Monthly Archives: October 2010

restaurant review: Wild Mango

After a few weeks of hard work, I earned a mental health day. I decided to fill it with a lazy morning of blogging and an afternoon of shopping. In between, I met Hans for lunch at his new favorite West side lunch spot: Wild Mango.

(picture source)

From their website: Wild Mango Restaurant and Bar, originally named Weia Teia, was founded by Jia Wei, head chef and owner of three restaurants, including Wild Mango, wanted to create a place with a sophisticated and vibrant atmosphere along with eccentricity for the people of Northeast Ohio to enjoy. Wild Mango is the offspring of the original Weia Teia in the small town of Oberlin, Ohio. With the same basis of fine dining and feel, both restaurants have a contemporary feel and look to the food as well as the interior design. Jia Wi’s philosophy is quality without compromise, creating fine produces treated with skill and innovation. The restaurant has been acclaimed a Silver Spoon Award winner from the Cleveland Magazine three years in a row.

Wild Mango is part of the Great Northern Mall complex in North Olmsted. It doesn’t have a direct entrance to the mall so you might forget that it’s there. I arrived before Hans around 12:15PM. I was immediately impressed by the sleek interior design and felt like I was transported to Tao in Las Vegas. The restaurant received big points for atmosphere and visual impact.

I was seated immediately and greeted by Chang our waiter. He was great throughout the entire meal, as he was very informed about the entire menu and was quick to fill the requests that we had that afternoon.

Since we both ordered entrees, we were entitled to a bowl of the Soup of the Day, which was a cream of chicken and corn soup. I tried taking several photos of this with my camera phone. Every picture looked overly lame – BAH. As I had ordered soup for my main, I started with just a few bites of this starter.  It was lacking on the corn and chicken and was mostly creamy broth. Originally, I thought it could use a bit of pepper and initially stopped eating it to save room for my main.  But strangely, I found myself coming back to it as its flavors began to grow on me. By the end of the bowl, I had found I really liked it and that it didn’t need that extra pepper. I was surprised to see how I grew to like the dish.

Hans ordered the Sesame Chicken with honey sesame glazed boneless chicken, steamed broccoli and short grain rice:

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Please accept my apologies for the lame camera phone photo. Bad food blogger!

The man loves his Asian-style prepared chicken dishes. This was the second time he had ordered the dish at Wild Mango. The chicken was just as good as Hans had remembered it. His one point of criticism is that the broccoli was a bit too al dente, but still tasty. He ate it all and was ready to take on the rest of the work day.

When ordering, I asked Chang our waiter what the best options were for gluten-free dining. He immediately said the dish I had picked out: the Shrimp Curry Noodle Soup with grilled shrimp, oyster mushroom and rice noodles in a spicy coconut curry broth:

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Again – photo taken with the camera phone. At least it’s better than the first one.

HOLY BOWL OF YUM. This was another moment of “OMG I’m going to eat this entire bowl of food.” And I did! The broth was spicy, the rice noodles were nicely cooked, the shrimp were grilled to perfection, the veggies were just past al dente and the temperature was perfectly HOT. I made a mess of myself eating the noodles, shrimp and veggies with my chopsticks. I was having a steamy, hot affair with this bowl of soup in front of my hubby.  I savored every bite that I could fit in my belly.

LONG STORY SHORT: I had always heard great things about Wild Mango and now I know why. I had always been waiting to go there for a special occasion, but this experience proved even a quick lunch hour meeting can be filled with culinary treats. I can’t wait to return to Wild Mango for dinner and more lunch get together with loved ones. I encourage you to do the same!

Wild Mango on Urbanspoon

ten things this thursday: my running saves & splurges

GUEST POST ALERT! In case you missed it yesterday, I wrote a guest post for fellow CLE food blogger Bite Buff on how to survive a food and wine event. Head over to her blog and check it out!

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Many credit running to being a cheap sport. Just throw on a pair of sneakers and head out the door. I – and my bank account – disagree. So in my usual Tuesday fashion, I present to you on Thursday instead:

TEN THINGS THIS THURSDAY: WHERE MY PAYCHECK IS GOING (AKA MY RUNNING RELATED PURCHASES)

1. SPLURGED ON GREEN MONSTER SMOOTHIES: Much like our new found love for The Office, I know that I’m late to the Green Monster love fest. I always say it takes an extra six months for the trends to get to Cleveland… or at least Parma!

Don’t know what a Green Monster is? This website is a good place to start. Here’s what’s going into my post-workout GMs:

Those EAS shakes are not cheap, but they are totally worth it for the 17 grams of protein and thickness they add to my post-run hydration needs.

