Last week, you were served your first course of dishes featured at the 21st annual Chefs' Auction. The Chefs' Auction, Wheeling Health Right's biggest fundraiser of the year, took place on Friday, May 2 at WesBanco Arena. The theme this year was "Rock Around the Clock," and the joint was jumping with folks ready for a good time.
Seventeen of the area's best restaurants served up their tastiest dishes, and the Buds had a blast cruisin' around and sampling each one. And so, here is your second helping of dishes from the Chefs' Auction.
Pulled pork and perogi slider, chips and pepperoni bread prepared by Ruttenbucks, and a shrimp arepa from Cilantro.
Chinese almond cookies from Riesbeck’s
The local food market showed up with samples of goodies from their bakery and deli, including black bean salad with chips for dipping, fresh mozzarella and tomato salad, iced pumpkin bars and Chinese almond cookies.
Bud Shaunna thoroughly enjoyed the mozzarella and tomato salad, noting the freshness of the tomatoes and the lovely hint of basil. Also leaving quite a good impression was the black bean salad which was packed with corn, onions, colorful peppers and chopped cilantro and served with tortilla chips. Delish!
And let's just say that the Chinese almond cookies are nothing new to the Buds! We've loved them since the day a co-worker brought them to an office holiday party. Said co-worker now knows that he is expected to bring them for every office gathering ... or ELSE! The thick cookies are packed with almonds and dipped in chocolate, creating a flavor that's out of this world.
Tito's Sloppy Doggs
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.
One thing the Buds have learned after attending so many local food-tasting events is that Ruttenbucks never disappoints. This time was certainly no exception as they served up corn on the cob, homemade potato chips, pepperoni bread, stuffed jalapenos and barbecue pulled pork sliders topped with onions and perogies. They also brought along refreshing Gin Rickeys flavored with lime.
Yum. Yum. And yum! The pulled pork sliders were fabulous! The Buds had never considered putting perogies ON a sandwich before, but you better believe we will from now on! Burgers, hoagies, grilled cheese ... fried perogies are going on them all. They were especially good on Ruttenbucks' sweet and smokey barbecue. The Buds also splurged on some of their homemade chips and pepperoni bread as well because they are killer good and we just couldn't resist. Don't judge.
Grindhouse Coffee & Tea
By this time, the Buds were ready to take a little break and let the food settle, so they were pleased to see Grindhouse Coffee & Tea on location serving up a variety of coffees. Bud Shaunna had a cup of their Highlander coffee and Bud Em opted to try the cinnamon apple pie flavor. The little coffee break was just what the gals needed before heading back into the trenches.
With easily one of the most creative displays of the evening, Stratford Springs had guests feeling like they'd stepped onto a set of Happy Days with their mom and pop-style diner set up. And along with the great display came some tasty dishes including chicken pot pie, roast beef sliders, and apple and blackberry pies.
The chicken pot pie was OFF. THE. CHAIN. Bud Shaunna could have eaten about five of these things. Bud Em sampled the roast beef slider and gave it raving reviews.
Mountaineer Gaming Resort
Mountaineer choose to keep their options simple by offering beef sliders with pesto mayo and salted caramel milk shakes - but that was ok with the Buds, who were slightly ramped up on food overload. The pesto mayo made for a really nice addition to the taste of the slider, and both Buds agreed it was a winner. The real star of the table was the salted caramel milk shakes - YUUUUMM! The Buds chugged these in record time. We wanted more, but too many of these and we wouldn't fit into our poodle skirts!
The Buds were happy to see the folks at River City on hand, as they always bring some tasty and creative foods to the Chefs' Auction. This year, they brought meatballs and chicken stuffed with feta cheese. Did someone say FETA? We're sorry, we heard nothing else after the word "feta." Bud Em snatched up a sampling of the chicken with the lovely feta stuffing, and this should come as no surprise, but the combination of two of Bud Em's biggest loves (chicken AND feta!) were a hit.
Cilantro Latin Grill
The Buds aren't stalkers. Really, we aren't. We couldn't help that we live in the same neighborhood as Cilantro and kept trolling past day after day waiting for it to open. And now that it's open, the Buds practically run to the table when Cilantro is serving up some food. This time, their offerings included arepas with steak and shrimp, queso and guasacaca for toppers and a rum fizz drink to wash it all down.
The Buds piled their arepas high with pretty much one of everything. The queso had some bite to it, which served as a nice compliment to the steak and shrimp. And the guasacaca? Just set it beside Bud Shaunna in a trough, please and thank you.
And with a glimmer of tears in their eyes (or was that just the leftover sliders?), the Buds completed their rounds and bid farewell to another Chefs' Auction. The awards ceremony will take place 10 a.m. Friday at Stratford Springs. Check back in Ticket next week for the complete list of winners!
The Buds can be reached at tastebuds@timesleader online.com.