And You Thought Kraft was the Cheesiest…
“If there is one thing we cannot stand, it is a sandwich that calls itself a grilled cheese when it is actually a panini. Just say ‘no’ to panini-ing.” —Famous Grilled Cheese Judge That You Have Never Heard Of
What’s all the hubbub? Only the event we’ve been waiting for all our lives. Cheesetoberfest, says its organizers, is “an all-out, no holds barred, grilled cheese competition” that will go down at Fordham & Dominion Brewing in Dover Oct. 5. Twenty restaurants from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Philadelphia will battle for top honors while the brew flows and an oompah band toots on. The categories:
White bread, butter and either American or cheddar cheese. Just like Mom used to make.
We Will Roquefort You
Any so-called bread and any so-called cheese. No additional ingredients.
Cheeseballs to the Wall
A sandwich that is savory more than anything else. Internal ingredients must be at least 60 percent cheese by weight. Contestants may use any type of bread, butter, cheese and additional ingredients.
Looking for a Gouda Time
A dessert sandwich. Again, internal ingredients must be at least 60 percent cheese by weight. Contestants may use any type of bread, butter, cheese and additional ingredients
Participating restaurants include, among others, The Pickled Pig Pub in Rehoboth, 33 West Ale House and Grill in Dover, Ulysses Gastropub in Wilmington, and more. Book the date now. This one is the cheesiest. cheesetoberfest.com
Where’s the Beef?
It’s back. The second annual Wilmington Burger Battle will take place Aug. 24 at Twin Lakes Brewing Company in Greenville. Area restaurants—including last year critic’s choice Kildare’s Irish Pub and people’s choice Union City Grille—are expected to throw down again for an outdoor, rain-or-shine charity event. Proceeds support the Ministry of Caring’s Emmanuel Dining Room. Admission prices will include food, beer tastings, soft drinks, and music; tickets to this limited-capacity tasting event will be available in early summer through wilmingtonburgerbattle.com. Event co-founder Matthew Curtis, chef-owner of Union City Grille, says, “I consider the burger to be the perfect food, and a restaurant’s burger can really tell you a lot about its quality. We were thrilled that 16 of Delaware’s best restaurants came together last year to compete, and are hoping for more this year. I bet some of last year’s chefs want a rematch with me!” More than 400 people attended the 2012 event to place their votes for People’s Choice Burger, and the event raised over $4,000 to fight hunger. Three Delaware sports legends served as Delebrity judges, tasting 18 burgers like champs, ultimately declaring Kildare’s burger their favorite. “We are hoping for a rich field of entries in the Alternative Burger category this year,” says Battle co-founder JulieAnne Cross. “Many of our vegetarian friends supported the event last year, and we want them to enjoy the food as much as they enjoy the Delaware-brewed Twin Lakes beer.” The Twin Lakes farm in Greenville has again agreed to be the host, and event proceeds will again support the Emmanuel Dining Room, which helps alleviate the immediate needs of Delaware’s hungry by serving more than 180,000 nutritious meals at no cost and with no questions asked. Restaurants are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Look for more as the event draws near.
