FOOD NOTES – Brasserie Les Halles Bastille Races on July 14

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The Brasserie Les Halles 2008 Bastille Day Race & Celebration returns to the streets of downtown D.C. (1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW) on Monday, July 14, as part of the restaurants annual 11-day Liberty Festival, from July 4 through 14, with sponsorship provided by Volvic Mineral Water, Champagne Taittinger, Amtrak, Kronenbourg and others.

Throughout Liberty Festival the restaurant is serving up entertainment, trivia contests, prize drawings and more.  The restaurants activities bubble over onto the street for the Bastille Day Races, on Monday, July 14th with the outdoor Liberty Festival street party on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., featuring music, food, entertainment such as historic characters, Lady Liberty, a DJ, and of course, food and the famous Bastille Races.   Festival goers line the racecourse to cheer on the contestants, and enjoy the always entertaining and often hilarious antics of these unique games.  Politicians and other Washington VIPs pack the restaurants patio seating, joining the boisterous cheering section on the streets, as they enjoy a celebratory lunch. 

This years Liberty Festival menu offers a Red, White and Blue/Bleu, Blanc et Rouge twist , in a nod to both countrys:  Soupe de Betterave Rouge (Red Beet Soup with fresh creme); Assiette Tricolore (Whitefish terrine with red and blue potato salad); Coulibiac de Saumon loseille (Rolled Pie of Salmon, sorrel sauce); Poulet avec Ecrevisses (Chicken with Crayfish); and for dessert, Tourte aux Pommes (Traditional American Apple Pie)

It is July in the nations capital, so it will be essential that participants in the Waiter & Waitress Race stay hydrated and who better than race sponsor Volvic Mineral Water to ensure that they do just that?  Volvic is the extremely pure and distinctly different water drawn from inside the lush, green ancient volcanoes of the Auvergne in France.  Brasserie Les Halles is French, and always happy to offer a toast to our customers, so Champagne is de rigueur.  Champagne Taittinger is Frances best, with an historic tradition that dates back to the early 1700s, making the toast most tasteful!

This year marks the 34th Anniversary of Washingtons ORIGINAL Bastille Race for Waiters & Waitresses, drawing restaurant wait-staff from all across the area to speed-walk the course on the block of Pennsylvania Avenue between 12th & 13th Streets, NW, while balancing a tray and its ingredients on one hand.  The other races are:  the Les Hallers Race (Guests Race), and a Les Halles Angels Race (Childrens Race).  The suggested entry fee for all races is $10, with all proceeds benefiting Best Buddies.  Best Buddies, founded by Anthony Shriver at Georgetown University, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment.

The Annual Bastille Day Waiter & Waitress Race in Washington, D.C., was the first in the United States, and is now a popular festivity in cities and towns across the country.  Liberty is one of the central tenets defining both France and the U.S., but theres certainly no rule that says recognition of it needs to be staid and formal!  Celebrate with 11 days of festivities at Brasserie Les Halles, July 4-14.

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