The Taste of Havre and the Hi-Line has to be one of the best fund-raisers we have. Having eaten my way through many food booths and catching up with friends and making new ones, I'm seriously hooked. This event is right up there with the Walleyes Unlimited banquet, a mighty food and fun fest.
We are talking serious fun at the Taste of Havre. And we're also talking about serious instructions from the organizers to eat one of everything offered by the food providers. They're right. You've got to try them all so you can vote with intelligence and commitment for the best food of the night.
That's a tall order, even for a professional food writer.
But let me back up a minute. The Taste of Havre and the Hi-Line is a fund-raiser held in conjunction with the Legends for Lights Pheasant Jamboree, former NFL standout Mike Tilleman's wonderful annual event that brings other ex-NFLers to Havre to raise money for the Montana State University-Northern Lights football program. The former players go bird hunting with sponsors, drink a little beer and participate in events to meet and greet the general public. These guys are gracious and a lot of fun.
The Taste of Havre, founded by Gloria Tilleman, enables every football fan around to connect with the players, get autographs and hang out with hundreds of other people in town. Plus they get to taste, for a mere $10, some of the best cooking our area has to offer.
Last year it was held in the Holiday Village Shopping Center space once occupied by Corral West. This year it took up pretty much all of the common area of the mall. I'm guessing about 600 or 700 people were there Sunday.
So were about 20 food outfits, mostly area businesses plus a few nonprofit groups.
They provide all of the food for free for a chance to help out the Lights, plus get more exposure for their businesses, and vie for a chance for a $200 prize and a plaque.
With hundreds of folks and lots of selection, we're talking some
serious grazing. When it was all said and done, the people made their picks. Here are the winners. (My personal comments will be in parentheses.)
1. The Parthenon for its pork kebabs (Large chunks of meat on a stick, deliciously spiced. But why is this in the appetizer category when the the Havre Rotary Club's chislic, much smaller pieces of lamb deep-fried on a stick, was in the main course category?)
2. Northwinds for its quesadillas. (This was my top pick. I hope you all loaded up on the two salsa combinations that were offered with it. Very fresh and very delicious.)
3. Lions Club for Pronto Puppies, a smaller version of a Great Northern Fair favorite.
Soup and salad
1. 4B's for its Old-fashioned Cream of Tomato Soup.
2. Jean's Old-fashioned Bakery of Chinook for cheeseburger soup
3. Gallery Restaurant for its Tomato Mac Soup.
1. The barbecued pork stuffed with kielbasa offered collectively by the Palace bar, Oxford bar, Northwinds and Norman's Ranch and Sportswear. (Not only was this tasty, it was pretty darn big. This group knew how to please people, who were waiting in line to try this sandwich.)
2. Super Ice Cream with pasta and meat sauce. (If you read this column regularly, you know I liked this offering.)
3. Gary & Leo's IGA with German style sausage links (Gary & Leo's makes good sausage of all sorts. Nuff said.)
1. Shamrock's for cheesecake
2. Super Ice Cream for the Brownie Cup
3. Coffeehound for the Hound Bar
(After eating all of the other things, I had no room for dessert.)
In other food news, Hi-Line Women Against Breast Cancer is putting together a cookbook and asking for recipes.
The group wants each of the recipes to be in honor or in memory of someone who has had the disease.
"There are two reasons we are requesting this format," the group writes. "The first reason is that we would like the general public to understand just how many people are touched by this disease of breast cancer. The second reason is that we feel it will then be a good resource for newly diagnosed women to see who else has fought this and maybe find someone that they feel comfortable in talking with about their journey."
The group would like to have the recipes by Dec. 1. Please send them to [email protected] or Hi-Line WABC, P.O. Box 154, Chester, MT 59522.
If you have any questions, call Jan Nelson at (406) 759-5497.
Also on the subject of food, Quench & Bench is leaving the Atrium Mall and moving to Holiday Village Shopping Center. Today is its last day in the Atrium. It will reopen at Holiday Village no later than Nov. 17.