the 2011 Beantown Dine & Drink Edition

While I am a proud Clevelander, it is nice to get away now and again. For us, an easy getaway is to schedule a visit to see my brother-in-law who lives in Boston. We visited Scott last year during Labor Day weekend and on that visit ate and drank our way through Beantown. Our 2011 visit was no difference – the food we found around Boston was solid…

Upon our arrival on Friday, we snagged a quick reservation at Legal Harborside – a part of the Legal Sea Foods restaurant group:


Seated in their second floor lounge, we enjoyed an array of fine dining options. I stuck with one of my standby pairings: a salad to start with mussels for my main course. Their seasonal salad option featured apple, walnuts and endive – a wonderful combination. Their steamed mussels were served in a smoky tomato sauce already removed from their shell. I was one happy girl.


The boys went with hearty options featuring lamb and filet mignon (and a hint of Alaskan king crab). Both were expertly prepared and not a single bite was left behind.


I was proud of my sister-in-law for ordering an entrée that had two side dishes that weren’t familiar to her. The pan roasted chicken was paired with a truffled celery root puree and an egg ravioli.


She didn’t like the celery root but did enjoy the ravioli, saying “it tastes like a pierogi!” You can take the girl out of Parma…

On Saturday, as the family headed to Harvard to watch a regatta, I was so incredibly excited to meet up with two of my favorite bloggers: Jess from EatDrinkBreatheSweat and Jolene from Determined To Be!! They were kind enough to treat me to Snappy Sushi in the Back Bay neighborhood. Known for using brown rice at their restaurant, I went with Snappy’s Triple Lunch: a roll with tuna, salmon, avocado, and cucumber wrapped in a soy sheet, served with mixed greens and a seaweed salad.


I enjoyed the brown rice in the roll, was excited the restaurant had gluten-free soy sauce, but more importantly, LOVED getting to chat with these two wonderful ladies for a few hours over raw fish and hot green tea! Thanks again Jess and Jolene for your warm Boston hospitality!

Saturday night, we found ourselves at Papagayo Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar near the convention center. The restaurant is known for their table side guacamole preparation.


Using hand hacked Haas avocadoes, the “guac man” (as I lovingly dubbed him) rolled his cart over to our table to create a fabulously delicious bowl of my favorite spread.


I easily ate half of that bowl on my own!! I apparently couldn’t get enough of the table side prep, and choose the ceviche with shaved tuna, lime macerated shrimp and plantain chips:


When asked how spicy I wanted my dish, I requested medium. Good thing I didn’t say hot because the medium was damn spicy enough!! I seriously needed something to cool my mouth off, even though it was delicious! More guac please! I was really please with my selections at this fun, Mexican spot near the Seaport area.

Sunday started out as most Sundays should: with beer! Before the Browns game, Hans and I headed to Harpoon Brewery for a quick brewery tour:


For $5 a person, you get to take a tour of the brewery, tasting their brews along the way in your souvenir glass, while getting to know about the brewery that has locations in Boston and Vermont. As an IPA lover, Hans was excited to try the IPA as I enjoyed their hard apple cider:


After the tour, participants were encouraged to try their array of brews on tap in their tasting room:


I stuck with my cider as Hans did the the other version of the Harpoon Brewery tour: trying all the beers! He liked their UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen best.

After the tour, we jumped on the Silver Line and eventually found our way to The North Star. This bar is the new home for the Browns Backers of Boston and happily hosts Browns fans each weekend during the game. Anywhere that has Cleveland themed menu options on their brunch menu is a-okay in my book:


We felt right at home as the bar was filled with orange and brown. If you’re ever in Boston during the football season and need your Cleveland support system to get through a game, check out the Boston Browns Backers and enjoy the game with their crew:


After enjoying lunch and a Browns win, we headed over to a “must stop” in Hans’ travel plan: Mike’s Pastry in the North End:


As always, there was a line out the door of this popular bakery. The crowds outside were no match for the crowd inside:


Hans got his chocolate chip cannoli and we got out of Dodge before you could say “sugar coma”. Said dessert was happily enjoyed after a simple meal back at home base. It was just as delicious previous visits – they do make one mean cannoli.

Monday morning was dedicated to packing and getting to the airport. Since he didn’t have a proper breakfast, Hans decided we should visit Logan’s location of Legal Test Kitchen for one last bowl of their New England Clam Chowder.


