Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Hour Happenings #2- Eddy's & Iggy's

A week ago today a few of my Lakewood gals and I decided to hit up Eddy's and Iggy's which opened up recently after it's owners renovated the old bar Cronies that used to be there.  We chose Eddy's and Iggy's for this Wednesday night happy hour for a number of reasons.

One of the reasons was we used to frequent Cronies (even before we were supposed to!) and wanted to see what changes had been made.  But, more importantly, it was LADIES NIGHT! 

Now here's the dirt on Eddy's and Iggy's Wednesday Happy Hour:

Drink Deals:
On Wednesday's- for ladies- you are given 2 tickets for 2 FREE drinks.  They put no restrictions on us.  I had a Vodka Tonic (my drink of choice), a friend had a rum and coke, another had a pear cider, and one chose Strongbow!  Awesome-sauce!  As there were no men with us we did not inquire about any other drink specials- though we were told there were Margarita's for $2- which makes me now wonder if those would have been given to us for free with our tickets.  Hmmm.

Food Deals:
We had mostly all eaten, but they do have a menu and on Wednesday's serve 50 cent tacos!  We plan on going back to try them.  For $3.50 my friend R got a good size bowl of macaroni and cheese (she took some home as leftovers).  She said it was good but needed a little salt and pepper which were not on the table.

The Atmosphere:
When we got there at seven the bar had a few other patrons.  We grabbed a tall bar table without any problem.  The later it got the more the place filled up.  On the wall there is St. Ed's and St. Ignatius memorabilia as well as seemingly random sports paraphernalia from professional teams.  It's a good size bar and was pleasant to be at. 

We can't wait to go back (not tonight as I'm headed to Vegas) but soon to try the tacos and get some more FREE drinks!  Also, from what I understand Thursday is Karaoke night if you love to croon to some classic jams!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On Sara's TV: Cardioke

A few weeks ago my best friend, K, told me about this exercise phenomena that her sister (I think) had discovered on her free OnDemand called... Cardioke!  I tried looking for it but apparently was looking in the wrong place- cause tonight I struck gold.  I too have Cardioke on my OnDemand!  Let me just say it is AWESOME.

If you are looking for the perfect mix of cardio, dance, and kareoke, then look no further!  Billy Blanks Jr., the son of Billy Blanks- the tae bo master will lead you through several great routines!  There are also plenty of back up performers that will make you feel way better about yourself!

I couldn't find a shorter clip that gave you the full experience.  My favorite are the guys.  Also the woman with the short black hair to Billy's right is his wife- they're quite the team.

And, in case if you were wondering no I didn't do the routines- at the beginning there is a warning to consult your physician before starting this or anyother exercise routine.  I can see that conversation now:

Me:  Dr, I'd like to start doing cardioke.  Am I healthy enough?
Dr:  Cardi-what? 
Me: Cardioke
Dr:  blank stare

What's your favorite work out?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Feel Good News Out of Cleveland

A friend had this posted on Facebook, and it's a great feel good story around the holiday's.  A family in Lakewood, my hometown, has revealed that their wife/mother was the woman who donated her face to the first ever face transplant that took place at the Cleveland Clinic.  The article can be found on here.

This article touched me for a number of reasons.  Growing up my family had a great family friend, J.R.  As a Type 1 diabetic he had his share of health problems, and he had three different transplants that allowed him to live a longer and easier life than if he hadn't.  He has since succumbed to his illness, but was always so appreciative of the people who donated their organs to him.  In the spring of 2008 my aunt died unexpectedly and as per her wishes she was an organ donor.  We will never meet the people who benefited from her donations, but I am sure that they are appreciative as well.  It's nice to read an article about a family who did get to meet the recipient and to again be reminded how much of a gift this can be for people.

I am proud to have the organ donor stamp on my license, have a living will that dictates what I want done should I find myself in a brain dead state, and have discussed it extensively with my family.  None of us have plans to leave this earth early or soon even, but as life is unpredictable it is important to think about these things. 

Have you considered becoming an organ donor?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day!

My dreams came true at 5:30am this morning when I got an automated phone call from my school telling me that there was a SNOW DAY!!  Now, I enjoy my job, I love the kids-- but any unexpected day off I will take willingly!  Snow days are perfect for relaxing and getting little things done just for yourself- I refuse to use them for anything too useful- like chores. 

Here's how I spent today's Snow Day!

