Friday, March 25, 2011

This Just In ... News You Can Use

I don't often put up posts talking about current events or linking to other items I find on the web. However, today I have some happy and some very sad news. Let's start with the sad news first.

I learned just yesterday that a favorite local gourmet market and sandwich shop, Market Gourmet @ Montrose, will be shuttering its doors for the last time today at 3:00 PM. I received a message from Jeff Winer, owner and chef, stating that while he made a valiant effort to stay profitable over the last ten months of existence, with the lack of customers and the skyrocketing food costs, it just didn't make sense to continue losing money. While I have no financial stake in Market Gourmet, this has been my go-to lunch spot for the last six months at least twice a week. I personally will miss his sandwiches, especially the homemade roast beef and the roast turkey.

Roast Turkey Sandwich from Market Gourmet @ MontroseRoast Turkey Sandwich on Pretzel Bun

Chicken Enchilada Soup from Market Gourmet @ MontroseHomemade Chicken Enchilada Soup

Because he needs to get rid of as much inventory as he can, all wine has been marked down by 15% and the other gourmet items have been marked down a WHOPPING 50%! Market Gourmet carried high-end chocolates, oils, vinegars, spices, cheeses, charcuterie, and many middle eastern items. While I am sad to see Jeff's hard work end this way, it just goes to remind me that making it in the food service industry is incredibly difficult. Jeff had great products, but many times, having a great product just isn't enough to succeed.

Jeff's next move will be to join the crew of the StrEat Mobile Bistro food truck in Cleveland. Which serves as a very convenient segue to my next, happier topic for this morning.

This coming Sunday, March 27th from 11 AM until 3 PM, there will be a conflagration of food trucks happening at Lincoln Park in Tremont, Ohio. While Dim and Den Sum sort of started the mobile food truck craze in Cleveland, there has been an explosion in available options for diners willing to track these trucks down. Represented on Sunday will be:

- Seti's Polish Boys
- Dim & Den Sum
- Cakes Plus
- Traveling Treats
- Umami Moto
- StrEat Mobile Bistro
- Jibaro
- Pranzo Forno Wood Fired Pizza
- Oh! Babycakes

From what I've been told, there will also be live entertainment, although exactly what, I'm not entirely sure. The weather forecast this morning indicated dry, cold weather for Sunday, but hopefully a nice warm front will move in and make this a sunny and warm outing for lots of hungry customers. It appears that this may be a fairly regular gathering if enough interest is generated, so I plan to be there to grab some snapshots, lots of food, and will write it up on the blog for all of you to see for yourself.

And, finally, my happy news.

When I did the inaugural Lenten Project last year, honestly, it was a time in my life when I had a lot of time on my hands and was looking for something exciting to do on a Friday night. At the time, I don't know that my blog was popular enough for me to get more than a smattering of interest from curious readers. When I contacted Lisa Abraham at the Beacon Journal and told her of my plans, I'm sure her first thought was probably, "Whatever, crazy person!"

But, by mid-summer, I noticed that quite a few people had read part or all of the original Lenten Project series, and by the time I was contacted by Lisa to do an actual newspaper article on local food bloggers (Mike Vrobel, author of the fantastic blog DadCooksDinner being the other blogger she interviewed), she made a point of mentioning the fact in her article about my Herculean fried fish and pierogi journey.

After announcing the schedule for this year's Lenten Project, I was surprised to see many more people engaging me through email, Facebook and Twitter making suggestions, asking questions, and generally being interested. While the list of churches, clubs, and organizations from which I drew was the one published in the Akron Beacon Journal, fellow food blogger Alicia and her husband Hans from Poise in Parma have embarked on their own version of the Lenten Project, looking for good fish fries in their neck of the woods. In fact, as an extra treat next Friday, April 1st, we will (hopefully) be teaming up forces to review a fish fry somewhere between Akron and Parma.

Not to be left behind, Lisa Abraham ran a piece in the food section of the Akron Beacon this week doing her part to contribute to the fish fry love that is happening during Lent. Instead of evaluating church fish fries, she went out to the local fast food restaurants (which included Swenson's, too) to see who had the best fish sandwich. While I don't know that I'd want to eat five fish sandwiches in a day (much less a single sitting), I admire her willingness to go that extra mile for her readers.

Well, that's it for now, folks. I'll be having my final sandwich, the roast beef on pretzel bun at Market Gourmet for lunch today, and then it's off for two fish fries for dinner. Feel free to join me at either dinner if you'd like, I'm always up for some company. In case you are curious, my fish fry schedule is on the Community Calendar on the right hand side of the blog.

1 comment:

Alicia at Poise in Parma said...

Thanks so much for the mention in today's post! It looks like we may be seeing you twice next week as we're going to try to hit up the food truck fun.

Shoot me your suggestions for our meet up point on Friday the 1st. We're up for where ever you'd like to go!

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