Ford Arts Beats and Eats, the annual Labor Day weekend fest was another huge success with crowds soaking up the sun, as well as a variety of music, fine art, and plenty of good eats. There was literally something for all tastes, with booths featuring flavorful cultural dishes and seafood, to ribs, pizza and mouthwatering desserts.
Like the art, the food was judged by a collection of local foodies. Here are this year’s winners:
Best appetizer: Soaring Eagle Casino shrimp cocktail
Best entree: Santorini Estiatorio
Best dessert: Mitchell's Seafood carrot cake
Best o'fest: Green Lantern Pizza
I had the pleasure of sampling the Soaring Eagle shrimp cocktail, which was excellent. Three perfectly cooked shrimp, dry rubbed and grilled.
At Santorini Estiatorio, I sampled the gyro sandwich. Loaded with flavors, this sandwich boasted a generous helping of lamb shawarma, topped with fresh tomatoes and onions, a creamy dressing, all wrapped in a warm pita. Outstanding.
I stopped at Mitchell’s, and got the key lime pie, with a nice balance of sweet and tart. Unfortunately, I missed Green Lantern this year, but managed to find a couple winners of my own:
The ribs at Lockhart’s were excellent. I always count on Lockhart’s for good bbq, and these exceeded my expectations. The ribs were meaty and tender.
The crawfish etouffee at Andre’s Louisiana Seafood was a winner in my book- nicely spiced and loaded with flavor. For dessert I had the homemade sweet potato pie, always a favorite. Seeking more comfort food, I stopped by the booth for Polish Village Cafe to sample a potato cake (crisp on the outside, inviting peppery flavor), pierogi and stuffed cabbage that tasted like my grandma's. This is home cooking at its best.
Royal Oak’s Gemmayze, which took best of show last year, offered up lamb sliders and braised lamb over rice. I chose the latter, and was impressed by the rich and meaty taste of the lamb.
And speaking of meaty taste, Monty’s in Royal Oak specializes in Piedmontese beef, and the burgers were definitely a cut above the rest in terms of beefy taste. Monty's sells to local restaurants as well as consumers.
Looking forward to next year’s food fest!