1.  When back to sleep till 10!  So glorious.
2.  Watched a good chunk of my DVR'd shows including the season finale of Dexter, and The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
3.  Made myself a homemade cafe mocha.
4.  Finished reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
5.  Made myself chocolate chip pancakes with vanilla soy milk
6. Wrote a blog post
7. Texted friends
8. Relaxed.

I couldn't have asked for a better day!  How did you spend your snow day? 

One Touch of Nature: Photography

I've been fiddling around with photography for years- ever since I took some classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art during high school. Back then I was shooting on black and white film and developing my own pictures- which I loved. Since then I have moved into the digital world, and last summer finally was gifted a new DSLR- a Canon Rebel XS 10 megapixel- with a standard lens and a pretty standard zoom lens. I love it. Eventually I'll want to upgrade to a nicer one, but I want to earn the money to do that by selling some of my photography on Etsy.

I have reserved the name One Touch of Nature for my future Etsy shop based off of this Shakespearean Quote: "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."  I just love the sentiment of it!  Now I just need to decide which images to start with!

Grass Lake near Lake Tahoe
North Lake Tahoe
North Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Region of California
Here are some of my favorites- I have the first and third ones up in my apartment blown up to 16x20.  Which is your favorite?  Do you think people would consider buying prints or note cards featuring these images?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Hour Happenings #1- Merry Arts Pub and Grill

Since I love happy hours, and go to at least one, and often two a week, I figured I should start a new series of posts... Happy Hour Happenings henceforth abbreviated as HHH.

On Thursday, I was invited by some of my new coworkers to go to Merry Arts in Lakewood with them for happy hour. Not only is it close to my house, but I really wanted to get to know some of my new colleagues better.  I'm so glad I went.  We ended up being there from 4:45 till 9:45.  Awesome.

Now here's the dirt on Merry Arts' Thursday Happy Hour:

Drink Deals:
Well drinks were $1.75!  I ordered a vodka tonic, and one of the other girls ordered a rum and coke- both of us felt like our drinks were strong.  Most of the other ladies ordered beers, and I want to say the domestics were $1.50.  I thought these prices were fantastic. 

Food Deals:
We were so hungry when we got there but were informed that on Mondays and Thursdays the only thing on the menus is Tacos, and they don't start serving them until 6pm.  At approximately 6:02, the 6 of us ordered 18 tacos! At 2.00 a pop, they were a great deal and really good.  Their shell was a fried shell that reminded me more of a taco salad bowl than other hard taco shells.  We ordered them with medium salsa- and it was good, but there was a little more salsa than I preferred.  They were good size and really filling.  I can't wait to go back again for the tacos.

The Atmosphere:
When we first got there the place had just a few other patrons.  We snagged some tall bar tables without any problem.  As the night wore on the place filled up.  There were young professionals, blue collar workers, business men in their 50's, and even families.  With plenty of seating ranging from seats at the two bars, bar tables, booths, and couches it never felt over crowded.

Overall I had a great experience, and am hoping to return soon!  Oh, and Wednesday's are BOGO Burgers!  So I might have to try that one night as well!

Merry Arts Pub & Grille on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Product Review: OPI Shimmer & Shimmer

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving I got my first manicure since my first one when I was 13!   I chose a gold color from OPI and it held up splendidly.  The girl who did my nails was wearing Shimmer & Shimmer from the Burlesque collection, and I loved it- so when I spotted it in Giant Eagle for fifty cents less than I saw it at Ulta, I snagged a bottle.  

On Sunday night I gave myself the manicure pictured above, completely forgetting that I was going rock climbing with my class the next day!  This picture is from tonight, two full days after I first polished, and a full day after I rock climbed.  This polish has really held up well.  (I also used a Sally Hansen UV top coat that I had laying around.)  I've been getting plenty of compliments on the color.  I think the sparkles make it perfect for the holiday season without being too literal and the color makes it appropriate year round!

What's your favorite nail color/brand?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Moving From Denial to Acceptance

My relationship with my dairy allergy has been a long and arduous journey.  You see, I haven't always been allergic to cow's milk.  In late high school I started feeling as if when I drank milk my throat felt thick.  My mother, however, assumed I was just trying to get out of drinking the three glasses of skim milk she'd been forcing down my throat my whole life.

Cut to college, my throat starts to feel very thick and close up a bit, making it hard to swallow when I'd eat certain ice creams.  I couldn't have Malley's ice cream, but could still eat Dove Ice Cream.  At this point I was thinking there was a stabilizer or preservative that some dairy products had and others didn't.

