Tag Archives: CL Bucket List

Eastside, Westside

Maple Side

I love you Fall, please don’t go. Sadly, time seems to be flying, although not surprising given all that’s going on lately. My very best friend Emily and her two adorable boys are in town for two weeks. I’m dog sitting on the Eastside, but cruising back to the Westside every day to see Em. And back again! This is when a teleportation device sure would come in handy.

But I won’t complain about life being full of people and plans because that’s never a bad thing at all. Plus, all this back and forth allows for the best of both sides of town to find their way into my snack and mealtime rituals :).

Pop tart

On the Eastside: I read Cleveland Magazine’s ‘Best of Cleveland’ issue recently and of course took note of all of the Bests that I needed to check out for myself. Admittedly, they were all food-centric. Above you’ll see one of those delightful treats, a Katz Diner homemade pop tart. This one filled with cinnamon sugar, although I hear they come in a variety of flavors. Is it bad to admit I still love store bought pop tarts? Although I haven’t had one in a few years. This was of course much different and way better than that – so very adorable too. A more worthy splurge! Apple slab pie

On the Westside: Smitten Kitchen’s Apple Slab Pie, made by the talented Emily herself. Filled with apples from Mapleside after a daytime visit this week. You’ll see the view from the farm at the very top of this post and I think I love Ohio a little more every time I look back at that picture. We have the very best Falls for sure.

Also of note, Big Fun for nostalgic toy shopping with the kiddos, Piccadilly for the most wonderful fro yo in C-town (I say), Brew Kettle for some delicious craft beer and catch up conversations and two very delicious meals at Em’s brother’s restaurant, Spice. Eastside, Westside, I love it all. The drive is not so hot but the people on either end are more than worth it. The food’s pretty good too :).

xo Beth


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.

Gordon Park

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.


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

All of the Ingredients


Good food, a mini road trip, lots of sunshine, a few glasses of wine, family + friends… all of the ingredients for a pretty perfect August weekend.

Starting Thursday night with a crisp glass of rose at Greenhouse Tavern bar, followed by an (always) delicious patio dinner at the Flying Fig. To start, Buratta Cheese – Olive Tapenade, Arugula, Extra Virgin, Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Crostini. Buratta is one of my all-time favorite appetizers, in all of its richly-creamy, softly-subtle glory. For my main, Herbed Ricotta Gnocchi – Chicken Confit, Asparagus, Walnuts, Pecorino Sardo, Fava Beans. It just so happens that gnocchi is one of my all-time favorite dinners! How could we go wrong here. Plus a few bites of molten chocolate cake for dessert – because who lets that sit on the table without at least a little participation? :) It was delightful. 


On Friday, an all day out-and-back trip to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in PA. In case you don’t know (which I didn’t), the house is built over/as part of a beautiful natural waterfall. The homeowners had originally anticipated it being close to the fall but Wright took the it one giant step further with his design. The whole structure has a very outside feel and is totally unique to anything I’ve seen before. Breathtaking! You know, just taking notes for my future vacation home… :)


And on Saturday, the very best kind of Saturday here in Cleveland. Shopping at the West Side Market followed by lunch and a beer at Great Lakes. I think I could do that exact loop around Ohio City every Saturday and never get bored.

Hello August! Promises to be an exciting end-of-summer month :).

xo Beth

The Rib Cage & Katz Club Diner


(Joy the Baker’s dangerously easy Single Girl Melty Chocolate Cakes from Saturday dinner at home)

All that sunset watching, volunteering, shopping and Indians gaming sure works up an appetite. So let’s talk food!

First a visit to The Rib Cage in Cleveland Heights. From their FB page: We are a Slow Food Movement adherent, farm-to-table smokehouse featuring pork, beef, and poultry from local, sustainable, and ethical farmers who share our vision. We have created smoked masterpieces from scratch that we promise are unmatched by any other Cleveland barbecues.

It. was. delicious. I had a pulled pork sandwich with bourbon baked beans and creamy coleslaw. The meat was melt-in-your-mouth and so very flavorful. The beans were a  boozy combination of 3 different kinds, (love how pretty that looks) and the coleslaw a crunchy mix of cabbage, radicchio, carrots and thinly sliced apples. I love how much detail went into each element and somehow the food wasn’t too heavy. Cozy atmosphere + friendly service and I think we have a win. (I just typed wine, someone help.)

On Sunday morning, a round II visit to The Katz Club Diner. We went for dinner a few weeks ago when they first opened and it was certainly good enough for a second visit for brunch.


Above, a 3-egg omelet with home fries and toast. It was solidly good, although after seeing someone else with the most gorgeous fluffy pancakes I’ve ever seen in my life, I think we know what I’ll be ordering on visit number III.

