Category Archives: Eats!

21 down… 4 to go! Scene Challenge Update

I’m so close to being done I can practicallyvtaste it! Get it? HA! Only a year behind my original deadline. Funny how life gets in the way, huh?

19. Slyman’s Deli (Downtown)
I went with:
Chris
Price:  About $25
What we had: Chris had their famous corned beef sandwich, I had a turkey Reuben and fries.
Food:  The food was delicious. Chris was especially in love with his corned beef. He even cleaned his plate.
Service:
Service was quick and we must have picked just the right time to go because we didn’t have to wait for a table!
Summary: I wish this place had hours that allowed it to be easier for me to get to. They are only open for breakfast and lunch during the week and are closed on the weekend. I had to go on a day I was heading down to Columbus for work in the afternoon. I picked up Chris from work to grab lunch. Otherwise, delicious!

     

     

20. Li Wah (Downtown)
I went with:
About half the cast of Ragtime (seriously there was about 25 of us after a show)
Price:  $27 (but Hannah split the cost of the Hurricane with me so really it was a little less than that)
What we had: There is no way I can name what everybody had for this one so I’ll just say that I had the General Tso’s Chicken and split the Hurricane with Hannah
Food:  You know it’s going to be a good night when you drink comes to the table on fire! It probably would have been smart of me to try it before I spooned the shot in the middle into the drink. It was PRETTY STRONG!  The General Tso’s chicken was pretty standard. A little spicier than most but generally very good.
Service:
Service was so-so. Granted, we had A LOT of people to take care of. Only thing that rubbed me the wrong way was the fact that they didn’t tell us gratuity was included and it wasn’t easy to tell on the hand-written check. Very sneaky, Li Wah!
Summary: Great restaurant. I’ve been there before and normally get the bubble tea. YUM!

        

21. Lolita (Tremont)
I went with:
Chris
Price:  Total was $65. I had a $25 gift certificate from Christmas so we paid $40.
What we had: Chris had 2 beers and I had a glass of wine. We started with the Duck Meatballs. For a main course, I had the Soppressata pizza and Chris had the Buccatini pasta.
Food: Michael Symon knows what he’s doing! The Duck Meatballs were juicy and delicious with the perfect tomato sauce.  My pizza was spicy and satisfying and Chris’s pasta was completely delicious. 
Service:
Service was very good. They are great about keeping water filled and, while it took a while for our entrees to come out, it didn’t feel like we were waiting too long.
Summary:  Always a good choice. If you are adventurous with food, you can order pretty much anything and be happy.  You might not know what it means when you order it off the menu, but you are guaranteed that it will taste good.

        

Only 4 left!!!!! (Click here, here, here, here, here and here for more Scene Restaurant Challenge posts)

Find me at The Retro Kitchen

As I mentioned in this morning’s post, I’m over at The Retro Kitchen today as part of the OBA blog swap sharing my favorite chili recipe! Go check it out!!

OBA Blog Swap Guest Post from My Retro Kitchen

Hey Everybody- As a part of today’s Ohio Blogging Association‘s All State Blog Swap, I’m happy to introduce you to Amie from My Retro Kitchen. On this day, bloggers from around the great state of Ohio are guest posting on one another blogs as a way to help to get one another in our blogging community. For a full listing of blog swap participants, please visit Poise in Parma today.  I am totally in awe of Amie’s talents as a mom and abilities in the kitchen.  Keep an eye out for my guest post on her blog this afternoon!

my family, my life

Hi everyone!  My name is Amie and I write the cooking blog My Retro Kitchen.  Since becoming a mom myself I have noticed, although I hope it to be a dying trend, that the art of a home-cooked, sit-down family dinner is a thing of the past. It is a retro idea. People are busy, kids sports schedules are hectic and goodness, it can just get hard to have a moment to talk to one another, let along cook a meal and all eat it at the same table at the same time.  But truly I believe it is one of the best things a person can give their family! So My Retro Kitchen is full of recipes that anyone can make at home, they don’t take a lot of time and shouldn’t cost you a lot in the process.  Cooking for your family doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can be delicious and from the heart.

