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Foodie Freebie Friday: Eli's Cheesecake Sampler


Ah... a Foodie Freebie Friday announcement right after a holiday weekend is most likely to come late... and so here I am! It's been quite an eventful weekend and I hope you had a wonderful time enjoying festivities in the U.S. for Independence Day! We started our celebrations on Friday, July 3rd and continued onto the rest of the weekend... where today was a day for us to get some rest and catch up!

Now that we're back, energized and ready for the week (albeit late!), this week I'm giving away one of my favorite desserts... cheesecake! But of course, it can't be just any old cheesecake. My ultimate favorite is Eli's Cheesecake, which started right here in Chicago! Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Eli's Cheesecake President, Marc Schulman and his daughter Elana. We had a fabulous time at the Taste of Chicago and it was a great opportunity to hear about their company and family history...


Marc Schulman has not forgotten his formative years growing up in the restaurant owned by his parents, Eli and Esther Schulman, longtime operators of Eli's The Place for Steak in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood. Working in that restaurant, which closed three years ago after a nearly 40-year run, shaped Schulman's values about running a business in the best interests of both customers and employees.

Eli's, which opened in 1966, was well-known in its day as a gathering place for upwardly mobile Chicagoans and visiting celebrities. Beginning as a steakhouse with some Jewish deli favorites, Eli's menu evolved to include lighter items but always sold a lot of its special desserts.

The late Eli Schulman developed his signature cheesecake as the house dessert for the restaurant. Though he wanted to have a product that was so good that other restaurateurs would buy it to serve to their customers, he never dreamed that the cheesecake business would become as big as it has. Today, 15,000 Eli's cheesecakes are made daily in more than 100 variations and sold all over the United States and in some foreign countries.

Eli Schulman's son, Marc, runs the cheesecake manufacturing business but keeps his hand in restaurants by overseeing the Cheesecake Cafe, open for breakfast, lunch and catering functions at the facility. -- BNet


To celebrate this favorite dessert, a lucky reader will be receiving their choice of a cheesecake sampler to enjoy, compliments of Marc Schulman himself. Thank you Marc for your generosity! I encourage you to definitely check out the Eli's Cheesecake website to learn how much the company has not only touched many with their delicious cheesecakes, but also how they have helped the community with the various outreach programs they have in place. If you happen to visit Chicago, do make that special trip out to Eli's Headquarters where you'll be able to take a tour of their site and enjoy a meal at their cafe for lunch and dinner. One of my favorite events at Eli's is their annual Cheesecake Festival that happens in the fall. Stay tuned as I will venture out later this year for another culinary adventure with Eli's! A lucky reader will get their choice of one of the following cheesecake samplers:

Original Favorites Cheesecake Sampler
Four slices each of our all-time favorite cheesecakes:
Original Plain, Chocolate Chip, Strawberry,

and Candy Bar made with Heath® Toffee Bars.



Dream Team Cheesecake Sampler
Eli's Dream Team Cheesecakes are our "over-the-top"
four pound
cheesecakes that are hand-decorated
and crowned with loads of
luscious toppings.
You'll get four to five cheesecake slices each of our

Perfectly Praline, Triple Chocolate Truffle & Strawberry.


Some guidelines:
- Giveaway is only for those who live in the United States - my apologies to my international readers!
- You must have a valid email address (within your comment or blog link) so that you can be contacted if you win.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment answering:

- What's your favorite cheesecake flavor?


Deadline:
Thursday, July 9th, 2009 at 12 midnight CST.

ONE WINNER will be randomly chosen by Random.Org's Interger Generator based on the number of your comment and will be announced on Friday, July 10th, 2009. Good luck!

100 comments

  1. That's so cool that you got to meet the president of Eli's! My favorite flavor of cheesecake would be a tie between white chocolate raspberry or some type of coffee/chocolate blend. Yum! I love cheesecake!

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  2. Plain cheesecake with strawberry glaze topping, yum!

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  3. yum yum! How delicious! I love cheesecake with any fruit on it! Great giveaway!

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  4. i am all about the fruity kinds, strawberry, white chocolate raspberry swirl the list goes on

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  5. I love classic strawberry cheesecake.

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  6. Mmm - I love chocolate cheesecake with a drizzle of strawberry sauce. Yum!

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  7. caramel apple cheesecake. YUM

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  8. Several months ago I would have said raspberry but when Thanksgiving rolled around and the grocery store was overflowing with cans of pumpkin I tried making pumpkin cheesecake-- fantastic!

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  9. I love Bailey's Amaretto Cheesecake...yummy...

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  10. mmm my favorite is white chocolate raspberry.

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  11. My favorite flavor is just plain new york cheesecake topped with fresh strawberries and whip cream. I like things simple :)

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  12. The more chocolate the better! I love chocolate cheese cake :)

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  13. Anything with toffee in it is fine by me!

