Thursday, February 18, 2021

Dang Good Foods

These are not my favorite posts to write. When I have a disappointing experience at a restaurant, I drag my feet in sharing that with you. But, it's important to be authentic and real over here, and sometimes a spot just misses the mark for us. 

In the quest to complete my 2021 To Dine Challenge list, we headed to Dang Good Foods in Lakewood next. You can pre-order online (a huge bonus in these pandemic times), but can't schedule for a later pick-up (would be great!). So we ended up with a late lunch around 2:00PM one Saturday, because we were nervous about missing out on a featured item with limited quantity available.

We started with an order of the Steamed Buns (Set of 3, $10) with Pork.

Then split two dishes, the Lor Bak Png (Braised Pork Belly Rice) ($15)...
...and Wonton Mee (Dumpling Noodles, choice of Wet or Dry). Dry pictured. This is the dish that cannot always be found on the menu. Dry comes with the soup on the side, and Wet comes with everything in the broth.
We felt the same about all three dishes. They were all totally fine, but just fine. It wasn't a takeout issue, I assure you. I take that into account, and know that textures and quality of the food will decline in the trip home. Overall, they just lacked the bolder flavors that I was expecting. It was all prepared well, but fell bland for us. 

This is my first (I think?) experience with dishes from Singapore. So maybe the seasonings and sauces are intended to be more delicate than other Asian cuisines I've grown to love? I'd love for you to share your experience or insight.

But this meal did not leave us wanting more, sadly. Super cute little restaurant with a sweet story of how the owner started this business, so check it out for yourself. 

Dang Good Foods
13735 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, OH 44107
(216) 785-9321

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Parilya Food Truck

Filipino food is hard to come by in Northeast Ohio. Ever since I was introduced to lumpia years ago at the Night Market Cleveland, I was hooked.

So, when I learned of the Parilya food truck in 2020, I knew it needed to make my 2021 To Dine Challenge list. You can follow them on Facebook (linked above) or Instagram to track their upcoming locations. They are routinely at the Lakewood Truck Park, so we hunted them down there for a chilly outdoor picnic.

Of course, there had to be an order of Veggie Lumpia (4 for $6). A little thicker than the version I remember from Night Market, but just as tasty! Don't skip them. Beef version available too.
We shared an order of the Pancit ($5)...
...and Chicken Tocino ($10) with Fried Rice. They suggested adding on an egg, and I see why. Do it!
Overall, I thought the food was really good, and totally worth the outdoor picnic in 25 degree weather. Hey, the sun was out, that's all I need! 

For those of you comfortable dining indoors, Lakewood Truck Park also has indoor seating and bar available. 

We were so happy to get out for some Filipino food, and were rewarded by it living up to expectations. This is one food truck we'll keep tracking!

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

CLE Biscuit Heads

I think I first saw CLE Biscuit Heads pop up on my friend Meghan's Instagram, and those biscuit sandwiches immediately had me drooling.

With a permanent residency at Six Shooter Coffee on Waterloo Road, you can get your hands on one seven days a week from 7AM - noon. But, they travel around each weekend doing pop-ups in different neighborhoods, so you want to give them a follow on Instagram or visit the website for updates. You have the ability to pre-order on their website, and pickup for pre-orders was between 8-9AM. The pop-up went from 8AM - noon. 

This past Sunday, they partnered with Sixth City Cycles & Plants in Old Brooklyn. I was thrilled to finally have a super convenient location, and we also got to combine the outing with dropping off my bicycle for a tune-up and browsing the extensive indoor plant selection. Is 18 plants too many for one house? Asking for a friend...

The menu can be slightly different at each pop-up, and we both went with The Sammie ($7) with Bacon, Egg, and (choice of) Pimento Cheese version. Dining Deals Alert! 

Just look at that thing.

The biscuit is incredibly buttery and dense, which held up well with keeping everything contained. My complaint with most biscuit sandwiches is that often the biscuit crumbles too easily and eating it can become a disaster quickly. This was not the case here. I also really enjoyed the Pimento Cheese flavor and creamy texture on it.

I think the Old Brooklyn response was a good one, because they did sell out almost an hour in advance. Fingers crossed that means they'll come back soon!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

For Your Fries Only

I had the opportunity to try the ultimate loaded fries recently, from For Your Fries Only (black-owned business alert).

The ordering process is easy. Step 1: Choose a Protein. Step 2: Choose Your Sauce. Step 3: Add-ons (such as extra meats, cheese, or sauce). 

I tried the Honey Gold BBQ Chicken & Shrimp Fries ($13). All orders start with a base of fresh-cut fries, this included both shrimp and chicken, and then the two sauces and shredded cheese. The two sauces gave it a fabulous sweet and tanginess to it, so I definitely recommend pairing up your sauce choices. 
I have to admit, I wasn't sure about shrimp on fries, but these were seasoned and cooked really well and quite tasty. Not the prettiest dish to look at, but indulgent-worthy! Can we say perfect game day treat, hangover food, or late night snack? It's a full on meal.

Available for order Tuesday-Thursday 11AM-8PM and Friday & Saturday 12PM-12AM. Delivery available within 5 miles from Euclid ($3 fee). Contact 216-647-6818 to order by calling or texting. Catch them on Instagram (linked above) for now.

