Tag Archives: taste of the browns

Taste of the Browns Giveaway: Tackle Hunger with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Win 2 tickets to

Win 2 tickets to the Sept. 15 event

Every four years, Feeding America, the nationwide network of 200 food banks, conducts its Hunger in America study.

It’s the largest survey of its kind, focusing on why hunger happens and its effects on local communities.

The most recent Hunger in America was released just last week, and showed that right here in Northeast Ohio, more than 574,000 people each year turn to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and other hunger programs.

If you’ve been thinking about getting involved with the Food Bank, now is the time.

September is Hunger Action Month, a nationwide campaign to raise significant funds and enlist volunteers in the fight against hunger.

And the Greater Cleveland Food Bank has made it easy and fun for you to contribute with two fantastic events.

First up is the Hunger Action Month Happy Hour on Monday, September 8th. From 5:30-7:30pm, drink and eat up at TownHall in Ohio City. A $20 ticket gets you unlimited selected drafts between 5:30 and 7:30 and flatbreads between 6 and 7. All proceeds benefit the Cleveland Food Bank, and you can find out more and buy tickets at the link.

It’s an excellent warm-up to the Food Bank’s main event the following week. That’s right, it’s time again for Taste of the Browns!

It’s the 16th year that the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, the city’s culinary scene, and the Cleveland Browns have teamed up to tackle hunger in Northeast Ohio.

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns, courtesy of Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns, courtesy of Greater Cleveland Food Bank

On Monday, September 15, more than 25 of the area’s finest restaurants and chefs will take over the City View Club Lounge at FirstEnergy Stadium. Some of the restaurants in attendance include:

  • Rocco Whalen’s Fahrenheit and Rosie & Rocco’s
  • Zack Bruell’s Chinato, Cowell & Hubbard, L’Albatros Brasserie, Parallax, Table 45
  • Eric Williams’ Momocho and El Carnicero
  • Sam McNulty’s The Market Garden Brewery, Bar Cento, Speakeasy, Nano Brew and Bier Market
  • And my new favorite downtown dining destination Urban Farmer
Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns by Poise in Parma

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns by Poise in Parma

Cleveland Browns fans also have the opportunity to meet and mingle with Browns alumni and current players and bid for items like Joe Haden’s “favorite things” gift basket; footballs and jerseys autographed by Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel and Barkevious Mingo; and a signed copy of the Draft Day movie script.

New to this year’s Taste of the Browns is a wine and craft beer pull. For $10, attendees can purchase a bottle cap for a six-pack of craft beer, while $20 gets you a bottle of wine.

Need more convincing? Check out Poise in Parma’s guest recap of last year’s Taste of the Browns.

General admission tickets are available for $175, $75 of which is tax-deductible and can be purchased here. Proceeds from last year’s event raised more than $175,000 for the Food Bank, enabling them to distribute 700,000+ meals to agencies in six local counties.

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns, courtesy of Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns, courtesy of Greater Cleveland Food Bank

You can also win 2 general admission tickets to Taste of the Browns in my giveaway.
How to enter: Do one, some or all five of the entries; a separate comment’s needed for each.

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Leave a comment on this post telling me which Taste of the Browns restaurant you haven’t been to before that you’d like to try.

2) Follow @CleveFoodbank and @ADHicken on Twitter and leave one comment on this post telling me you did both.

3) If you’re a fan of Clue Into Cleveland and the Cleveland Foodbank on Facebook, leave one comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to tackle hunger at @CleveFoodbank’s #TasteoftheBrowns. Enter @ADHicken’s giveaway and you can too: http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2zV

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5) Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like Bloglovin’ or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until Sunday, September 7 at 11:59PM to enter. On Monday, September 8, I will select a winner using Random.org and will announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Taste of the Browns with a guest in exchange for hosting a giveaway. My choice to post about this event and opinions are 100% my own.

Guest Post: 2013 Taste of the Browns to benefit the Cleveland Foodbank

It’s good to be back from vacation (stay tuned for my recaps next week)! Although our trip to Virginia and Baltimore Comic-Con kept us from attending this year’s Taste of the Browns, Alicia from Poise in Parma was able to go for me. Enjoy her recap of one of my top-3 favorite foodie events in Cleveland.