When the Ohio Blogging Association put together this blog swap together, I was thrilled to be pared with Sara!  At our last meet up, she and I got to sit next to one another.  I had such a nice time chatting and getting to know her.  It is always so much fun to actually sit face to face with a blogger you read online all the time!!  So thank you so much Sara for letting me take over your page for the day.

As a stay at home to two very, very active little boys- Jackson my Super Hero 5 year old and Owen, the busy 18 month old (who-thinks-he-is-five!), I often get asked if I really do cook for my family every day. And how in the world I can do it!! Of course we do have our occasional declared pizza nights, but aside from that, yes I choose to bless my family in the way.  For healthy happy bellies make healthy happy children and husbands!  Sarah asked if I could share some tips to making nightly home cooking simple, and not as time consuming as it seems.  I promise you can all do it!

Weekly Meal Plans I think one of the most cost efficient ways to kick-start nightly home cooking is to create a weekly meal plan.  This is actually a process that I discovered not to very long ago but now swear by it!  My meal plan isn’t broken down into strict Monday we will eat This and Tuesday we will eat That.  But I do decide the night before I go shopping for the 2 week pay schedule what dinners we will eat across those 14 days, and then shop according to those recipes.  That way all I have to do is peek at my “Menu” on the fridge where have a ton of ideas (that I also know I have all of the ingredients for on hand) and dinner is a snap.  There is nothing worse then having this great idea for dinner, you start cooking and realize you need some beans, canned tomatoes or maybe rice noodles and fish sauce.  Out to the store you go.  Not very time saving or cost efficient.

Stock Your Pantry Going along with the weekly meal plan is also the importance of a stocked pantry.  I don’t mean going crazy and buying 10 cans of tomato sauce at the bulk store.  But having one or two extra items of the things you go thorough most often along with a few “special” ingredients for when a fun idea hits you.  I love playing with Ethnic recipes, so for these I like to pick up some of the not so everyday (for me) items to have on hand. There is something about a nice stocked pantry that makes me smile from ear to ear.  Ohhh the choices!!  Don’t do it all at one time, just maybe buy an extra bottle of ketchup or those two for one cans of kidney beans each time you shop.  You won’t notice the expense in your weekly shopping, but your pantry will get full fast.

Make Use of Your Freezer Another thing I find hugely helpful is making two batches at a time when I am putting together a recipe like a casseroles, enchiladas, or homemade raviolis (won ton wrappers are a great time saver for these by the way!) and even breakfast muffins- one for a meal that day and another to wrap in plastic and foil and placing in the freezer for another night down the road.  You already have the ingredients on the counter so it takes not all that much extra time now but saves you a world of time when you get home a little later then usual in a couple weeks and the thought of making a full dinner makes you groan.  All you have to do is pull that tray of enchiladas out of the freezer and pop it in the oven. Dinner is ready in 25 minutes and you did nothing… but your family raves of your Super Ability!  All it takes is a little pre-planning.

I could go on and on all of the simple changes you can make in your routine to make dinner time a family tradition.  But with so many tips I think I have found a new weekly blog post on my Retro Kitchen! Thanks Sara! lol.

So now I am going to share with you one of my most favorite, and also most popular recipes on My Retro Kitchen.  My Spaghetti and Meatball Pie.  Everyone loves spaghetti and meatballs and how many of us have it as a regular item on your rotating meals?!  Well this recipe takes the basic idea of the dish, but gives it a little spin to turn it into something completely new and delicious.  And the best part of it- it freezes awesome!