When in Rome! A pre-flight meal and beverage at this airport spot is becoming a tradition for us – we even had the same bartender serve us as our last visit. Hans felt his bowl of soup was the perfect end to a fun, relaxing weekend away.

LONG STORY SHORT: While there’s plenty of other ways to see Boston, I do always enjoy our culinary travels through the New England metropolis. We came, we ate, we digested, we ate again. And I can’t wait to do it again next year!

What’s your favorite foodie town to visit?

event recap: OBA Cleveland October Blogger Meetup at Deagan’s Kitchen & Bar

The tenth official meet up of the Cleveland chapter of the Ohio Blogging Association is in the books! Bloggers, tweeters and blog supporters gathered at Deagan’s Kitchen & Bar in Lakewood for one fun Wednesday evening. The blogroll for the evening included:

Excited Clevelanders – new and old – gathered to share a meal and their thoughts with one another. As always, everyone was excited to see friendly faces and get to know new ones:



Stuart won the award for “Best Social Media Accessory”: a Twitter tie!!


As I always find to be the case at Deagan’s Kitchen & Bar, the food was outstanding. The restaurant, to thank us for selecting their location for our meetup, offered the bloggers a few charcuterie boards with a wide assortment of meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits and spreads. One of those spreads tricked the table – we all learned what a quince was thanks to a quick iPhone Google search!


As for starters and entrees, pumpkin was king and was heavily featured on Deagan’s Wednesday Vegan and Vegetarian menu. The Southern Tier Pumpking Pumpkin Soup was a popular selection around the table. For myself, I stuck with the Baby Lettuce Salad with palm hearts, avocado, tomato and shallot vinaigrette:


…as well as their Spicy Shrimp Tacos (with avocado, corn, white cheddar, micro cilantro):


Who needs taco shells?! This was great on its own, but Sara confirmed that the shell version was just as tasty.

Discussion flowed naturally throughout the entire evening. I heard discussion on a bit of everything – from concern over excessive spam comments, to talk on the health care debates; from excitement for this year’s PlayhouseSquare Jump Back Ball to what really is Bikram yoga. (You know I was in on that last discussion!) All in, it was another wonderful opportunity for Cleveland bloggers to get to know one another. Many thanks to all that attended last night! And to those that didn’t – you missed one fun evening!!

Stay tuned to the OBA Facebook page for announcements of plans for November (can you say blog swap?) & our December meeting (because who doesn’t love holiday cookies?!): SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO!

event previews: what’s going on in Cleveland

HEY CLEVELANDERS! While I’m catching up from a fun weekend away, let’s get you caught up on what’s coming up over the next few weeks around town. Get your day planners and Google calendars ready!

October Meetup of the Ohio Blogging Association at Deagan’s Kitchen & Bar

  • WHEN: 6:00pm – 9:00pm on Wednesday, October 26 THAT’S TOMORROW NIGHT!!
  • WHERE: Deagan’s Kitchen & Bar in Lakewood
  • WHY: The Blogger Round Table is just a chance for bloggers to get their questions out to other bloggers. New bloggers, established bloggers and everyone in between is invited to attend – including blog supporters!
  • COST: Free – each person will be responsible for their own drink/food bill.
  • MORE INFO? Visit the Facebook event page.

Cleveland Critical Mass Halloween Ride

  • WHEN: 7:00pm – 10:00pm on Friday, October 28
  • WHERE: Meet in the southwest quadrant of Public Square in downtown Cleveland starting at 6:30.
  • WHY: To get your bike ride on with the masses! This event takes place the last Friday of every month no matter the weather conditions. The ride begins downtown, then heads to other Cleveland neighborhoods. After this month’s ride, there will be a post-party at Noodlecat featuring $1 beers, $2 cocktails, and other specials.
  • COST: Free to attend but you do need a bike. Each person will be responsible for their own drink/food bill at Noodlecat.
  • MORE INFO? Visit the Facebook event page.

Nishkama Yoga’s Binds and Balances Workshop

  • WHEN: 12:00pm – 2:30pm on Saturday, October 29
  • WHERE: Nishkama Yoga in Independence
  • WHY: This workshop will introduce you to the proper way to get into binds and balances in the proper way. Great for all levels!
  • COST: $35. BONUS: Attend the workshop and you can save 10% off a mat or a 10 class pass!
  • MORE INFO? Visit the studio’s website.

