Since its completion in 1912, the West Side Market has become a landmark of Cleveland, offering the finest meats, fish, baked goods and produce in the area. In 2010, the Market was named the “Best Food Lovers’ Market” in the country by the Food Network. So it stands to reason that its 100th Birthday is a big deal. Year-long celebration activities will take place, beginning in June, to commemorate the Market’s storied history. From firework displays to multicultural parades, there is something for the foodie of all ages.
Learn more about the market and the events surrounding the centennial:
– Nate Klein
It happens like clockwork. The end of January rolls around and I am literally itching for something to do. Call it the winter blues, call it cabin fever, call it whatever you want; it’s a problem, a very expensive problem. I ultimately start planning an elaborate long weekend getaway that I can’t afford so soon after the holidays. Well this year I can’t, just can’t get away right now. But does this mean I have to spend another weekend fine tuning the body imprint on the couch, scanning the latest new releases on Netflix? After some thought and research, I discovered no, there is plenty to do in my hometown of Cleveland in the winter; lately I’ve just been too lazy to get out and do it.
So this weekend I’ve planned a vacation for my husband and I to get away. Sure, it’s only 20 miles away from our humble abode but there are plenty of things to do and places to eat that often we complain we “never have time” to experience. Well, this weekend is our chance. The only rule is that we can’t go somewhere where we have been before, just as if we were on vacation in a different location.The weekend will start after work on Friday (no need to waste precious vacation time on travel, perk numero uno.) While I love the Westside neighborhoods of Tremont and Ohio City for a post-work happy hour or weekend dinner, rules state we can’t go to the norm. So, guess we’ll have to go some other time to Momocho, Bier Market and Prosperity. What better way to warm the winter chills than some hearty Italian drinks and dining? Our first stop will be Gusto! (www.gustolittleitaly.com; 216.791.9900) in Little Italy, only 5 miles outside of downtown Cleveland. With a happy hour until 8pm which includes $5 house wines, half priced cocktails and $5 appetizers such as calamari della liguria, prosciutto w/cantaloupe and gusto pizza, this charming restaurant is just the place to get the weekend started.
After some wine, we will hop on a bus to the Cleveland Museum of Art (www.clevelandart.org; 216.421.7350), less than a mile away in University Circle. In the process of a massive renovation, the museum reopened some galleries this past summer, bringing back more than 900 pieces, many of which have been out of the public’s eye for the past five years. With more than 40 galleries still open during the renovation there is plenty to see and the best part is admission to the permanent collections is free and open until 9pm on Fridays.For a late dinner, the plan is to head to Guarino’s Restaurant (www.guarinoscleveland.com; 216.231.3100). Italian traditions like the lasagna and manicotti get rave reviews at the oldest Italian restaurant in the neighborhood, opened in 1918. Hopefully, we’ll have time to swing by Presti’s Bakery (www.prestisbakery.com; 216.421.3060) before dinner and pick up some dessert. With freshly made baked goods, the doughnuts, cookies and cannoli’s would make for the perfect treat to end the evening.
To save money, Friday evening we’ll stay at home. To keep with the vacationing spirit though, no early morning Saturday workout for me. Instead we’ll rise and shine bright and early for skiing and snow tubing at Boston Mills/Brandywine (www.bmbw.com; 800.875.4241). Then, we’ll get in a workout by cross country skiing at Lake Metroparks (www.lakemetroparks.com; 440.358.7275). Hey, if we’ve got this much snow, we might as well enjoy it.While out on the east side of town, we’ll head out to Debonne Vineyards (www.debonne.com; 440.466.3485) for dinner and delicious Ohio wine. In addition to tours and tastings during regular business hours, Ohio’s largest estate winery features European style wines including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Cabernet and Riesling. The worst part will be only choosing one.
After a quick change to prepare for a night on the town, we’re heading to the Kennedy’s Theater at PlayhouseSquare (www.playhousesquare.org; 216.771.8403) to check out Flanagan’s Wake. According to reviews the performance is half scripted, half improvisation as the audience is transported to Ireland. The audiences then participate with the villagers in the telling of tales, singing of songs, and mourn the passing of one of their own, Flanagan. Sounds like something worth the low cost of admission, around $20.
The best part about winter vacations? Hotel rooms at way discounted rates. The Radisson Gateway actually has a “red hot deal” online for only $59! Other hotel properties such as the Wyndham have deals based on the temperature outside. For special hotel packages, click here.Since we’re staying downtown for the night, what better way to finish off the evening than with a nightcap? While both East 4th Street and the Warehouse District are home to a variety of restaurants and bars, to stick to the rules we’ll try the Champagne Bar at Pickwick and Frolic (www.pickwickandfrolic.com;216.241.7425). Known for their comedy club and martinis, Pickwick added the Champagne Bar devoted to bubbles, featuring 50 bottles of champagne and sparkling wines. If we’re ambitious we may also check out the Lobby Lounge at the Ritz Carlton to celebrate our Cleveland vacation with a Rocktail.
Sunday morning we’ll finish off the weekend with brunch at Lucky’s Café (www.luckyscafe.com; 216.622.7773) in Tremont. (You can always try one of these brunch options as well) and head home with a new stash of vacation memories and a bank account still on budget.
