ALEXANDRIA, VA-One of Alexandria’s beloved culinary contests began today (Feb. 1). Restaurants throughout the city are participating in the 2024 Cherry Challenge, and for the first time in the history of the Challenge, George Washington’s Mount Vernon is sponsor.
Restaurants that participate in the Cherry Challenge are required to offer a cherry-based item, either a drink appetizer, entrée, or dessert.
“This unique event helps generate buzz for Alexandria restaurants, encourages chefs to get creative, and boosts customer traffic,” said Kristen Eastlick, GW Birthday Celebration committee member and chair of the event. “The #GWCherryChallenge lets us offer a tasteful event that keeps George Washington’s memory alive in his hometown. We’re thrilled that historic Mount Vernon has graciously sponsored this whimsical event.”
Participants include Bastille Restaurant, BRABO Brasserie, Crazy Mason Jar, Dishes of India, Don Taco, Evening Star Café, Jula’s on the Potomac, Kiwi Pie Shop, Lost Boy Cider, Mae’s Market and Café, Murphy’s Irish Pub, River Bend Bistro, Taqueria Poblano, The Italian Place, The Light Horse, The Tasting Room, Trattoria da Fanco, and Whiskey and Oyster. The full list of restaurants can be found HERE More are in the process of joining
Whether eating in or out, diners will receive QR codes to vote for their favorite menu items based on three criteria: taste, presentation, and creativity. The rating scale goes from one to three with a max score of nine on each ballots. The press release indicates: “Point totals for each dish are divided by the number of ballots to get the average score. The highest average in each category wins.”
Guests are encouraged to use X (formerly Twitter) or Instagram to share photos and descriptions of the cherry items they tasted by using the hashtag #GWCherryChallenge or by posting them to the George Washington Birthday Celebration’s Facebook page.
The Cherry Challenge is just one of a number of festivities taking place all month long. The celebration culminates with the George Washington Birthday Parade on Feb 19, the oldest and largest of its kind.
The George Washington Birthday Celebration Committer oversees planning for the parade and related Washington Birthday events. It is a volunteer group appointed by the City of Alexandria.