Streat Burger

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Except for a perfect vanilla on vanilla cupcake, I’m definitely a non-traditionalist when it comes to food. The more creative the flavors and combinations, the more I want to try things and often, the more I love them. I especially adore really inventive twists on really classic foods. So as you can imagine, this totally unique Hawaiian waffle-burger combination was my foodie dream come true.

From the kitchen of Streat Burger in Lakewood, the former home of 56 West. I was sad when I found their doors closed a few months ago, so then very happy to see them reopen again recently. The menu is pick your own protein/base/style so really, the possibilities are endless. The first time we dined there I went more traditional but oh my did I regret that move when I spotted those waffle-burger works of art a few tables down. So tonight, a second chance.

Herb Turkey Burger-Masa Waffle-Pinapple mango relish, sesame teriyaki lardons, habanero aioli, sweet and spicy mustard, greens. A crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside waffle topped with a party of unique, fresh flavors. Oh yes! Everything I dreamed of.

All kinds of deluxe combinations means we can go again and again and never get bored. Although I think I could actually eat this exact combination again and again and never get bored either.

I’m sorry I went missing for a while. Changes are on the horizon – although one thing that never changes is the need to eat (delicious food). So let’s meet here again to talk about that and other things, soon.

xo Beth

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Lago, Katz Club Diner and Marotta’s

Katz Diner

A weekend full of good food, fun company, lots of sunshine and lots of outdoor time is rather close to perfection if you ask me. Lucky for me, this weekend was just that :).

Starting with a Friday night dinner at the new Lago. I’d been to Lago at it’s old location in Tremont a few years ago and remember it being delicious, so I was eager to try out their new version in the Flats. Admittedly, the first impression was not great: It’s got a nightclub-lounge feel now, which is not exactly my desired restaurant atmosphere. And the menu and wine list are quite cluttered, making them a little hard to navigate. But beyond that, our olives and cheese were good to start and my main: LOBSTER GNOCCHI – Ricotta Gnocchi, Tomato, Sweet Corn, Basil, Truœffle Cream Sauce was just as divine as it sounds. Soft gnocchi, generous hunks of lobster, sweet corn and earthy truffle. Whoever dreamt up that combination has captured my foodie heart. We also had a nice visit from their sommelier after expressing some disappointment with our first glasses of wine and ended up with a really lovely bottle: Podere Sapaio 2009. All in all, I really enjoyed our meal and hope they do well in their new spot.

Saturday morning I found myself in breakfast heaven, with a thick stack of Katz Club Diner blueberry pancakes. Crispy on the outside, fluffy-light inside, full of juicy bursts of blueberry. Plus real maple syrup and a good cup of coffee and I couldn’t have been more content. Love that spot.

Acacia Preserve

With full bellies, we took a gorgeous stroll around the new Acacia Reservation – an old golf course turned trail across from Beachwood Place. An easy way to soak up some afternoon sunshine and enjoy the great outdoors.

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But then it was so nice, (and how much longer does that last?) we had to make one more outdoor stop: Lakefront Reservation to gaze at our extra sparkly Lake.

Followed by a long nap and a delicious piping hot, extra chewy pizza to-go from Marotta’s for supper.

Mitchell's

And finally, a little Mitchell’s to shut it down. Don’t worry, that monster wasn’t mine  – although it makes for a pretty picture!

So yes, good food, fun company, lots of sunshine and lots of outdoor time. I could get used to you Cleveland :).

xo Beth

Ode to Vacation, 2013

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Chicago to visit my lovely big brother Rich

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A birthday trip to Charlottesville, VA with my best DC friend Jackie

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NYC to party-party with my old college roommate Amber

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Columbus to visit my high school friend May

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DC to visit my little sister Louisa

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Ontario, Canada to visit all of my old college roommates

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San Fran and Sonoma to drink wine/love life with with the aforementioned Jackie

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Aspen and Boulder with my boyfriend

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Pensacola, FL to visit my very best friend Emily

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Admittedly, when I began Craveable Cleveland back in January, I did intend for it be a slightly more Cleveland-focused blog :). But life has gone from good to better all year long and I’ve been enjoying all of the benefits. I’ve always loved to travel but after moving to DC in 2009, my travel budget quickly became my rent money. Well actually, that was all of my money. Of course I didn’t mind too much because I was living in our nation’s capital – and in your mid-twenties, how great is that?

But since returning home to Cleveland last October, I’m loving all of the things I’d missed while living away. Like, having money to travel. I’ve also been so very lucky in that my work schedule allows for lots of time off. Time + Money = 9 vacations in 2013. What a year it has been!

Seeing new places, eating delicious food and spending time with the ones I love are among my top favorite things to do in the universe. And so, 2013 has been one of the greatest years yet in the life of Beth.

Having said all of that, I’m so glad to be back in Cleveland, done vacationing for a while and eager to spend more time at home in my own kitchen and out in my own city. My wallet and my waistline will thank me, I’m sure. Vacations are great but home is always where the heart is <3.

xo Beth

Pensacola

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I’m back, once again. It sure has been a vacation-heavy year and aside from one last weekend trip for a wedding, I’m ready to stay put in Cleveland! But how can you say no to an impromptu few days down in Florida with your best friend and her adorable little family? Especially when they’re moving soon. I just could not.