Spaghetti and Meatball Pie
8 oz. dry spaghetti noodles (half a box)
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 well-beaten eggs
1 lb ground turkey or beef, divided (1/4 for meatballs and 3/4 for in the skillet sauce)
1/2 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup-1 cup shredded zucchini (optional)
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1 bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1 (8-oz.) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes (don’t drain) or 4 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cottage cheese or ricotta cheese (I prefer cottage cheese for this, but both work. I use whatever I happen to have on hand)
1/2 cup Mozzarella or Moneterey Jack cheese, shredded

For the meatballs (makes about 4-6 meatballs)
the reserved 1/4 lb ground meat
8 ritz crackers, crushed (or 1/4 cup bread crumbs)
1 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped
1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
salt and fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and roll into golfball-sized meatballs. Brown on all sides and set aside.

For the pie

1. Cook spaghetti noodles. Drain. Stir margarine into hot noodles until melted. Stir in Parmesan cheese and eggs. Form pasta mixture into a crust shape in a buttered 9-inch pie plate.

2. In skillet, cook ground beef and onions, bell pepper and mushrooms until meat is browned. Drain. Add to meat mixture, tomatoes, zucchini, tomato paste, oregano and garlic. Heat through. Spread cottage cheese over bottom of spaghetti crust.

3. Top with tomato/meat mixture.

4. Cut the meatballs in half and arrange on top.

5. Sprinkle grated cheese over all.

Lightly cover pan with foil and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil and bake for 5 more minutes until cheese is lightly browned. Cut into pie wedges and serve.

Special Note: You can also prepare this dish ahead of time and freeze for later. If you want to go this route, you will cover your pie pan with plastic wrap and foil right after assembly; label and freeze. When you are ready to serve: Thaw. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes at 350 F. Remove foil and bake for 5 minutes more until cheese is lightly browned.  If you prepare this in a disposable foil pan you even have less dishes to do!

18 down…7 to go! Scene Challenge Update

Slowly but surely, I am finishing up the Scene challenge.  It’s definitely been a challenge- between a strangely busy winter social life and living on a few budget, things are moving slowly but they are still moving!


17. Moxie, the Restaurant (Beachwood)
I went with:
My sister & Mom
Price:  Our total was $56 before tip
What we had: We each had a glass of wine.  My mom had eaten before she came (silly woman!) and just got a small order of crab “cakes.”  Tracy and I split the Caesar salad and Spicy Shrimp Scampi.
Food:  This experience started out well for Tracy the bread lover when they brought out some amazing bread and a delicious dipping sauce.  While the Caesar salad was kinda basic – nothing exciting there- the Shrimp Scampi was delicious.  The couscous was cooked perfectly and the shrimp had just the right amount of heat. 
Service:
Our server was very attentive.  She even split our shared items in advance which was definitely a plus!
Summary:Overall it was a good experience. I’m not sure if I would say it was one of my best dining experiences for this challenge but I would give it another try.

         

18. Sokolowski’s University Inn (Tremont)
I went with:
Chris
Price:  $23
What we had: Chris had the pierogi plate with green beans and potatoes.  I had the stuffed cabbage with pierogies and sauerkraut.  We split a Coke.
Food:  Saying Sokolowski’s will fill you up is an understatement.  These heaping plates of food are mind boggling. I’ve been to Sokolowski’s before and the pierogies were delicious as usual- covered in butter with just the right amount of onion. I usually get the pierogi dinner myself but decided to branch out and try the stuffed cabbage. I am SO GLAD I did.  It was the very best stuffed cabbage that I have EVER HAD.  The only minor disappointment in the meal was my sauerkraut.  I love sauerkraut and I’ve had it here before (there have been times I asked for double sauerkraut instead of a second side…).  On this occasion, the taste was just a little off.  Not sure if it had too much butter or what.  The sourness was cut with something a little too sweet for my taste. 
Service:
Sokolowski’s is cafeteria style.  You never quite know what kind of line you are going to walk in to.  Before this experience (we got there at 7:15pm on a Saturday), I had never waited in a line that was more than 20 people long.  I’m not sure if it was the day of the week, the time of day, or the fact that we got there just as a huge retirement party was getting in, but we were all the way back at the back of the restaurant when we started.  We probably waited 20-25 minutes in line.  Chris was a little frustrated at first but I reminded him that at most restaurants we would have to wait to be seated, wait for a server to come take our order and then wait for our food.  Overall- pretty comparable.
Summary: I love Sokolowski’s and if you are looking to get really full on some authentic Polish cuisine- this is your place!