As a Cleveland blogger, event planner and food lover, any time that I get to combine those three personal passions is an a-okay thing in my book. So when Amanda kindly offered me her media passes to attend the 15th Annual Taste of the Browns
on Monday, September 9, 2013, I couldn’t be more excited or ready to say “let’s go!”

One of the biggest food and wine events of the season, nearly 1000 guests attended the event at FirstEnergy Stadium to benefit the Cleveland Foodbank.  Upon our arrival and checking in, my husband Hans and I rode the escalator to head straight to the happenings – and good friends – awaiting us at the top.

Continue reading

Giveaway: Taste of the Browns (and a Zoovies Winner!)


August 23rd can’t come soon enough — Not only is it Date Night at the Zoovies, it’s also my birthday. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than seeing Back to the Future at the Zoo!

And one of you will be joining me at the sold-out event with your own pair of tickets. After removing one pingback, one duplicate entry and entering the remaining entries into Random.org, congratulations to:

Zoovies Winner

Entry # 75 — Michelle @tinktastic! Please reply to my email by Friday morning to redeem your two Zoovies tickets.

If you didn’t win, you have one more chance over at Poise in Parma. But before you head to Alicia’s giveaway, enter my new giveaway for Taste of the Browns below:

Continue reading

Hunger Action Month and Taste of the Browns Recap

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.***

Taste of the Browns Winner and Another Chance to Attend

Al “Bubba” Baker at the 2011 Taste of the Browns

WOW! – I’m blown away by everyone’s excitement for Taste of the Browns on Sept. 10. Thank you to all who entered the giveaway and posted, liked and tweeted again and again.

I shouldn’t be surprised, though. With a room full of the region’s best cuisine and opportunities to hang out with the Cleveland Browns, Taste of the Browns is the perfect storm for CLE food and sports fans alike. Plus the proceeds from the event go to a very worthy local cause.

You’re here, though, to find out who won so I’ll get on with it.  After counting up all of the entries and removing pingbacks and a couple of duplicates…

(click to enlarge)

I left it to Random.org to select the winning entry. And that winner is…

Congratulations, entry number 87 – Tabitha, for winning a pair of tickets! Email me at clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com by noon on 9/6 or I will select another winner.

If you didn’t win, you have one more chance over at Cleveland’s a Plum – but hurry, because you only have until tomorrow (Thursday, 9/6) at 5pm to enter.

It’s also not too late to purchase tickets.  Known as the “Party with a Purpose,” Taste of the Browns will raise valuable dollars for the Cleveland Foodbank – raising over $140,000 last year. Every dollar donated to the Foodbank equals enough food for four meals.

As people are still trying to overcome the current economic downturn, the need for hunger relief services continues to rise. This year alone the Foodbank is on pace to distribute more than 32 million pounds of food, making everyone’s efforts at Taste of the Browns more critical than ever.

Tickets are $150 each, fifty percent of which is tax-deductible. To purchase tickets, visit http://cleveland.com/tasteofthebrowns or contact the Foodbank at (216) 738-2126.

Giveaway: Tackle Hunger at Taste of the Browns

Enter to win 2 tickets to Taste of the Browns

Thank you again to Smitten in CLE, Wearing Mascara and Cooker Girl for guest posting while I was on vacation. If you didn’t have a chance to read their posts yet, check them out below:

To celebrate being back, I’m giving away 2 tickets
to one of Fall’s tastiest events.

This September, the Cleveland Browns will team up with 25 of Cleveland’s finest chefs and the Cleveland Foodbank to tackle hunger at the 14th annual Taste of the Browns.

On Monday, Sept. 10th from 6-9pm, feast on award-winning food, wine, beer and cocktails, hang out with current and alumni Browns players, and enjoy beautiful views of downtown Cleveland from the AT&T Club Lounge at Cleveland Browns stadium.

Last year’s Taste of the Browns was not just a lot of fun (here’s my recap), it more importantly helped raise over $140,000 for the Cleveland Foodbank, Northeast’s Ohio largest hunger relief organization. For every dollar donated, the Foodbank can provide four nutritious meals to the hungry. Thanks to these donations, they’re able to reach 223,700+ people annually through their member agencies.

