Taste of Blaine returns to Schwan Center Thursday

by Tim Hennagir|
Life Editor

There’s still plenty of time to purchase tickets for Thursday’s Taste of Blaine.

Sam Leon, chief operating officer, Acapulco Mexican Restaurants, and Efrain Delgado prepare grilled chicken tacos during last year’s Taste of Blaine. The taste-tempting fund-raiser returns this Thursday (Feb. 16) to the Schwan Center in Blaine. File photo by Tim Hennagir

Thirty area restaurants and hospitality-related businesses are scheduled to appear at the popular fund-raiser, said Gary Lavine, Free2B! executive director.

“We are expecting 1,000 people,” he said. “We can handle several hundred more. The restaurants will be ready. We’ve already given them a target number in terms of tickets and attendance expectations.”

The seventh annual Taste of Blaine starts at 4:30 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. Feb. 16 on two levels inside the Schwan Center at the National Sports Center (NSC).

The center is located at 1700 105th Ave. N.E.

Free2B! accepts donated cars, repairs them and then donates the vehicles to eligible Anoka County residents to help them achieve economic security and transportation self-sufficiency.

Taste of Blaine is the non-profit organizations’ largest fund-raiser of the year. Levine said tha  event sponsorship support has increased this year.

Here’s an A to Z list of the restaurants and businesses that have signed up for Thursday’s Taste of Blaine and the cuisines that will be served:

Acapulco Mexican Restaurant, 9360 Baltimore St. N.E., Blaine, Grilled Steak and Chicken Tacos.

Axel’s Bonfire, 4365 Pheasant Ridge Drive N.E., Blaine, Bull Bites

Bakers Square Restaurant & Pies, 221 Highway 10, Blaine, Pies.

Big Dipper Ice Cream Parlor, 124th Ave. N.E., Suite 100, Blaine, Ice Cream.

Bricks American Pub, 10340 Baltimore St. N.E., Blaine, BBQ Brisket Sliders.

Buffalo Wild Wings, 76 Northtown Drive, Fridley, Wings.

Buona Sera Ristorante, 11949 W. River Road, Champlin, Pork Medallions, Mediterranean Style.

Carol’s Restaurant, 11888 Aberdeen St. N.E., Blaine, Cajun Chicken Soup and Dessert.

Chili’s, 1430 109th Ave. N.E., Blaine, Honey Chipotle Crispers, Chips, Salsa,

Costco, 12547 Riverdale Blvd., Coon Rapids, Cakes.

Cub Foods, 4201 Pheasant Ridge Drive, Coon Rapids, Deli Delights.

Dickey’s Barbeque Pit, 13131 Riverdale Drive N.W., Coon Rapids, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Coleslaw.

Dixie Blue BBQ, 2330 Cloud Drive N.E., Blaine, Mini Pork Sandwiches.

Dunn Brothers, 2218 Bunker Lake Blvd., Andover, Coffee.

Grand Casino Hinckley & Mille Lacs, 7308 Aspen Lane Suite 134, Brooklyn Park.

Harvest Grill, 12800 Bunker Prairie Road, Coon Rapids.

Hot Wok Deliveries, 12035 Hanson Blvd. N.W. , Coon Rapids, Beef Skewers, Pork Fritters, Egg Rolls.

National Sports Center Catering Division, 1700 105th Ave. N.E., Blaine, Mashed Potato Bar.

Nicklow’s Café & Bar, 8466 Central Ave., Spring Lake Park Greek Food, Desserts.

Noodles & Company, 10340 Baltimore St N.E. No. 180, Blaine, Mediterranean Salad and Pesto .

Ole Piper Inn, 1413 93rd Lane N.E., Blaine, Hot Beef Sandwiches.

Panera Bread, 8601 Springbrook Drive N.E. Suite C, Coon Rapids, Salads and Mini Cookies.

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, 12545 Ulysses St. N.E., Blaine, Muffins, Brownies and Cookies.

Sam’s Club, 8150 University Ave N.E., Fridley, Dessert Samples.

Subway, 12410 Aberdeen St. N.E., Blaine, Party Platter of Subs, Fresh Baked Cookies.

The Club, 10400 Baltimore St. NE, Suite 200, Blaine. Pot Roast Sandwich Topped with Potato, Strings on a White Silver Dollar Bun.

The 46th Hole, 701 Bunker Lake Blvd., Ham Lake, Garlic Roast Beef Sliders, Chicken Wings and Chicken Wild Rice Soup.

The Tavern Grill Restaurant & Bar, 10950 Club West Parkway, No. 280, Blaine, Chop Chicken Salad, Bruschetta, Mini Philly Cheese Sandwiches.

Truffles & Tortes Dessert Café, 206 E. Main St., Anoka, Decadent Dessert Creations .

Two Stooges Bar & Grill, 7178 University Ave. N.E, Fridley, Chicken Wings, Live Sauté Station

Tickets can be purchased with a credit card online from the Free2B! website, www.freetobeinc.org, or by calling 763-717-7755.

Ticket prices increase from $35 to $45 the night of the event, so Lavine advises fund-raising attendees call first if at all possible.

“Just give us a call at Free2B! and we’ll take your information, and have tickets available at will-call the night of the event, he said.

Tim Hennagir is at [email protected]