Every year this event gets bigger and better and this year's Empty Bowls was no exception. The event committee expanded the footprint to utilize the green space surrounding the McKinney Performing Arts Center, MPAC, to house the souvenir bowls, along with a Community Lifeline Center booth, and...
Snug on the Square. Many of the restaurants have begun creating fun tablescapes. Snug's mascot is the owl and there are owls all over their restaurant and their table at Empty Bowls, but I completely missed it because I was so focused on getting a quick photograph of the delicious soup bowls which I stole from my parents before they could mess them up by, you know, eating the soup.
The Pantry brought Chicken and Dumplings and they were cleaned out before I left the event. The Pantry has been a staple on the square since 1982 and was even featured on the Food Network's "Outrageous Foods."
Patina Green utilized all of the parts of the turnip, from the soup base to the garnish. My mother, who is not fond of turnips, thought this soup was delicious!
Whole Foods, tempted guests with their Brisket Chili. As a bonus there was fresh made cornbread and this stunning tablescape. They also provided reusable shopping bags made from recycled water bottles.
Square Burger brought Sweet Summer Corn Soup. The caramelized onions topping this soup added some nice texture and flavor dimension. As the name indicates, Square Burger is a restaurant on the square that specializes in burgers, but their menu also features a variety of other tasty food options from salads to appetizers and special kids' meals.
Bernard's Game Day Foods. The flavor profile was a completely different, but equally delicious. David Bernard is the chef behind Game Day Foods and his wife is the author behind McKinney Foodie. Bernard's Game Day Foods is available for catering and their fresh-made salsa can be purchased at the McKinney Farmers' Market.
Rye, one of the newest restaurants in McKinney's square, delivered a beautiful Cream of Asparagus Soup. Rye's menu includes fun takes on classics (like their amazing BLT, add a fried egg and it gets even better), utilizing local ingredients and complimented by their modern take on vintage cocktails.
Bien Salsa's table decorations included a colorful selection of the produce used in their soup, as well as a stunning rose carved into a watermelon.
The Pub's Beef and Guinness Stew proved that there was nothing not to like about this classic combo. The Pub is downtown McKinney's upscale take on the traditional pub featuring a menu with tasty twists on classic dishes and a selection of bar hall games, not to mention the drinks.
Local Yocal is a butcher shop and market in downtown McKinney that is owned and operated by local ranchers. They provide fresh cuts of meat that are hormone, steroid, and antibiotic free, a range of other fresh food staples, and they cater. For Empty Bowls they created a Gazpacho topped with Brisket.
Harvest should cinch it for you. Yep, you guessed it, here in McKinney we like our food tasty and local. And Harvest is a farm to table restaurant on the square in McKinney doing just that.
The Celt is McKinney's very own Irish pub. Many of The Londoner's customer favorites were kept alongside new Irish delicacies. The Celt brought their Cream of Roasted Red Pepper Soup again this year, much to the delight of myself and several other guests at Empty Bowls.
McKinney's Sweet Spot had Gooey Butter Brownie Bites that were going fast. The Gooey Butter Brownie Bites are just a drop in the dessert bucket offered at McKinney's Sweet Spot. This bakery and sweet shops sells cakes, candies, ice cream, and more.
Hugs Cafe and it's wonderful mission of providing adults with special needs a meaningful place of employment. Here these enthusiastic individuals can not only earn some money and a sense of accomplishment from a job well done, but they are also learning valuable life skills in the kitchen. And, as these perfectly baked cookies showed, something is going very right over at Hugs Cafe.
Colourful Blossom's Nuby. I thought that the Collectors' Club tickets were well worth the cost.