Last week, the Buds filled your plate with part one of our foodie adventure at the Taste of Elm Grove, an annual fundraising event to provide scholarships to local students. Sponsored by the Elm Grove Business Association, the event featured samplings from 14 area restaurants, as well as a silent auction and music.
So, without further ado, on to the second half of the vendors!
Next up for the Buds was Tito's Sloppy Doggs. Owner Chris Burress was happily serving up - what else? - samples of his sloppy doggs, complete with his special "sloppy sauce", along with a side of coleslaw. The Buds grabbed a sample of each, and found the sweetness of the coleslaw a nice compliment to the zippy sauce.
Samples of Oliver’s delicious pies.
The Buds moved next to Quaker Steak and Lube, who were offering spinach and artichoke dip, buffalo chicken pasta, and a variety of wings including barbecue and Arizona ranch. Bud Em sampled the wings and pasta, noting that the wings were very flavorful. Bud Shaunna scooped up some of the dip and started munching on it before we stepped away - but not before grabbing a few of Quaker Steak's trademark Twizzlers! Score!
Grindhouse Coffee and Tea Co. was next in line for the Buds. While owner A.J. Zambito's large menu includes numerous hot and cold beverages, sandwiches and wraps and his specialty - gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches - for this event, he brought three delicious coffees for patrons to sample. Choices included Sumatra, Holiday Blend and an Ethiopian coffee. Bud Em tasted the Holiday Blend, which had a hint of spice, while Bud Shaunna chose the Ethiopian coffee, which was incredibly mild and smooth. The Buds set their hot drinks aside, realizing the desserts were a few tables away, and saved them for later.
The next stop was Ruttenbucks, who always serves up creative and tasty dishes at these events. They didn't disappoint with their stuffed jalapeno peppers, pepperoni bread, meatloaf sliders, stuffed pepper soup and apple pie cheesecake. The Buds sampled a little bit of everything - Bud Em was quick to try to apple pie cheesecake, which was delicious, and Bud Shaunna really liked the stuffed jalapenos, which were surprisingly mild without a ton of heat.
A newcomer to The Taste of Elm Grove, CD's Irish Pub offered a variety of soups for sampling. Choices included ham and bean, wedding soup and chili. Bud Shaunna sampled a cup of the wedding soup, which had a nice, hearty broth. CD's certainly had the right idea of what to serve up on a chilly, rainy evening!
Dairy Queen was next, and of course they brought along their ace - Blizzard samples! Bud Em snagged a sample of the Oreo Blizzard, while Bud Shaunna quickly snatched up a cookie dough Blizzard sample. Yummm... we've all had Blizzards before and know what a sinfully delicious treat they are. Comfort dessert at its finest!
Our final stop of the night was at Oliver's Pies. They had mini samples of four of their most popular pie flavors - lemon, cherry, chocolate and coconut. Of course, the Buds tried them all, and of course, they were wonderful! Bud Shaunna especially loved the coconut, served with a dollop of real whipped cream on top. Bud Em raved over the cherry and chocolate, deciding she couldn't choose a favorite.
After the food was sampled, patrons voted by placing tickets in boxes at their favorite vendors of the night. The winners were: Best Main Dish: Ye Olde Alpha; Best Side Dish: Travel Centers of America - Country Pride Restaurant; Best Appetizer: Ruttenbucks Bar & Grille; Best Dessert: Oliver's Pies; and Best Beverage: Grindhouse Coffee & Tea Co.
In addition, 13 $500 scholarships were awarded. Scholarship winners were Emily Bucon, Loran Clayton, Breanne Dobrzynski, Jessica Ernest, Kelsie Galbraith, Garett Geho, Travis Jenkins, Ashley Longwell, Abigail Mathieu, Jennifer Milton, Madison Siebieda, Brett Szeligo and Kenzie Wright. All proceeds raised from the event go toward the Scholarship Fund Program.
Once again, the Buds were impressed with the entire event, realizing that the restaurants donate their time and resources to set up and prepare to ensure they can help the event be a huge success. Bravo to the Elm Grove Business Association and to all the vendors who participated! Thumbs up from the Buds, and we can't wait until next year's Taste of Elm Grove.
The Buds can be reached at email@example.com