Want to Go Texan? Try Going Elsewhere.

It's Go Texan Restaurant Round-Up Week, but it may be difficult for Dallas residents to celebrate it.

The program, sponsored by the Texas Department of Agriculture, is intended to showcase restaurants serving Texas-grown products. To participate, a restaurant must ante up a $25 annual fee and serve a meal this week that includes ingredients grown or raised in Texas. Restaurants are encouraged, but not required, to donate a portion of the proceeds from their Go Texan menus to a local food bank.

Sounds pretty simple, right? In Dallas, only seven restaurants have signed on.

"We do see we need to recruit more participants," spokeswoman Veronica Obregon concedes. "You know, what happens with restaurants is they're really busy. To get that five minutes with them is really a challenge."

Obregon attributes the paucity of participants to the program's relative newness: Texas launched the program three years ago, and Obregon believes restaurants and restaurant guests still don't know much about it. She suspects there are Go Texan member restaurants whose regular menus would qualify them to be listed as Restaurant Round-Up participants, but they haven't contacted the Department of Agriculture.

"It's such a great program," Obregon says. "We hope every year, with more publicity, we'll grow these numbers."

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