Cheese Fest at Austin Landing: What to expect

Credit: David A. Moodie

Credit: David A. Moodie

I’ve always loved the quote “You can’t make everyone happy. You’re not cheese.”

It’s a funny yes, and mostly true except for those who are unlucky enough to be lactose intolerant. Cheese is almost universally beloved, and there is actual science to why we love cheese — it releases dopamine when we eat it, bringing a euphoric bump to our day. With each umami savory bite it leaves us wanting more. So having a festival centered around cheese is a no-brainer.

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

If you are in the mood for cheese, but don’t want to be your own chef, an upcoming food festival on May 25 is ready to bring you the oozy, gooey cheesy goodness you are looking for.

For the second year in a row, the Miami Valley Restaurant Association (MVRA) is hosting Cheese Fest at Austin Landing, and according to Amy Zahora, executive director of the MVRA, it was an easy call to make.

“Danniele Simon from Austin Landing and I were brainstorming last year and she loves cheese and who doesn’t love cheese? We were talking about all the things you can have with cheese ... mac and cheese, grilled cheese, cheeseburger, cheese cake ... so we thought, ‘what the heck let’s do it?’ It debuted in 2023 and was received really well and so we are bringing back in 2024. This year we have some additional vendors like Aime’s Pickles of Springboro, Hot Honeyzzz, Heather’s Gourmet Apples, and Spazzy’s Kettle Corn also joining us. It’s going to be a cheesy good time,” Zahora said.

With 19 food vendors currently on board, it’s going to be a full food slate. Here’s a look at the who will be on hand and what they will be serving:

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

• 1776 Grill: Will be bringing their crowd favorite three-cheese garlic grilled cheese sandwich and garlic toast bacon grilled cheese as well as a garlic toast cheeseburger.

• Batter Up Funnel Cakes: “Cheesey funnels” (funnel cake battered mozzarella sticks) as well as other funnel cakes and deep fried Oreos and Pop Tarts.

• Dawghouse LLC: Cheese dogs.

• East Coast Eatz Cheesesteaks!: OG Philly cheese or chicken Philly cheesesteak.

• El Diablo Grill: Cheese burritos, nachos and tacos.

• Frios Gourmet Pops: Will be featuring special flavors including blueberry cheesecake, raspberry cheesecake caramel cheesecake as well as other flavors.

• Gourmet Grub Shack: Cheese quesadillas and loaded nachos smothered in queso cheese.

• Greek Street Food Truck: Gyros and bowls piled with Feta cheese.

• Lil Tiki Weenies: Jalapeno nacho cheese fries, bacon cheese fries and volcano weenie mac and cheese.

• Little Boijon: Cheeseburger fried rice, cheese egg rolls and cheese bubble tea.

• McNasty’s: McCheeseburger, grilled ham and cheese and mac and cheese.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

• Rolling Indulgence: Cheeseburgers and mac and cheese.

• Sweet Tooth Truck: Cheesecake ice cream.

• Sweet-Umms: Cherry cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake and Biscotti cheesecake.

• Triple C Concessions: Lemonade shakeups.

• Victory Lane Pizza: Cheese Pizza. Kona Ice, Lilia’s Outside Café and Travelin Toms Coffee will also be there.

I can’t say how I feel about cheese bubble tea, but I am on board with a celebration of cheese. And with any salty cheese a cold refreshing beverage is in order, so beer, wine and seltzers will never be too far away. Music from Uncle Rico Half Life and Brother Believe Me will provide the soundtrack for the day.

“Immerse yourself in the world of live music and indulge in an array of delicious cheesy delights. While you savor the flavors, the kids can bounce around in the inflatables. And don’t miss the spectacular fireworks display that will light up the night sky, capping off a perfect day. Cheese Fest is where your summer starts — filled with joy, laughter and plenty of cheese,” Zahora said.

The 10-minute fireworks show she references are the Austin Landing fireworks show that will go off shortly after the last band wraps up. Zahora says she expects 2,500 people to be at the free event.

“For our participating vendors, these events are more than just showcases; they are a canvas for creativity. Each event is themed, encouraging chefs to step outside their usual menu offerings and experiment with unique, sometimes adventurous dishes. This not only sparks culinary creativity but also provides exposure to new potential patrons,” said Zahora. “Whether it’s a new restaurant on the block or a food truck that’s just rolled into town, these gatherings offer a taste of innovation and flair.”

This is the kickoff to the summer event season for the MVRA.

Next up is a June 7 food truck event at Austin Landing, Wine Fest at the Greene on June 15 and Pickle Fest at Austin Landing on June 29.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Zahora says Pickle Fest will likely be their biggest event this year with more than 60 food and pickle vendors that will be on hand.

“We have a brand new website — — and it’s bigger and better than ever. We have expanded the footprint to accommodate more people and added more vendors and some attractions that are available at an additional cost. We will have axe throwing, slides, a rock climbing wall and more .. You might even see a Pickle walking on stilts,” said Zahora. “Cheese Fest is the kickoff to a full season of events.”

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How to go

What: Cheese Fest

When: 3-10 p.m. May 25

Where: Austin Landing, 3601 Rigby Road, Miamisburg

Entertainment: 3-5 p.m. Uncle Rico, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Half Life, 8-10 p.m. Brother Believe Me

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