Dish with Deah: Diner approval of Fort Worth’s Taste Community Restaurant whets appetite for new Arlington location

By Deah Mitchell

On August 8, 2023

Taste Community Restaurant recently was named to Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in Texas.

Coming in at 40th on the list was no small feat for Taste Project’s unique pay-what-you-can dining concept, which also provides apprenticeships with on-the-job learning in all stages of food preparation and service.

The popularity of the concept and the quality of the breakfast, lunch and brunch offerings — and multi-course, special-event dinners — inspired the nonprofit’s recently announced second location, to open in coordination with the city of Arlington in 2024.

The same business model will apply to this restaurant, including hands-on training for students, in hopes of helping them secure jobs.

Jeff Williams founded Taste Project in 2012 and has always had a passion for cooking, food, and feeding people. He feels his “half-Italian” heritage feeds his passion for the cuisine. When Williams started Taste Project, his vision was “not a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen, but a place where everyday folks eat. And those who could not afford to eat there could still enjoy a meal in the restaurant.”

Arlington Mayor Jim Ross volunteers at Taste Community Restaurant. (Courtesy photo | Rachel Delira, Taste Project)

Taste Community Restaurant opened in 2017. In 2021, Taste Project began a relationship with other nonprofits to form Fort Worx, a collaborative effort with The Culinary School of Fort Worth and  Workforce Solutions of Tarrant County. Jeff’s wife Julie Williams, who also plays a pivotal role in the program, is excited about the upcoming venture into the city of Arlington. “We’re happy that this relationship we’ve cultivated will be bringing this vision to life in the near future.”

Ultimately, the goal of Fort Worx is for student-apprentices to obtain a job offer after impressing others with the spectacular foods they create and serve at Taste. Some examples of jobs include cook-level positions in fast-casual restaurants, and foodservice operations, such as hospitals, hotels, schools, and corporate cafeterias.

If an offer does not materialize after completing the program, graduates will receive job placement assistance and are eligible to continue education in an apprenticeship program at The Culinary School of Fort Worth. Classes are offered regularly and last for 16 weeks.

Applicants must reside in Tarrant County, qualify at, be 18 years or older, have reliable transportation (includes public transportation), and screen negative for drug use prior to and throughout the training program. Fort Worx has multiple information sessions per year and encourages those who are curious to attend.

They’re offering two informational sessions this month to accommodate growing demand.

Find times and locations below:

Sept. 20

Noon, Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County, 1515 S Sylvania Ave., Fort Worth

Sept. 20 

6 p.m., Taste Community Restaurant, 1200 S. Main St.,  Fort Worth

More tasty news

Additional DFW restaurants included in Yelp’s Top 100 List are below. The collection reflects the diversity of the foods our community is loving right now. 

This piece was republished from the Fort Worth Report.

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