Taste of Dallas Helps Small Restaurants

New and family-owned restaurants say exposure during three-day event is priceless

One of the newest restaurants in Dallas is on Main Street.  Epic Cones has been there about three months.  It's open for lunch and thanks to their weekend stint at Taste of Dallas, the lunch crowd should expand significantly.

"It'll be fantastic for our business," said Epic Cones co-owner Joe Martinez.  Hite says food-filled cones idea started in Italy (cheesy burger cone, sausage pizza cone, curry chicken salad cone, you get the idea) and now it's being introduced to the masses in Dallas.

"100,000 people here this weekend enjoying the foods and we're enjoying the exposure," said Martinez.

Down the way Lockhart Smokehouse is a family business that expanded into Dallas from Lockhart years ago.  This is the restaurant's second year at Taste of Dallas at Fair Park.

"It means a lot to us," said owner Tim McLaughlin regarding the tens of thousands of people trying his brisket and sausage.  "We noticed last year we'd have people come here and I'd go back to the restaurant and recognize them that same day so we do build a lot of business from it... People will come in three to five months later and say 'I saw you at Taste of Dallas.'"

Even some of the better known chain restaurants like La Madeleine said they like the opportunity to introduce new and seasonal items at Taste of Dallas to show people who maybe haven't eaten there for a while, they have new reason to stop in.

Taste of Dallas continues until 11pm Saturday and goes from 11am to 9pm Sunday.

Tickets are $8 (kids 12 and under get in free) and you can get discount tickets for $5 at Kroger.

The restaurant booths charge $2 to $5 to sample their food.  NBC 5 is a proud sponsor.

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