The Buds are usually pretty good about keeping up with events around the valley. That especially goes for those involving food!
Somehow, however, the socially savvy duo has managed to overlook a food-tasting fund-raiser for the past four years. Preposterous, we know! Especially since the Taste of Elm Grove takes place practically right under their noses. Well, make no mistake - the Taste Buds had a great time and are certain to be in attendance from now on.
The fifth annual Taste of Elm Grove, sponsored by the Elm Grove Business Association to benefit their scholarship fund, was held last week at the Elm Grove Civics Building. For $15 per person, folks got to sample food from 11 local vendors and vote on their favorites in the following categories: appetizer, main dish, side dish, dessert and beverage. With tickets in hand, the Buds were ready to sample and lend their "professional" opinions.
Vendors in attendance this year included Elm Grove Dairy Queen, River City Ale Works, Ruttenbucks Grill, Domino's Pizza, Travel Centers of America, Centre Cup Coffee, Ye Olde Alpha, Figaretti's, Hoss's Steak & Sea House, Market House Bar & Grill and the Elm Grove Deli. Each and every one brought a tasty sample of some of their most popular dishes.
The first stop the Buds made was to River City Ale Works, who picked up the title of Best Appetizer. The downtown Wheeling eatery brought along Swedish meatballs and a phenomenal artichoke dip served with cubes of yummy, crusty bread. The Buds immediately fell in love with the warm dip, which was bursting with flavor. The gals could have easily went back for a second helping, but there was too much more to sample. The tiny meatballs were delicious as well.
Next in line was Ruttenbucks Grill, hailing from Dallas Pike, who grabbed the title of Best Side Dish. The restaurant, which changed ownership early this year, had plenty of tasty options for folks to sample. The Buds were immediately drawn to the large basket of potato chips which are made fresh every day at Ruttenbucks. Crispy and delicious, the chips were fabulous. While it's hard to eat just one of ANY potato chip, the Buds would venture to say that nary a chip has ever been left behind at Ruttenbucks. The eatery also brought along a warm spinach and artichoke dip with pita wedges as well as their ace in the hole: barbecue ribs. The meaty ribs were tender and flavored with the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. Kudos on a job well done!
Though the first two stops were a tough act to follow, Domino's Pizza managed to hold their own with a variety of the new artisan pizzas: Spinach and Feta, Italian Sausage and Pepper Trio, and the Tuscan Salami and Roasted Veggie. The Buds sampled the Spinach and Feta pizza, which was a 13X9 artisan-style crust topped with alfredo sauce, feta and parmesan asiago cheeses, fresh baby spinach and onion. Delicious! In fact, the Buds are eager to sample the Tuscan Salami & Roasted Veggie in the near future. Topped with salami, spinach, onion, red peppers, banana peppers and oregano - it sounds like a real winner! They also brought along samples of their chocolate lava cake, which the Buds can only describe as dangerously good, so be warned!
In next week's column, we will feature the remaining vendors from the Taste of Elm Grove, including the winners of the best main dish, dessert, and beverage categories, so be sure not to miss it!
The Buds may be reached at email@example.com.