Halloween remorse? Look to St. Elias for help


Before the week is out, you may be asking yourself one big question: Why did you eat all that Halloween candy? Why?

On Friday, you could be suffering from a Halloween hangover. But you still have to eat, right?

That is where the St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church's 33rd annual Middle Eastern Dinner comes in. All day Friday, from 10 a.m. to the newly expanded hour of 8 p.m., the church will be selling and serving Lebanese specialties prepared, as always, by the women of the St. Elias Ladies' Society.

If you're lucky, you might even get something made by Mary Rezcallah — everyone calls her Aunt Mary — or Virginia Thabit, both of whom have been cooking for the annual dinner since the beginning, 33 years ago.

As always, the prices are more than reasonable. Falafel patties are just $1. The fatoosh salad is $2.50. The vegetarian lentil soup called Rishta is $1.50 and stuffed grape leaves — yabrak — are four for $3.

On a recent Wednesday, the women in the Ladies' Society were at the church making the grape leaves. They started with a hand-sized grape leaf, cut off the stem, and placed it shiny-side down so it would look attractive when rolled up. A dollop of meat (ground lamb and beef, rice, and spices) was placed in the center, and it was rolled up like a cigar, tucking in the ends.

Later, all 3,000 or more would be steamed in water and lemon.

It's labor intensive, but you can't argue with the results.

Also on the menu will be meat, cheese, and spinach pies, green beans and rice (both with and without meat), kafta, baked kibbee, tabbouleh, and hummus.

And dessert? An assortment of pastries, cakes, cookies, pies, and the like, including baklawa, birds' nests, and rice pudding.

The food is available for both dine-in and take-out, and crafts will also be for sale.

The church is at 4940 Harroun Rd. in Sylvania, just south of Flower Hospital. For more information, call 419-882-4037.

Big-time deal

Usually, when an event calls itself "fabulous," there is a very good chance that it is not.

And then there is the 8th annual Fabulous Food Show at the I-X Center in Cleveland, Nov. 8-10. "Fabulous" only begins to describe it. More than 160 vendors will be on hand to discuss (and give samples of) their wares, everything from A Spice Above to Zocolo. These include restaurants, kitchenware companies, produce, and dairy companies, and much more.

Looking for Fudge? Head over to the booth for Fudgie Wudgie Delights (and yes, I, too, wish they had a different name). Want some cheese? Head to Heini's. Are you more in the mood for condiment? Then Stump's Hot Olives is for you. And if you'd like to sample some craft beer, wine, or spirits, there will be more than 500 examples to try for an additional charge.

Naturally, any festival that is fabulous will attract celebrities, and at this one Martha Stewart, Alex Guarnaschelli, Marcus Samuelsson, Hugh Acheson, Tom Colicchio, and Sunny Anderson will all be on hand for cooking demonstrations. Jason Roberts, of the television show The Chew, will be master of ceremonies for all the demonstrations — which are free with your regular admission (though seating is on a first-come basis).

The food celebs will also be signing autographs, though receiving one is not guaranteed.

The event will be 10 a.m.-6 p.m. all three days. Advance-purchase tickets for one day are $26 or $30 during the event. A limited number of guaranteed reserved seats for the celebrity demonstrations start at $45. A weekend pass, good for all three days plus one reserved seat for a celebrity chef show is $99.

The I-X Center is at One I-X Center Drive in Cleveland on Route 237, adjacent to Cleveland Hopkins Airport. For tickets or more information, visit, or for information call 216-265-2665.

Student lunch

Those culinary arts students at Monroe County Community College will be back to their old learning-while-feeding tricks tricks starting tomorrow, with this semester's reopening of Cuisine 1300 restaurant in the Audrey M. Warrick Administration Building on the college campus.

Chefs Kevin Thomas and Vicki LaValle run the kitchen, but it is the students who do the cooking. The school promises "fine cuisine at affordable prices."

How fine is the fine cuisine? The menu includes duck breast (cooked sous vide, with honey, shallots, and a cherry port wine sauce), blackened swordfish tacos, a sandwich made with pit-roasted elk, lobster macaroni and cheese, fire-roasted pizza, and lots more. And how affordable are the prices? The main courses, which come with a salad, range from $9-$12.

Seatings are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 11:30 and 11:45 a.m. Reservations can be made at 734-384-4231 (weekdays between 9 a.m.-4 p.m.). And if you go, bring paper: the student-run restaurant accepts cash and personal checks only.

Findlay means food 

Perhaps you have noted that Findlay is becoming something of a food paradise. Perhaps you have noted it, but you haven't really done anything about it.

Now is you chance to change that. On Nov. 14 from 5-9 p.m. fifteen of the downtown restaurants will provide samples of their food to the lucky 300 participants who have bought food passports.

The participating restaurants are West End Tavern, Rossilli’s, Tavern at the Inn, Greek Garden, Buggy Whip Bakery, The Bistro on Main, Waldo Pepper’s, We Serve Coffee, Joey Fratello’s, Stix, The Baker’s Café, Main Street Deli, The Wine Merchant, Logan’s Irish Pub, and Coffee Amici.

The passports are $20, with proceeds benefiting the United Way of Hancock County.

Passports for this, the 6th annual World of Downtown Restaurants tour, are available at Buggy Whip Bakery, 111 E. Crawford St., Coffee Amici, 328 S. Main St. and United Way of Hancock County, 245 Stanford Pkwy., all in Findlay.

Kid cooks

Do you have a junior chef in your house? Would your junior chef like to know how to make pizza, ice cream, decorate a pie, or mix up some smoothies?

The Williams-Sonoma kitchen gadget emporium is here to help. Beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Saturdays, the store will offer a free half-hour demonstration for young folks, and by an extraordinary stroke of good luck the next four happen to be about pizza (Saturday), ice cream (Nov. 9), pie decorating (Nov. 16), and smoothies (Nov. 30). What are the odds of that?

The store is in the Franklin Park Mall, 5001 Monroe St. For more information, call 419-475-6368.

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