A selection of food from last year’s Taste of the Browns

On hand at Taste of the Browns will be an all-star lineup of Cleveland restaurants serving up signature dishes like:

  • Momocho’s wild boar tamales
  • AMP 150′s Ohio corn soup with pickled ramp and corn salsa
  • Market Garden Brewery’s chicken and jalapeno sausage on pretzel crostini
  • Pier W’s lobster taquitos with avocado and corn juice
  • Greenhouse Tavern/Sawyer’s Street Frites’ whole braised beef shin a’la bourguignon

When you’re not sampling the food, you’ll enjoy the evening’s entertainment and auctions and meet Browns legends such as event co-chairs Cleveland Browns Offensive Lineman Joe Thomas and former Defensive Lineman Al “Bubba” Baker.

Al “Bubba” Baker will also raffle off one of the evening’s most sought-after prizes – a catered tailgate party for 30 guests from his Bubba’s Q restaurant. The winner will not just get all the food and fixings for the perfect Browns party, but Baker himself will personally deliver it.

Other auction items to look forward to include tickets to see a Broadway musical in NY, DisneyWorld passes, a family membership to the Cleveland Zoo, and a Gibson SG Guitar. The prize that tops my wishlist, though, is the Tour de Bruell: dinner for two at all five Zack Bruell restaurants!

This is the auction item I want (but am likely going to be outbid for) at Taste of the Browns (image source: albatrosbrasserie.com)

Tickets are $150 (50 percent of which is tax-deductible) and all proceeds will benefit the Cleveland Foodbank.  They can be purchased at http://cleveland.com/tasteofthebrowns or by calling the Foodbank at (216) 738-2126.

You can also enter the Clue Into Cleveland giveaway for a pair of tickets!

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Leave a comment on this post telling me which Taste of the Browns restaurant you haven’t been to before that you’d like to try.

2) Like Cleveland Foodbank and Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you did both.

3) Post a link to this page (http://wp.me/pPIgG-1rZ) on your Facebook wall and leave a comment letting me know you did.

4) Twitter users can get an extra entry each day for tweeting: “I want to tackle hunger at @CleveFoodbank’s #TasteoftheBrowns. Enter @ADHicken’s giveaway and you can too: http://wp.me/pPIgG-1rZ”  (Each day you do this, you must leave a new comment.)

5) Subscribe to receive Clue Into Cleveland blog posts in your inbox or blog reader like Google Reader and leave a comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “You’ve Got Mail” section of this page.

You have until Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 11:59PM to enter. On Wednesday, Sept. 5, I will select a winner using Random.org and will announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was provided 2 tickets to give away to Taste of the Browns and a pair for myself in exchange for this post. As always, though, my thoughts and the choice of events I share are 100% my own.

Get Inspired by Locavore + Cleveland's Other Fall Feasts

Image source lifeinthecle.wordpress.com

I love seeing Clevelanders – especially young Clevelanders – finding inspiration and getting involved in a cause that matters to them.  Whether it’s the arts, the homeless and hungry, the preservation of a historic landmark or building awareness for a disease — if you see an organization or an issue that needs your support, get out there!

Recently, I’ve found inspiration from Charlene at Life in the CLE who is helping to organize the National MS Society’s Locavore fundraiser this September.

When she was 18, her best friend Adam Reidy – who was poised to qualify for the 2002 Winter Olympics – was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Although he missed his opportunity to compete, he’s faced the life-long challenges of MS with a positive attitude.

Inspired by Adam’s journey, Charlene has become deeply involved over the years with the National MS Society’s mission. After reading about Adam’s story and the MS Society’s upcoming event on her blog, there’s no way I wasn’t going to share it.

Image of Adam Reidy from lifeinthecle.wordpress.com

On September 7th at Windows on the River, Locavore will raise funds to support the Society’s mission of finding a cure for multiple sclerosis, while also supporting the thousands of Ohioans who live daily with MS.

Locavore will feature local food and drinks grown or produced within 100 miles of Cleveland. Wine and beer will be paired with Lilly Handmade Chocolates, as well as treats from AMP 150, Carrie Cerino’s, Corleone’s Ristorante, Indulgence, John Palmer’s Bistro 44, Momocho and Nosh Eatery.

