This year Empty Bowls McKinney had its biggest turn out with over 900 people with tickets to the event and raised $61,000 for the Community Lifeline Center! Amazing!
Last year the event spread to the yard surrounding MPAC, and this year it took over a block of the Square. (I’m hoping we’re looking forward to taking over more of the Square or the whole Square…Whole Square, whole Square, that’s what I’m going for, whole Square!) In our confiscated area, there was a place for the bowls you got with your ticket, a booth from Community Lifeline Center, a raffle booth, a band (E-Flat Porch Band), and tables. Yes, there were actually tables, so you could grab several bowls of soup and sit down and not spill all over yourself!
Empty Bowls McKinney Presenting Sponsor was Whole Foods Market and they titillated us with a Cactus Chili! Whole Foods’ booth is right in the middle of the action and they created a fun display. There were plants (cacti and flowers), crates, and a bright green tray that I really want to steal.
This year was Blount Fine Food’s first time as a vendor and they were our Bowl Room Sponsor. Not only did they do double duty with being a sponsor and a vendor, but they also gave us three soup…Three Soups!!!
And now let’s take a stroll down stairs and I have three amazing vendors to introduce you to:
If you are local to McKinney you have probably been introduced to Local Yocal as a shop with fresh, local meat (wondering how I can add at least one more local into this sentence…). So you may have been thinking this was meat, meat, meat dish, but it was a Smoked Sweet Potato soup! There was a little bit of meat with chorizo, but most of it was a great, smoky sweet potato puree!
And another meat person, Square Burger, fooled me and made this luscious Cream of Cauliflower soup! I really like cauliflower, so I’m not really the person to talk to “Joe Smoe who doesn’t like cauliflower” about how great this soup is, but it totally was!
But wait, there was a meat soup: The Pub’s Guinness Beef Stew! Beef, vegetables, broth, and Guinness…I mean, what can go wrong there!
We’ll head back up to the first floor and we’ll work our way through the rest of the vendors. So many soups and desserts to taste!
I love avocado. You sprinkle in a few bits of avocado on a soup and that is fantastic, but Game Day Foods created a Roasted Tomatillo, Avocado & White Corn soup…Yep, that’s a soup with avocado as one of the base ingredients…I tried to be professional and didn’t hug anyone!
If you wanted a south of the boarder soup, then you wanted to stop by the Bien Salsa table for their Chicken Tortilla Soup! Spicy with a little cream, yum!
Patina Green likes to surprise the guests at Empty Bowls. They give you a one word description like “Vegetable” as the type of soup they present, but it’s always so much more involved. This year they did a cauliflower (yay for me!), cheese, and snap peas. The soup was creamy with blanched, crunchy peas. Did I mention that I got two bowls…
SNUG on the Square is on my radar for massive breakfasts and delicious sandwiches, including the panini that I turned into the best event crostini appetizer that I make. But now I’m going to have to try all of their soups…Curse you Zuppa Del Giorno soup for making me expand my menu choices!
And The Celt changed their staple soup from a cream pepper soup to a Roasted Red Pepper Soup! More peppery goodness!
Rye created this Sweet Corn & Manchago Piquillo Piperade soup. I ended up grabbing the last bowl of soup that they had that day. Luckily I was the last person in the line because there may have been some elbows thrown otherwise.
Harvest took its farm to table approach and created a Creamed Kale with Bacon Lardons & Grated Goat Feta soup. Healthy and delicious (the bacon and cheese don’t really count toward the healthy stuff, but delicious…I mean there’s bacon)!
We’re finished our soup and now we are on to dessert!
McKinney’s Sweet Spot brought Brownie Bites and Gooey Butter Cake. When I got my fill of soup all of their sweet treats were gone which made me sad.
I also missed out on the cookies that Hugs brought. I had to wait for a chance to take a photo without someone grabbing a cookie! There were a ton of people that got to sample all of Sweet Spot and Hugs’ goodies, I’m assuming there were cookie monsters wandering around that I somehow missed.
At the end of the night, completely full of soup, people were watching out for the final call for the end of the auction, taking a last stroll around the bowl tent, watching a talented artist creating a new bowl in the “Get Dirty” tent, listening to the band play, and more!