As I moved through college I had two major reactions and finally started to accept I couldn't have any cream, milk, or ice cream.  But I could still eat cheese.  Then Cheese started to bother me so I'd pull it off of pizza, put the pepperoni back on and eat it that way.

Then Friday happened... My students at school earned a "goal day" and requested pizza.  It was piping hot and looked delicious, and since I'd forgotten my lunch for the day I couldn't resist.  I grabbed a piece of pepperoni pizza and performed my normal pizza ritual of removing the cheese and replacing the pepperoni.  Within minutes of swallowing the last bite I felt the tell tale signs of my throat closing up.  Immediately I went downstairs, found the school nurse, and took two Benadryl.  It stopped the reaction from getting worse, but it doesn't reverse what has already happened.  So from about 1pm till I went to bed at 10 I felt like I had a huge lump in my throat.

I've come to the realization that I cannot deny that I have a full blown dairy allergy anymore.  I must accept it.  Luckily earlier this week when I went grocery shopping for the first time in a month I made a few new dairy free purchases.

1.  Silk Soy Milk in Vanilla - Up until now I'd only been drinking the chocolate, but I heard from a few people that using the vanilla in cereal is great so I tried it and I'm hooked.  I'd missed cereal.

2. Purely Decadent Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream, by Turtle Mountain- I believe I tried their soy ice cream before and didn't like the after taste, but this coconut milk ice cream is delicious.  Super creamy and rich.  It does, obviously, have a strong taste of coconut, but I like that so it's great for me!  I'm thinking I need to buy some Malley's hot fudge to pour over top to really make it amazing.

What are some great dairy free products or recipes I should be trying?  Nut free too, as I'm also allergic to tree nuts!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Online Dating- Yikes!

So as I may or may not have mentioned, I have a few online dating profiles- on free sites.  Needless to say I attract winners.  Since I am not finding Mr. Right I figured I might share some Mr. Wrong's I've come across... (No handles or pictures as I'm not out to "out" anybody)

Plenty Of Fish by far has the worst messages:

32 yr old
You look good in your pictures. Your profile looks like you put all of 5 minutes into writing. How do you expect to attract a good man when you write 2 sentences about yourself?

- For the record I did put approximately 5 minutes into writing it because PoF is kinda weird.  Also, insulting me is definitely the best way to spark my interest.

40 yr old
what about a married man? :)

-Yup, you almost got me with that one... nothing a single girl wants more than a man already taken.  I should note he attached a picture of his decidedly average chest and stomach (no face).  Winner. 

35 yr old
I've had other dates where we saw each other initially and got a room right away to..that was the best.

-What woman isn't swept off her feet with prose like that?  He didn't even use the right "to." 

Sometimes it's not the messages it's the profiles...

Exhibit A: 
Age: 34 yrs old
Profession: Lion Tamer/Jesse James Impersonator 

- Really?  Really?  Sometimes I wonder what I've hidden in my profile that makes these guys think they're my type. Though I have never met a Lion Tamer/Jesse James Impersonator before so maybe they are exactly my type.... hmmm

Have you had any great online dating experiences? 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lebron Returns to "Believeland"

Well, tonight's the night we all knew would come.  Lebron is back, with the Miami Heat, to take on the CAVS at the Q.  This should be interesting.  I don't follow the NBA, so I am unsure who is favored to win.  What I do know is this: games with this much back story are completely unpredictable.  Will Lebron be shaken by the fans who will be undoubtedly cruel?  Will the Heat and Lebron come together to prove they're the better team?  Will our fans lose control and create some sort of mob or riot scene?  Only time will tell.  I for one will be waiting the storm out on my couch while sporadically checking out the coverage of the game on TNT. 

For Cleveland, I hope we win.  Our city can use all the good cheer we can find, and it'd be a great way to bring us together! 

Are you watching the game?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cleveland in the Zagat Guide

Check out how Cleveland restaurants fared in Zagat's America's Top Restaurants 2011 on

Out of the 20 restaurants I have only eaten at Momocho (over two years ago now) and 3 Birds (where I only had desert, most likely more than two years ago).  I'm going to put the rest of these eateries on my "wish list" on urbanspoon.  I love that the Cleveland food scene is getting more and more attention every year!

Way to go Cleveland!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gifts for Cleveland Lovers

As I've been thinking of Christmas gifts and shopping I've come across a lot of suggested gift lists for moms, dads, boyfriends, etc.  This has inspired me to create a Gift List for Cleveland Enthusiasts and here it is...

