste is the contest. Who are the judges this year?

Mayor Jeff Williams, Jim Douglas, WFAA, Michael Hix - local entertainer, Hannah Kirby - runner up on The Voice, and Ron Corning- WFAA.

Guests will cast votes for: Best booth, entree, appetizer, beverage, and dessert along with the congeniality award and healthiest choice award. Celebrity judges will choose the best new restaurant.

Anything we’ve forgotten to ask that you want to mention?

I want to reiterate that Taste of Arlington is back in all of its original glory — A huge event celebrating the cuisine of our city and helping a charitable cause.

How much are tickets? And what is the best way to purchase them?

Individual tickets are $40 if purchased in advance and $45 at the door. For groups of 10 or more, there’s a $10 discount. VIP tickets are $60 per person.

A special Star-Telegram One-Day Only Press Pass sale is set for Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Flash your Press Pass at the Theatre Arlington Daytime Box Office or any YMCA of Arlington branch Branch to receive 50% off the at the door price.

Purchase tickets online at or call the Theatre Arlington office at 817- 275-7661. You can buy tickets in person at the Theatre Arlington office located at 316 W. Main or at any YMCA location in Arlington.

What’s the venue for Taste of Arlington? What time is the event?

The Arlington Convention Center, in the heart of Arlington’s entertainment district. Parking is $5 (before tip) in the lot adjacent to the Convention Center. We are open from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Symphonic Treasures theme of new season opening Oct. 15

Symphonic Treasures is a perfect theme for the upcoming season for Symphony Arlington not only because of the music planned but also because the quality of the shows that the 93 talented musicians perform each month is an Arlington treasure still waiting to be discovered by many.

The venue is a beloved local landmark, the Arlington Music Hall, where guests will find convenient parking and a lovely auditorium and sound system to make their symphony experience highly enjoyable. No need to travel to Fort Worth or Dallas for live classical music with such a first-class orchestra right here in Arlington.

“For our 2015-2016 Season, Symphony Arlington will explore masterpieces inspired by visions of riches. From Auber’s Overture to The Crown Diamonds to Lehar’s Gold and Silver Waltz, it promises to be a glittering array of musical treasures,” said symphony general manager Bethany Thomey.

Programs planned for the season includes music from Shostakovich’s Age of Gold Suite, Wolf-Ferrari’s Jewels of the Madonna, Wagner’s The Rheingold. Symphony audiences will thoroughly enjoy the impressive lineup of soloists including Iranian pianist Sara Daneshpour, Bulgarian cellist Kalin Ivanov, and guest conductors Jin Hyoun Baek from Korea and Maciej Zoltowski from Poland.

The opening show on Oct. 15 will feature Jan Jiracek on piano. The orchestra will play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 in D Minor and Auber’s Overture to the Crown Diamonds.

Music Director, Robert Carter Austin is noted for his “outstanding and diverse orchestral programming” stemming from his more than 30 years of professional music experience.

All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Arlington Music Hall, 224 N. Center St. Season tickets begin at $60, and single tickets are priced from $16.50 to $46.50. To purchase, call 817-385-0484, or email or purchase online at

#50thanniversary #achievement #community

Being open for 50 years is reason enough to celebrate, but Arlington retailer Gene Allen’s Gifts will share the good cheer of their upcoming golden anniversary with five local charities during their weeklong Anniversary Celebration Oct 12-18.

SafeHaven of Tarrant County, Levitt Pavilion, Mission Arlington, River Legacy Living Science Center and Arlington Urban Ministries were selected by the store to share in the success the retailer has enjoyed for the past five decades. A portion of the week’s proceeds on selected items will be donated to the non-profits.

“We have an exciting week of celebrations planned to mark this special achievement, and look forward to partnering with the community as we celebrate,” said owner Connie Gauntt who purchased the store from Gene Allen in 1996.

Gauntt says she is grateful for their many loyal customers and hopes everyone will make it a point to visit the stores during Anniversary Week. The store recently received the Texas Treasure Business Award from the state Historical Commission in recognition of “providing employment opportunities and supporting the state’s economy for at least 50 years.”

A big, festive finale is planned on Oct. 18 featuring live music, food, lots of sale items, and an artist signing evening with Hallmark sculptor and master designer, Joanne Eschrich of the Faith Collection.

The community is invited to enjoy the anniversary events at two store locations, 1638 W. Randol Mill Road and 255 SW Plaza near Little Road and I-20. Inquire at 817-277-7501 or visit

Events at a glance

▪ Courtyard Celebration at East Arlington Branch Library is Saturday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Celebrate the cultural diversity of the community at this annual event for the whole family. Entertainment will include musical and dance performances by area artists and talent from local schools and organizations. Admission is free.

▪ Arlington Genealogical Society will meet Tuesday from 6:30-9 p.m. in the Community Room of the Arlington West Police Service Station, 2060 W. Green Oaks Blvd. The program will feature professional genealogist Kelvin L. Meyers discussing "Why Did Scarlett Make a Dress of Her Mother's Drapes? The public is welcome. Contact Ruth Goodman at to inquire.

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