         

So, 7 restaurants left.  Planning on grabbing Chris from work when I work from home this week to cross Slyman’s off the list (they were trying really hard to make it difficult by only being open week days until 2pm but I will not be detoured!).  I also had some blogger friends mention that a night at Li Wah might be fun.  Who’s in????

16 down! 9 to go… Scene Challenge Update

As I mentioned in my previous post, I may have failed at completing my Scene challenge in 6-months, but I would not accept defeat!  So, now I’m back to dining and have completed restaurants #15 and 16.  Here’s the rundown…


15. Amp 150 (Cleveland @ the Airport Marriot)
I went with:
Crystal from Eat Drink Cleveland
Price:  My meal was $44 with tip.
What we had: What didn’t we have? Crystal and I went crazy on this menu because honestly, we couldn’t choose!  I had the winter cosmo, chicken soup, chopped salad and shrimp & grits. Crystal had a beer cocktail (can’t remember the name…), beet salad and pan seared walu.  We both had the milk chocolate pana cotta for dessert.
Food:  This was probably one of the best Scene challenge meals I have had.  It ranks up there with the food at Fahrenheit and Dante.  My cosmo was PERFECTION, the soup was spicy (jalapenos!) but delicious and the salad and shrimp & grits were incredible.  Crystal loved her meal is well and should be blogging about it at Eat Drink Cleveland soon.  As amazing as the meal was, the dessert was just as spectacular.  I could eat that pana cotta every day. There is something about the taste of malted hazelnut and salted caramel that combine for melt in your mouth perfection. Are you drooling yet? You should be.
Service:
Our service was great.  I server was attentive without being annoying and dessert was served by Executive Chef Jeff Jarrett himself!  We were never left waiting for anything!
Summary: This was an all around amazing experience.  You wouldn’t expect such a gem to be located in a hotel by the airport.  To make things even better, Crystal discovered that when you check in at Amp 150 on Foursquare for the first time you get 5% off your meal (AND for each additional time up to 25%!).  We got 5% off, an amazing meal and motivation to come back.  What more could you ask for?

                  

16. Sergio’s in University Circle
I went with:
My handsome husband
Price:  Our meal was $71 + tip.  We had a $50 gift certificate that I got from my in-laws for my birthday & a $10 off coupon from my coworker, Lea’s Cleveland Independents card deck
What we had: Chris had a beer and I had a very tasty glass of Riesling.  For dinner, I had the Linda O’s Salad and Pollo Romano.  Chris had the Trevisano Salad and the Halibut Al Forno
Food:  My salad was amazing.  It was like breakfast and a salad got together and had a baby. The combo of baby spinach, smoked bacon, a fried egg and sweet and sour dressing  made me want to lick the plate when everything was gone.  Chris’s salad and meal were equally appetizing.  A nicely dressed salad and a perfectly cooked piece of halibut had him smiling.  Sadly, my meal went south with the main course.  The HUGE piece of breaded chicken tasted like something you could get from a chain restaurant and the pasta was so garlicky that I was tasting it all night (and not in the good way!). 
Service:
The service was prompt but our waiter wasn’t very personable.  Beyond asking us “how we were doing this evening,” he really only spoke when he had to.
Summary: I’ve heard good things about Sergio’s and overall I was a little disappointed with my meal.  I might be willing to give it another try.  Hopefully, next time the chef isn’t so heavy handed with the garlic.