1.  A Browns Cover for your Kleenex Box- (They have a CAVS one too!) At a cool $14 this would make a great addition to any Browns Fanatics man cave!  Check out CraftedbyTeri's shop!
2.  For a lady in your life who lives in or has lived in Cleveland Heights (or one of the select few other suburbs featured in this Etsy shop) this necklace is perfect.  For only $34 you can carry a bit of your hometown close to your heart!  This necklace available from Etsy seller cieliblu.
3.  Maybe, even though we are lacking LeBron, you are a die hard CAVS fan and would like to show your team spirit in a discreet way.  If so, then this is perfect for you.  For only $7.99 you can own this CAVS themed G-String underwear!  Don't worry men, apparently it's available in a men's style as well!  Check out the goods at PMTreasurechest's shop!
4.  Calling all Cleveland Bride's- or maybe their Moms or Maids of Honors... If you're looking for the perfect surprise for your Indians loving groom on your wedding day look no further.  For a cool $30 you can own this Indian's inspired garter set!  Keep one and Toss one!  Stop by TheArtofSports' shop to see what else they have to offer!

5. Ok, Ok, let's get serious.  What about this t-shirt?  Designed by local artists (I went to school with one of them) this shirt shows the world that you love Cleveland!  Supporting the local economy and loving Cleveland?  There can't be anything better.  I think that $22 is a pretty reasonable deal for a shirt like this.  (I really need to remind myself to buy one of these.)  They have ton's of different designs and colors so check out the website GV Art + Design and see for yourself!
6.  Maybe your loved one would like a piece of artwork to hang on their wall.  I don't know his pricing, but check out this local artist (I admit, I know him too) and contact him to order one of his prints.  He even shoots in film!  Look at the gallery here for STT Design.  He really captures Cleveland quite well.

7.  How about a membership to a local museum?  Have a family you're buying for? Try the Cleveland Zoo ($70), The Great Lakes Science Center ($85), or the Children's Museum ($80)!

Well, that's all I can come up with now.  What are your favorite Cleveland related gifts?!  Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Shopping is Go!

I am heading out today to try and complete some of my Christmas shopping.  I am hoping to take advantage of some great deals out there...

Women's Clothing/Accessories:

50% off of EVERYTHING at New York and Company

40% off of your Full Price Purchase at Ann Taylor

40% off Complete Purchase at Ann Taylor Loft

30% off EVERYTHING at The Limited

Department Stores:

15% Savings Pass at Kohl's

15% Savings Pass on Clearance Items at Macy's

Hopefully I find a bunch of really cute stuff for good deals.  We'll see!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dear Santa: Take 2

I know I already posted all my greedy "wants" for Christmas, but I keep seeing more things that I want!  So here are a few more things that have struck my fancy.

9.  A "Grown Up" TV - i.e. an HD tv 36-42 inches (This is because my friends keep making fun of the TV I have now, which is the one I got to go to college with over 8 years ago!)
10.  A Case of The Biltmore in Asheville, NC's Pinot Grigio (My absolute favorite wine.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dear Santa:

Christmas is a little over a month away and I'm thinking of all the goodies that I want.  How selfish of me I know.  Here are some of my wants- no I don't expect to get all of them, but I'm hoping some make the cut.  Want to get me something?  Look no further:

1. The Amazon Kindle

2.  A Dodo Case (For the Kindle)

3.  iPad (ok ok this is a pipe dream but still I wannnnt!)

4. A NetFlix Subscription

5.  Any accessories for my Canon DSLR.  I'd like new lenses- wide angle, and a better zoom and a bigger carrying case.

6.  Any Glee Soundtrack (other than 1 and 2, I already own those)

7.  Anything anyone wants to get me!  Thoughtful gifts are great!

Edited to Add:

8.  One of the following wall decals- or maybe both...

Both are from Etsy seller WallsThatTalk!

What is on your wish list for Christmas 2010?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Restaurant Review: Deagan's Kitchen and Bar

Deagan's, a self described gastro-pub opened a couple of months ago in downtown Lakewood. I hadn't been yet, so when some former co-workers decided to have their Friday happy hour there I was very interested.  From the outside signage I was expecting more of a sports bar atmosphere but that isn't what you get at all.

My parents had gone to dinner there with friends earlier in the week so I already knew that the menu was a bit on the "fancy" side.  What I didn't know is that they completely redid the interior and have made a very nice upscale, yet laid back atmosphere.  I really liked their sconces that looked like bare old-fashioned light bulbs. 

