Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Valley Villa Custard

Ok, I know it's not "official" yet...but with consistent 80+ degree days and lots of sunshine lately, it feels like summer in Northeast Ohio! So after a glorious pool day with friends, the mere mention of ice cream had us interested.

Our friends grew up in Chesterland and recommended that we stop at Valley Villa Custard on the way home. They know I'm a sucker for soft-serve. 

And it delivered! Rich, creamy...everything I want Vanilla Soft-serve to be. I'm a minimalist when it comes to my ice cream, so I wasn't ready to commit to a loaded up serving...but get the special crunch topping there. It's crushed peanuts, sprinkles, puffed cereal...a little bit of everything you could ever want all rolled into one.
They also have a very extensive list of frozen custard flavors, sundaes, flurries, milkshakes, and more.

Just be aware that they are a cash-only operation! This spot is definitely worth a stop if you're in the Chesterland area. 

What's your go-to ice cream order in the summer?

Valley Villa Custard
8200 Mayfield Road
Chesterland, OH 44026
(440) 729-4124

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Daily Press

I recently discovered that the owner of Daily Press lives in our neighborhood. We got to sample some of her cold-pressed organic juices at a community clean-up event, and we were hooked.

She previously had a brick-and-mortar juice bar in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood of Cleveland, but made the decision to close the shop and pivot to home delivery during the pandemic. 

Shortly after meeting her and sampling a couple juices, we were ready to place our first delivery order! 

I had been dreaming of the Spicy Apple since I first tried it, and yup...it's still my favorite. 

Here's what we tried:
  • Spicy Apple ➤ green apple, extra extra ginger, lemon, cayenne
  • Sweet Heat ➤ cucumber, pineapple, cilantro, jalapeno
  • Dragon Berry Punch ➤ amla berry, camu camu, dragonfruit, carrot, beet, watermelon, pineapple, green apple, extra ginger, lemon
They run $9 - $10 a bottle, and there's discounted pricing if purchasing a cleanse pack. 

There are many health benefits to raw, organic, cold-pressed juice. And nothing tastes quite like it! Our minds headed in a different direction, and started dreaming of craft cocktails to mix with these. 

Here's a refreshing cocktail Mr. H created that is just perfect for the summer ahead:
  • 4 oz. Spicy Apple Daily Press juice
  • 2 oz. Mezcal
  • 1 oz. Lemon Juice (lime juice would be tasty too!)
  • .5 oz. Green Chartreuse
  • .25 oz. Agave Syrup
  • Place in shaker with ice, shake, and strain over fresh ice.

Head over to her website and check out the full list of products. Place an order, mix up that cocktail, and share if you liked it! 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Wicked Lobstah and Blue Monkey Brewing Co.

Blue Monkey Brewing Company opened in North Royalton just over a year ago. I had heard about it from friends that know the owners. We don't find ourselves out in that area much, but all it took was a Facebook post about a certain food truck scheduled to be there.

First, we settled in on their small patio with a Colobus PBP (Peanut Butter Porter) and Salted Caramel (Blonde Stout). They were already speaking my language! Both were pretty good, but I enjoyed the porter more. 

Then it was time for dinner at the Wicked Lobstah that was in from Columbus for a few days around Greater Cleveland.
There just aren't enough good lobster rolls around Cleveland, and I couldn't wait to dig in. We had to try The Plain Ass Roll ($18) with warm buttery lobster on a toasted bun.
But they have a list of specialty lobster rolls with everything from guacamole, smoked salmon, blue crab, and sriracha. We ordered The High Society Roll ($20) with black and white truffle mayo. 
Both were quite tasty and brought me back to our Maine trips. I'm not a huge potato chip person (unless they are Lay's Salt & Vinegar), but the seasoned chips with these were good too.

I'm glad that we caught the food truck while it was in town, and it was fun to check out the brewery. You can tell they have a loyal bunch of regulars. While I won't be going out of my way to head there again, it's a nice option if in the area. They rotate food trucks or you can bring in your own food. There's often live music, and plenty of parking since it is tucked on the side of Discount Drug Mart.

Blue Monkey Brewing Co.
5540 Wallings Road
North Royalton, OH 44133
(440) 628-9152

Monday, May 10, 2021

Rood Food and Pie

Alright, I've been sleeping on the Salt & Honey Pie ($5.75) from Rood Food & Pie in Lakewood, so I'm hear to tell you to stop making the mistake that I did.

First, the restaurant is super cute. Just look at this adorable bar as you enter the dining room.

They've pivoted their business model a couple of times since opening, but they currently offer Dinner and Brunch with a Late Night Pie Bar coming soon.

But we were there to try the signature Salt & Honey Pie that I've seen on Instagram hundreds of times (it feels like). With wildflower honey custard, Euro butter, maldon sea salt, and bee pollen...it's certainly unusual and not too sweet.
The bee pollen even comes in this tiny, cute glass container for you to sprinkle it on for yourself. 
While this pie was definitely our favorite, we also tried the Tequila Lime ($6.5) with blanco tequila, organic sugar, orange zest and orang liqueur, fresh lime, whip, and lime zest.
We need more places like Rood where you can pop in for just a quick piece of pie! From this experience, I'll definitely look forward to checking out their savory food menu. But I won't be skipping that Salt & Honey pie...

Rood Food and Pie
17001 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, OH 44107
(216) 712-4506

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Home Bistro

Home Bistro opened in August 2020 on Mayfield Road, right in the heart of Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood. They've been making quite a splash, despite us being in the middle of a pandemic. Including recently being named Best New Restaurant of 2020 by Cleveland Magazine readers.

So as my two friends and I got together for our very first patio dining experience since the pandemic began, we were excited to try this new spot out. The owners, Victor Morenz and Emily Gilbert, had a restaurant in Chicago (by the same name) with rave reviews from my friend's family there. I may have been counting down the hours before our visit all week!

Let's just say, it did not disappoint. From the Starters, we shared Beer Battered Asparagus ($12) with IPA beer batter, and salt & vinegar aioli.
And Shishito Peppers ($8) with sea salt and olive oil.
I then got super torn between several of the Mains that all sounded good, so my indecisiveness led me to two additional Starters instead. First, the Grilled Haloumi ($12), which is a Mediterranean cheese with strawberry, pickled green garlic, black pepper, and arbequina olive oil. Isn't that plating stunning?!
And the Artichoke Edam Fritters ($12) with garlic aioli and lemon.
My friends enjoyed the Korean Fried Chicken ($24) with crispy-fried smoked chicken thigh, sweet & savory soy, peanut puree, snap peas, and spring onion kimchi; Caesar Salad ($13); and one of the Mussels specials (Tuesday was Mussels Night with several options for $18). Every single dish was wonderful.

Now, service definitely had minor issues. Food arrived out of order, we were out of water for quite a while, and they seemed stretched thin. But our server and the manager were very sweet and attentive overall. The manager shared with us how difficult it still is to find restaurant workers that will come back to work in the pandemic, and how busy they've been since the Cleveland Magazine coverage and the warmer temperatures. I have no reason to think the service won't improve as things continue to get back to "normal." 

We dined on their patio, but the interior was just adorable too. Parking is a real issue in that neighborhood, but with some patience and lots of circling I did eventually find a street parking spot right outside the restaurant. 

This was one of the best meals I've had out in a long time, and that's not just the pandemic talking! I'm already looking forward to a return visit with Mr. H.

Home Bistro
12022 Mayfield Road
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 795-5582