I have to confess that Sunday’s Browns opener left me conflicted. Raised a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I was torn over whether to cheer for the team I grew up watching or the underdogs I’ve learned to love since moving to Cleveland (in the end, I choo-choo-chose the Browns).
But while the Browns may have ultimately lost on Sunday, they won my heart when leading the Cleveland Foodbank to victory at Monday night’s Taste of the Browns.
Remembering how stuffed I was at last year’s Taste of the Browns, I went in with a game plan. A small yogurt for lunch and I was ready for an evening of food from over 25 of Cleveland’s restaurants.
Because Scott had to stay home that night for work, I took Alicia from Poise in Parma as my last minute date (or as she jokingly referred to herself – my blog assistant) (check out her recap for more food highlights).
Momocho’s tamales topped both Alicia’s and my lists
As we rode the elevator up to the Club Lounge, we walked straight into the crowd quickly gathering around the different food stations.
For the next couple of hours we tasted and tried dishes prepared by the likes of Zack Bruell, AMP 150 and Light Bistro.
Highlights included Pier W‘s lobster taquito topped with a smooth honey jalapeno butter sauce, Momocho‘s spicy boar tamales and XO Prime Steaks‘ Beef and Chicken Kabobs.
Georgetown‘s Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta Salad was also a refreshing break from many of the rich foods.
The stadium’s new Sawyer’s Street Frites stand
However, the only dish I had to go back for seconds of was Sawyer’s Street Frites‘ Whole Braised Beef Shin a’la Bourguignon on a fresh Parker House roll.
You couldn’t help but love the tender, succulent beef shin mixed with braised veggies. And the roll soaked in the meat’s juices was delicious on its own. As we head into Fall’s colder weather, it struck me as a perfect dish for football season.
While we took a break from eating, we enjoyed a few glasses of wine (I particularly liked Apothic’s mild blend of Chardonnay, Riesling and Moscato) and listened to Taste of the Browns co-chairs Joe Thomas and Al “Bubba” Baker share with guests the evening’s true purpose.
A glass of white wine was needed after my second helping of this delicious Whole Braised Beef Shin a’la Bourguignon
Raising over $140,000 last year, Taste of the Browns is one of the largest annual fundraisers for the Cleveland Foodbank providing vital food, funding and services to more than 223,700 people in our region. It also celebrates Hunger Action Month.
As we learned at the event, the Cleveland Foodbank and Feeding America are working together throughout the month of September to increase awareness of hunger issues and how we can all take steps to fight it.
They’ve come up with a list of “30 ways in 30 days“, different ideas for donating time, food and money to organizations that serve the hungry.
Taste of the Browns co-chairs Joe Thomas and Al “Bubba” Baker share ways to take action during Hunger Action Month
A few of my favorite suggestions include:
- Donate a grocery store gift card to your local food pantry so they can provide more for those they serve.
- Call and schedule a time to volunteer in the Foodbank’s Cleveland Community Kitchen.
- Help out by eating in. Share a home-cooked dinner with your family and donate what you would have spent on dinner out to the Foodbank.
- Pick a book for your book group that focuses on the issues of hunger and poverty.
- Learn about Cleveland Foodbank’s Benefit Bank which connects low income people to benefits.
Young Professionals also have a unique opportunity to get involved this month. On September 27, the Cleveland Foodbank will unveil their new Young Professionals Group at a happy hour at the Grovewood Tavern.
From 6-8PM, a senior Foodbank staff member will be onsite to answer questions about poverty and hunger in Cleveland, educate attendees on the Foodbank’s programs, and explain volunteer opportunities.
And for every two canned goods you bring, you’ll receive a drink ticket (maximum of two drink tickets). RSVP and learn more at clevelandfoodbankyp.eventbrite.com.
Though Scott couldn’t make it to Taste of the Browns, I did manage to grab a ‘souvenir’ for him from Little Devil Cupcakery
We’re only halfway through Hunger Action Month and there’s still plenty of time to do something. No matter what you choose to do, your donations of time or money will go a long way in helping the Cleveland Foodbank distribute more than 32 million pounds of food to 618 hunger programs throughout our region.
Disclosure: As mentioned when I posted my giveaway, I was offered 2 tickets to give away and a pair for myself to preview Taste of the Browns. I also am a council member of the Young Professionals group at the Cleveland Foodbank. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***