               

So, we’re down to the last 9 restaurants.  If you see someplace you’d like to go on this list,  drop me a comment and we’ll plan a (totally platonic) date. :)

Life According to My Iphone 3.0

The holidays are always busy and this year is no different.  I attended 3 parties yesterday!  It was crazy. Awesome, but crazy. I would not have made it through to 2am if it weren’t for the nap I took between party #1 and party #2.  I really really love naps.  So here’s a quick glimpse at life through my iphone!

On December 1st I made this recipe for Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork from My Retro Kitchen.  I was a little nervous because I’m not much of a cook but with a little love and some support from Facebook friends, it turned out really well.  It was delicious and it provided quick easy meals for days! Here’s my pulled pork sandwich with a side of Dr. Pepper!


The same day I made the pulled pork, Chris and I attended the wrap-up party for Movember.  If you haven’t heard about it, Movember is a month of men growing mustaches in an effort to promote awareness and fundraising for prostate and testicular cancer.  My friends Andy and Casey were part of the Cleveland Mo Bros.  Their upper lip art and that of their team helped raise over $13,000!  The wrap up party happened at The Blind Pig and there was a lot of creepin’ going on. I shot this pic of the guys in all their mustache glory…


A week later, I got back to what I really know and love- eating out.  Crystal from Eat Drink Cleveland and I tackled one of my Scene list restaurants, Amp 150.  It was AMAZING and I will have a full report this week.  Here we are completely stuffed…


We took in a new foster dog this week.  His name is Mr. Bo Jangles.  He’s the sweetest most laid back foster dog we have ever had. More on him in my usual foster report coming soon!

The first of yesterday’s 3 parties was an ornament exchange. It was the perfect afternoon get together with lots of great food, mimosas and a fun white elephant exchange. There was even the added bonus of ugly holiday sweaters.  I rocked an amazing Looney Tunes Christmas vest that my mom bought new about 15 years ago.  Sadly, the only picture I got was of Poe in his Christmas sweater, but it’s a cute one…


We ended yesterday at Russ and Summer’s house for a big tee party in honor of Russ & Lardi’s birthdays.  We got there late as we were coming from Chris’s company Christmas party so things were already in full swing.  I have never seen so many oversized t-shirts in one place.  It was fantastic.  Russ decided that the big tee just wasn’t enough…


I think that sums up life lately.  I’m going to go back to laying on the couch now… :)

 

You guys want some COOKIES?

Every time I mention cookies, Chris quotes this…


Yup,  that’s my random fact for this post… but back to the cookies.

I made cookies… and I only messed them up and had to start over ONCE (little victories, right?)!

The cookies were for the OBA December Holiday Party and Meet-up which took place yesterday.  I’ve been super excited about this event ever since Alicia announced it in October and it wasn’t until last week that I realized it conflicted with a Secondhand Mutts Board Meeting.  By that point, I had hyped myself up so much about making these cookies that I couldn’t turn back.  I coordinated with Alicia and Crystal so that, even in my absence, my cookies would get to the event and I would get the full slew of swapped cookies when Crystal and I meet up on Thursday at Amp 150 to knock it off my Scene list (more on that after it happens!).

But what cookies to make?  It was actually a really easy decision.  My mom isn’t much of a baker but she’s been going to a neighborhood cookie exchange for as long as I can remember.  I would just steal one of her recipes!  It was easy to pick because I’ve always had a clear favorite- chocolate mint cremes!  So, I copied the recipe at Thanksgiving and picked up the ingredients this past Saturday.  Here is where things start to go wrong…

Fail #1.  After going to 2 stores looking for them, I discovered that they don’t make pastel mint cream kisses anymore.  You see the beauty of these cookies is the red and green mint cream in the middle. What to do?  Well, I would not be deterred so, with the help of a nice man at Tapp’s Confectionary Supply, I formulated a plan.  I would put mint syrup in the actual cookies and buy colored chocolate creams.  Crisis averted and I went home to bake.

