Friday, October 9, 2015

One Bite Taste Event -- Hartville, OH


Last night I attended the One Bite Taste Event hosted by the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce. This was the 3rd year this event was held, but the first year it was open to the public. The event took place at the GentleBrook Event and Banquet Center and featured 16 area restaurants. A ticket to the event gave you the opportunity to try all of the different samples and included a beverage ticket for the bar.

The GentleBrook Event Center is just one of many businesses and restaurants which has helped to repurpose the old Hartville Hardware store. There was a gorgeous amount of natural light flooding the venue which gave way to the night sky as the evening progressed.




Restaurants were happy to have locals sample their food, but they were also participating for a chance to win the Best Bite Competition. Awards were presented for Best Savory, Best Sweet and Best Overall -- attendees were given the chance to vote for all categories at the end of the evening.





Lake Township FISH (Faithfully I Serve Him) had a display of canned goods at the entrance of the event. Their members work to provide food and temporary assistance to families and individuals who are struggling. FISH is just one more way that community members can help to benefit the Lake Township area.


Near the entrance was a photo booth from Northeast Ohio Photo Booth. You could sit on the "front porch" and have your three pictures taken. Once you were done hamming it up in front of the camera, two prints were produced. 






There was a large area of tables available for people. I frequently participate in large, outdoor taste events and there is never anywhere to sit/place your plates. I happily staked out my spot at a table. There were also high top tables available in front of the bar area for those who preferred to stand. 




I attended this event with my brother Brett, who graciously agreed to eat all of the non-vegetarian samples for me. We made it our mission to try one of everything in an effort to best experience the event.




Our first stop was Gourmet Market Pasta for Baked Southwest Orzo. This one had chicken in it, but Brett was happy to eat two samples. He thought it tasted like an enchilada.


We also stopped at OliveTerranean for some Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves).




And an assortment of olives, I stuck with the Kalamata olives, but Brett tried some olives stuffed with cheese and meat (not pictured).




We both liked the filling in the dolmades, although we were unable to discern what exactly was in it.

We headed over to Arukah Market's table next for Vegetable Fettuccine, Pumpkin Bread and Zucchini Bread. All three were very light and the breads were both moist and full of flavor. It's always disappointing when bread is too dry, these were a nice consistency.

Not pictured was the Turkey Burger and Grass-Fed Beef Hot Dog that Brett tried from the Arukah Market. Brett liked the Hot Dog the best out of both samples, but he was happy with the Turkey Burger, he said that sometimes turkey burgers can be heavy, but this sample was light and moist.



Brett also sampled a Pulled Pork Sandwich from Old Carolina with their mustard barbecue sauce. He thought the pork was tender and that the mustard sauce was the way to go.



At this point we decided to cash in our drink tickets at the bar, I stuck with Woodchuck Hard Cider.



Brett ordered the Farmhouse Ale from Gervasi Winery in Canton.



Next up for food samples was the Pierogi Lady.

Brett tried the Lobster Cream Pierogi and said it was like eating lobster bisque in pierogi form. I sampled the Garlic Parmesan. Both of these were mini pierogis, we agreed that they paired nicely with the sauce they were suspended over.




The Pierogi Lady also provided a dessert sample in the form of a Pumpkin Pie Pierogi, throughout the fall you will see that I am vehemently opposed to all things pumpkin pie and pumpkin spiced, I just do not like them. Brett and I agreed though, although this was a little weird, it was good. The whipped cream underneath the Pumpkin Pie Pierogi really helped to make it more decadent. 



The Pierogi Lady also had samples for Pierogi Lady Catering which included a variety of dips. The Beer Cheese dip.



White pizza dip.



And a Caramel Cream Cheese Dip



We both liked all three, but agreed that the White Pizza Dip was our favorite from Pierogi Lady Catering.

While we were at the Pierogi Lady station, Brett picked up another Pulled Pork Sandwich this time from Gervasi. Again, Brett was pretty happy with the Pulled Pork.



B.A.M was next on our sample rotation. Brett had a Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich as well as some Pepperoni, Buffalo Chicken and Margarita Pizza. He liked everything that he tried, but the Sandwich was by far his favorite.



I tried their Cheese and Basil pizza which was pretty tasty. I was happy that they had a vegetarian option or two while still being able to showcase their different varieties of pizza.



We didn't intend to start on the sweet samples until we were finished with the savory, but we picked up one of B.A.M's Black Bean Brownie Parfaits. Although we were both a little skeptical about the black bean in this dessert, I thought it was actually really good. Brett struggled to get past the black beans and said it was okay.



We also visited Grinder's (a Northeast Ohio chain) and tried their bruschetta appetizer.



And s'mores brownie which was a fun twist on the summer classic.



At Nanny Goat Naturals we tried their goat milk fudge. I enjoy fudge, but it's usually a pretty dense dessert, this fudge was a lot softer than the traditional kind, I was quite happy with it.



Some Monster Mash ice cream from Clearwater Park. I'm still not sure what flavor the blue ice cream was, but it had cookie dough throughout.





Peace, Love, and Little Donuts had three different samples, Pumpkin, Chocolate and Maple Bacon.




Mi Casa served a Chimi-Churro with nachos and black beans.




We finished off our evening with some lattes (Snickers and Milky Way) and some cookies from the Front Porch Cafe. 





Not pictured is the scrumptious apple dumpling from Quails Covey Bed and Breakfast and the pizza from SOL Pie and Romeo's. We tried all of those samples, but must have missed taking photos of them. 

After sampling everything attendees used voting cards to select their favorites. Here were our top picks:

My favorites:
Savory: Pierogi Lady
Sweet: Peace, Love, Little Donuts
Overall: Pierogi Lady

Brett's favorites:
Savory: B.A.M.
Sweet: Pierogi Catering
Overall: Pierogi Lady




After the votes were calculated the following restaurants won Best Bite awards. 


The Winners:
Savory: Mi Casa
Sweet: Quail's Covey Bed & Breakfast
Overall: Pierogi Lady

We had a really wonderful time at the One Bite Taste Event last night. Everyone I met from the Chamber of Commerce especially Christa Cozy the President; Pam Wise (Best Bibb and Tucker); and Bob Cheyney (Lake Township FISH) who made Brett and I feel incredibly welcome. All of the vendors were friendly and knowledgeable about their products and it was nice to see some familiar faces from other events.

As the event continues to improve and expand each year it would be nice to see trays or plates added (luckily the Pierogi Lady had some) in order to help guests carry the tastings. This year local beer was served, Brett thought it might be nice to serve some local wines in the bar area if possible. Overall, I was very happy with the event space, often these events can get crowded and difficult to navigate as people try to move through the lines, but each restaurant table had an efficient system and there was no waiting or congestion. We also got more than our money's worth -- we left the event stuffed and were very happy with everything that we tried. The $25 per ticket was well worth it  for a fun night out.

The Chamber of Commerce put a lot of effort into this event and I was happy to see so many community members enjoying the evening while supporting both the Chamber and local restaurants. I received several suggestions of places to check out in the Hartville area and I'm excited to head back to visit more business and restaurants.  




My review for the One Bite Taste Event:




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