If there is one thing to be said about Detroiters, it is that they love their sports teams. The number of people who showed up at the Taste of the Lions event on Tuesday night proves that we love our Lions, Eastern Market, and delicious food.
Of course, the large draw for the Taste of the Lions fundraiser was all the players there to sign autographs, take pictures and shake hands with fans. Not only did event guests get a chance to have autographs and pictures taken with their favorite Lion player or coach, but they had the opportunity to meet quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson for a donation of a $100. Many people were excited to have the opportunity get an autograph and shake the hands of these two athletes, as evidenced by the long line.
Walking up and down the concourse at Ford Field with all of the restaurant choices, it was hard to not feel overwhelmed. I may (or may not) have had two types of mac and cheese during the night … one from Slows To Go and the other from Town Tavern. What can I say is, I love mac and cheese!
Beyond mac and cheese though, there really was something for everyone at the Taste.
Ferndale’s Garden Fresh Gourmet Salsa was there with numerous salsas, and dips for people to try. An Eastern Market standard was also at the event. Russell Street Deli brought a selection of soups for people to try.
Some of my favorite stops throughout the night were Slows To Go with the pulled pork and mac and cheese, 2 Unique Catering for the mini cheeseburgers, and Town Tavern’s buffalo chicken mac and cheese.
The most eye popping moment of the night was when they opened up the curtain at the end of the concourse to expose a fog covered floor, like something you’d see on TV at Food Network. Guests had the opportunity to enjoy three dessert stations while relaxing the lounge event planners had created. This was the perfect setting to enjoy the Jill Jack concert, and the silent auction winners were announced after the auction closed.
Some very lucky people walked away with signed jerseys from Stafford, Johnson and Barry Sanders. Signed helmets were also up for bid. They also had things for people who might not care for sports memorabilia, like Bon Jovi concert tickets.
Overall the event was a huge success. People were having a great time meeting the Lions’ players, eating great food and enjoying a nice glass of wine.
My most vivid memory of the evening happened as I was leaving Ford Field. On each side of the concourse we were greeted by clapping and cheers by Eastern Market employees. It was a great to see the gratitude that they all had for all of the people who came out to support Eastern Market.