Who Deserves a Free Restaurant?
After serving hundreds of bites at Taste of Arlington on May 18, eight Ballston BID Restaurant Challenge semi-finalists plated the most important dish of all—the one that comes with an 11-year lease with 12 months of free rent.
But before the judges got to eat, hungry masses bounced from booth to booth trying food from Arlington standbys like Willow and Liberty Tavern as well as restaurants that fall under the “coming soon” category like Kapnos Taverna from Mike Isabella, set to open this fall. Mike knows what it’s like to expand into Ballston and has been at the helm of the Restaurant Challenge.
We snapped (left to right) Jill Goubeaux, Morou Ouattara, Simon Carney, Mike Isabella, and David Guas getting ready to judge. They were joined by Walter Tejada, Rodney Henry, Andrew Palmieri, Marc Orem, Rich Massabny, and Donnie Pereira.
Chef Victor Albisu (pictured) of Taco Bamba and Del Campo plus Christiana Campos we named as two finalists and will square off in early June. Christiana’s concept Casita would offer classic comfort foods from Spain, while Victor would open Bombazo, a full-service Mexican street food eatery.The winner will receive a life-changing prize package, in addition to the lease: a $245,000 interest free loan; free legal services donated by Saul Ewing; free financial advising donated by Allender CPA; and a year’s membership to RAMW.