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East County Wednesday, Jun. 24, 2009 8 years ago

Ranch Main Street eateries wage BBQ battle

by: Pam McTeer

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Watch out, Lakewood Ranch: A battle of epic proportions is about to ensue.

Restaurants on Lakewood Ranch Main Street will sizzle during the first Main Street Restaurant Cook-Off at 3 p.m., June 27. Guests on Main Street will have a chance to sample barbecue-style dishes created Main Street’s restaurants and then vote for their favorite.

“It’s just to generate some more people, new visitors to Main Street,” event co-organizer and MacAllisters Grill & Tavern owner Karen Ronney said. “The restaurants have really gotten excited about competition part. That’s something that is new.”

Restaurant owners already have rolled up their sleeves to create some mouth-watering experiences. For example, MacAllisters Grill & Tavern will offer a marinated beef with salsa, while Polo Grill and Bar will offer ribs. Ed’s Tavern will offer pulled pork for sampling and for purchase.

The winner will be announced around 7 p.m., and the winning restaurant will receive a trophy and a year’s worth of bragging rights.

The cook-off also will include festivities such as pony rides and face painting, children’s games, samplings from future Main Street merchants Big Olaf Creamery and Good Earth Natural Foods and live music by The Rum Runners.

“There’s never an awful lot of events in the summer, and there’s a lot of people who live in Lakewood Ranch all year round,” said Ronney, who co-sponsored the event with Ed’s Tavern owner John Breiner and Lakewood Ranch. “We wanted to do something where people could come out with their family. Main Street is perfect for hosting a big family event.”

Beer and food sales from the event will benefit Veterans of Foreign Wars Braden River Post 12055, a veterans group that supports a regiment currently deployed in Afghanistan with needed personal items.
Ronney said she hopes to make the cook-off an annual event.

Entrance to the cook-off is free. Attendees are welcome to bring chairs, but no coolers are allowed. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a short leash. Overflow parking will be available at the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center.

Contact Pam McTeer at [email protected].

Main Street Restaurant Cook-Off
WHEN: 3-10 p.m., June 27
WHERE: Lakewood Ranch Main Street, in front of Lakewood Ranch Cinemas
COST: Free

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