Saturday, December 2, 2023

Eat in The Street with Food For Thought for a Good Cause

Shortly after the UpTown’s public drinking ordinance was ushered in— allowing nightlife to gather outdoors to sip brews and cocktails—chefs and foodies began setting the table for the next step: eating in the street.

On Thursday, September 22, long tables will line Adams Street to welcome diners hungry for creative plates, locally-sourced food and to support a good organization, Food for Thought (FFT). The event, Eat in the Street, will continue FFT’s Dine Thoughtfully meal series.

Since 2007, the non-profit had made a large impact in downtown Toledo, providing weekly lunches to those in need. The ongoing meals inspired their  popular, annual competition, Jam City,  which invites chefs to create dishes inspired by the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Last year the charitable organization provided meals for 8,500 households, thanks to support by Mobile Pantries. Local farms, such as Waterville’s Friendship Farms, provide fresh produce to Food For Thought throughout the year.

“Eat in the Street was something we played with last year when he had a brunch event,” explained Jill Bunge, executive director of Food For Thought.  “We wanted to present  a farm-to-table dinner to highlight all the food relationships we’ve cultivated.” Of those relationships, connections with local restaurants and chefs who lend their talents to the events, like Jam City or the Balcony Brunch Buffet.

Nutritional Facts

“We’re excited to bring in a lot of chefs that can work on a complicated meal with the food we provide, which is the same food we provide to the community,” Bunge said. The Eat on The Street menu will be a five-course meal prepared and created by ten area chefs from
restaurants with a connection to FFT.

For instance, chefs from Manhattan’s and Balance Grille have worked on the organization’s previous functions, such as Jam City and the Balcony Brunch Buffet.

“We’ve also reached out to newer folks, who are doing things in a kind of rogue, Food-for-Thought way, like Andrew Ruiz of Chef Ruiz On The Go,” Bunge said.

The menu includes decadent surprises: handmade tortelloni with butternut squash and housecmade ricotta, from Chef Justin Thomas at M’Osteria; a citrus ginger salad with artisan greens, crunch lettuce, purple carrots, pickled beet, and more, from Chef HoChan Jang at Balance Grille; roasted sweet red pepper soup with coconut mil, from Chef Ruiz On The Go, Chef Drew & Chef Tracy Ruiz-Plumb; among others. 

“Eat in the Street is a new venture for us,” Bunge said, “but I’m excited to celebrate our relationships and to educate the community.”

Local chefs

Tony House
Nine Restaurant

Ian Regent

Tracy Plumb-Ruiz
Chef Tracy 419

Andrew Ruiz
Chef Ruiz on the Go

Justin Thomas

Eric Kish
Rosie’s Italian Grille

Dan Muszynski
All Crumbs Bakery

HoChan Jang
Balance Grille

Meirav Pierce

Rachel Steele
Rachel’s Handmade Ice Cream

Sabrina Schroeder
Bri’s Bakehouse

6-9pm | Thursday | September 22
Held on Adams Street | between 14th and 16th.
$80 | For more information, to see the full menu,
and to purchase tickets, visit

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