That is the best way to describe how we felt by the time we left the 19th annual Wheeling Health Right Chefs' Auction last week. The fund-raiser featured fourteen area food vendors, silent and live auctions and live entertainment by The Joseph Sisters, whose locally-grown talent featured a delightful mix of country and soul music.
The event, themed Western Glitz, had the WesBanco Arena overflowing with tasty dishes from some of the best restaurants in the Ohio Valley. Taking the theme to heart, most eateries featured a lively Western decor and a variety of barbecue, beans and other dishes fit to be served to Wyatt Earp himself.
The Buds, who were thrilled to be on hand for the event, deputized themselves and made it their mission to sample something from each of the vendors - all in the interest of fair and accurate reporting, of course!
This week we will dish on half of the vendors we visited at the culinary spectacular.
Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino & Racetrack:
This Wheeling hot spot made a safe bet on warming up the crowd with their apple pie moonshine martinis. Wow - these drinks were dynamite.
For the main course, patrons were treated to spicy shrimp tacos, smoked western empanadas and Baked Texan (individual baked Alaskas with a shot of lime) for dessert.
When it comes to great flavor and quality presentation, the folks at Wheeling Island aren't bluffing.
What did Mehlman's bring? What did Mehlman's NOT bring is more like it!
This St. Clairsville mainstay loaded up the wagon train with their famous prime rib, barbecue ribs, baked beans, sweet corn, escalloped potatoes, broccoli casserole (PLEASE divulge the recipe!) and corn bread. But they didn't stop there - they also had full sized slices of German chocolate cake, pineapple upside-down cake, Dutch apple and cherry pie.
The Buds thoroughly enjoyed every morsel of the home cookin' from Mehlman's. It is little wonder why the eatery is so popular!
These folks offer a taste of the West every day. Serving up their barbecue ribs, sweet and buttery corn on the cobb, crispy cole slaw and homemade chips, they couldn't go wrong. Folks were obviously chompin' at the bit to get a taste of the ribs, as they were gone by the time the Buds got there. Of course, that didn't stop us from digging in to the corn on the cob, slaw and crispy chips. Finger lickin' good, indeed!
Cabela's Powderhorn Grille:
The world's foremost outfitter showed up with one of their wildlife specialties - elk stroganoff. When Bud Em wimped out, it was up to Bud Shaunna to step up to the plate and sample the hot dish.
Served in bite-sized pieces, the elk meat was quite delicate, and mixed with a cream of mushroom base, this rich stroganoff was well worth taking a chance on!
The catering staff of WesBanco was on hand with seasoned hash brown potatoes and pulled pork sandwiches. Simple and delicious, the Buds especially enjoyed the flavorful pork.
With all of the Western-inspired dishes at the event, the Buds were thrilled to visit a vendor boasting flavors of the Far East! Area favorite Silver Chopsticks was on hand with an impressive array of their most popular dishes. The Buds were silly over the crab rangoon (AWESOME), fresh spring rolls, chicken lo mein, General Tso's, and fried rice. We've had 'em all before and they are quite the guilty pleasure. New to the Buds however was the Hong Kong shrimp.
Whoa Nelly! The shrimp dish was like a tasty explosion in our mouths and we definitely look forward to having this one again!
Kirke's Homemade Ice Cream:
St. Clairsville's own Kirke Porterfield and his team from Kirke's Homemade Ice Cream have been a mainstay at the yearly auction and always come with a bevy of crowd favorites to wow the crowd. With eleven flavors to choose from, it was no easy decision. Ultimately, Peach Champagne was the winner and IT...WAS...FABULOUS! The light sorbet was refreshing and delicious with just a hint of champagne. We would like to get this stuff by the barrel!
Y'all be sure to check back here next week for a second helping of the Wheeling Health Right's 19th Annual Chefs' Auction!
The Buds may be reached at taste firstname.lastname@example.org.