Fail #2.  I noticed early in the process that my dough wasn’t quite the consistency I expected and yet I kept moving forward.  As I was balling dough onto the cookie sheet to put in the oven, I called my mom because my doubled batch was not going to make nearly as many cookies as it should.  She was out but would be home in 10 minutes to go over the recipe with me.  In the meantime, I put the cookies in the oven.  When the timer went off 8 minutes later, I was greeted by a burnt pan full of melted cookie goo.  Obviously, something was very wrong.  My mom called back about 5 minutes later.  I told her about the mess I was dealing with.  “Okay, read me the recipe,” she says.  I start… “1/4 cup of flour.”  “ONE and a 1/4 cup of flour!!!” she replies.  Yup, that would do it.

So, I went out, picked up more dark chocolate and started again.  This time I was successful and got the wonderful amazing delicious cookies I had been hoping for.  So, here is the CORRECT recipe.  If you like chocolate and mint, I totally reccomend these cookies.  Despite my copious amount of issues, they are actually really easy to make (if you copy/follow the recipe correctly)!

Mint Chocolate Cremes (makes 2-3 dozen)

ONE and a 1/4 cup of flour
1/2 t Baking Soda
1 six oz. package semi-sweet chocolate pieces
2/3 c brown sugar
6 T butter
3 drops peppermint oil
1 egg
1 T water
1/2 lb. pastel chocolate creams (I used red and green but they can be found in many colors at any confectionery/cake supply store)

  • Stir together flour and baking soda- set aside.
  • Combine chocolate, brown sugar, butter and water in med. saucepan
  • Stir over low heat until chocolate melts
  • Stir in 3 drops peppermint oil to melted mixture
  • Pour into large mixing bowl and let stand for 10-15 minutes
  • Beat egg into chocolate mixture
  • Stir in flour mixtures
  • Cover & chill for 1-2 hours
  • Shape dough into 1 in. balls and place on cookies sheets
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes
  • Remove and immediately top with pastel chocolate creams (push into cookie to flatten out)
  • Return to oven for 2 minutes
  • Swirl chocolate cream with knife
  • Cool on rack
  • Enjoy!

Accepting Defeat… Sorta (Scene Restaurants 11-14)

Today is the last day of summer- my deadline for the Scene Magazine Challenge.  What do I have to show for it?  14 restaurants in 6 months… 6 very busy months.  No excuses though. I tried. It didn’t happen…. but it’s going to!  I’m not stopping here.  6 months to eat at 25 restaurants was a completely self imposed deadline.  You’re willing to give me an extension, right dear reader?

Awww, thanks! :) I promise I won’t let you down. It may take a while (we’re going down to 1.5 incomes, remember?) but I’m going to all 25.  So, let’s review 11 through 14:

I went to 3 Scene restaurants in 2 weeks and have not been to one in a month and a half.  I’m embarrassed to say I don’t even remember all the details.  Somebody get me back on track!!

11. Fahrenheit (Tremont)
I went with
: Chris, Russ & Summer
Price: Russ & Summer took us as a thank you for watching their dog, Armani, while they were in Florida
What we had: I had the Heirloom Tomato salad & Rabbit Bolognese, Chris had a Mediterannean Pizza, Summer had the Strip Steak and Russ had the Short Ribs.  We split desserts-  Russ & Summer had the Strawberry Shortcake, Chris & I had the Chocolate Lava Cake
Food:  This was honestly one of the best meals I have EVER had.  I was nervous about getting the rabbit but it was AMAZING.  I savored every bite.  The tomato salad was also simply amazing.  Tangy and delicious.  Everyone else loved their meals too.  The only mildly disappointing thing for me was the dessert.  The chocolate lava cake wasn’t as moist as I would have liked-  it was good but not “melt in your mouth” good like I wanted.
Service: Great!  They are so quick to refill your water and our server was really nice.
Summary: Favorite Scene list restaurant to date.  I wanna go back… today.

