Last week, we began recounting our recent visit to the the fifth annual Taste of Elm Grove, sponsored by the Elm Grove Business Association.
At the yearly event, folks got to sample food from 11 local vendors and vote on their favorites in the following categories: appetizer, main dish, side dish, dessert and beverage. Vendors in attendance this year included Elm Grove Dairy Queen, River City Ale Works, Ruttenbucks Grill, Domino's Pizza, Travel Centers of America, Centre Cup Coffee, Ye Olde Alpha, Figaretti's, Hoss's Steak & Sea, Market House Bar & Grill and the Elm Grove Deli. Each and every one brought a tasty sample of some of their most popular dishes.
Previously, the Buds discussed River City Ale Works, who won Best Appetizer; Ruttenbucks Grill, who took Best Side Dish; and Domino's Pizza. This week we will tackle the remaining eight eateries.
First in line is Ye Olde Alpha, who took home the title of Best Entree. This, of course, comes as no surprise to the Buds as the Wheeling restaurant is one of their favorite haunts. The Alpha brought along prime rib with au jus sauce. Bud Shaunna claimed the dish to be succulent and delicious. They also prepared both citrus and red pepper grilled shrimp. The large shrimp were fabulous, seasoned and cooked perfectly. For a side dish, they brought their corn pudding which is always a treat .
Next up was Travel Centers of America which prepared a lovely roast beef, cabbage rolls and rigatoni. The freshly carved beef was tender and delicious, served on a fresh bun. Bud Em thoroughly enjoyed the stuffed cabbage rolls, which were packed with beef and rice and really hit the spot.
Figaretti's Restaurant, a popular Wheeling dining spot, prepared only rigatoni, which allowed their signature sauce to be the star. And this star certainly shines, as it is loved by many. The popular sauce is the perfect blend of herbs and spices. The Buds were glad to add some of the delicious Italian food to their plates.
Next on the circuit was Hoss's Steak and Sea, located in the Elm Grove Crossing Mall. Hoss's had sirloin tips, chicken breasts, broccoli salad and B.L.T. salad for patrons to sample. Bud Em found the beef tips to be delicious! Tender and lean, they were a real delight. Bud Shaunna was equally impressed with the broccoli salad. Loaded with fresh broccoli and bacon, the salad was crunchy and not too mayonnaisey, which some mixed salads seem to be.
The Market House & Grill, located just a block from the event, offered patrons some of their wings, which could be coated in a wide variety of sauces. Just perfect for fall, they also prepared pots of chili and wedding soup. Bud Em had a honey barbecue wing which was pretty darn good, as it was meaty and seasoned nicely- not overly sweet or spicy. The wedding soup, loaded with spinach and tiny meatballs and topped with a dose of Parmesean cheese was fantastic. Yummy! If there's one thing the Buds love about cold weather it's hot soup!
The Buds were pretty impressed with the new kid on the block - the Elm Grove Deli, located in the Elm Terrace Shopping Plaza. Serving pepperoni rolls with dipping sauce, fried chicken, barbecue pulled pork sliders and chocolate chip cookies, the Buds had much to appreciate. Bud Shaunna raved about the pepperoni rolls and Bud Em was quite taken with the pulled pork. Simply put, it was delicious!
Winning the beverage category was Centre Cup Coffee, who whipped up some caramel pumpkin spice coffee for the event. Bud Shaunna gladly accepted a sample and was quite impressed, claiming it had a nice smooth flavor.
Picking up the title of Best Dessert was the Elm Grove Dairy Queen, who brought samples of their Blizzard log cakes in flavors of Oreo, Reese's, and chocolate chip cookie dough. Yum! There probably isn't anything at DQ that the Buds wouldn't like, but the cake was very tasty, and the perfect ending to the evening.
The Buds had a great time at the fund-raiser and are sure to return next year for the great food and fun atmosphere. It will likely take them that long to burn off the calories they consumed anyway.
The Buds may be reached at email@example.com.