Get your best beer recipe together. The Delaware Homebrew is coming Oct. 20, as part of the Delaware Wine and Beer Festival at Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village in Dover. The event, organized by Kent County Tourism, is an American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned competition, which means the winning brew will be selected by Beer Judge Certified Program judges. Festival-goers who purchase VIP tickets will select the semi-finalists in five categories. The certified judges will pick the champion from among them. The five categories will include: IPA (American/Imperial); American Ale (Pale, Amber, and Brown); Delaware-Grown Fruit Beer; Belgian/French Ale; and Specialty. “The festival is the perfect opportunity to attract home brewers from Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic Region,” said Charles Gray, competition coordinator. “It will blend seasoned brewmasters with novices in one fantastic atmosphere.” The Delaware Wine and Beer Festival features all of Delaware’s wineries, breweries and distilleries. This year’s theme is Drink Local, Eat Local and Buy Local, so it will feature Delaware restaurants serving seafood, barbecue and gourmet sandwiches. A great time just got greater. Be there. 800-233-5368, delawarewineandbeerfestival.com
Also at the Festival…
Tickets are now on sale for the inaugural five-course gourmet wine dinner at Harvest Ridge Winery on Oct. 19, as a prelude to the fourth annual Delaware Wine and Beer Festival Oct. 20 at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village in Dover. “We are so pleased to partner with Harvest Ridge to introduce one of Kent County’s newest tourism attractions to our visitors and community,” says Cindy Small, executive director of Kent County Tourism. “As Delaware cultivates its wine, beer and spirits tourism, Kent County will be an important part of the equation, with two wineries, two breweries and a distillery. Our goal was to expand our one-day festival to include additional events and this helps us achieve that goal.” The dinner will be hosted at Harvest Ridge Winery, 447 Westville Road, west of Wild Quail Golf and Country Club. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with tours of the new production facility and a complimentary commemorative wine glass filled with Harvest Ridge wine. The dinner will be held in the vineyard’s new banquet hall. The five courses of food, prepared by the talented chefs from Abbott’s Grill Restaurant in Milford, will be paired with wines produced by Harvest Ridge. You can meet the winery’s new sommelier, Milan Mladjan. “Milan is passionate about history, so much so that he majored in history and anthropology in college,” says Chuck Nunan, owner of Harvest Ridge. He then earned a degree in wine and viticulture studies from Niagara College. “We can’t wait to introduce him to our community,” Nunan says. Tickets are $75 per person or $500 per table of eight. For more information about the inaugural wine dinner and the Delaware Wine and Beer Festival, visit the official website at delawarewineandbeerfestival.com.
New at the Beach—Again
Summer is nearly over. If you haven’t hit the new places at the beach, get moving. Among the crop, Matt Haley in May opened Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria in the old oyster warehouse across from Catch 54 in Fenwick. “We’ll have 18 different kinds of tacos, ranging from lamb mole to lobster to fried clams to tongue,” Haley says. “Rice bowls” include a dish made with pork belly, pineapple and plantain. Expect an impressive list of rums and tequilas, as well as fresh juices for virgin cocktails. Haley could have torn down the barn-like warehouse for much less than it cost to restore it, but he appreciates the old wood building. (436-7272, papagrandes.com) Would-be gauchos and hardcore carnivores will be happy to hear about Sirlae’s Churrascaria, a Brazilian steakhouse in Millville. Owner Christopher Lockhart didn’t look far for inspiration: His wife, Sirlae, is Brazilian. A flat fee of $42 gets you all the churrascaria-grilled meat you can eat carved tableside—lamb, chicken, Brazilian sausages and, of course, steak. At the help-yourself salad bar, you’ll find imported cheeses, cured meats and Brazilian specialties. Sides are served family-style. (616-1046, sirlaesbraziliansteakhouse.com) If it sounds Greek, you’re likely dining at The Corner Grille in Rehoboth Beach. There is now more seating so more guests can savor the souvlaki and spanikopita. Diners who lean toward American dishes will no doubt find something to satisfy their appetite. (227-7653, facebook.com/pages/Corner-Grille/144682816430). What else is new at the beach? See the latest in our annual roundup here.
While You’re There…
“The Beach Eats” exhibit at The Rehoboth Beach Museum celebrates 100 years of eating in the resort. The display includes memorabilia from such legendary restaurants such as Chez la Mer, Sydney’s Side Street, the still-thriving Back Porch Café, Gus and Gus, and The Avenue. Whether you like your beach food fun or fancy, you’ll love this exhibit. 227-7310, rehobothbeachmuseum.org
And Don’t Forget…
If you’d rather eat at the beach than sit on it, this is for you: Eating Rehoboth. Book one for a Saturday afternoon. You’ll be treated to a three-hour tour of downtown restaurants and food retailers, with tastings of local wine and beer or signature cocktails. As you stroll from place to place, knowledgeable guides will fill you in on local culinary legends and lore. Afterward, return to your favorite spot for lunch or dinner. Three of Rehoboth’s top restaurateurs have been nominated for James Beard Awards for culinary excellence, which helps Eating Rehoboth rival any big-city restaurant tour. Hit it. (800) 979-3370, eatingrehoboth.com