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TCH taking reservations for ‘Rib Night’ Community Social

By Staff | Aug 4, 2020

Following the success of its Smoke on the Island dinner in July, which involved new precautions and safety measures in response to COVID-19, The Community House will host another island event.

The “Rib Night” Community Social will take place on Aug. 21 at 6 p.m. and feature a few starters, three types of ribs prepared in three different ways, a couple side dishes, and a dessert to enjoy.

“Rib Night is probably one of the most popular socials that we’ve had in the past,” Resident Chef Jarred Harris said. “I’ve designed this Rib Night to basically be a good, old-fashioned Southern barbecue.”

For the menu, the starters are green pea salad and jicama slaw. The green pea salad is made out of celery, eggs, cheese, green peas and a light mayonnaise-based dressing. As for the jicama slaw, it will consist of shredded jicama, combined with cabbage, carrots, onion, honey and light mayo dressing.

“It’s basically like a root vegetable, but it has this slightly sweet taste. It almost reminds you of an apple, but it’s not,” he said of jicama. “It lifts it and makes it a little bit fresher and crunchier.”

For entrees, there will be bourbon-glazed baby back ribs that are cooked in a smoker.

“The bourbon glaze is basically the seasoning on these ribs,” Harris said.

The second one is St. Louis-style ribs with a homemade, sweet-and-spicy dry rub. He explained that the ribs are rubbed down and left to sit for 24 hours before he tosses them in the smoker to cook.

Lastly, there will be Cuban-style country spare ribs, also smoker-cooked.

“They’re basically a full slab of spare ribs,” Harris said, adding that they sit in a marinade of grapefruit and lime juices, garlic, onion, oregano and a few secret ingredients for 24 hours. “This is my mojo.”

For side dishes, there will be collard greens – vegetarian, the way he makes it – cornbread and macaroni and cheese. He noted that his mac and cheese is a fan favorite, with four different cheeses.

“And my cornbread is traditional,” Harris said. “It’s not sweet, it’s a savory cornbread.”

Chocolate brownies for dessert will finish off the menu.

“We are The Community House, and we want to welcome our community, our locals, in any capacity that we can,” Marketing and Event Planning Director Sarah Jacobson said. “Even though it is COVID times, people do like to get out and see other people – even if it is physically distanced with a mask.”

Advance reservations will be taken for up to 50 people.

“You will book your table, like last time, in your social group that you feel comfortable with,” she said, adding that each registered group can have up to 10 people. “The tables will again be spread apart.”

“We’ll be using the whole facility again,” Jacobson said.

There will not be a typical buffet spread. Tables will be called up by number and staff members, stationed behind plexiglass and donning masks and gloves, will serve up what each attendee wants.

The starters and dessert will already be set up on the tables in individual containers.

In addition, attendees will be required to wear masks when in public areas of the facility, while in the buffet line to get their food, and when visiting with the other tables that are not their reserved table.

“We will take their temperature when they come in,” she said of arrival.

“We want to provide an atmosphere where everybody feels comfortable and safe,” Jacobson added.

For those who do not feel comfortable yet dining out but want to enjoy the meal, The Community House has a plan. To-go boxes will be available for pick up from 5 to 6 p.m. at the kitchen entrance.

“They have to pre-order and it will be brought to them,” she said.

Those who take advantage of the take-out option will get the full menu.

“The only thing they’ll miss will be seeing their friends and family,” Jacobson said.

The cost is $25 for non-members and $20 for members.

Like many non-profits, The Community House sustained significant revenue losses due to shutting down temporarily for COVID-19. The Community Social event will help to recoup some of that.

“We have kept our full staff. We haven’t let people go,” she said, noting that the proceeds will cover operating costs. “We’re trying to make sure we have the funds to keep our staff and keep our lights on.”

To reserve a table for a group of up to 10, call 239-472-2155.

To make a reservation for take-out, visit sanibelcommunityhouse.net.

“The Community House is a great place to see your friends and family and to celebrate and support a Sanibel institution,” Jacobson said. “And they get to try Jarred’s guava barbecue sauce this month.”

For more information, visit sanibelcommunityhouse.net or call 239-472-2155.

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.