Why? Taste of the Browns!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win the Discover Fall in Hartville giveaway? Today is your last day, so check it out!***

I may still be in a food coma from Monday night’s Taste of the Browns event. This food, wine, and fun event takes place at First Energy Stadium and combines some of the best restaurants in town with Browns players and auction fun, all to benefit the Cleveland Foodbank.

Here are my top 10 favorite things (food or otherwise) from this year’s Taste of the Browns:

1. The cause. All proceeds benefit the Cleveland Foodbank, which distributes food to local shelters, food pantries, and hot meal programs. A $100 donation equals 400 meals for the hungry in Northeast Ohio!

IMG_70482. The star-power chef turnout. From Zack Bruell to Rocco Whalen to Chris Hodgson to Jeff Jarrett, the chefs behind the Taste of the Browns Restaurants show up themselves to serve up their delicious dishes.

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3. The use of local corn in so many dishes. I absolutely adore Ohio corn this time of year. And it was great to see so many restaurants make use of this ingredient, from the pan-seared walleye with local corn cream from Cleveland Browns Hospitality Group to Market Garden Brewery‘s crab and corn salad to Pier W‘s Hawaiian big eye tuna with local corn polenta.

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4. Finger food. At an event like Taste of the Browns, grab and go finger food is always appreciated, especially when you’re trying to balance a wine glass, a plate, a camera, etc. B Spot‘s Thin Lizzy sliders and AMP 150‘s Guinness-braised short rib sliders were the perfect example of how finger food works so well at an event but also can taste so good!

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5. Smart twists on classic favorites. We like our traditional, comfort foods in Cleveland, but we like them even more with gourmet twists. Take Sans Souci‘s rosemary truffle pierogi with roasted mushrooms, The Greenhouse Tavern/Sawyer’s Street Frites‘ sweet chili peach confit wings, or El Carnicero/Momocho‘s smoked trout and pork belly guacamole. Each took a classic food and elevated it to something truly unique.

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6. The sweet stuff. While most of the dishes were savory, places like Little Devil Cupcakery, The Melting Pot, Chocolate Bar, and Pierre’s didn’t forget that every great meal needs something (or many things) sweet at the end.

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7. Libations. There is plenty to quench your thirst from beer to wine to a martini station!

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8. Browns Players and Alumni. From Alex Mack to Al “Bubba” Baker to Chomps, there are no shortage of current players and alumni with whom you can mingle and snag a picture or autograph. These local celebs are always so gracious, too!

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9. The location. It’s pretty cool to see First Energy Stadium all lit up and quiet and (dare I say) hopeful? Taste of the Browns has one of the coolest locations for a foodie fundraiser you’ll find.

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10. This view. The view as we left Taste of the Browns was pretty gorgeous and came complete with a reminder of why we were there that evening!

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Did you attend the event? If so, what’s on your Top 10 list? If you didn’t, don’t miss next year’s Taste of the Browns and create your own Top 10 list!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Foodbank to help promote Taste of the Browns. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary VIP tickets to the event. I am also a member of the Cleveland Foodbank YP Pantry core council. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

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