Event tickets are $75 and Patron tickets are $95 (which includes an exclusive champagne tasting). All proceeds from the evening will be used to provide programs and services to more than 20,000 Ohioans who have been diagnosed with MS.

Tickets can be purchased here. For more information about the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, visit www.MSohiobuckeye.org.


Over the coming weeks and months, there are a full slate of events like Locavore that will keep attendees’ stomachs full and tastebuds happy. However, because of my blog vacation, I realized I’m not going to have enough time to cover them all.

So before I leave, enjoy this roundup of a few other culinary events I’m looking forward to:

Founder Todd Gauman leads an NEO Food Tour in Shaker Square

NEO Food Tours
Aug. 28 and Oct. 16

There are only 3 tours left in NEO Food Tours’ 2012 season and one is already sold out.

On August 28, explore the history and food of Cleveland Heights and the Cedar Lee District at NEO Food Tours’ next guided restaurant tour. The Mayor of Cleveland Heights will be co-hosting and stops will include The Wine Spot with a special presentation from FarmShare Ohio, Taste and Lopez Southwest Kitchen.  Tickets available at 2012cedarlee-eorg.eventbrite.com

Because September’s Ohio City tour is already sold out, your last chance to experience an NEO Food Tour won’t be til Oct. 16 in Chagrin Falls. Although the restaurants haven’t been announced yet, each stop will feature a presentation with the chef/owner and a small plate and beverage pairing designed especially for the evening.

Graphic courtesy of Emerging Chefs

Emerging Chefs
Aug. 31, Sept. 29 and Oct. 28

This Fall, Emerging Chefs has a “Flavorful Trifecta of Feasts” lined up.

After their heralded turn at Dinner in the Dark this week, The Black Pig on W 25th Street is hosting Emerging Chefs’ Midnight Brunch at the end of August. When the clock strikes twelve on the evening of August 31, Chef Nowak will introduce his twist on the “fourth meal” with a multi-course celebration featuring rare meats, cheeses and drink pairings. This will be a fun way to check out one of Cleveland’s newest (and already buzzing) additions!

With the arrival of autumn, comes Emerging Chefs’ Harvest Moon on September 29. This culinary celebration of all things Fall will showcase Chef Ben Bebenroth and one of my favorite restaurants that opened this past year — Spice Kitchen & Bar. Bundle up in your fall sweaters because (weather permitting) guests will be dining al fresco on Spice’s patio for what may be the last time this year.

The Trifecta culminates with Emerging Chefs’ most extravagant event to date: Chef Steve Schimoler’s The Roaring Twenties – A Culinary Play in Three Acts. “Extravagant” is probably an understatement when it comes to this black-tie/1920s inspired gala on October 28. Only a handful of tickets will be available for the evening which will include period cocktails and champagne in Crop’s grand bar, a five-course meal straight out of the 1920s in their bank vault, and an after-dinner cigar and cocktail party.

Graphic courtesy of the Arthritis Foundation-NEO

L’Amour du Vin
Launch Party Sept. 6; Event Oct. 18

The 15th annual L’Amour du Vin will help raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation and features an evening of cuisine paired with wines from around the world. I’ll actually be sharing more info about this October event in the coming weeks, but in the meantime learn more at their free Launch Party on September 6 at Crocker Park’s 87 West.

Taste of the Browns
Sept. 10

Likewise, I’ll soon be posting details (and a giveaway!) about the return of one of my favorite Fall events: the Cleveland Foodbank’s Taste of the Browns on September 10. As a teaser, though, here’s my recap of last year’s event. Come back the week of August 27 for your chance to win tickets.

Dinner in the Dark
Sept. 10

I love Dinner in the Dark’s continued dedication to dining for a cause. Their next event is September 10 at Luxe and although the participating chefs and 6-course menu will not be revealed until the guests arrive, I would recommend anything involving Chef Brian Okin after last month’s extraordinary CLE Dinner Club. Plus, Dinner in the Dark just posted the charity that will be benefitting from the Sept. event: The Covenant Adolescent Chemical Dependency Treatment & Prevention Center. Tickets available at dinnerinthedark-luxe-eorg.eventbrite.com.

