The North Texas Food Bank team was prepared. After last year’s snow and ice, they had a back-up plan all warmed up for the Friday, March 11, fundraising “Empty Bowls” at the Meyerson. Okay, so the Highland Park and Richardson ISDs, Jesuit and Ursuline students were on spring break, but there were still a load of NTFB supporters and downtowners in need of soup as the temps dipped into the 60s with drips and drops from the clouds above.
Just as the doors opened at 10:30 a.m. for the VIP types, the lineup was overflowing in the lower level with folks like photographer Lisa Stewart to check out the tables filled with hundreds of the handcrafted bowls for sale. The organizers were prepared for such a turnout and have chairs set up for double duty — to provide a path to the sell-athon and for sitting if the wait seemed a bit long. Even presenting sponsor Kroger’s Gary Huddleston had to check in!
Upstairs on the ground level the chefs like Tejano Brothers New Texas Cuisine’s Patrick Smith were serving all types of soups. Meso Maya‘s Nico Sanchez was double dutying. In addition to doling out Sopo de Pollo, he updated friends that the new location at Abrams and Mockingbird was scheduled to open late May. And, yes, it would have a patio for dining and sunning.
Across the way, a couple of cuties topped with crowns were helping Caitlyn Fantl sell NTFB T-shirts. Why the top gear? They were Miss Frisco Outstanding Teen Heather King and Miss Frisco Christina Clawson. When asked if they slept wearing their crowns, the response was laughter and the admission that it would be uncomfortable.
At the landing between the ground-level lobby and the upstairs balcony, mom Liza Schlitt and her three-year-old son Griffin Schlitt watched musicians like violinist Taylor Ollivierre provide the perfect background music for supping.
In the back of the lobby within the roped-off, super-duper VIP area, a table waited for NTFB’s Jan Pruitt’s arrival complete with a reserve sign and a glorious centerpiece.
On the other side of the Meyerson lobby that was jammed with designer soup bowls on display for the silent auction was a traditional favorite — Paula Lambert’s Mozzarella Company complete with Paula and Marisa Partin.
Evidently the word started making the rounds that smarty pants peeps were heading up the stairs, where Mi Cocina-ers were handing out gift bags and there were tables for sitting and supping. For those with a need for a sweet chaser, Panera had loads of cookies ripe for the taking.
Across the way was the dark horse soup of the day. Low Country Quisine ‘s Chef Jolié Oree-Bailey and her team (Daniel Villatoro and Stacey Setzer) were serving up shrimp-and-grits soup. It was impressing folks to a point that its vote jar of dollar votes had folks returning to add more greenbacks.