For more vacation ideas, hotel information and restaurant listings visit www.positivelycleveland.com.
– Submitted by A.I.
Take . . . make . . . make. This is how the Great Lakes Brewing Company (GLBC) describes their sustainability initiatives. Everything that can be reused is . . . and when I say everything I mean everything. For example, GLBC owns the “fatty wagon,” an eco-friendly shuttle bus run on used vegetable oil. Eat at GLBC on game days (Indians or Cavs) and save on parking by purchasing a roundtrip ticket from the Ohio City brewery downtown to Progressive Field or Quicken Loans Arena for just $1.
The “fatty wagon” is merely the beginning of GLBC’s green efforts. Turns out, half the veggies served during the summer months are grown right here in Northeast Ohio. An unlikely partnership with Hale Farm and Village, a 19th century living history museum located about 45 minutes away in Bath, Ohio, provides the space needed to grow locally about 50% of the fresh ingredients used in Great Lakes’ popular dishes. But, the “Pint Size Farm” provides more than the culinary delights plated at GLBC. The location of the Pint Size Farm, directly next to a 19th century farm, allows visitors to Hale Farm an opportunity to observe the striking similarities between farming practices of yesteryear and those used today.
For more information about the Great Lakes Brewing Company, their food, their brews and their environmental sustainability efforts, visit www.greatlakesbrewing.com and follow @GLBC_Cleveland on Twitter. For more info about visiting Hale Farm and Village, visit www.halefarm.org. –Submitted by CA
THE COST: Research some recipes that sound fancy, but are fairly easy to make (like soy-glazed salmon, pan-seared filet mignon, or lemon-garlic chicken). Visit Pinzone Meats (Stands B-4 and B-5) and grab two fresh sirloin tips for $5 a pound (about $15 per steak), which are great and cheap for grilling. Or visit Kate’s Fish (Stand F-12 and F-13) and pick up two Atlantic salmon filets for $8.99 per pound, for a healthy, late night affair. Throw in some veggies ($10) and a few Great Lakes beers ($15) and you’ve got a pretty cheap date.
THE KNOWLEDGE: Adventurous food choices will show an open mind willing to try new things. In contrast, hunting for the perfect hamburgers between complaints about the cleanliness of the fruit will unleash the miscreant date monster beneath. Pay close attention to their urban diplomacy skills. The ability to wrangle with artful street vendors (while being funny, smart, and getting a good price) will only add bonus points to the long-term relationship formula.
To celebrate my birthday last week my friends and went to dinner at Touch Supper Club just off West 25th on Lorain Avenue in the neighborhood of Ohio City. While Touch sort of resembles a steel-barred prison cell from the outside, once inside we quickly recognized that this intimate lounge, restaurant and club was full of life and hungry patrons. We had a round table in their back room that was in a library-style setting. The light was dimmed low and books filled the wall cases. Couches with comfy pillows were on one side of the table followed by sleek chairs on the other.
The Fabulous Food Show returns to Cleveland, November 14-16. The weekend-long show promises to keep you busy, but while you’re here why not head out and experience some of Cleveland’s culinary hotspots and other notable attractions. Here are a few places to check out for eats and entertainment:
Make it a priority to have lunch at Melt Bar and Grilled. Melt features more than 20 different takes on the classic–all with their own unique twist. The menus appear on vintage record covers and the Lakewood restaurant is decked out in pop culture decor with lots of memorabilia. I suggest you try a “Parmageddon,” stuffed with onions, kraut and a potato-and-cheese perogi.
Or stop in Great Lakes Brewing Company, an eco-friendly restaurant and brewery that names their handcrafted beers after local historical figures and events. After you eat, enjoy a free guided tour or just check out the rest of the brewpub and see bullet hole attributed to an altercation when crime fighter Eliot Ness was in the bar. (Ness himself, I heard, didn’t actually carry a gun.)
Great Lakes Brewing Company has been one of Cleveland’s most beloved restaurants since 1988. An environmentally-friendly microbrewery and restaurant (they even use vegetable oil to fuel their diesel trucks), GLBC’s brews named after historical figures and events (Eliot Ness, Commodore Perry, etc.) are a source of community pride.
Last weekend some buddies and I went the brewery for some patio eating and people watching. Located on Market Avenue just off West 25th street in Ohio City, GLBC’s patio is a great place to grab some food and watch all the action of the neighborhood. We ordered a few of the beer samplers for the table which includes five ounce tastes of 10 of their beers on tap. This brewpub is doing everything right. The food is always great and business runs smoothly. My favorite is the Old World Burger, served on a homemade pretzel bun that is just amazing.
Free brewery tours are offered on Fridays between 5pm – 9pm and Saturdays between 1pm – 9pm. My friends and I learned the whole brewing process in less than an hour and were soon convinced we could start a great brewery of our own but, since those euphoric and ambitious thoughts were mostly likely ale-induced, we proceeded on with the tour.
So while the late-summer/early fall weather is still around, I really recommend freeing up your next Saturday and heading to GLBC for some good food, great beer and a nifty little tour. –AS