BRYAN, Texas — Brazos Valley Worldfest is going virtual this year. Because a big draw of the event is the international foods, Worldfest organizers didn’t want that to stop. In a partnership with Destination Bryan, they’ve created a tool to help promote local restaurants and international cuisine like never before.
Madden’s Casual Gourmet in Downtown Bryan has been serving the Brazos Valley for about 15 years.
"We like to put our twist on a bunch of American styles of food," said Brant Jensen, the general manager of Madden’s Casual Gourmet.
Just like many local restaurants and businesses, Madden’s has been dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like, having to close their doors for a couple months or after reopening not having the same numbers they once saw. But, Madden’s Casual Gourmet is staying optimistic.
“Slowly but surely people are starting to come to Downtown [Bryan] more," Jensen said.
To help out local restaurants, Brazos Valley Worldfest and Destination Bryan have created Brazos Valley Worldfest Restaurant Passport.
“We know its been challenging times for everyone in the community and our local businesses are the heart of the Brazos Valley," said Kim Fox, manager of the Brazos Valley Worldfest.
Anyone can sign up for the free passport program which showcases a list of restaurants, who offer deals to give people an incentive to try out new places. All people have to do is check-in on the programs' link to get the savings.
"We’ve been working on this throughout August and September to bring restaurants on board," Fox said. "They would just love to see you and share their culture and their foods with you.”
Brazos Valley Worldfest honors cultures and heritages from all over the world. While this year will look different because it's virtual, event organizers still want to celebrate heritages and cultures in the Brazos Valley.
"We have so many local restaurants that highlight international cuisine that we just though would be a perfect connection," Fox said.
Restaurants, like Madden’s Casual Gourmet, are excited for new customers to take advantage of the passport program and give their restaurant a try.
“Brazos Valley definitely loves to support Brazos Valley," Jensen said. "It’s great to see the community come together and helping each other out.”
The passport program has 15 restaurants participating and they’re looking to add more.
The program runs from Oct. 8-25, but participants can sign up now.