I ordered my standard vodka and tonic and at 3 dollars a pop it was a much cheaper option than I expected.  I definitely felt that they were generous with the pour as well.  I ordered the Prince Edward Island Mussels  with fennel and saffron-tomato nage.  At 7 dollars these were a great deal, and while I didn't count I was impressed by the number of mussels I was given.

Two of my coworkers ordered, as did my parents when they went, the Spicy Shrimp Tacos with avocado, corn, white cheddar, and micro cilantro.  Everyone who had them said that they were very good and that they would order them again.  My one coworker, Ms. B said that they could be her "go to" dish.  The table also shared the Pomme Frittes that they said were good too.

I'm not a deviled eggs kind of a girl, but I did try one of their Deviled Eggs with lake Erie goat cheese, and English mustard and it wasn't bad.  I also tried a bacon wrapped date, it wasn't terrible, but I don't think I'll ever try it again.

Overall I had a great experience at Deagan's and may have to go again to continue expanding my palette. 

What new restaurants have you tried recently?

Deagan's Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Last year when the levy was on the ballot for my school district there was a lot of discussion about teachers being paid too much money.

This year, I am working as a teacher's aide*, am making 11k less and working more days out of the year.  Oh, and I get spit on.  Unless you get spit on at your job I don't want to hear anymore of this non-sense about teachers and school employees getting paid too much.

Also, I'm going back to Cozumel tonight- I will do my best to bring back some photographs and perhaps some opinions of my friends to have a more comprehensive review!

How was your Wednesday?  Did anyone spit on you?

*in a different school system

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Product Review: Scrabble Flash

I love Scrabble!  It is one of my favorite games of all time.  I have Scrabble Deluxe, Scrabble Slam, and Scrabble Scramble to Go already.  I also play Scrabble against my friends on Facebook as well. Recently, as a going away present from my team at work I received Scrabble Flash!

Scrabble Flash comes with 5 electronic squares that you set side to side to create words for a variety of games.  There are three modes of play to choose from and the cool thing is the tiles can tell if you've made a word or not and score it for you!  I was not sure how the tiles would react to each other but as long as most of each side was touching another tile they seemed to communicate just fine. Tonight I've just been playing by myself, but I can't really see how it'd be as fun with other people as you have to be very patient and take turns.  And, unlike the traditional scrabble game there isn't anything for you to be studying or looking at as you wait.  I really enjoyed it myself however.  Oh, and I love that it really ends up needing very little storage as the box you keep it in is approximately 4in by 2 in by 2in. 

As an English teacher, I can see this being used in the classroom.  It is very tactile and would allow students to have the opportunity to use their vocabulary and interact with words.  The game, retailing at approximately $30, might be a little pricey to purchase for a class, especially if you'd want more than one for the kids to use.  I could really see it in a tutoring or one-on-one setting.  I would also like to see them come out with a version where a teacher could choose the letters that show up on the tiles, or extend the amount of time that the player gets to find words, as many students would find the minute or so given to be quite limiting. 

Overall, I'm glad I have this game to add to my collection of Scrabble products. 

Do you like Scrabble?  What is your favorite Scrabble game?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Product Review: Silk Mint Chocolate Soy Milk

This post isn't specifically about Cleveland, just about me, living my life.

I am allergic to cow's milk- no not lactose intolerant, allergic.  My throat closes up, I can't swallow, and it's super uncomfortable.  A little over a year ago I discovered Silk soy milk.  I really only drink their chocolate flavor.  Recently a coworker posted on Facebook something about Mint Chocolate Silk so I was super excited when I finally some at Target today! 

It is delicious; more minty than chocolate-y but oh so good.  And it's the perfect thing for me to dip my Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies in!  Unfortunately I think this flavor is only around for the holidays along with their Pumpkin Spice, and Nog flavors.  I guess I better get my fill now!

Having allergies is very frustrating (I'm also allergic to nuts) so finding great tasting allergy friendly foods always makes me happy. 

Do you have any favorite dairy-free foods?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bar Review: The Spitfire Saloon

Friday night I went to see some of my coworkers perform with their band, Flanked by Red Flags at the Spitfire Saloon.  First off, the band was great to watch.  I really liked how fast paced their music was and that I could actually understand the majority of the lyrics!  It's always fun seeing people you know perform.  I tried to take some pictures of the band, but was trying to refrain from using a flash so they've got this blurry look to them.  Here's one of my favorites.