Just Beyond Beginners Workshop with Kelly Novak

  • WHEN: 7:00pm – 9:00pm on Sunday, October 30
  • WHERE: Acenda Yoga in Lakewood
  • WHY: Already know a bit about yoga but want to learn more? Kelly’s workshop is just what you need. This workshop is appropriate for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of the basics.
  • COST: $20
  • MORE INFO? Visit the Facebook event page.

PlayhouseSquare Partners’ Jump Back Ball Ticket Kickoff Party

  • WHEN: 6:00pm – 8:00pm on Thursday, November 3
  • WHERE: Market Garden Brewery in Ohio City
  • WHY: To get a great deal on tickets for this year’s Jump Back Ball themed "Through the Looking Glass" taking place on Saturday, February 25, 2012. This kickoff event will have complimentary appetizers, drink specials, and prizes for attendees. 
  • COST: The kickoff party is free. Tickets for Jump Ball Ball will be on presale for the discounted rate of $130 ($105 for Partners members). There is a two ticket limit per person.
  • MORE INFO? Visit the PlayhouseSquare website.

Cleveland Magazine Bloody Mary Showdown

  • WHEN: 11:00am – 2:00pm on Sunday, November 6
  • WHERE: Market in Rocky River
  • WHY:  Because you really love a good Bloody Mary, Cleveland Magazine is giving you the chance to either throw down your best recipe for the beverage, or attend and “judge” all the entries!
  • COST: To participate in the throw down, there’s a $25 entrance fee – but you can win some serious cash and have your recipe featured in the magazine and on Market’s menu for a year! Just want to enjoy the competition? For $15, you can have unlimited Bloody Mary sampling. For $30, you receive unlimited samples, brunch, and a one-year subscription to Cleveland Magazine.
  • MORE INFO? Visit the Cleveland Magazine event website.

Emerging Chefs Present Cleveland Culinary All-Stars

  • WHEN: 6:00pm – 9:00pm on Wednesday, November 9
  • WHERE: Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland
  • WHY: From the ECs themselves: The Cleveland Indians and Emerging Chefs are teaming up for this culinary event. Taking place at the Terrace Club in Progressive Field, nine local chefs will be featured, including Chef Michael Nowak (from Bar Cento/Bier Markt) and Chef Marlin Kaplan (from Dragonfly).
  • COST: Tickets for the Chef’s Table are $125, and general admission tickets are $100. Ticket includes 9-course dinner paired with accompanying beverage tastings, tax and gratuity.
  • MORE INFO? Visit the event webpage.

Yelp CLE’s First Burstday Party

  • WHEN: 7:00pm – 9:00pm on Thursday, November 10
  • WHERE: 78th Street Studios in Cleveland
  • WHY: Yelp Cleveland is celebrating their first birthday in style with a huge party where all Clevelanders are invited to attend. There will be plenty of good eats, good drinks, good entertainment – check out the listing on their event page.
  • COST: Free!
  • MORE INFO? Visit the Yelp event webpage.

Cleveland Metroparks Forest Fun Dog Walk

  • WHEN: 2:00pm – 4:00pm on Saturday, November 19
  • WHERE:  Brecksville Nature Center in the Brecksville Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks
  • WHY: Enjoy the fall weather with your pup as you get to explore one of my favorite paths in our parks system.
  • COST: Free!
  • MORE INFO? Registration begins November 1. Call 440-526-1012 for more info or visit the Metroparks Facebook page.

The 30th Annual Cleveland Turkey Trot

  • DATE: Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 24
  • TIMES: Registration at 7:30am; 1 Mile Fun Run at 8:45am; 5 Mile Timed Run at 9:30am
  • WHERE: Galleria at Erieview in downtown Cleveland
  • WHY: Because you want to burn off some calories before your big Thanksgiving meal!! And to see people dressed up as turkeys while running five miles. Fun for everyone!
  • COST: Preregistration through November 17: $18. From Friday, November 18 to 7:00AM on Monday, November 21, fees increase to $23 per person. Registration at the packet pick up or on race day will be $23.
  • MORE INFO? Visit the event webpage.

So much going on – and this is only a small listing! What are YOU up to over the next few weeks?

Full Disclosure: As always, my thoughts, opinions and blogging choices are 100% my own. I’m just trying to spread the CLE love.

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