Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mason's Creamery

Ok, why has it taken me this long to get to Mason's Creamery brick-and-mortar shop in Ohio City?
I've had their small-batch homemade ice cream at farmers markets and street festivals, but somehow I let time slip by without stopping for a visit to their shop on Bridge Avenue.

It's so cute, inside and out. There are seats along the counter inside, and several small, cheery tables outside. ice cream sandwich made with churros!
You can build-your-own ice cream sandwich using any flavor and a few different options for sandwiching in that frozen treat, but why waste your time? Just head straight for the churro, still warm from being fried-to-order and starting to melt the ice cream. I selected the Cookie Butter. Go indulge.

Plus, any place that offers a $1 ice cream treat for dogs is a-okay in my book!

Mason's Creamery
4401 Bridge Avenue
Cleveland, OH

Monday, September 28, 2015

A CLE Weekend

Today's a big day at work, so I purposely didn't make any commitments for the weekend. I also needed to blow off some steam and distract myself from the task at hand, so that led to a really great, unplanned weekend, full of fun in Cleveland.

We've had a busy summer, and somehow the Night Market Cleveland had come and gone over the last couple of months, and we hadn't been able to attend the once-a-month street festival. But, that changed on Friday.
It was the last one of the season, but I heard from other festival-goers that this one was the biggest yet, so hopefully that means good things for next summer. Located near East 21st and Rockwell Avenue, in the heart of AsiaTown, the event brings Asian flare to an evening street festival.

We got to sample small plates of food new-to-us, like Lumpia from Carabao.
The lines got long after 7:30PM, so I needed to get out of there after a bit. I found sanctuary on Graffiti: A Social Kitchen's patio. Still one of the best in town.

Saturday morning, we woke up with no plans for the day. Mr. H said "What do you want to do for fun today?" and I replied "Clean the house, get the laundry done, and trim back the bushes for fall." No joke, real conversation. Clearly, he is the more conventional "fun" one. Thankfully, we balance each other out, and he suggested an outing on the Goodtime III. An item on my Cleveland bucket list!
It was a gorgeous day in CLE, and the views from the boat were stunning.
A watery Bloody Mary and two hours on a boat; I was fully relaxed and enjoying the afternoon.
Sunday brought us another CLE outing. This time, to the Ohio City Street Festival.
We listed to some live music, grabbed a crab cake from Kate's Fish, and shared sliders from Nano Brew.
These were so tasty!

We wanted to catch the Browns game (I'm not sure why), so we headed down Bridge Avenue to The Black Pig. They were having a Big Bloody Black Pig Roast, with spicy, and awesome, Bloody Mary drinks and loads of pork.
This weekend was just what I needed. Gorgeous weather, festivals, exploring good food, and being out with other Clevelanders taking advantage of our great city. It's weekends like this that make me fall in love with CLE just a little bit more.

Hope that you enjoyed your weekend as well! Now, wish me luck on raising lots of funds for liver patients this evening. It's our annual Flavors of Northeast Ohio gala.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Event Recap: Taste of the Browns

Last night, Mr. H and I attended the 17th annual Taste of the Browns event to benefit the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. It did not disappoint, providing us with endless samples of food from some of Cleveland's best restaurants, great people-watching, views of Downtown and the stadium, and a fabulous auction item from Chef Chris Kafcsak from Deagan's and Nomad Culinary that I will enjoy with friends at a later date!
It can often be hard to choose my favorite dish of the night at this event. Some of my highlights included the Romano Crusted Lamb Chop from Johnny's Downtown, Shellfish Ceviche from Market, Chocolate Towers from Humble Wine Bar, Lobster Bisque from Blue Point Grille, Roasted Shrimp Pizza from Fahrenheit, Braised Wagyu Beef from Lago, Fried Chicken from The Greenhouse Tavern, and Chorizo + Corn Cakes with Roasted Corn Shooters from AMP 150.
See how hard it is to pick just one?!? And we didn't even get to try all of the food. As Mr. H said, "This is one event where I don't leave full, I leave regret-full." My only real critique of the event is that several of the dishes were hard to eat because they required cutting and no knives were supplied. Many of the chefs are quite savvy at these types of events, and they strategically plan their dish to be able to eat while balancing a wine glass and standing/walking. Thank you!