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  14. I love the Praline cheesecake.
    Yum.
    msgb245 at gmail dot com

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  15. Cheesecake is my FAVORITE! I'm not sure I could pick just ONE favorite... maybe pumpkin cheesecake.

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  16. cheesecake is not in the diet right now but i think i could make an exception if i won ;-) eli's is delish!

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  17. I love cheesecake. And I'm a Brooklyn girl,so to me cheesecake equals Junior's. My favorite flavor is hands down the Apple Crumb. It is like the love child between a rich NY style cheesecake and a classic apple pie. Send place is carrot cake cheese cake. Smiles all around.

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  18. I love cheesecake - any kind really, but if I have to choose one it would be strawberry!

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  19. That is so great of the owner! I LOVE strawberry cheesecake. :)

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  20. I like plain, with a strong cream cheese flavor, very dense and very cold.
    [email protected]

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  21. I love all things chocolate, including chocolate cheesecake, but cheesecake is one of the few desserts that I will gladly eat a non-chocolate variety -- plain cheesecake is splendid.

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  22. My favorite is strawberry cheesecake. I don't think I have ever had a chocolate cheesecake though. Hmmm....

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  23. I love cheesecake! I've never had a cheesecake that I didn't like. My friend Nicole makes THE BEST cheesecake. She tops it with homemade strawberry jam. YUM!

    [email protected]

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  24. My favorite flavor of cheesecake is the simple plain topped with fresh strawberries!

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  25. Plain cheesecake with fresh strawberries. Or chocolate. Its really hard to pick one.

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  26. Eli's Chocolate Chip. Hands down! I can only get it in Houston if I order it!
    [email protected]

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  27. Key lime pie is my favorite flavor... though I haven't met a cheesecake I didn't like! ;)

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  28. I do love me some cheesecake. Even though I'm lactose intolerant, I indulge every once and a while. I love white chocolate with raspberry sauce and a chocolate crust. Even better if it's dairy free!

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  29. I love cheesecake with fruit topping. Mmmmm, I want some so bad right now...

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  30. I love plain cheesecake dressed up with some peanut butter drizzle adn chocolate pieces, maybe nuts if i have them

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  31. Any Cheesecake from Eli's is FABU!!!!! But my favorite would be Triple Chocolate Truffle!!!!!! OMGOSH!!! so Delish!!!
    Many thanks for the Chance to win!!!

    Leslie
    [email protected]
    http://leslielovesveggies.blogspot.com/

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  32. How can you truly pick a favorite flavor of cheesecake? It's cheesecake no matter what! :) I'm sort of a traditionalist though so I'd probably say plain or anything with chocolate! Yum!

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  33. Strawberry would have to be my favorite!!

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  34. I'm a purist. I like plain cheesecake with perhaps a little fruit coulis.

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  35. ANY kind of cheesecake! It's my all time favorite dessert.

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  36. Great giveaway!! Even though I love chocolate type of cheesecakes, I must say that I love a plain vanilla cheesecake with strawberry topping. Yum!

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  37. chocolate cheesecake is my favorite, yum!

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  38. yum yum! i want some cheesecake!

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  39. I love it all......... especially pumpkin.

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  40. It's a toss up between turtle and pumpkin!

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  41. How to choose only one flavor?

    I love cherries on my cheesecake, but of course chocolate is never a bad thing!

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  42. All flavors of Ely's rock!....But the Heath Bar Cheesecake would be my favorite.

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  43. I like a turtle or praline cheescake best. But you can't go wrong with any kind of cheesecake. Yum!

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  44. WOW that looks so so delicious!!! I ♥ cheesecake in all flavors, but my fave is pumpkin!!!(yaheee Lindsey lol)

    That heath bar one sounds SO frickin' good though lol

    Thanks for the chance! I've always wanted to try their brand!

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  45. Turtle cheesecake is just amazing. Obscenely rich and incredibly delicious - it would have to be my favorite.


    kimbly (at) gmail (dot) com

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  46. My favorite kind of cheesecake is white chocolate raspberry. I'm a sucker for the raspberry swirl!

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  47. Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh!

    Cheesecake is awesome in any flavor, but chocolate is one of my favorites!

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  48. They are all yummy, But I would have to say plain.

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  49. My favorite cheesecake flavor is white chocolate raspberry, but I've never met a cheesecake I didn't like! ;)

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  50. I love a good pumpkin cheesecake! Anything chocolate is a close second.

    [email protected]

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  51. I love my cheesecake with oreo crumbles!

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  52. I love plain cheesecake the best.
    [email protected]

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  53. Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts. They look delicious.

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  54. Yum!! My favorite has to be turtle!!

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  55. I had an awesome cookies & cream cheesecake once... yummm!

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  56. I love cheesecake so much that I can't pick just one - it'd have to be a tie between pumpkin cheesecake & white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.

    Thanks for the chance to win such an awesome giveaway!

