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Tuesday, September 02, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 2/2/2014 - Updated: 7 months ago

MORSELS

Dig into Restaurant Week Toledo

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Restaurant Week Toledo presented by Medical Mutual, now in its fourth year, will feature menu specials from local-only restaurants Feb. 24-March 2.

Last year about 10,000 people participated in the event, and organizers hope to attract more diners in 2014.

Toledo area restaurants, including many that define the art of dining in the region, are participating in Restaurant Week. Each has developed special prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner. The special menus, only available during the seven days of Restaurant Week, will feature lunch and dinner options priced at $10, $20, or $30 (excluding beverages, tax, and gratuities). Restaurant Week Toledo promotions are dine-in only and because of the event’s popularity, reservations are recommended

Participating restaurants include: 5th Street Pub, Avenue Bistro, Beirut, Black Kite, Bluewater Grille, Bobby V’s, Burger Bar 419 Heatherdowns, Burger Bar 419 Monroe Street, Café at the Oliver House, Capers Restaurant & Bar, Cousino’s Steakhouse, Element 112, Gradkowski’s, ICE Restaurant, Koreana, LaScola Italian Grill, Loma Linda’s, Mancy’s Italian Grille, Mancy’s Steakhouse, the Original Tony Packo’s, Packo’s at the Park, Plate 21, Poco Piatti, Registry Bistro, Revolution Grille, Rockwell’s, Rosie’s Italian Grille, Shorty’s BBQ, Social. a gastropub, Treo, Ventura’s, and Zinful.

A portion of the proceeds will support Leadership Toledo, a nonprofit organization that promotes leadership development for area youth and adults.

Leadership Toledo is an independent nonprofit organization that offers participants from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to come together for an intensive nine-month program that focuses on the needs of the community and the roles the participants can play in addressing those needs. Today, leadership programs are offered for both adults and youth. In addition, Leadership Toledo facilitates Youth In Philanthropy Encouraging Excellence (YIPEE) and the Youth Jefferson Awards/Students In Action initiatives. Leadership Toledo continues to explore opportunities to empower veteran and young leaders in addressing the challenges that face our community. For additional information on programs and initiatives, visit leadershiptoledo.org.

For additional details about Restaurant Week, visit restaurantweektoledo.com. The site features participating restaurants’ special menus, maps, and locations. Or contact Cory Dippold at cory@leadershiptoledo.org.

Velveeta update

So far, it would seem, the so-called Velveeta shortage didn’t cause a shelf-clearing panic. The Kraft product in recent days was readily available in Toledo and area stores. As predicted, profit seekers have posted blocks of the processed cheese product on eBay, with bids upward of $20 sought. With today’s celebration of all things football, Velveeta likely, though, was purchased at a rapid rate in the last few days.

A savvy shopper at a Toledo area Goodwill store the other day grabbed up for a dollar a vintage Velveeta cheese keeper.

Vintage? Online chatter asks what that means exactly, considering some online stores are labeling Tupperware, bought not that long ago, as vintage. If the burping bowls were purchased, say, at a Tupperware party where all guests were in dresses or skirts and blouses, and they had to give up a safety pin if they were caught crossing their legs... OK, we can go with vintage.

Greek to go

Theos Cafe, run by the third generation of the Arvanitis family, opened in December at 840 N. Summit St. It’s homemade Greek to go, but there are stools and a counter for eating in at this renovated early-20th century gas station just north of downtown.

Jami Arvanitis, who returned home after 12 years as a sponge diver in Tarpon Springs, Fla., runs the place, cooking and baking Greek favorites with her mother, JoAnne Arvanitis. Her father, Ted Arvanitis, who owned Theos restaurant for 16 years beginning in 1980, delivers food and washes dishes, he says.

His father, Michael Arvanitis who immigated from Greece, ran the Inter Urban Hot Dog Cafe at 450 N. Summit St. for about 10 years in the 1920s and 30s.

It’s open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Be safe

A safety tip, confirmed by the Egg Safety Center regarding whether it is safe to reuse egg cartons: Eggs are washed and sanitized before being packed in clean, brand-new egg cartons, eliminating bacteria that may have been present on the egg shell. While the cartons and eggs are clean after they are processed, there is still the potential for the eggs and carton to become contaminated via cross-contamination, either at the store, during handling, and/or when stored in the refrigerator at home. The Egg Safety Center would recommend against reusing egg cartons. This means, based on re-use/new-use trends we’re seeing online, that consumers should avoid using egg cartons to transport foods, such as deviled eggs (even if plastic wrap is used) or small cookies or chocolates. So called “clever” ways to reuse egg cartons are all the rage, but I was always told to toss egg cartons (recycling as allowed, of course). And when I checked, out of safety concerns, the Egg Safety Center confirmed with its recommendation to not reuse egg cartons.

Haste makes waste

A reminder: Read recipes carefully. Don’t hurry. Pay close attention to ingredients, to measurements.

Here’s an example of why: An experienced cook glanced ever-so-quickly at a bean soup recipe on the back of the bean bag in the store aisle. She (and I bet I just gave her identity away) purchased ingredients, including carrots and onions, and went home. Prep work began: Wash beans. Sort beans, checking for any tiny pebbles. Boil beans using the speedy method rather than soaking beans overnight. Rinse boiled beans. Begin making the soup. Frown. Scratch head. Hmmmm. Recheck recipe. The number multiplied was correct for a large batch of bean soup: six. Ah, and then the word “cups.” Six cups of beans. Not six pounds. Back to the store for more onions, more carrots, some extra celery. More bay leaves. I already had a pig pen’s worth of ham hocks in a kettle so I, I mean she, was fine meat-wise. So, it ended up being a case of “Soup’s on...and on and on and on.”

Send items for Morsels to food@theblade.com



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