Little Elm will host its first Restaurant Week on Lakefront Drive starting Sunday.
The event was inspired by neighboring cities hosting events to increase traffic in their local restaurants.
“This will be our first time hosting Lakefront Restaurant Week,” Meagan Martinez, Lakefront marketing and programs specialist said. “It is something I came up with as I noticed that other local cities and towns doing this as well. I think it developed over the COVID times. People were trying to get out and do something while staying safe and keeping to restrictions.”
Little Elm’s theme for their restaurant week is iconic state fair food. Restaurants have the option of creating one or multiple menu items to resemble classic state fair foods.
Martinez said that it brings the fair a little closer to home, so residents can enjoy the food in a safer way and staying in the area.
“This is just going to be one week from Oct. 11 through 18, so from Sunday to Sunday,” Martinez said. “The restaurants participating offer those menu items, and we will have a panel of judges that will pick the top three items in each category.”
Throughout the week, patrons can vote on their favorite items on a Google form available on the Lakefront website and on Facebook.
“There will be a link available on the first day of the week, and you will have until Oct. 18,” Martinez said. “It will close at 10 a.m., so the judges have tome to gather the results. They will go and try the top three from each category. It will be open for the full week, and residents or anybody who can access the form can vote on their favorite items.”
There are three categories that restaurants will be judged on. Best dish includes creating an appetizer or entrée. Best drink is the second category and can be non-alcoholic or alcoholic. Lastly, there is best dessert. The top three restaurants of those categories will be judged by our panel, and the judges will select first-place winners. Those will be announced Oct. 19.
“They will receive a mini trophy – the first of its kind, obviously,” Martinez said. “They will receive a blue ribbon, sort of like they do at the state fair. If you win, you get a blue ribbon. If you do not win, you still get a ribbon that will be yellow with silver lettering. Everyone gets something if they participate, but the first-place winners take home a trophy and the blue ribbons.”
Martinez said that they hope to make restaurant week a recurring event.
“This is our first go at it, and it will probably be a little different this year just because of COVID and the restrictions we have to plan an event,” Martinez said. “We definitely want to grow and expand this thing – make it a sort of annual thing that happens around this time. It will not always be state fair-themed, but we will have a theme every year. We want to grow and expand this as much as we possibly can.”