2. SAVED ON RUNNING APPAREL: I refuse to pay full price for clothing. TJMaxx and Kohl’s are my best friends when it comes to purchasing Nike tops, FILA pants and generic brand fitness socks. I will also admit to visit Lululemon’s “We Made Too Much” page on a daily basis – JUST IN CASE!

3. SPLURGED ON MUSIC: I’m a Top 40 music queen so I’m unfortunately spending a buck twenty-nine for new songs on iTunes. The extra pennies are worth it for the extra motivation when “Dynamite” comes on my Nano.

4. SAVED BUT WOULD HAVE HAD TO SPLURGE ON MID-RUN FUEL: Gu-s, gels, chomps and beans are expensive. But as my long runs get longer, the more fuel I’ll need. Lucky for me, I came in to possession of some gift certificates to Dick’s Sporting Goods. I’ve been able to use them in order to find out what fueling options are available without dropping serious cash.

5. SPLURGED ON COMPRESSION SOCKS: This Facebook status says it all:

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Post 10-K, my hubby bought me a pair of SUGOI R+R knee high compression socks. I heard mixed reviews on compression socks in general, but I absolutely love mine. I notice a difference in how my lower legs feel in comparison to my thighs the day after a long run. Kinda makes me want to go back to Second Sole and ask, “do these come in thigh highs?”

6. SAVED ON RACE ENTRIES: Pre-register and save some cash. Don’t wait until the day of: you will definitely pay more and take the chance of missing out on race swag. I most definitely want that darn t-shirt, thank you very much!

7. SPLURGED ON POST-RACE BREAKFAST: This is a food blog after all!  I much rather save my dollars for a dinner out on the town, but there is something special about a greasy spoon diner omelet after you’ve run around the city. I have to find somewhere open on Thanksgiving for the celebration post-race after the Turkey Trot downtown!

8. SAVED ON MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS: I do this in a few ways:

  • Participate in a magazine swap with my Mom: she gets different magazines than I do. When she’s done with them, she gives them to me – and vice versa.
  • Visiting my public library and checking out past issues of my favorite magazines. I just need help remembering to take them back sometimes…
  • Visiting the magazine’s website and reading the articles online. I also love reading the forums on these pages for more tips from readers.

I’m also being green by doing this. Hurray for saving trees!

9. SPLURGED ON YOGA: WORTH EVERY PENNY. Again, check the Twitter feed post-yoga last Thursday:

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10. SAVED BUT SHOULD SPLURGE ON SHOES: I’ve previously mentioned my shoe issues in previous posts. Even with the limited selection, I’ve gotten VERY lucky at Kohl’s and found pairs of Adidas and Asics that have done me good in the past. As I’m coming up on the mileage marker, I plan a trip to a local running store to have a professional check out my huge foot to ensure I’m ready for those 13.1 miles in January.

What fitness/running related purchase gave you the most bang for your buck? For me, purchasing an iPod nano eventually made me a runner!

CLE Blogger Dinner at L’albatros Brasserie + Bar

TODAY’S POINT OF BALANCE: The faithful readers of PIP are used to the weekly Tuesday special, but that will be postponed to Thursday this week for a “very special episode” of Poise in Parma.

I had something to look forward to on Monday night as it was another chance for some lovely CLE bloggers to get together. The event planner in me rallied the troops and gathered one solid group of eight beautiful, strong and witty women at Zack Bruell’s L’albatros Brasserie + Bar in University Circle:

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From left to right in the photo:

As we started to talk, I realized it was a bit of a celebration dinner for everyone for different reasons:

(picture c/o the restaurant’s Facebook page)

I HAVE to mention the FOOD as we were dining at one of Cleveland’s best restaurants! I highly enjoyed my seasonal selections. The soup du jour was a flavorful blend of red pepper and squash, topped with herbs and almonds. I enjoyed a seasonal salad special of baby spinach, Honeycrisp apples, fennel and blue cheese, along with a side of the braised white beans (highly recommended by Shannon).  As a few of the ladies ordered the infamous cheese tray, we had a fabulous presentation of 20 different cheeses by David. I learned so much about cheese last night! The ladies selected seven solid choices and were not disappointed by the cheesy goodness that lasted through to dessert.  I’ve never been disappointed by a meal at a Zack Bruell establishment. My “Tour du Bruell” is almost complete – now I just have Parallax to enjoy!

It was an amazing night that flew by too quickly, as they always do. No matter who shows up at our blogger dinners, I am inspired by the strength and brilliance in the room. We write different types of blogs: food blogs, beauty blogs, running blogs, blogs of “randomness” – this definitely being one of those! But we always find something to get the conversation going and it doesn’t stop, even continuing into the parking lot!

As for our next get together: I’m already planning a Holiday Treat Swap. It’s going to be one sugar filled December party! If you are interested in attending in the future, let me know – we’re always glad to have new “blends” join us!

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