The venue was a different story.  Located on W.117th, I have passed this bar more times than I can imagine but had never gone in.  When I got there I liked the vibe, it was dark, a little dingy, very punk-rock inspired.  The stage was surrounded by a chain link fence, and there was a beer bottle "cannon" that shattered the glass bottles against a spiked wall.  Unfortunately all of this was overridden by the fact that the bar was filled with smoke!  We've had a smoking ban in Ohio for around four years now and yet there were enough people smoking that my eyes were burning.  Thank goodness I didn't wear a jacket into the place, because my clothes and hair reeked after just 2 hours. 

I will not be going to this establishment again if they continue to allow smoking.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I'll be the first to admit that I have never been much of a walker, but in the past few years I have certainly started doing more of it.  My mother and her friends walk every morning for a few miles and have done so for many years now. This is another thing I really like about Cleveland (and my suburb, Lakewood); it is easy to walk places. 

The Huffington Post reported that Walk Score, a website that evaluates the "walkability" of an area, had ranked the 40 largest cities in the country and Cleveland came in at number 14.  If you check out Walk Score's website here you can see the break down by neighborhood for Cleveland as well.  Lakewood also has a very good score which you can check out here

How important is walkability to you??

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Restaurant Review: Cozumel

Tuesday my ladies and I decided to try Cozumel the new Mexican restaurant in Lakewood.  It's located in the old IHop building.

Upon entering the restaurant I was happy to see they've made some pretty significant changes in the decor and even added a little bar.  Of course we all ordered Margaritas, and at $5.50 I felt the price was super reasonable.  They were slightly smaller than the Margs at El Jalepeno's (our usual hot spot) but at two dollars less they were much cheaper!

I ordered the Carne Asada and it was delicious.   I took my camera with the intention of taking a picture but I forgot!  Anyways, when it came out there was a nice serving of beans, some shredded lettuce, a very little bit of pico de gallo (I'm going to ask for more in the future), three wraps and a two good size pieces of beef to be cut up.  There was way more than I could eat, but of course I forgot my doggy bag at the table!  The price was good at $10.50 which is significantly cheaper than the Carne Asada at El J's which is $13.50.

Overall I think Cozumel might become our new go-to spot.  With everything being 1-3 dollars cheaper than El Jalepeno's it's definitely going to be easier on our wallets!  Not to mention, in good weather it is within walking distance of most of my friends' houses along with mine!

Have you gone to Cozumel?  What did you think, what is your favorite dish?

Cozumel on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Coming Up

Coming up this week I hope to review Cozumel- a new Mexican restaurant in Lakewood and another place that is yet to be determined. Check back to see what the mystery location turns out to be!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Restaurant Review: Buckeye Beer Engine

On Monday evening I had a date at Buckeye Beer Engine in Lakewood.  I'd forgotten that this is Cleveland Beer Week, and was surprised to see how packed the joint was.  Luckily my date got there early and snagged us two seats at the bar.

As chance would have it he sat down next to the representative from Unibroue, a brewery in Quebec that was hosting a tasting that evening.  When my date and I both ordered a flight of four different Unibroue beers the representative, Jay, offered to pay for them both!  Score!  We decided we should have something to eat while we drank so I suggested ordering the hummus.  My date decided to challenge me and my taste buds and suggested the roasted red pepper hummus instead.  I went with it.  It was very tastey- but I got a nasty case of heartburn, (which I hope I hid well) though I can not be sure that it was from the hummus and not the beer.

Usually when I go to the Beer Engine I order their burgers which are amazing.  AND they have delicious fried pickles! (Snooki would love this place!*)  So if you are ever in Lakewood and looking for a good meal and want a craft beer then head to the Beer Engine.  You can't even order a Miller Light there if you want to!

Good food, good company, good times!

Buckeye Beer Engine on Urbanspoon

*please don't judge me for my Jersey Shore references 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Restaurant Review: Two Dad's Diner

This afternoon I went to Two Dad's Diner in Lakewood with my coworkers.  This is a locally owned restaurant that has great standard diner food.  We had ten people and they were able to easily accommodate us.  I ordered "the Bif" which was a warm roast beef sandwich with caramelized onions.  It technically comes with blue cheese on it, but since I have a dairy allergy I had it without.  A pickle and fries were served on the side.  It was delicious.  Everyone at the table seemed to enjoy their meal.  Some were raving about the sweet potato fries, others enjoyed the vegetarian options etc.  The prices are pretty reasonable with most dishes, if not all being under $10.  I'd recommend Two Dad's to anyone who is looking for a casual and delicious meal.

