Chili Cookoff + Vagabond Kitchen

Jun 9, 2014

Alternate titles:
—  The Weekend of Eating.
— Thank God I Wear Loose, Stretchy Skirts All Summer
— How I Gained 20 Pounds in One Weekend.

To our family, this weekend was the official kickoff to summer festivities in Wheeling.  We missed last week’s Farmers Market but was able to hit up our favorite vendors this past Saturday morning for THE BEST EVER pepperoni rolls and some delicious lavender/peach jam.  Yum.  Well, and we also bought vegetables…so it wasn’t all good-bad stuff.

Next, we headed to the downtown area to get our grub on even more.


Wheeling had it’s 13th Annual Chili Cookoff and we got to sample (I think) ten different vendors worth of chili samples.  Honestly, we could have tried them all but what we had was more than enough and super delicious.  We didn’t head down until around 3:00 and the crowds were thinning…which also meant that some of the vendors had given every last bean to the attendees so we missed some that we might have wanted to try, but there weren’t any complaints from us.

Plus the weather was amazeballs.  So really, no complaints about anything at all.


Our friend Matt ended up taking home the trophy for “People’s Choice” during the cookoff.  Which is really fun to see a friend be awarded but also extra special because he and Katie were opening their restaurant the very next morning.


Speaking of opening their restaurant….

The Vagabond Kitchen had a soft-opening on Sunday.  We were there, of course.  As if we’d miss out on eating all of the food the fun!  The place was almost completely packed and full of a ton of familiar faces.  Bennett’s Meet Me in the Alley photographs were covering all of the restaurant walls (and will be for the next month or so) and the food was delicious.

Here are the secrets to Matt & Katie’s success on Sunday:

— They put a stunning, sweet girl up front to welcome the guests.


— They invited all of their friends from across the Ohio Valley.

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— They had a wonderful musician playing while people were dining.

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— And they served super delicious food.


It was wonderful and I hope it measured up to Matt & Katie’s expectations for the opening of their first restaurant.  I’m excited to try new dishes every time we go in there and to have a new place where we can be regulars.

Another successful Wheeling weekend is in the books, folks!


  1. OTandET

    What an amazing weekend! Congrats to your friends, that's HUGE!

  2. Meghan Hayes

    A weekend of eating sounds fantastic.


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Welcome to Wild+Wanderful!  I’m Katy.
Momma. Wife. West Virginian.
Dreamer. Coffee Consumer.
Craft Beer Enthusiast.
Purple Obsessor. Lover of Handmade.



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