Disclosure: I was provided with an order of fries and home delivery in exchange for my honest review. All opinions stated are 100% my own.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Celebrating Valentine's Day at Home in 2021

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and I'll take any excuse to celebrate and make a day/evening special. Like us, you may not be comfortable dining in at a restaurant just yet. So I've rounded up a list of takeout specials and virtual events that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. 

This is intended to be a snapshot of their offerings, so please head to their websites and social media accounts for details and ordering instructions. I will continue to add new options in the comments section of this post, so check back! Please comment with any that you don't see here. 

Astoria Café and Market (Cleveland): Meal Kit for 2. $75. 3 Courses. Wine Available for Additional Charge.

Mabel's BBQ (Downtown Cleveland): Lola Bistro inspired Heat at Home Kit for 2. Smoked Bone-in Pork Chops, Pork Demi, Mascarpone Polenta, BBQ onions, and Pickled Chilies. Four Truffles from Sweets Designs Included. $75. Add Bottle of Cava for $22. Call or Visit Website to Pre-order by 12/8 at 5PM. Pickup 12/12 or 12/13. 

111 Bistro (Medina): Heat and Serve Dinner for 2. Includes Lobster Bisque, Tomato Bruschetta, Maple Roasted Baby Carrots, Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Chipotle, Honey Garlic Salmon, Confit Fingerlings, and Chocolate Covered Strawberries. $75. Call 330-952-1122 by 12/9 to Order. Pickup 12/12 or 12/13 2PM - 4PM. 

Plantstrong and The Chef's Garden (Delivery): Mystery Valentine Dinner for Two. A virtual chef-led cooking class of a four-course meal created from some of the finest, handpicked produce in the world. Live Q&A. Heart-healthy. Held on Saturday, February 13th. Purchase your box online. $177. 

Cleveland Vegan (Lakewood): Take Home Dinner for 2. $50. Reheating Instructions Provided. 3 Courses- Dip Duo, Stuffed Acorn Squash, and Blackberry Opera Cake or Mini Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake. Bakery Pre-order Specials Available- Dozen Chocolate Covered Strawberries ($25) and Red Velvet Birch Tree Log ($15). Order by noon on 12/9 by emailing clevelandvegan@gmail.com. Pick-up 12/13 or 12/14 3-5PM. 

La Campagna (Westlake): Show Your Love Valentine Dinner 2021. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Westlake Meals on Wheels, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Tomato Bisque, Salad, Choice of Beef Wellington or Chicken Florentine, Two Sides, and Dessert. Wine Add-on Available. Option to give additional donation to the charity at check-out. Pre-order Online. Pickup 2/14 between 3-5PM. 

A Cookie and a Cupcake (Ohio City): Valentine's Box of Goodies. $38. Pre-order a box of treats that include a Succulent Terrarium, Raspberry Truffle Cake Popsicle, Floral Decorated Fudge Brownies, Assorted Macaroons, Chocolate Covered Oreos, Chocolate Almonds and Cherries, Gourmet Candy Sucker. Call 216-344-9433 or email contact@acookieandacupcake.com.

EDWINS (Shaker Square): 3-Course Dinner. $65. Order online for takeout.

Momocho (Ohio City) and El Carnicero (Lakewood): Dessert and Cocktail Box to include Craft Tequila Strawberry Margaritas and Tres Mex Chocolate Desserts. $49.

L'Albatros Brasserie (University Circle): Dinner for Two. Friday - Sunday. $110. Each person chooses one option from each course. 3 Courses. Pre-order Online and Restaurant Will Call for Payment. Order Deadline 2/10 at 10PM. 

Thyme X Table (Avon Lake pick-up): Valen-Thyme’s Day At Home. $100. 4-Course Dinner with Instructions. One Bottle of Bacio Della Luna Blanc de Blanc Sparkling. Pick up between 12-2PM on 2/14 at Thyme Catering. 

Salt+ (Lakewood): Valentine's Day Dinner for Two. $150 and Add-ons Available. Wedge Salad, Baked Lobster Mac n' Cheese, Petite Filets, Mashed Potatoes + Asparagus, 4 Jenni Pops Cake Pops, and Bottle of Poema Brut Cava. Pickup between 3-4PM on 12/14. 


Flight Cleveland (Cleveland): Virtual Valentine's- Wine & Chocolate. Friday, February 12th at 7:30PM. Enjoy wines from Wine Trends and chocolates from Sweet Bean as you experience a virtual tasting event held on Zoom. Free to attend with purchase of wine and chocolates. 3 Wines, 6 Chocolates. Call 216-400-6867 or order online at flightcleveland.com.

The Estate On Coffee Creek & Allure Bistro (Austinburg or Willoughby) : Virtual Valentine’s Day Dinner With Live Virtual Interactive Show. $75. Included: Cocktail Mixer, Appetizer (optional add-on), Wine, Champagne, and Five Course Dinner. 12/11 Pickup at Either Location or Delivered for $25. Facebook Live Stream 3 Virtual Dinners For Valentine’s Day (2/12 & 2/13 at 7:30PM and 12/14 at 4:00PM). Limited to Fifty Groups. Mixologist Mike Will Show You How to Master The Mixer for a Delicious Craft Cocktail. Wine Demonstration Featuring M Cellars Vineyard. Chef Nicholas Kustala with Chef’s Demo. This Unique Experience Will Allow You to Ask Questions with Live Feedback.