Two Dad's Diner on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bar Review: Brother's Lounge

Last night I had a date.  Per his suggestion we met each other at Brother's Lounge just outside of Lakewood's borders.  I'd never been so I was excited to see what it was like.  We sat in the wine bar and I really liked the vibe.  It was cozy and there was nice live music playing.  I enjoyed a glass of Pinot Grigio.  When we got there there weren't many open seats so we sat down at the end of a long narrow table that fit 8.  As we sat and talked more people came and sat with us till suddenly the table was full.  We didn't talk to them, but it was interesting.  I thought sharing a table with strangers might be weird, but really it was just fine and not very different than sitting at the bar.

Brother's also has an area that is more of a "regular bar" and a back area that is more of a concert venue where bands come and play.  I'd love to go back and try out the different areas as well.

Brothers Lounge on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Restaurant Review: Happy Dog

Cleveland has been working at revitalizing/rebranding some neighborhoods and the Gordan Square Arts District is one of them.  I hadn't spent much time in the area, but am now working relatively close to there! 

This past Thursday I went with my coworker Mr. D to the Happy Dog in the Gordon Square Arts District.  I'd heard a lot about this bar but had not been there yet.  They serve nice beefy hot dogs and provide a laundry list of toppings that you can put on them including the standard relish, cheese, mustard, chili and unique and crazy items such a peanut butter, eggs, etc.  I was unadventurous and just got ketchup and mustard for my dog and fries.  I HATED the ketchup- they make their own and I'm a Heinz girl through and through, but the dog itself was reallllly delicious.  Mr. D got so much on his hot dog I doubt he tasted the dog, but he loved it.  He ordered the tator tots instead of fries- and they were pretty amazing.  I thought the decor and atmosphere was pretty neat too and I'd go back again anytime.

What are your favorite Cleveland hot spots?

Happy Dog on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bikes and the Cleveland Metroparks

Cleveland has a great parks system, the Cleveland Metroparks.  I love that no matter where you are in the Greater Cleveland area you can get to a great park within, let's say, 20 minutes.  Today I went on a bike trip at one of the reservations.  Most of the parks have great paved paths for walking, running, biking and or roller blading.  Here is my traumatic tale of the day:

Apparently I am not a biker.  Actually, I already knew I am not a biker.  Today we went biking with the kids at school.  Everything was going fine, a coworker, Mr. M was explaining how to shift gears on my awesome Huffy, and I wasn't getting out of breath.  We were on an out and back path and when we turned around to come back things started to go downhill- literally and figuratively.

Mr. M and I were in the lead with some of the boys so we stopped at a fork in the path to wait for the rest of our crew to ensure we all took the same path. When we stopped I felt a little dizzy so I sat down for a minute.  When everyone else showed up I hopped back on my bike and away I went- no harm, no foul.  Then we again came to a fork in the road and we stopped again.  I commented to Mr. M that I felt lightheaded and dizzy so he offered me some of his warm, unsweetened ice team (yum).  I remember lifting the bottle to my mouth and realizing that I couldn't really see and then the next thing I remember is Mr. M saying, "Are you ok?" and me replying, "Yes, I'm fine." Then him saying, "No, you're not," and me saying "You're right, I'm not."  Before I knew it he was grabbing my arm and helping me off of my bike and then I regained some balance and made it about 20 feet to some shade.

How embarrassing.  Apparently right after I took my sip of tea my arm dropped so that the tea was spilling and Mr. M noticed I was just staring straight ahead and my pupils were dilated- prompting him to ask me if I was ok.  I got myself together and Mr. M walked his bike while I walked mine, (he did offer to take both) back up to the parking lot- luckily we were close.  Mrs. W took the kids up ahead of us.

Back at our school the other teachers were already a buzz about how I'd passed out and Mr. M had caught me... A bit of an exaggeration.  Eventually I felt a bit better, but I ended up with a big headache.  Still now, hours and hours later I have a migraine.  Yeah, I know, I shouldn't be on the computer when I have a migraine.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Labor Day in Cleveland- Boats

I love Labor Day in Cleveland because of the Cleveland Air Show!

My parents own a 28 foot sailboat.  I kind of hate it.  It smells funky (at least to me) and has spiders all over it!  Me+Spiders+Not Much Room+Water= NOT GOOD! But the one time I really do love having it is Labor Day weekend when the Cleveland Air Show is going on.