Image source wsm100.org

West Side Market 100
Oct. 7 and Nov. 3

Last — but certainly not least — are all of this Fall’s events celebrating the Centennial of West Side Market! The goal of WSM100 is to offer something for everyone while commemorating the history, tradition and importance of the Market.

On October 7, West 25th is going to be closed off all day long for the West Side Market Street Festival and Parade.  A WSM-themed parade, featuring current and past vendors, neighborhood block clubs and community groups, will step off at noon, while music, food and more festivities will be going on throughout the district from 11am to 8pm.

The event will mark the first time in a decade that West Side Market has been open on a Sunday. In addition to freshly prepared foods from WSM vendors, festival attendees can enjoy two beer gardens and the Ohio City restaurants and food trucks that will be selling food along W. 25th Street all day.

After filling yourself with deliciously local fare, 3 stages of dancing and live music and family-friendly activities at the Ohio City Farm’s OC Harvest will help burn away the calories.

Image source wsm100.org

The West Side Market Centennial Gala on November 3 not just marks the end of WSM100’s year-long celebration but will most importantly raise substantial funding for the care and growth of West Side Market in its next 100 years.

Organized by Cleveland’s Iron Chef Michael Symon and Food & Wine’s Best New Chef Jonathon Sawyer, the gala fundraiser will feature food sourced from WSM and prepared by an all-star list of national and local chef talent:

  • Cleveland’s Britt-Marie Culey, Chris Hodgson, Eric Williams, Paul Minnillo and Rocco Whalen (in addition to Sawyer and Symon);
  • NYC’s Andrew Zimmern, April Bloomfield, Andrew Carmellini and Karen DeMasco;
  • Philadelphia’s Jeff Michaud and Marc Vetri;
  • and Chicago’s Paul Kahan.

In honor of the milestone, WSM’s neighbor Great Lakes Brewing Company will debut the commemorative hand-brewed lager Butcher’s Brew.

More information about both events and Gala tickets are at wsm100.org. While the street fest and parade are free, tickets to the gala are $250 with proceeds helping to ensure the future of this worthy Cleveland institution.

Happy eating!

Disclosure: I was asked to blog about Taste of the Browns in exchange for 2 tickets for myself and 2 to giveaway on my blog. I will be blogging about this event in more detail over the next few weeks.

Event Recap: Cleveland Foodbank's Taste of the Browns

When it comes to Cleveland sports, the Browns always seem to get a bad rap. But while I can’t comment about them on the field (I’ll let someone like Waiting for Next Year or Bitter Orange & Brown wax much more philosophic on the subject than I ever could), I will say I have a new, huge respect for the team after this week’s Taste of the Browns.

Since running the giveaway last month, I’d been looking forward to my first time attending Taste of the Browns.  A roving tasting event, it’s one of the Cleveland Foodbank‘s largest fundraisers. I had also heard a lot of great things about it from Bite Buff, who used to plan the event when she worked at the Foodbank.

I have to confess, Monday’s Taste of the Browns was my first time in Browns Stadium (I’m a horrible Clevelander and haven’t been to a game yet). I see it every day as I drive to and from work, but have never been up close. There is something so impressively massive about the Browns stadium when you’re walking up to it.

Standing beneath the entrance, I definitely had a quiet moment of awe, as one of the area’s high school marching bands played in the background. This awe continued as I took the escalators to the second floor and walked into the event. Not only were there restaurants set up farther than I could even see, the open space was accented by a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall window looking onto a magnificent view of downtown Cleveland.

After getting my bearings, it was time to taste. I started with a braised veal on bruchetta with truffles and asiago from Johnny’s Bar on Fulton. It was incredibly rich and tender, melting in my mouth. Definitely a good starter as I continued to make my way throughout the rooms.

I wouldn’t be able to tell you if I stopped at all of the 25+ food stations, because I was in a continual daze of food bliss throughout the evening. Some of the highlights for me included Light Bistro’s lamb kebob and the trifecta of AMP 150’s corn soup with pickled ramps, Bar Cento’s truffles chicken liver mousse with Ohio peach gastrique, and Blue Point’s raw oyster bar in one corner.

