Monday, August 20, 2018

Brooklyn BBQ

I'm not sure how long Brooklyn BBQ on Memphis has been in our neighborhood, but when the owner was dealing with a health issue and had to temporarily close its doors, residents were upset. So, when we drove by the other night and saw the lit "OPEN" sign, we decided to stop in and grab takeout to bring home.
It took about 20 minutes, and we walked out of there with a big pile of food for under $40.

Mr. H and I split a full rack of Ribs ($21.99, We each ate a good portion and there was still about 1/3 left!), a Polish Girl ($6, I had to look up what it was. A Cleveland classic- a Polish Boy with the addition of pulled pork.), a medium side of Baked Beans ($5.95), and Mozzarella Sticks (5 for $4).

The ribs had a good smokey flavor to them, but the sauce was a little thin for my personal taste. I prefer a thicker, sticky sauce on ribs. Overall, the food didn't blow me away but it certainly was decent BBQ. I could make a meal out of those classic Southern sides. They also have several other sandwiches, meat platters, and fried seafood options.

But, the real gem of this spot are the owners. They could not have been sweeter, and I can see why the neighborhood was sad to see them temporarily close their doors. I'll probably stop back in, just because it feels good to support such nice people!

Brooklyn BBQ
6102 Memphis Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44144
(216) 862-2183

Monday, August 13, 2018

Cocktail Party

I have a post-weekend glow on this Monday morning, thanks to a fabulous evening on Saturday. A year ago, Mr. H and I won a silent auction package at the Silver Spoon Awards charity fundraiser for an in-home cocktail party for 25 guests catered by Toast.

We finally got a date on the calendar, invites out, and we opened our home to just over 20 neighbors.

Thanks to Old Brooklyn Cheese Co. and Heinen's, I put together quite an impressive cheese and charcuterie board for our guests! They say...practice makes perfect. And I finally got to use my Brass Porcupine Toothpick Holder.
Toast rolled in to our house and whipped up quite the spread of food and drink. Five different hors d'oeuvres, wine, beer, and a dangerous delicious punch. They stayed through most of the evening, refreshing the food and serving beverages.

Now, our neighborhood was affected by the power outage on Saturday. We were only about a half hour into the party before lights, oven, or power to the fridge. Have no fear, Toast kept the food and drinks flowing and we partied by candlelight into the wee hours of the morning. I knew I liked my neighborhood for a reason! 

It sounds fancy schmancy to have a cocktail party in your home catered, but it's not as expensive as you would think and there are a ton of Cleveland companies and restaurants that will do it. They do all the heavy lifting, and you get to sit back and just enjoy your guests (hence no additional pictures of the party or food). Very little work for you, no stress, delicious food and drink, and most of the party clean-up is taken care of too! We had such a wonderful evening with our neighbors. It exceeded all expectations.

I'm just going to sit here in the post-party glow for a while. Thanks, Toast!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

New Look!

Welcome to the new, fresh look of Bite Buff! I've been blogging for nine years about the Cleveland restaurant scene, events, and local products, and it was time for a little reboot. You'll still see all of the same content, with just a new look and feel.

Check out the About Me section to learn more about the blogger behind the name, and what brought me to Ohio a decade ago.

You'll notice that the right-hand column of restaurant names and neighborhoods/cities is no longer there. It's been moved over to its own page, and you'll be able to search them a little easier under Restaurant Reviews. Just be patient with me as I build out the content for this page. Almost 1,000 blog posts later, it's going to take me a few weeks to update! But I love the cute new headers for this page.

You will also still see Upcoming Events taking place around town that feature our area's chefs and food/wine, and links to my social media accounts. I suggest giving me a follow on these platforms, if you don't already, because I share a lot more food pictures, our adventures around town, and more of my life on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

I want to thank Ashley from Little Leaf Design for working with me again to freshen up my blog's look and feel, and redesigning the Bite Buff logo and graphics. She takes the ideas and thoughts from my head to real life in a way that I could never do on my own.

I hope that you enjoy the new look and format changes. Let's keep exploring the Cleveland dining scene together for many more years to come!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Georgetown Happy Hour

I recently popped in to Georgetown in Lakewood for happy hour with a friend. Formally Three Birds, they have a wonderful front garden patio with two tiers, huge trees, and twinkling lights. And apparently one heck of a happy hour!

There are drink specials, like the $5 glass of wine I enjoyed, and then most of their appetizers (+ two salads, which you rarely see) all have special happy hour pricing. If you see a double price listed next to an item, that means the lower price is the happy hour price. We enjoyed a Friday happy hour through 7:00pm, and had three shared plates and three drinks for $36!

We split the Pear and Gorgonzola Salad...
...Crispy Calamari...
...and Georgetown Mini Sliders.
The food was all good, service was good even though they had a busy restaurant and a private wedding rehearsal party happening, and we got quite a lot of food and drink for those happy hour prices. I don't think this will be the last time I take advantage of that happy hour!

Complimentary valet parking is available in the lot behind the building, and there is a convenient back door.

18515 Detroit Road
Lakewood, OH 44107
(216) 221-3500

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

LJ Shanghai

I finally got my butt to LJ Shanghai to try these soup dumplings they've been known for since they opened on Superior Avenue in AsiaTown (next to #1 Pho).
A small menu, but filled with pictures to help you decide what to order. I settled on the Shredded Pork and Pickle Noodle Soup ($8). The bowl was huge for the price, the noodles were a perfect texture, but the broth was a little too mild for my taste. So I just kicked it up with some spicy chili oil that was provided on the table. Easy fix!
But, let's be honest...we were there to try the Soup Dumplings ($5 for six).
From what I've read online, there is a trick to eating them properly. They are filled with a piping hot broth, so you poke a hole in the wrapper or bite the top of it off to let the broth out onto the spoon. It's suggested to dip in soy sauce and vinegar prior to opening the dumpling, and both were provided on the table.

Now, maybe we made a mistake by not eating them immediately, but the dumplings we got did not have "broth" inside of them. The meat filling was moist, but certainly no significant juices came out. Is this normal? 

Either way, they were delicious little nuggets, and that vinegar sauce provided was amazing. I could pour that on just about anything. Eating these just wasn't quite the experience I thought we were in for. Was this exactly what it should have been, was this batch just off a bit, or did we do something wrong in how/when we ate them? Educate me if you know more about these famous soup dumplings!

LJ Shanghai
3142 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 400-6936