Taste of North Texas to celebrate 25th event

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Dozens of restaurants will feature their favorite fare at the 25th annual Taste of North Texas on Thursday at the University of North Texas Coliseum.

Many veterans of the event, including Texas Roadhouse and El Guapo’s, will make an appearance along with new contributors such as Oak Street Drafthouse and Cocktail Parlor and East Side Social Club.

“A lot of restaurants have been doing this for 15 or more years,” said Weston Thaggard, co-chairman of the event. “This is our 25th year of doing it, and if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

Participating restaurants and bars will have tables lined through Gate A at the coliseum beginning at 5:30 p.m. and feature different food items and drink specials, all for the price of a ticket, Thaggard said.

Tickets cost $15 and discounted to $10 if you are a senior, student or member of the military.

Proceeds from the event, conducted by the Denton Kiwanis Club, will benefit the Kiwanis Children’s Clinic. In previous years, the club has raised about $15,000 to help provide medical care to underprivileged youth.

“It’s been a really good thing for the community for the last several years, and I think it continues to be that,” Thaggard said.

The event also gives out awards to participating restaurants in categories including best service, best Italian and best barbecue — a title that Texas Roadhouse has held for more than 10 years, said William Hoving, the restaurant’s kitchen manager.

For Hoving and other employees at Texas Roadhouse, the event is an opportunity to interact with community members who might not have visited the restaurant. Also, it lets people see the employees in a more lighthearted way, he said.

“The thing we love most about the event is getting out into the community, and touching base with people outside of the store,” he said. “We’re just very glad we can do something to help our community and reach out ... to people and show them what we’re all about — legendary food, legendary service and having fun.”

Tickets for the event are available online at www.tasteofnt.com and at the Kiwanis Club at 1001 N. Elm St., UNT Union Ticket Office, UNT Athletic Ticket Office, Denton Chamber of Commerce and Crouch Realty. Tickets will also be available at the door the day of the event.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.

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