So on Tuesday I hopped on a plane and headed down to Pensacola to soak up some quality time with Emily, her husband John, Baby Wyatt and Eli and Maggie the Dog. We had a great time – visiting the splash park, sunning on the beach, shopping at the Farmer’s Market, swimming, biking, walking, talking, mixing cocktails and hanging out. There was perhaps a little too much Florida heat and too much good eating but isn’t that what vacations are for? :)

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Our highlight meal was an Emily-Beth girls night at Iron. Em and her husband had been the week prior for birthday dinner and could not say enough about their amazing chicken. Chicken of all things! You may be skeptical, they were too and then so was I but holy moly, this was indeed the best, melt-in-your-mouth confit chicken, cornbread, beans and collards ever. We also indulged in some oysters to start and a cinnamon puff over orange pastry cream, topped with avocado ice cream to finish. All shared over a buttery bottle of Chardonnay and a whole lot of laughter about our ridiculous youth. Delicious. Florida5

The food was good but friends are so much better. Here’s me and my best buddy Wyatt, who was stuck like glue all week long. He is in the why, why, why phase which is at once exhausting and way too adorable. Before I left he gave me a ‘marriage ring’ of metal tape and I kind of never want to take it off :).

A fabulous week. No more vacations for a while – but this one sure was worth every second.

xo Beth

Florida!

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Perhaps we should rename this blog Craveable I-Forgot-I-Live-In Cleveland? I’ve had a hard time staying put lately.

But life is short and right now, very good. So why not enjoy every minute.

I’m off to Florida for the week to spend time with my very best friend Emily. She’s moving far away soon so I’ve got to get her while I can. Hang with her boys, help her pack, cross a few items of the FL bucket list and of course, cook-buy-eat delicious food.

Thanks for sticking with all these adventures!

xo Beth

Frasca Food and Wine

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And now for our favorite part, the food. We ate lots of yummy dishes in Colorado (because what else is there in life?) but for the purposes of this post I’ll focus on one type in particular. Along Pearl Street in Boulder are three spots by the same creators: Frasca Food and Wine, Pizzeria Locale and Frasca Caffe. It’s pretty much a little stretch of heaven.

We’ll start with Frasca Caffe, where I enjoyed this indulgent breakfast one Saturday morning before a day at St. Julien Spa (tough life). The flakiest, lightly sweet, nutty-filled croissant paired with a creamy cappuccino and sprinkle of raw sugar. I love breakfast. In my world, this breakfast could not come closer to perfection :).

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Another day, well okay two other days, we enjoyed lunch at the Pizzeria next door:

Vesuvius – heirloom tomato-basil-mozzarella di bufala

Frittatine – pasta-prosciutto cotto smoked mozzarella

Mais – mozzarella-prosciutto cotto-sweet corn-crème fraiche-garlic chive 

This pizza knocked my socks off so much I ordered it twice. Mountains are great and all but I think I could move to Boulder based on that picture alone :).

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And another two days still we dined at Frasca. It’s a show, from the service to the wine presentation to the staging of dishes. Course after course of imaginative food make for one very entertaining evening indeed. I cannot think of anything I love much more than that.

Dinner on night one:

Tonno – Hawaiian Big Eye Tuna, Munson Corn, Heirloom Tomato and Dill

Gnocchi – Spring Onion, Smoked Ricotta, Red, Yellow and Chioggia Beet

Marlino – Hawaiian Striped Marlin, Eggplant, Cherry Tomato, Zucchini and Red Pepper

CROSTATA DI P RUGNA – Golden Plum, Almond, White Chocolate, Brown Butter and Plum Sorbet

You know, just for instance!

So yes, we ate well in Colorado, with much thanks to Frasca and company. From the food to the wine to the company to activity, our Colorado vacation was very good. And now I’m ready to embrace Cleveland once again with renewed zest. Perhaps we can find some cuisine worth comparing :).

xo Beth

Aspen and Boulder

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And just like that, 13 vacation days have come to an end. I feel rested and rejuvenated and ready to get back to reality…which is a pretty good way to say goodbye. But before I do, let’s capture the memories.

I’d never been to Colorado before, which made this trip especially exciting. I love exploring new territory! Especially right here in the good old USA, because who knew we have so many ah-mazing, diverse landscapes right here at home?

We began our adventures in Aspen, which you’ll see pictured above. Our condo was in a perfect location, which made it easy to do lots of exploring around town. Although I hardly fit in the land of the rich and famous, it was still lots of fun to look around and dream of one days :). How could it not be with this awe-inspiring backdrop?

We watched the USA Pro Challenge, ate good food, drank amazing wine and soaked up the good life for a few days of fun-filled bliss. I can only imagine how beautiful Aspen is capped in fresh white snow.

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From Aspen, we spent the bulk of our trip in Boulder, which is a pretty awesome town. It’s partially hippy, partially very wealthy – full of unique shops, good food, lots of wine lovers, adorable homes and of course those breathtaking mountains everywhere you look.

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The photographs you see here are from a very gorgeous afternoon hike through Estes Park. Environmentalist or not so much, you’ve got to love Mother Nature when surrounded by this kind of majesty.

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Sadly our afternoon march came to a close a little early as PM thunderstorms rolled in and spoiled the fun. Storms seemed to happen around the same time each afternoon in CO. And although that was a bit of a bummer, a cloudy background sure makes for some beautiful images.

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And for your last sample of Boulder’s beauty, the top of Flagstaff Mountain, above. Some of us cycled to the top, some of us were driven :). However you arrive, it makes you pretty thankful for this lovely life and all of it’s many blessings.

Good food among them. Let’s talk about that next time. It’s good to be back!

xo Beth