Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

#ThisisCLE Healthy Living Blogger Tour: Part Two

Disclosure: I partnered with Positively Cleveland to host an out-of-town blogger for a two-day healthy living tour. All expenses (meals, activities and transportation costs) were paid for by Positively Cleveland. I also received a swag bag of Cleveland items.  As always, thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

If you read my Part One post from Monday, you know that Positively Cleveland reached out to me to coordinate a #ThisisCLE Healthy Living Tour with Ami from Fit With Flash.  After adventuring around the East side Friday night and in Ohio City that rainy Saturday morning, Ami jumped in my car and we headed south to Valley View to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s Rockside Station:

If you follow my Instagram feed, you know just how much I adore 1) biking on the towpath 2) the combo of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cleveland Metroparks and Ohio-Erie Canalway.  This had to be an activity I shared with Ami with her time in Northeast Ohio.

Prior to the rain, we had plans to meet up with the great team from Cinecraft Productions (who would be filming a portion of our afternoon activities) to take the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad from Rockside Station to Boston Mill Station, to then ride the ten miles back north on the towpath. But a limited train schedule and one muddy trail led to a change of plans.

Lucky for us, the rain cleared out as Cinecraft taped their first segments with Ami under the covered train station stop. Outfitted with our bikes courtesy at Cleveland Bike Tours (Anne and Joe are the BEST in town!), the crew filmed us riding over bridges and paved trail ways along the canal near Thornburgh Station (where Malley’s and Yours Truly are located).  In the two hours of taping, I was thankful for the Go Pro cameras the crew utilized (can’t wait to see the footage) and the almonds that Ami had to fuel us through the afternoon!

Ami, the very seasoned traveler, offered to take Uber from various locations during our time together. As someone who depends on their car to get them everywhere, I have to admit it opened my eyes to the service it provided. Generally, she had a very easy time finding someone to pick her up and drop her off where she wanted to go – without much hassle… except for that little bit of shenanigans she encountered during her Uber ride as she worked her way to meeting me at The Greenhouse Tavern for our early Saturday night dinner. (On the bright side of things, she did get a few extra steps in because of it!)

As GHT is known for using local ingredients of all types – including produce, protein, and grains – I knew it would be a solid meal choice before the Indians game later that evening. Our server jumped right in with suggestions and recommendations, helping us place a well rounded order. Ami raved over her strip steak, and I couldn’t get enough of the red farm basket tomatoes appetizer (w/ dill, dehydrated nicoise olive, lucky penny feta & cucumber – amazing!), kale salad and the burger (sans bun). It’s so easy to eat gluten free at GHT, another reason why I love to pop in there for a pre-game or pre-show meal.

And then we were off down East 4th and on our way to Progressive Field for the Cleveland Indians game.  We arranged for seats in the Social Suite that evening where Ami had the finest in Northeast Ohio social-media baseball-watching seating possible — and apparently the best place to catch a foul ball that night!

As another Social Suite ticket holder caught that ball, Ami didn’t get to take that home as a souvenir unfortunately — maybe next time she comes to town to cheer on a Tribe win!

LONG STORY SHORT: As we kicked back in the Social Suite — snacking on peanuts (the perfect healthy-living ballpark treat) — Ami and I couldn’t believe how fast the time together went.  In the whirlwind of it all, it made me appreciate my town even more. While I focused on showing Ami spots that are near and dear to my heart, explaining why I loved them so made me appreciate them more. Open your eyes to all the great things you have around you, Cleveland — and not just when your newly found blogger friends make their way to the North Coast!  Many thanks to Ami from Fit With Flash for visiting and Positively Cleveland for making this blogger tour possible!

Check out Ami’s POV of her time in Cleveland: her “Part One” post is up and ready for you to read!