So yes! I’d recommend both. Casual-thoughtful neighborhood spots. The best.

xo Beth

Every Last Drop


It’s August this week? It’s 69 degrees this afternoon? There’s lots of things about this summer that don’t quite make sense. Because I wouldn’t mind it being autumn all year round, I won’t complain about the unseasonable temps. But if this summer could slow way down before it’s over, that would sure be nice.

In the meantime, we’ll just have to cram as much fun as possible into what’s left.


I think I’ve spent more time on the lake this summer than ever before…who knew just how many lakefront spots there really are around CL? Above, Wednesday’s glittering sunset from Gordon Park. We found a little pier to watch and take pictures from, with just a few others hanging out. Absolutely gorgeous! Definitely something to repeat before the summer’s out.

On Thursday, a little volunteering with some co-workers for First Book, a DC-based non-profit that provides access to new books for children in need. We were hosted here in Cleveland by the kind staff at Kids in Need. It was a fun morning of racing around their warehouse and putting shipments together for local schools from a very random assortment of donated books. Kind of like a dusty/dirty game of hide-and-seek that ended with a broken toenail…but that’s probably why you shouldn’t wear lululemon and Tom’s when volunteer instructions ask for old clothes and sturdy close-toed shoes. Oops. 

Followed by some mother-daughter shopping at Beachwood Place, because once you’ve done something positive with your life, it’s totally okay to spend all your money on things you don’t necessarily need :).


And on Friday, an Indians game with my favorite CL blogger Heather and her lovely husband. Due to my side job as everyone’s pet sitter, we were gifted pretty great seats behind home plate. Has it’s perks! Although the game went on and on and on, it was an exciting Indians-win at the end. And the Jimi Hendrix fireworks show was well worth sticking around for. Let’s be honest, I’m mostly there for the sunshine and fireworks anyway :).

So there are some activities of late. Let’s do food here next time.

xo Beth

Zack Bruell at Cleveland Clinic Farmers Market

Farmers Market2

Aren’t Farmers Markets the best? Always full of fresh, local, incredibly tasty food and the people who work hard all year to deliver it to us. Farmers Market peaches and tomatoes in the summertime have to be two of my favorite foods on this earth. What a difference from grocery store produce! I think I never really knew what nature intended those two to taste like before I bought them local.

And yet, since moving back to Cleveland last fall, I’m ashamed to say I’ve not visited one Farmers Market! That’s way too many peaches and tomatoes missing from my mouth. So I’m glad to have had the opportunity to change that this past week.

Cleveland Clinic’s Farmers Market welcomed Zack Bruell, chef and restaurateur of five Cleveland restaurants, to demonstrate cooking and offer food sampling using produce purchased at the market. They kindly invited me along to watch and I happily braved the summertime heat to attend.

Bruell demonstrated Farmers Market Gazpacho and Chilled Pasta Primavera with Pesto to his little crowd of market shoppers and spectators. And of course, they were delicious! Simple, fresh, flavorful and best of all chilled, which was very welcome in the 90-something temperatures. I also enjoyed their live music and a leisurely stroll through the vendors, where I found my beloved peaches (no tomatoes!), some cherries and a divine handmade raspberry basil popsicle that hit the spot/melted all over my dress.

The market is open weekly, Wednesday from 10:30AM-1:30PM at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus near E. 100th Street, between Euclid and Carnegie Avenues. Perhaps I will see you there.

Thank you to the Cleveland Clinic for the information/invitation. Opinions are of course, all my own.

xo Beth

Cleveland in July


So far so good for a stay-at-home month in July. My bank account thanks me, I’ve been able to revisit a few CL favorites and I’ve come to appreciate a whole bunch of new-to-me spots around town as well.

All have been a blast and I’m really happy to finally take advantage of attractions in the backyard of my hometown after spending much of the last 10 years elsewhere. It sure makes me appreciate how many resources CL has to offer, especially considering the amazingly low cost of living.

Now of course you can’t get up to all that fun without some fuel, so I’ve been eating all kinds of delicious food too. Although Cleveland or beyond, what’s so new about that :).


This week, Melt for mushroom grilled cheese, garlic tomato soup and hoppy pints of IPA, Lucky’s for the curried tofu Canoewreck, salty-sweet pecan crusted bacon (heaven) and the best homemade toast and jam. At home, barbequed everything, including sockeye salmon, Rick Bayless chicken tacos with tomatillo salsa and huevos rancheros with the leftovers. Plus Dairy Queen soft serve vanilla with crunch coat – because no matter how much of a grown-up foodie you’d like to be, you should never resist a classic summer treat :).

Oh and really giant lobster tails from Heinen’s, of which I ate a whole one all by myself and I don’t feel even a little sorry.

June travels were so much fun. Cleveland in July has been pretty scrumptious too.

xo Beth