Hudson, Ohio’s One Red Door was also there. I’ve never been so I had been looking forward to stopping by their station. They offered a roasted date stuffed with manchego, chorizo and bacon wrapped along with a smoked tomato sauce. This was ridiculous and I need to now make the trip to Hudson to eat there.    

My favorite of the evening, though, was Melange. They’re another reason I miss living on the East Side because I would be there much more often if I did.

At Taste of the Browns, they served a watermelon gazpacho soup with a poached shrimp. After an evening full of delicious but rich foods, this was a simply perfect change in pace. It was fresh with a little bit of spicyness to it. And although the weather has turned cool in Cleveland, it was nice to have that last taste of summer with the watermelon. It was an incredible way to conclude the evening’s food. 

After filling myself, I had to walk it off so I explored the room a bit more. There were auctions and raffles galore and for all the Cleveland sports fans in attendance, a multitude of Browns players and alumni.  In addition to left tackle Joe Thomas who co-chaired the event, Joshua Cribbs, Seneca Wallace, Steve Vallos, Brian Schaefering, Mike Adams, Reggie Hodges and Browns president Mike Holmgren were there to meet fans, sign autographs and enjoy the food with the rest of us.

The player or alumni who really stood out, though, was former defensive linemen and the man behind Bubba’s Q’s bbq smoker — Al “Bubba” Baker. As the other co-chair and unofficial emcee for the event, he brought the Browns players up to the stage to introduce and thank them. Just like what you’ll find at Bubba’s Q in Avon, he was gregarious, bubbly, and warm.

He also donated a double-tailgater for the raffle. The lucky winner won four slabs of baby back ribs, four slabs of St. Louis ribs, four four-pound chickens, a half-gallon of Cole slaw, a half-gallon of baked beans, a half-gallon of macaroni and cheese or a large, double order of fries, 32 muffins and plenty of sauce.

While my raffle tickets may not have been chosen, I wasn’t too upset since the funds raised by the raffle, auctions and tickets went towards the Cleveland Foodbank. Last year’s event raised $120,000. This year, Taste of the Brown was expected to exceed $140,000 with every dollar providing 4 meals to the hungry in our six-county area.

As I looked down on the Browns’ football field towards the end of the evening and reflected on this event’s huge impact, it was that number that impressed me most of all.

Of course, don’t just take my word for it. I reached out to Kate, the winner of my ticket giveaway, to see if she and her guest enjoyed their evening. Here’s what she wrote:

My boyfriend, Justin, and I were thrilled with the Taste of the Browns. We had a blast getting all “dolled up” for the event and were impressed with the stadium, the view and especially the food. Some of our favorites included the sushi by Sushi Rock, the mole tacos by Momocho and the to-die-for cupcakes by Cream-n-Sugar Bakery. The ice sculpture near the bar was a cool touch (pun intended) and the auction prizes were plentiful and impressive. All in all it was a wonderful event for a great cause and we feel very lucky to have been able to attend.”

If you didn’t get a chance to attend Taste of the Browns, there are plenty of other ways to give back to the Cleveland Foodbank. In addition to their year-round need for volunteers and donations, they currently are running the Can of Nothing campaign and will be at this weekend’s IngenuityFest.

And for all of you yoga and Cleveland Foodbank fans out there, The Studio Cleveland is holding an open level class on September 30. As part of National Yoga Month, the Connect Globally, Give Locally event is donation based with all proceeds going to the Cleveland Foodbank. More information can be found on their Facebook event page

Cleveland Foodbank 411:

As was previously disclosed, I was provided one media pass to Taste of the Browns. My thoughts – as always – are 100% my own.

Taste of the Browns Winner and a Special Ticket Discount

Taste of the Browns 2011 is Sept. 12 - read on to learn who the giveaway winner is and how you can save $25 on tickets


UPDATE: If you want to purchase discounted tickets using the Promo Code ClueN2Cleve, please use this site to purchase the tickets.

It’s time to announce the winner of the Taste of the Browns giveaway!

I was really excited to host a giveaway for 2 tickets to the Cleveland Foodbank’s tasty fundraiser and loved the responses from everyone.  After placing all of the entries into an Excel document to separate out non-entries and blog post pingbacks…

…and then using random.org to pick our winner:

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I am happy to announce that entry 41– Kate has won two tickets to this event on September 12! Please email me by Sept. 2 at clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com to redeem your prize.