Disclosure: I partnered with Positively Cleveland to host an out-of-town blogger for a two-day healthy living tour. All expenses (meals, activities and transportation costs) were paid for by Positively Cleveland. I also received a swag bag of Cleveland items.  As always, thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

#ThisisCLE Healthy Living Blogger Tour: Part One

Disclosure: I partnered with Positively Cleveland to host an out-of-town blogger for a two-day healthy living tour. All expenses (meals, activities and transportation costs) were paid for by Positively Cleveland. I also received a swag bag of Cleveland items.  As always, thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

As a Clevelander working towards enjoying all aspects of this town, I do my best to find consistency in living a healthy lifestyle. (I think I just wrote my blog’s new “About Me” statement.) So I was pretty excited when Positively Cleveland reached out to coordinate a #ThisisCLE Healthy Living Tour for an out-of-town blogger. Showing off the North Coast + blogger meet up + doing all of my favorite activities = one big “count me in”.

Via Positively Cleveland selection process, I was paired with Ami from Fit With FlashShe works as a TRX Bootcamp owner, personal trainer and group fitness instructor. But as you can tell from her About Me page, she’s also a classically trained ballerina, proud Louisville, Kentucky resident, world traveler and fellow #crazydoglady. When we met this Friday for her weekend of getting to know my hometown, I knew we were going to get along great.

As my usual weekends feature my duties as a part-time yoga teacher, Positively Cleveland was very supportive of Ami kicking off her Healthy Living CLE weekend at my Sweet Heat Flow at Evolution Yoga School and Practice Space on the East side.

There’s something so special to me about getting to spend time with the great community at Evolution.  I call that Friday 5PM-7PM frame the “sweet spot” of my week and I was excited for Ami to meet my husband and several other “yoga” friends while getting to known my vinyasa teaching style. Ami shared she’s been adding more yoga to her routine lately, especially having fun learning how to do inversions. She kicked up to handstand with no problem – the work is paying off!

After class, we headed over to Eton Chagrin, a mere five minute drive from the yoga studio. One quick visit to lululemon athletica (#stuffhealthylivingbloggersdo) and we were ready to sit down at Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar, located at the shopping complex in Woodmere.

Being so close to both of my places of employment, Paladar is one of my go-to meeting spots. It’s where I take all of my interns for their “thank you” going-away lunches!  Ami and I were STARVING but managed to make smart choices – with a few splurges! Dinner included the guacamole of the day, mojo marinated atlantic salmon (with a roasted carrot puree and savory olive pasilla sauce, sautéed kale and zucchini) and their blacked fish tacos (with adobo-rubbed tilapia, pickled onion, pineapple slaw, cabbage and cilantro adobo aioli). Delicious, as always.

The next morning, we met up at TownHall in Ohio City to fuel up for our active Saturday. I selected TownHall for its fresh and healthy menu in a well-established CLE neighborhood. The restaurant promotes a healthy lifestyle by offering features like a juice bar, espresso bar, and plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. Too bad we didn’t have our pups — all their patios are dog friendly!

Ami and I both ordered the Wakey Wakey, featuring two organic eggs with your choice of bacon or house-made sausage. Ami jammed on the buttermilk biscuits while I enjoyed my substitution of the rosemary potatoes. And their hot sauce is killer – gives Aladdin’s a run for their money! All so good without making you feel too weighed down.

Unfortunately, the weather still wasn’t cooperating, so we spent some time crafting a Plan B for our active day. To stall a bit, we headed over to the West Side Market.

I did my best to take Ami through every nook and cranny as we both soaked in the atmosphere of a place I realized held a lot of memories for me.  While standing in the balcony of the market, I found myself sharing historical facts of one of Cleveland’s most well known structures, as well as my own family stories — like buying pizza bagels as kids for school lunches and my Aunt Kathy chatting with each and every single vendor as she was an weekend regular and knew everybody at each stand.  What a joy to be able to share those tales — I’m just glad I didn’t overwhelm Ami with them all!

