It happens every year around the same time.
Walk into the Father Judge High School cafeteria around 9 p.m. during the Taste of Northeast Philly event and you might think you’re in the wrong place.
Empty beer cans and plates full of foods you wouldn’t normally pair together are strewn across round tables as students spend their Saturday night working as busboys. The vendors are still serving food, but most of the guests are nowhere to be found.
The scene was no different Saturday night at the 10th annual event. It started at 7 p.m., but by two hours in, the guests had mostly had their fill of the Northeast’s finest foods and beers. They piled their last plates or two and headed upstairs to the gym and onto the packed dance floor.
The Exceptions performed to a full house, and Philly’s less than stellar sports scene kept guests on the move. With the Flyers locked out and the Phillies done for the season, the usual distraction of the flatscreen TVs kept fewer people glued to their seats.
Downstairs, longtime vendors like the Dining Car and Chickie’s & Pete’s had their usual spots, but the 10th annual event was marked with a new addition to the nearly 30 vendors. One side of the cafeteria became a beer garden. There, Three Monkeys, Grey Lodge Pub and a still-tiny homebrewer Love Brewing Company handed out ales and lagers, including seasonal pumpkin brews.
Judge hosts the event every fall to help raise money for the school through ticket sales, raffles and gift baskets.