Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Event: ALF Dinner at Sterle's Country House

Full disclosure, I work for the American Liver Foundation (ALF). We have the pleasure of working with area chefs that support our organization, and today I want to share with you an upcoming dining event to benefit the ALF.

Sterle's Country House will be hosting an ALF Dinner on Thursday, July 16th at 6:30PM.
Diners will enjoy a four-course dinner and one cocktail at Sterle's Country House. The event is hosted by the Flavors of Northeast Ohio Culinary Co-chairs Adam Bostwick (Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen and Graffiti: A Social Kitchen) and Jeff Jarrett (Hub 55 Project).

The $80 ticket purchase ($40 tax-deductible) also includes a donation to the American Liver Foundation, and one entry into a raffle for Two Tickets to Flavors of Northeast Ohio. Flavors of Northeast Ohio is a signature event of the American Liver Foundation, and one that any "foodie" shouldn't miss! A truly unique dining experience.

Tickets may be purchased online here for the ALF Dinner at Sterle's.

Each ticket purchase will include one entry into a random drawing for Two Tickets to Flavors of Northeast Ohio ($450 value), taking place on Monday, September 28th at the Holiday Inn in Independence. Additional raffle entries will be available for purchase at the Sterle's dinner for $20 each.

Flavors features approximately 20 local chefs, as they each prepare a five-course, wine-paired meal tableside. Each table of 12 guests has a different chef, theme, menu, and table decor. It's a delight for the senses! Tickets are $225 for an individual and $3,000 for a table of twelve. For more information about Flavors of Northeast Ohio, please visit

A second ALF Dinner event is taking place at Graffiti: A Social Kitchen on Tuesday, August 11th. Please visit the event's website for tickets and more information. 

Thank you for considering supporting the organization that I work for, and these fabulous chefs.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Door to Door Winner (Again)

Let's make this Monday brighter. It's your lucky day! The random winner of the $50 Door to Door Organics shop credit did not contact me by the deadline to claim their prize.

So....using, I've selected another winner.
Comment #9 - JT. You have until Thursday to email me to claim your prize, or another winner will be selected.

Don't forget, you can receive $10 off your first order with Door to Door Organics by using this special link.

Disclosure: I was provided with a shop credit to use and review the service, and a shop credit to give away. All opinions stated are 100% my own. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dinner in the Dark- Sterle's

I haven't blogged about one of my favorite Cleveland food events in quite some time. Dinner in the Dark is a monthly dinner series, that is chef-driven and a totally unique experience each time for event attendees.

Dinner in the Dark brings together six different chefs each month, cooking together, often for the first time, at a different restaurant. The participating chefs and the menu for the evening are not revealed until the guests arrive, keeping them ‘in the dark’. It is not literally in the dark, which is the most common question that I've been asked.

They encourage diners to let go of your inhibitions, and to just enjoy great food and wine from some of Cleveland’s best chefs. Each course is complemented by a carefully selected wine or artisan cocktail. The other great thing about each month's event is that a portion of the ticket proceeds benefit a local charity chosen by the participating chefs that month.

I had been a while since we had attended one of these events, but Mr. H and I went last month to the event at Graffiti: A Social Kitchen, and then we just attended the June dinner at Sterle's Country House last week.

The chef line-up was exciting, because I hadn't had food from most of them.
I love that this event exposes me to chefs that I may not have had food from before, and occasionally, I get to try a product that I've never had too.

Like lamb's quarters in the first course of this month's Dinner in the Dark, from Chef Myron Blackmon from Sterle's.
This leafy weed can taste almost meat-like. Most of us probably have this growing in our yard, and we cut it down. It paired well with this chef's play on breakfast.

But, the event had kicked off with an amuse from Chef Walter Hyde. He described this bite-sized pork slider as the result of a crazy, creative chef conversation. Ah, I'd love to be a fly on the wall sometimes. 
Yes, that is a cheese ball cut in half to act as the bun. That alone is impressive.

Other courses included a beautiful scallop from Chef Matt Barnes at Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (the charity of choice for June).
A summery tomato salad from Patrick Fisher of Sara's Place.
I would never think to pair raw tuna with tomato, but it all worked really well together.

Then we had some blue marlin from Danny Schutte at the about-to-open Cafe 55 (as part of the Hub 55 Project).
The last savory course was duck from Ameer Pettit at Sterle's.
The meal ended with dessert from Courtney Bonning of Bon Bon Cafe in Ohio City.
See, nothing "scary" on this menu, and you are not dining in pitch-blackness. This monthly series might push you a little out of your comfort zone, but in the best way possible. If you're going to try foods that you haven't had before, or even just testing your comfort with letting go of control in the dining room, then this event series is for you.