There is always good people-watching at this event. After the Browns' win on Sunday, it was great to see so many of the current players there in attendance. I literally ran right into Travis Benjamin and his wife at Fahrenheit's table. He had a great game on Sunday, so it was fun to see him up close and personal. I also had to snag a picture with Chomps.
The event raised a record $220,000 for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. For every dollar donated, they can provide up to four meals in a local hunger center.
They throw two of the best fundraising parties of the year, and I'm proud to still support the organization after working there for almost four years. It's a mission that will always be near and dear to my heart, and I'm just happy to be able to do my part. If you missed this year's event, truly consider attending next September.

Disclosure: I was provided with four passes to the event in exchange for a ticket giveaway post and post-event recap. I am a former employee of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. All opinions stated are 100% my own.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekend Warrior

I don't know about you, but I'm not quite sure where my weekend went. It flew right by, and we'll be busy tonight at Taste of the Browns too! On Friday, I attended a Pampered Chef party at a friend's house. My first. This is what my 32 year-old life has come to. Tupperware on a Friday night. Exciting times. But, I'm looking forward to my goods arriving!

Saturday evening brought Chefs Unbridled to benefit the Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center at the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club Polo Field. It's one food event that I attend that feels unique and special, being all dressed up in a big, fancy tent on the polo field.
The Driftwood Catering Group headlines the event, and each of their food stations hit it out of the park. From truffle Wellington, lobster with corn risotto, and short ribs...the food was some of our favorites of the evening.
I also enjoyed the dishes from Toast, Flour, and Market Wine Bar.

Their fund-the-mission donation appeal and the live auction were very exciting to watch. The crowd donated more than $26,000 to the appeal, and two gentlemen each bid $12,000 for a catered private party in their homes for 20 guests from the Driftwood Group and John Owens Group. The best part of the fund-the-mission was seeing an actual horse from the therapeutic center. The gorgeous animal was led into the tent, and it certainly made an impact. This center is helping hundreds of community members with varying disabilities get into the saddle and enjoy a new skill. It's a unique cause, and a unique night to benefit it.

Sunday was weird. This was the first time in 8 years that I haven't had a beer or Bloody Mary in hand down in some dirty parking lot tailgating for the Browns home opener. We just weren't feeling it this year. The end of an era? 

Disclosure: I was provided with two tickets to Chefs Unbridled. All opinions stated are 100% my own.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Cake Royale's New Retail Location

We are frequent shoppers of the West Side Market in Ohio City. Just a short drive from home, we enjoy getting our proteins and specialty items from the market. The only thing that I don't care for there is the produce. So, when we saw that one of our favorite dessert stands was opening a retail location in our neighborhood, we were thrilled!

We stalked their "Opening Soon" sign for quite some time, and then started to forget about it. They opened quietly, but then we always seemed to be driving by after-hours. Well, that finally changed last weekend.

We were headed to the grocery store, and the lights were ON in the new Cake Royale shop on Pearl Road in Old Brooklyn.
We stopped in, and I was immediately struck by the charming Parisian entryway.
This storefront is the family-run business' production facility, but it also has a counter and cooler for grab-and-go items like cakes, cookies, macaroons, and more.
I couldn't pass up a slice of what the owner called "the best of both worlds" with layers of cheesecake and moist (ugh, I hate that word) chocolate cake. Mr. H took home a slice of the Cookies n' Cream, and half of it didn't even last an hour.

They'll also do catering orders, custom cakes, and more. We stood and talked to the owner for about twenty minutes, and her passion for the business and our neighborhood is infectious. When they were looking for a new retail location and production facility, they considered several neighborhoods. But, they ultimately chose to invest in the neighborhood in which they live, and we, for one, are very happy about that! Check them out in the West Side Market, or at the new location.

Cake Royale
4276 Pearl Road
Cleveland, OH 44109