                 

12. Nightown (University Circle)
I went with
: My parents, Tracy, Brian & Chris
Price: We went for my birthday so my parents paid. :)
What we had: I had the Chevre Chicken.  I can’t remember who had what but other people had Teriyaki Grilled Salmon, Prime Rib, Chesapeake Crabcakes, and Pork Chops.  I had the creme brulee as a wonderful birthday dessert.
Food:  The food was good.  Very traditional… dinner salads, classic flavors.  Not the most exciting but very tasty.
Service:   We waited… a while… for our server to come the first time.  He had another large table and service was slow through most of the meal.
Summary:  Not someplace I would pick regularly but a good meal.  Might have to go back to listen to some jazz.

    

13. Flying Fig (Ohio City)
I went with
: Chris & Julie
Price: Julie took us for my birthday. :)
What we had: Chris had the short ribs.  Julie had… ahi tuna… I think?  I had the mussels & duck gnocchi
Food:  Chris and Julie’s food was better than mine.  Don’t you hate when that happens?
Service:   We sat on the patio and the service was pretty good.  We waited a few times because I think the server had tables inside too.
Summary:  Spend the extra money and get the good stuff- the spare ribs are a menu staple for a reason!

                    

14. Lucky’s Cafe (Tremont)
I went with
: Tina Fey… jk.  I went by myself and took my copy of Bossypants.
Price: $16
What I had: An iced vanilla coffee and the Shipwreck.
Food:  Here is how Lucky’s website describes the Shipwreck— “A blissful blend of hash browns, eggs, seasonal veggies, bacon, and cheddar cheese, served with house-baked como toast & fresh fruit.”  In my experience, it wasn’t especially blissful.  Even with Lucky’s homemade hot sauce, it just didn’t have a whole lot of taste.
Service:   I waited 25 minutes for a table on a Sunday morning.  I guess I should have expected to wait but I thought maybe as a single I could get in sooner.  Ofcourse,  I didn’t give myself nearly enough time and when I finally got seated I had to rush through my meal.  My server was really nice though.
Summary: The overall experience was disappointing.  I have heard such great things about their brunch and it just didn’t live up to my expectations.

       

So, here we are, 6 months and 14 restaurants in.  Let me know if you want to hit up one of the remaining restaurants with me!!

 

 

10 down! 15 to go… Scene Challenge Update

I’m embarrassed to say that it has been almost 2 1/2 months since my last Scene Challenge entry.  However, I’m back with restaurants 6-10!!  Hopefully, I’m still on course to finish by mid-September.  If anyone out there would like to join me for remaining restaurants just take a look at the list at the bottom of this page and leave a comment with the restaurant you want to go to!

Luckily, my birthday is this Thursday so I’m taking full advantage and using it as an excuse to go to as many restaurants as I can!  Last night we went to restaurant 11, Fahrenheit, and tonight I’ll be at restaurant 12, Nightown!  As for 6-10, it was a long road.  Travel, work changes and general summer fun kept me pretty busy over the last few months.

Please forgive my lack of check-in at restaurant 9, Tommy’s.  I would SWEAR I checked in but when I looked later it was no where to be found.  My mom and Carrie can vouch for me, though.  As for restaurant 10… I fudged that one a little.  Crop is closed right now as they are in the process of moving from W. 6th St. to Ohio City.   I’ve been there- the food is great.  So, as a stand-in, Chris and I went to Cropicana- the new restaurant on Whiskey Island owned by the owners of Crop.  Hopefully, you agree that this stand-in is acceptable.  If you don’t, too bad- I make the rules!  :)

6. Bar Cento (Ohio City)
I went with
: Tracy & Chris
Price: We went during happy hour.  Total was about $50 for the 3 of us.
What we had: Tracy and I each had a sangia (white for me, red for her), I got the house salad and we split a marinara pizza.  Chris got a beer and the Sunnyside pizza.
Food:  I’ve eaten at Bar Cento before and they definitely have good pizza.  Both our Marinara and Chris’s Sunnyside were delicious.  The sangria was also delicious and for $5 it was a deal!  Only disappointing part was their $5 house salad.  It was pretty sad (photo below).
Service: The service was a little slow.  Our waiter was kinda strange.  Overall, a little disappointing.
Summary: Come here for the pizza and beer!

