Let's Eat, Englewood! Round-up

September 23, 2022 at 2:19 p.m.
Let's Eat, Englewood! Round-up
Let's Eat, Englewood! Round-up

Let's Eat, Englewood! Round-up
By now you may have already taken advantage of Let’s Eat, Englewood!, the popular annual dining promotion geared toward increasing business for local restaurants during what has traditionally been the slowest month of the year, and promoting Englewood as a dining destination. More than 20 restaurants are participating this year, offering a two-course lunch for $17 and/or a three-course dinner for $32 or other specials like lunch for two for $17. The campaign runs until September 29, but some restaurants may extend their Let’s Eat! Menu beyond that date.
There’s no shortage of dining options, but in the past few years of the promotion, things have been getting a bit more personal. Doug Izzo, Executive Director of the Chamber said that two years ago Board members Jonathan Varner and Brian Faro sponsored menu items at two participating restaurants and had a “friendly battle” over whose dish sold the most. The next year Kathleen Callahan and Amber Craft joined in. “This year, we decided to open this opportunity to all chamber members,” said Izzo, whose namesake dish The Izzo gets you two Italian Strombolis and two salads for lunch at the Cape Haze Convenience Store. In total, 17 people teamed up with restaurants to create special menu items. Izzo says the competition provides an extra incentive during the campaign which most restaurants already say boosts their sales about 30% for this time of year.
 “It is amazing to have so many more individuals join in this year!,” said Faro, Co-owner of Paradise Exclusive Real Estate, whose “friendly battle” two years ago has grown to a four-way fight for charity. Sue and Rocket Atamanchuk, owners of Lock ‘N’ Key, Sandbar Tiki & Grille and Magnolias on the Bay, helped launch Let’s Eat! And now have four “celebrity-sponsored” dishes at their restaurants. Faro, who is past president of the Chamber, said that the Atamanchuks are donating $500 to the favorite charity of whoever’s dish sells the most.
Faro might have an edge. His burger last year at Lock ‘N Key was such a hit, that this year’s entree is The Brian Faro Burger Sequel. Faro said he trusted the Atamanchuks to design the dish. “They pretty much know me. As long as we stack it with meats, then we’re good to go.”
He’ll be battling newbie Irene Slattery, a Realtor with Michael Saunders & Company, who said she “jumped at the chance” to support the Chamber and sponsor a dish. She chose Magnolia’s and had her choice of naming her favorite item on the menu. “I chose the flatbread (now the Irene Slattery Flatbread), as it was the closest to an Italian dish,” said Irene. Her flatbread will be battling Dr. Elizabeth McVey’s Crab Cake Tartine, also on Magnolia’s menu.
 “It’s fun to promote Englewood and all the great restaurants,” said Slattery who said she has gotten a kick out of seeing her name on the menu and in publicity for the promotion. “ I can’t wait to stop in for lunch and enjoy my signature dish!”
Kathleen Callahan, owner of Xpertech Auto Repair and the current president of the Chamber, said that she feels the involvement of local individuals and businesses “creates a little buzz” and gets more people out to the restaurants. She’s back on the Mango Bistro menu with Kathleen’s Presidential Melt, a vegan grilled cheese sandwich. Callahan, whose daughter Delaney is vegan, said that name won out over “Vegan Callahan” “Irish Goddess Callahan” and a couple of other ideas. “I’m really hoping people try it,“ said Callahan. “Someone has to balance out all the meat on the Brian Faro Burger.”
Her rival Amber Craft, a Realtor with Paradise Exclusive Real Estate, went all in for her sponsored dish at the End Zone Sports Grille. “General Manager Chris Anders said let’s do something different,” said Craft. The result is the Amber Craft Sweet N Spicy Pizza. With hot soppressata, bacon jam and hot honey. Craft is counting on everyone’s love of pizza and bacon to carry her to victory, adding “Sweet N Spicy speaks perfectly to my personality.”
If there was a contest for best-named dish it would go to Kim Parks, Membership Coordinator at the Chamber. You’ll find Englewood’s Sweetheart: Kim’s a Catch! Grilled catch of the Day at Landy’s. Parks didn’t wait long to try out her dish.
“It’s tasty,” she promised.
Some tips for getting the most out of Let’s Eat! Englewood. Check out the menus in advance at www.englewoodchamber.com but note that some restaurants may have added items. Make a reservation when you can and if you want to visit more places than you have time for, call and ask if the restaurant plans to extend the menu into October. Also, most Let’s Eat menus offer plenty of choices but do not allow for substitutions. Bon Appetit!