As it misted along West 25th, we strolled south, stopping in Salty Not Sweet, Room Service and Campbell’s Sweets before heading back to my car. It was time to head south to enjoy one of my favorite healthy living destinations in all of Northeastern Ohio — and to hopefully lose the rain clouds on the way…

Check back on Friday for Part Two to read about the rest of our Cleveland healthy living adventures!

Disclosure: I partnered with Positively Cleveland to host an out-of-town blogger for a two-day healthy living tour. All expenses (meals, activities and transportation costs) were paid for by Positively Cleveland. I also received a goodie bag of Cleveland items.  As always, thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

#CLEfood: Blogger Round-Up dinner at Urban Farmer Cleveland

Disclosure:  I was invited to attend this Blogger Round-Up dinner at Urban Farmer Cleveland. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

In June 2013, bloggers from all over gathered at The Nines Hotel in Portland for the annual FitBloggin’ conference. In true blogger fashion, the weekend started by gathering in the hotel’s restaurant’s bar. At The Nines, that restaurant was Urban Farmer Portland.

I remember being blown away by the decor and vibe at first, but then by the food and service to follow. Who knew what a gem Portland residents had, all tucked away in a boutique hotel?

Well, the great news is that Clevelanders were gifted the same in the new Westin with our very own Urban Farmer ClevelandA few Mondays ago, myself and 17 other bloggers were given a full culinary tour of what Cleveland’s newest steakhouse is all about.

Our time started on their patio along East 6th with a view of Cleveland Public hall, of choice of cocktails, their wide array of cheeses and one heck of a charcuterie offering.

urban farmer cocktails

urban farmer cheese

Those first forty-five minutes blew by as I caught up with fellow North Coast bloggers and Urban Farmer’s uber-kind marketing coordinator, Stephanie. From there, she lead us into the main dining room, through UF’s semi-private dining room (The Pantry), all the way back to their very funky in decor fully-private private dining room. There, Chef Brad Cecchi (on IG at @brad_cecchi) treated the bloggers with a five course meal of items on the UF menu, but also with some special twists.

urban farmer dinner

The evening’s menu included:

  • first course: beef tartare with deviled egg — paired with Charles & Charles Rose  (My gluten free version included scallop chips instead of toasts. Think shrimp chips – but made with scallops. Crunchy, crispy and a party in your mouth!)
  • second course: chilled lobster salad with tomato, avocado, fennel, mint, and verjus sorbet – paired with Mayu Pedro Ximenez  (This is on the regular menu – very refreshing!)
  • third course: seared scallop served with corn, candied bacon, and tomato – paired with Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier  (A bit off the menu and a bit on – all delicious on their own and paired together.)
  • forth course: 21 day dry-aged strip loin with boulangere potato and summer squash – paired with Lock & Key Meritage  (This red wine was a HUGE favorite of the bloggers. And I adored this course and Chef Brad’s unique prep of all the components.)
  • fifth course: vegan coconut ice cream with gluten free cookies (Something special for me because of my gluten intolerance as everyone else enjoyed malted goodness.)

LONG STORY SHORT:  As you can tell by the photos, we didn’t leave hungry. In fact, I was so full that I didn’t eat breakfast the next morning. I NEVER not eat breakfast. Or I was just still thinking of that coconut ice cream…  An ordinary Monday night turned into something extraordinary — and I can’t wait to head back for more.  Here’s to seeing if I can sweet talk Hans into checking out another Cleveland steakhouse — that shouldn’t be TOO hard to do, right?!  Many thanks to Chef Brad, Stephanie and the entire Urban Farmer Cleveland team for their generosity and hospitality!

Keep up to date with Cleveland’s newest steakhouse by liking their Facebook page, following them on Twitter at @urbanfarmercle and on Instagram.

Interested to learn more about the decor selections at Urban Farmer Cleveland?  Check out this recent post over at Cleveland Magazine.

Disclosure:  I was invited to attend this Blogger Round-Up dinner at Urban Farmer Cleveland. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

 

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