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  57. mmmm plain cheesecake or pumpkin cheesecake are my faves..mmmm

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  58. My favorite cheesecake is chocolate oreo... or anything chocolate. MMMMMM

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  59. Chocolate or a chocolate & coffee mixture. All this cheesecake talk is making me hungry!

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  60. My favorite is a nice simple piece with fruit like strawberry or raspberry but after seeing the turtle version in your earlier post, I don't think I could pass something like that up!

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  61. I really love praline cheesecake. My 48th wedding anniversary is Thursday, this would be a delightful anniversary surprise.

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  62. I LOVE pumpkin cheesecake. It is DIVINE. That being said, the ones listed at Eli's Cheesecake are enough to make me salivate right now.

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway!
    shen[dot]margaret[at]gmail[dot]com

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  63. Such a great giveaway! My husband is from Chicago and just loves Eli's cheesecakes. He likes the more decadent flavors but me, I'm a simple girl and plain with fresh strawberries on top suits me just fine :)

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  64. My favorite flavor is a turtle cheesecake. You can't go wrong with carmel and chocolate!!

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  65. This is the best giveaway yet!

    My favorite is plain with fresh strawberry's on top. Yum!

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  66. I've never tried Eli's cheesecakes, but I've followed them on Twitter for a while. I've really enjoyed learning about the business -- and about the random stuff that happens on any given day.

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  67. Caramel apple or plain are my favorites...yum!

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  68. Great giveaway! My favorite kind of cheesecake is chocolate chip cheesecake. I have tried many many kinds and I always go back to chocolate chip. :) paislie98 at hotmail dot com

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  69. Honestly, I love ALL flavors of cheesecake and can never decide. I suppose you can never go wrong with good old plain cheesecake though!

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  70. mmmmm....I love cheesecake. Some of my favorite flavors are Oreo, White Chocolate/Raspberry, and Turtle, but really I could go for almost any flavor!

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  71. I love cheesecake!!!
    About 7 years ago, DH (then BF) brought me back a peppermint cheesecake from Eli's. I was supposed to give it to my dad, but I ate the entire thing myself!

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  72. It might be sacrilegious, but I once had a Heath Bar cheesecake that was scrumptious!

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  73. My true fave is Dulce de Leche (sp). But I also enjoy classic cheese cake with strawberry topping. Yum!!

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  74. Being lactose intolerant, I'll load up on lactaid for any type of cheesecake, but White Chocolate Raspberry holds a special place in my heart that if it's around, and I don't have any lactaid, I'll still eat it because I don't mind getting sick for it!

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  75. My favorite would be Turtle cheesecake. Yummy!!!

    lovejuliet8579 at yahoo dot com

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  76. I love a cafe au lait cheesecake on a chocolate crust or a peach cobbler cheesecake! Thanks for the contest!!

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  77. Our wedding cake was made by a good friend of ours, out of plain cheesecake and then as it was sliced and served, a raspberry drizzle was added to the plate. Fan-tastic!

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  78. Cheesecake! YUM.
    I'd say my favorite cheesecake is Key Lime. Just the right amount of tart Key Lime jelly layered over creamy, sweet cheesecake.

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  79. OMG what an amazing prize! I'm a cheesecake purist, so my favorite is plain cheesecake. I like to try different flavors now and then, but nothing is better than a NY style cheesecake, just as it is.

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  80. I love the Snickers cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory- that has to be my all-time favorite!

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  81. I'm a fan of raspberry chocolate cheesecake... or at least raspberries and chocolate somehow involved with cheesecake. :)

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  82. I love just about ANY cheesecake. If I had to pick though, then two of my favorites are Oreo and chocolate chip. YUM!!

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  83. I love white chocolate raspberry! Eli's cheesecakes are soooo yummy!

    evitawylie at hotmail dot com

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  84. I love the fresh, tart flavor of lemon cheesecake. Chocolate is always good, too!

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  85. My favorite cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory is the white chocolate coconut. I also like chocolate chip.

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  86. Never met a flavor I didn't like, but would have to choose plain cheesecake with strawberry topping as my favorite. Yum!

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  87. chocolate chocolate chip has to probably be one of my absolute favorites but I love all cheesecake!
    [email protected]

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  88. I don't even know how to choose! I had a pumpkin cheesecake once that was amazing, so I'll go with that. Great giveaway!

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  89. Plain!

    I worked as a server at the cheesecake factory for years in college and I've tried dozens of flavors and my favorite is still PLAIN!

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  90. My favorite is pumpkin cheesecake!! :-) Yummy

    ericaarobinson at gmail dot com

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  91. My favorite is turtle cheesecake. Yum!

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  92. Honestly, I am unsure if I can choose ONE favorite cheesecake flavor :-)

    Cheesecake is my all time favorite dessert and have never turned away any flavor!

    YUM!

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  93. My favorite cheesecake? My grandma's of course. But Eli's strawberry runs a very close 2nd!

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