Pop a few bags of popcorn, swing by b.a.Sweeties for some Swedish fish and put on the most comfortable pair of pajamas you own. It’s time to load the kids into the family vehicle that most closely resembles a station wagon and partake in a summer tradition that conjures up memories from “back in the day.”
When searching for something family-friendly and nostalgic, look to the wide variety of drive-in theater options sprinkled around the Cleveland Plus region.
Aut-o-Rama Outdoor Theatre (about 30 minutes west of downtown)
33395 Lorain Road, Elyria
Mayfield Road Drive-In Theatre (about 45 minutes east of downtown)
12010 Mayfield Road, Chardon
Skyway Drive-In Theatre (about 1 hour southeast of downtown)
1805 North Leavitt Road Northwest, Warren
Elm Road Twin Drive-In Theatre (about 1 hour, 15 minutes southeast of downtown)
1895 Elm Road Northeast, Warren
Pymatuning Lake Drive-In (about 1.5 hours east of downtown)
State Route 7 & Marvin Road, Andover
Magic City Drive-In (about 20 minutes south of Akron)
5602 Cleveland Massillon Road, Barberton
Blue Sky Drive-In Theater (about 20 minutes west of Akron)
959 Broad Street, Wadsworth
Midway Drive-In Theatre (about 30 minutes east of Akron)
State Rt. 59, Ravenna
Springmill Drive-In Theatre (about 1 hour southeast of Akron)
1040 Springmill Street, Mansfield
Sunset Drive-In Theatre (about 1 hour southwest of Akron)
4018 Park Ave West, Mansfield
While the car is packed, you should roll into one of the area’s authentic drive-in restaurants:
Skyway Drive-In Restaurants (three locations)
- 951 East Turkeyfoot Road (Rt. 619), Green
- 2781 West Market Street, Fairlawn
- 3296 Medina Road (Rt. 18), Medina
Swenson’s Cheeseburgers (seven locations)
- 40 S. Hawkins Avenue, Akron
- 658 E. Cuyahoga Falls Avenue, Akron
- 4466 Kent Road (rt.59), Stow
- 40 Brookmont Road, Akron
- 7635 Broadview Road, Seven Hills
- 5815 Wales Avenue, Massillon
- 1558 N Main Street, North Canton
Sonic Drive-In (three locations)
- 3280 Center Road, Brunswick
- 1842 Snow Road Midtown Plaza, Parma
- 9780 State Route 14, Streetsboro
- 330. 626.9601
– Submitted by A.I.
Could we have just discovered the newest, hottest restaurant in Cleveland? This is what my husband and I asked ourselves after leaving AMP 150, the Cleveland Airport Marriott’s completely new restaurant, on New Year’s Eve (and our first wedding anniversary).
The restaurants bio is right there in its name – an acronym that stands for American Modern Palette that is conveniently located off of I-71 on West 150th Street. So really, what is it? Contemporary American food that focuses on seasonal and locally-grown and made items offered on an ever-changing menu. The restaurant is the creation of celeb chef Dean James Max and is operated by executive chef Ellis Cooley. It’s located in the a completely remodeled Marriott with chic, contemporary design elements that are both sophisticated and sexy – a definite recommendation for those looking for a hot Valentine’s Day dinner destination.
Our five-course journey was prix fixe and (unfortunately for my husband and I) started with oysters layered with caviar. While we’re both big fans of adventurous dining, we’d been down the “caviar road” once before and weren’t real interested in a return trip. Thankfully, the uber-sweet staff at AMP 150 obliged and we were each served up a piping hot bowl of mussels in a spicy and tangy broth.
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.
Eating at musician/restaurateur Chrissie Hynde’s veggie-friendly eatery in Akron (35-40 minutes south of Cleveland) on Saturday night opened my eyes to new possibilities. I gave up meat pretty early on in life. I remember holding up a burnt hotdog at a cookout at Rick Bensman’s house in middle school and announcing dramatically, “This is my last act as a carnivore.” Classy final meal, right? Really well thought out, clearly. Most people would have indulged in a steak as big as their head . . . I had a burnt weenie.
Anyway, since then, most of my restaurant experiences involve finding any of the vegetarian options on the menu and/or figuring out which selections could be ordered sans meat. Then, I have to figure out which of those narrow options is heavy on dairy or cheese because, since becoming a vegetarian, I have gradually developed a little lactose intolerance. I could take a little pill and suffer through those meals but I have to think that if my body is rejecting an entire food group, there’s a reason and masking that problem is not ultimately the wisest solution. So . . . that usually leaves me with a veggie burger or a garden salad.
Guess what? In addition to being a sort of hipster hangout eatery in Akron, VegiTerranean is both Kosher and VEGAN. So, as my boss put it this morning when I related the tale of my culinary bliss to her, “Wow! They have the vegans-keeping-Kosher audience segment cornered.” What was great about it for me was that I didn’t have to narrow down my options at all. I could pick my meal based solely on what sounded good to eat. I didn’t realize how much I missed choice. It was so freeing.
I’d scheduled a babysitter for Friday so that I could hang out with one of my friends for a girls’ night out, realizing at about 3pm on Friday that I hadn’t made reservations anywhere. I wanted to go somewhere nicer than a bar, and felt that a good dinner was needed by both of us. Unfortunately, getting a dinner reservation for 7pm on a Friday night in Cleveland can be pretty difficult. But, I’d heard a couple of months ago about this new little place called Luxe Kitchen and Lounge in the up-and-coming Detroit Shoreway neighborhood near the Cleveland Public Theatre. I discovered they do not take reservations for parties of fewer than six people, which turned out to be a good thing . . . it meant we could get in.
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
Hit the Taste of Tremont around 5pm. From Lolita to Flying Monkey, the neighborhood street was lined with food vendors. Colorful gelato, butter sauteed pierogi, spicy Thai noodles, saucy ribs, vegetarian lasagna, fresh peach cobbler . . . you name it, it was there to be sampled. White tented displays for civic groups, art galleries, musical acts and streetside displays from boutiques also dotted the urban landscape. Luckily the burst of rain that splattered onto Cleveland‘s sidewalks around noon cleared and made for a sunny, but slightly humid, summer afternoon.
The 1-7pm culinary celebration was so popular that street parking was at a premium. My Corolla and I ended up curbside by the Lava Lounge–a few blocks away from the action. Highlights of the outing? Chef Rocco Whalen’s lifesize photo cutouts in a special youth “sports” section next to Fahrenheit, the huge retro mural I somehow never noticed before painted on the 806 Bistro building and the completely packed outside patio at Lago (which I heard from one festivalgoer had ”awesome sangria”). –AK
, Pickwick & Frolic‘s Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, has been described as “an interactive evening of crime solving, food and entertainment.” In Pickwick & Frolic’s first foray into the murder mystery theatre concept, the Frolic Cabaret transforms into the Oasis Niteclub where a murder has been committed. Throughout the evening, guests are given clues to the mystery as they meet the wacky cast of characters involved.