If you didn’t win tickets, don’t worry! You can still get discounted tickets for Taste of the Browns by using the discount code ClueN2Cleve through September 5.

The ClueN2Cleve code will save you $25 on each ticket. So, the general admission price of $150 will cost you only $125.

Purchase tickets here to get the discount

With every ticket, you’ll get access to the Cleveland Foodbank’s “Party with a Purpose.” In addition to sampling 25 of Cleveland’s finest restaurants in Cleveland Browns stadium, you’ll also be able to meet the Browns alumni and current players that will be in attendance, enjoy the silent auctions and — most importantly — help raise money for Northeast Ohio’s hungry.   Last year’s event raised $120,000, which made almost half a million meals possible in the region.

You can check out photos from last year’s Taste of the Browns below.  This year is my first time going and I hope you can join me there!




(Photos provided by Mark Malafarina of the Cleveland Foodbank)

Taste of the Browns Ticket Giveaway

Cleveland Browns Stadium hosts the Cleveland Foodbank Taste of the Browns, Sept. 12

UPDATE: Congratulations to Kate for being randomly selected as the winner of the giveaway.  Kate — Please email me at clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com to redeem your tickets by 9/2. Thanks to everyone for entering and check out this new blog post on how you can save $25 on tickets through Clue Into Cleveland: http://clueintocleveland.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/taste-of-the-browns-winner-and-a-special-ticket-discount/!


One of my favorite Ohio Blogging meetups was volunteering at the Cleveland Foodbank in March.  It was the first time I had been there and I was absolutely blown away by the staff and the facilities.

From its LEED-certified, 130,000 sq. ft. distribution center, the Foodbank provides 84% of the food that local pantries use to feed the hungry in Northeast Ohio. Donations of funds and food as well as volunteers are needed throughout the year so that the Foodbank can continue its mission.

One way to support them is through their annual Cleveland Foodbank Taste of the Browns event.

Taking place on Monday, September 12 at Cleveland Browns Stadium, Taste of the Browns is the “Party with a Purpose.” In addition to sampling 25 of Cleveland’s finest restaurants, attendees will be raising funds that will provide food to more than 600 hunger programs in six counties. Last year’s event raised $120,000, which made almost half a million meals possible in Northeast Ohio.

The Cleveland Foodbank serves more than 223,700 different people annually in its six-county area

Sports fans will also enjoy the event as Browns alumni and current players will be in attendance, mingling with guests.  And one of the raffle packages for the evening includes a tailgate party for 30 people catered by former Browns player Al “Bubba” Baker. Baker will personally deliver food from his Bubba’s Q restaurant to the winner.  With Bubba’s Q being right down the street from me, I can say — for the food alone — this prize is definitely worth it!

Taste of the Browns takes place from 6 to 9pm on September 12 in the AT&T City View Club Lounge of Cleveland Browns Stadium. Tickets are $150 and all proceeds benefit the Foodbank.  With $1 = 4 meals served at a local hunger center, one ticket alone can provide 600 meals to the hungry!

Purchase tickets here or by calling 216.738.2126, or enter to win a pair of tickets through the below giveaway!

There are 4 Ways to Enter The Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Mandatory first entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me which Taste of the Browns restaurant you haven’t been to before that you’d like to try.

2) Twitter users can get an extra entry each day for tweeting: “Check out @ADHicken’s giveaway for #TasteoftheBrowns tickets: http://wp.me/pPIgG-JX”.  Each day you do this, you must leave a new comment.

3) Follow @ADHicken on Twitter.

4) Like Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook.

(Although not part of the entries, while you’re on Twitter and Facebook, follow @CleveFoodbank and like Cleveland Foodbank to stay up to speed on what they’re doing!)

You have until Monday, August 29  at 11:59PM to enter.  On August 30, I will select a winner using Random.org and will announce the winner of the 2 General Admission tickets on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – Good Luck!

Disclosure: I was provided one media pass to Taste of the Browns in exchange for this post. As always, though, my thoughts and the choice of events I share are 100% my own.