Tuesday was cold and blustery, about what you would expect here in early March.
But a few downtown Toledo restaurants were bustling on a traditionally slow week night, thanks to Dishcrawl, a social media phenomenon that has worked its way across the country from California over the past few years.
Nearly 40 people were out and about, visiting four downtown restaurants while getting to know the businesses and each other and sampling the food.
Organizing it all was Brenda Woods, a recent Toledo resident and a mother of two young children who works for Dishcrawl. She spent about five weeks putting it all together.
“I was very busy. There were several things I didn’t get to actually try [to eat] because I was orchestrating the whole evening, but it was fun because I thought there was a really good energy to it,” she said afterward.
The participants paid $45 to visit the Blarney, Ye Olde Cock ‘N Bull, the Maumee Bay Brew Pub, and Bleak House Coffee. At each one they were given sampling dishes, were introduced to the restaurant owner, manager, or chef, and given time to eat before moving on to a different place.
Everyone signed up via social media — Facebook, Twitter, the local Web site — and were only told which restaurants they would be visiting 48 hours before the event. The evening lasted from 7 to 10 p.m.
“My impression is that people were pleasantly pleased and surprised about how it went,” Ms. Woods said. “Obviously since this was my first one I didn’t know what to expect.”
She said she would like to organize Dishcrawls in restaurants near the Westfield Franklin Park mall, and in suburbs such as Sylvania, Perrysburg, and Maumee.
And hopefully when the weather is a bit warmer.
The local Dishcrawl Web site is: dishcrawl.com/downtowntoledo.
Contact Rod Lockwood at: email@example.com or 419-724-6159.