As far back as I can remember we have spent Labor Day weekend hosting people out on the boat to watch either the Blue Angels or The Thunderbirds fly overhead doing aerial stunts.  Sometimes the stealth bomber is there, and there's always lots of fun stuff to see.

My coworkers Mr. D, and Mrs. W, both got in touch with my last night to say that they'd love to come with my family and I today to see the planes.  I'm very excited about this!  Mrs. W is bringing her husband and daughter with her which is great.  What is not turning out so great is the weather.... it sucks.  It's supposed to be in the mid 60s today and windy.  So it's looking like we will probably end up staying at the dock- we'll still see the planes plenty well, but we won't have as many direct flyovers which are SO COOL!  (These planes turn me into a 5 year old boy- I swear)

What are your favorite activities to do in Cleveland?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Restaurant Review: Clifton Martini and Wine Bar

Why do I love Cleveland?  New interesting places to explore.

Saturday night my girlfriends and I started our girls night out at a new Cleveland restaurant and bar, the Clifton Martini and Wine Bar.  Located at 10427 Clifton Blvd this place has a great atmosphere and a fantastic outdoor eating space.  The wine list had lots of choices and the martini list was very unique.  The martinis were all delicious.  Collectively we tried "The Clifton"- a pretty standard vodka martini, "The Partini" which was a fruity concoction, "The Greek"- a martini made with olive juice, peperoncini juice, and a plethora of other ingredients, "The Manhattan"- a Manhattan in a martini glass (very strong!), and a Bloody Mary inspired martini as well.

Their menu consists of several shareable appetizers and small plates that were reasonably priced.  My favorite was the Calamari which we ordered "angry style" which meant it had a bit of a bite to it.  We also shared the bread plate and a meat and cheese board.  I ordered the bruschetta which was good, but had more onion that I would have liked.

Overall I really enjoyed our experience.  I can't wait to find another new spot in Cleveland to explore.

Clifton Martini and Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 8, 2010

World Records

Why do I love Cleveland?  We have a new original World Record:  We had the most people wearing the same colored Snuggie for 5 minutes at a recent Cavs game. 

See an article about the phenomenon here.

Does your city have an original World Record?  How can we top this?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Local Chains: The Winking Lizard

Why do I love Cleveland? Fun local chains.

I love the local chain The Winking Lizard.  With several locations around town, and two I believe in Columbus, Ohio, this is a great restaurant and bar to go to when you want good reasonable food, and plenty of beer choices.  With over 100 beers to choose from you can't go wrong.  I love that each location is different.  I go to the Lakewood location the most, and it is housed in a building that used to be an Elks club, and before that a tennis club.  It even has a bowling alley in the basement!  Each location also has a resident Lizard!

I remember the first time I went to one I had gone on a bike ride with my family out in Penninsula.  This was well over 10 years ago, and if I remember correctly the Lizard at that location would wink at you if you waved.  I loved it.  Flash forward several years to 2008.  Two of my girlfriends and I signed up to do the beer tour.  It took a lot of effort but we finished it.  I never received my jacket, but nevertheless I still love the chain.  I now go there almost every Friday after work with my coworkers for a late lunch and a cocktail. 

I love their spicy garlic hot wings.  But my all time favorite thing on their menu is their white bread pizza.  Unfortunately I have developed an allergy to dairy and can't eat it anymore, but sometimes I'm tempted to risk anaphylacxic shock just to taste it one more time!

**Note: While this is my first post about something I love about Cleveland, it is not my number one reason.  I will be posting about locations and activities as I revisit them and rediscover all the reasons I love calling Cleveland home.**

Does your city have any restaurants featuring cute lizards and delicious wings? What other Cleveland chains do you love?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Forbes can Suck It

I'm sure by now many of you have seen this article by Forbes that claims Cleveland is the most miserable city in the entire country!  I have taken serious offense to this.  While I agree that  some of what the article points out is true, and sure, miserable, it does not paint a fair picture of our city.  Where does it take into account all of the things that makes our city NOT miserable, or even, enjoyable?!

I have decided to start blogging about the things that I, and many others, love about Cleveland, and Northeastern Ohio.  As I explore new and old things in this city I will share them here in order to help people realize that we really do live in an amazing city, and it is up to us, the locals, to get the word out, and to keep improving our public image.

So stick around and keep checking back for reviews of the cities great museums, restaurants, parks, theater, music, and more.  Because I'm from Cleveland, and I'm proud of it.