You can have a truly unique dining experience, in the hands of our area's best chefs, while knowing that a portion of ticket sales is going to support a different local charity each month.

Next month, Dinner in the Dark heads to M Cellars in Geneva. You can purchase tickets online here for the July 13th dinner. Only 44 tickets remain, so don't wait! If you can't make it to the July dinner, stay tuned on their Facebook page for future event dates.

Nothing to disclose. I enjoy attending and supporting these events on my own. No affiliation or compensation is exchanged.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Coney Company

We were busy working on our backyard last week, and in need of a quick bite close to home. On our way to Home Depot, we swung through The Coney Company on Broadview Road in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood.
With the look, feel, menu, and service of a fast food restaurant, it's actually locally-owned and operated. The brother and sister team are originally from Michigan, and the restaurant's concept is based on the popular Coney Island restaurants located in the Metro Detroit area.

Open from 9:00AM - 9:00PM on most days, they actually serve breakfast all day. Which I love! You can also choose from Snacks & Sides (like hand-cut fries, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, mac n' cheese bites, wing dings, and nachos), Salads, Soup and Chili, Sandwiches, Pitas, Meals (like meatloaf, and chicken tender dinner), Boardwalk Burgers, and then Company Classics.

We went with Company Classics. I ordered a Coney Dog. I mean, the restaurant is named after it, so I had to try it, right? It's topped with chili, mustard, and onions ($1.79). Dining Deals Alert!
I made it a meal, and added Fresh-cut Fries and a Lemonade. This picture makes them look larger than they are. They are more like shoestring fries, which I really HATE. Even with the side of malt vinegar to dip them into, these just didn't do it for me. I also didn't love this dog. The flavor of the chili was overpowering, and I got tired of it after a couple of bites.

Mr. H got the Fish Dog, which just sounds gross. Please consider a name change.
It's just a breaded, fried fish fillet with American cheese slices, shredded lettuce, and a small amount of tartar sauce ($2.69). It tasted as sad as it looked, unfortunately.

He also ordered the Polish Boy, a sandwich that Cleveland is known for. It is a spicy Polish sausage topped with coleslaw, hand-cut fries, and BBQ sauce in a steamed bun ($3.99).
 Other than it being very messy, he enjoyed it.

Me? I just enjoyed watching him try to tackle eating it.
Don't tell him that I posted that.

This was our second time dining at The Coney Company. On our first visit, we had used the drive-thru window, which is incredibly convenient. Luckily, we were headed straight home that time, because as you can see, they can be messy to eat. I had ordered the Kraut Dog that time, with sauerkraut and stadium mustard, and I much preferred that dog over the Coney Dog.

With the ease and speed of fast food, but knowing that it's locally owned and operated, it's not a bad option for a quick, cheap meal. It's close to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, if you want to avoid the McDonald's trap there.

The Coney Company
3330 Broadview Road
Cleveland, OH 44109

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Door to Door Winner, and a Ginger Martini

Happy Thursday, readers! This week is just going by so quickly, but at least that means that it is time to select a winner for the $50 shop credit to Door to Door Organics. Using, the winner is...
Comment #15- Dina. Congratulations! You have until Monday to contact me by email to claim your prize,  or another winner will be selected.

If you didn't win, you can still use the Bite Buff $10 discount link to try the service.

I also want to share with you today a recipe for a Ginger Martini. We fell in love with them in Costa Rica, and we've had some fun recreating them at home.
3 ounces plain vodka
1 ounce ginger syrup (see recipe below)
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Twist of lemon

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, ginger syrup, and lemon juice. Cover and shake vigorously, until combined and chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Add lemon twist and serve.

Ginger Syrup (yield = 2 cups):
1 lemon
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh ginger with peel (8 ounces)
1 cup sugar
2 cups water

Remove the outer peel of the lemon.
Finely chop the lemon peel and ginger in a food processor.
Transfer the lemon-ginger mixture to a medium saucepan.
Add the sugar and water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes.
Strain the mixture, discard the waste, and cool the liquid.
Add to your other martini ingredients, and enjoy.

We adapted a couple of recipes that I found online. This is a refreshing summer cocktail, that we hope you enjoy as much as we do!