                

7. Parkview Niteclub (Detroit Shoreway)
I went with
: Julie
Price: We went for brunch.  With tip, I spent about $10.
What we had: I had the Eggs Benedict (one of my favorite breakfast items) and Julie had the Eggs Wellington and a Mimosa.
Food: The food was really good.  My Eggs Benedict were not the best I have ever had but they are the perfect hangover food (not that I had on that day).  I tried Julie’s steak and it was pretty amazing for a corner bar.
Service: Service was okay.  The bartenders were also serving so I tend to cut them a little slack.
Summary:  Perfect for brunch!!

                    

8. Greenhouse Tavern (E. 4th Street)
I went with
: Lindsay Doerr
Price: We went during happy hour.  It was my last week at Near West and Lindsay treated.
What we had: I had the house white and Lindsay had a red wine (can’t remember what kind).  I had the Grilled Caesar Salad and the Grass Fed Ohio Beef Burger.  Lindsay had the Animal Style Fries &  Edemame.
Food:  I had originally wanted the lamb burger but it was a Monday and they hadn’t gotten their shipment for the week yet. BOO.  I’m not much of a hamburger fan but I decided to try it.  This was probably one of the best burgers I have ever had.  The salad was also delicious although I still find grilled lettuce a little weird.   Lindsay’s fries were drenched in gravy and cheese.  YES PLEASE!
Service: We sat at the bar and it wasn’t too crowded so service was good.
Summary: Great burger.  Have to go back to try the lamb!

       

9. Tommy’s (Coventry)
I went with
: My mom & my childhood babysitter, Carrie
Price: My mom paid for this one…
What we had: Everyone had shakes (cookies n’ cream for me, vanilla for Carrie, chocolate for my mom).  Carrie and my Mom each had the veggie burger.  I had the lamb shawarma.  We split an order of fries.
Food:  Everyone had a great meal but the best part was the milkshakes.  Everyone I told I was coming here told me to get the milk shake.  I was not disappointed.  It was the perfect level of creaminess with the extra mixing glass!
Service: The service was good overall.  They never refilled my water when I ran out but I was so obsessed with my milkshake at that point it didn’t really matter.
Summary: Great dinner style food. BEST MILKSHAKES  EVER (and I know milkshakes!).

                

10. Cropicana (Whiskey Island)
I went with
: Chris
Price: $32
What we had: I had the Caesar salad, fish tacos and a Miller Lite.  Chris had a very tall Labatt’s and the shaved pork sandwich with homemade chips.
Food:  The food was awesome!  The owners of Crop and Cropicana know how to create delicious taste combinations.  I was especially impressed with Chris’s pork sandwich.  I am not a big fan of bbq sauce but the sauce on that sandwich was to die for.
Service: Jump in line and grab a tray!  This place is fast food style.  We didn’t wait long which was impressive since the food was such high quality.
Summary: Perfect place to enjoy a summer evening!

              

 

40% DONE!  15 to go…!  Who will help me finish the list??

I Scream, You Scream…

In the last 2 weeks, I have replaced dinner with ice cream 3 times.  That’s totally a healthy and smart choice, right?

And since I’ve decided that this obviously qualifies me as an expert…

While the Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip pictured above from Cold Stone Creamery is DELICIOUS, that sh*t is expensive! 

I recommend Ohio City Ice Cream  (W. 44th St. & Bridge Ave) for the more cost-concious ice cream dinner.  My favorite menu item?  The Flurry with chocolate soft serve and Heath Bar.  Get the small. It is twice as big as the “Like it” at Cold Stone and more than a $1 cheaper.

If  I am going to continue this pattern of making bad food decisions, I’m going to need to add some variety.  So, what is your favorite place for Ice Cream?  Favorite ice cream creation? Tell me, tell me, tell me!

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